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Recently, my grandma who is nearly 80 years of age had a sudden illness which has drastically affected her quality of life. Both her physical and mental health have been impacted, and it is a difficult time for my family. Today I pushed myself on the treadmill to go a little further, as I thought about how she is not able to get outside or get on her treadmill at home to walk like she did only 2 months ago. She can’t use her body in the same way she could before, and she was healthier than most 79 year olds! While the situation is sad, it also makes me appreciate my own body that much more for what it allows me to do every day.

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Growing up, I think it’s safe to say, most kids roll their eyes at almost anything their parents tell them. As we get older, we slowly begin to realize what everyone at one point or another says… my parents were right.

This definitely holds true with my parents, especially when it comes to eating habits. Through them, I learned to really discipline myself when it comes to eating. Here are three tips that I always remember when I feel like pigging out:

• Eat slowly. There were so many times my sister, myself, and my brother would come home from school, do homework, and come dinner-time we would be “starving”. First of all, whenever we would say we were “starving” our mother would correct us and say we never were. Children in third world countries are starving… we were not. Hello, reality check at age 11!

Which leads me to the whole eating slowly thing. Whenever we thought we were “starving” we would sit down at the dinner table and begin to scarf up our meals. Our mother would tell us to slow down and would say “your food isn’t going anywhere… just enjoy it”. My teeny-bopper self probably thought that was ridiculous and secretly wanted to lick my plate clean, but now that I’m in my mid-20s, I know for sure, that my food isn’t going anywhere. And besides, I’m such a lover of food now that I actually prefer eating very slowly, that way I can enjoy every morsel and bit of delicious flavor. Not only that, but when you eat slower, you get full faster and eat less… which equals more leftovers. So it’s really a win win all around. 😉

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Happy Halloween! I hope you’re fitting in time for costumed festivities this year – Halloween is a great time to get creative, whether you’re a woman with children, or a child-at-heart woman. I procrastinated making my costume choice (finally settling on Sookie Stackhouse, the telekinetic heroine of HBO’s vampire drama True Blood) and am still finishing up last minute touches.

For party snacks, I decided to make these super-cute brownie bites that I found on Weight Watchers’ website. They’re easy to make (under 30 minutes), cute enough to impress, and light enough to eat – without overdoing it.

browniecupcakebites

Photo Credit: Weightwatchers.com

Fit tip: Dance a few extra rounds of “Thriller” and practice walking like a zombie to burn off any excess candy calories. Read more for the recipe:

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TURKEY 24

About a week after I joined Healthworks Cambridge, I started noticing a few signs around that let members know about the installation of new equipment. “How exciting!” I thought, “I just joined this beautiful gym and now they are bringing in even more equipment.”

I forgot about the new equipment that week (I was on a class-taking kick!) and went on my way. Then my friend, Allie, from home started talking about doing a 5k on Thanksgiving. I shouldn’t say she started talking about it. She more or less challenged me. And of course, I could not pass up this bit of friendly competition. So I started doing some research. It seems like everywhere you turn there is a chance to do some good for yourself and others by running in a 5k. This one in particular peaked my interest because of its name: “Smoke the Turkey.” It’s a Thanksgiving Day “Turkey Trot” to benefit the Hospice Program of Northwest Ohio (where I am from originally). It will also help me feel better about indulging on Thanksgiving Day (mash potatoes, anyone?) – not to mention that I can only imagine how awesome the runners’ t-shirts will be.

Anyway, after taking on this challenge, I started to panic. Allie has taken up running and her personal goal is to beat her standing 30 minute 5k time this Thanksgiving. (Please note, I am of the school of thought that looks at running as the punishment for my sport. Whether I was playing volleyball, basketball or softball, running lines meant we were in trouble.) I started to wonder what time would be realistic for me. I wasn’t so sure about the 30 minutes but I thought it might be a reasonable goal if I started to train. That’s when I got the idea to try out the new treadmills at my Healthworks.

The particular treadmills I am talking about are the Life Fitness Treadmills and they are awesome. What first attracted me to them was the TV display. What better way to run, than to have something in front of you to make you forget you are running. With that perk alone, I jumped on the treadmill and started to warm up. As I entered in my personal information, I played around with the touch screen. There are options to run hills, work on weight loss or build up endurance. You can also hook up your iPod to control your playlist on-screen or plug in a USB to track your workouts. While poking around I found the perfect option for me and for anyone else who has ever wanted to run a 5k – Sport Training. You can find it under Select Workout and then Advanced. Once I selected the 5k option and entered my weight, intensity level and speed, I began to run – and watch TV! Read the rest of this entry »

While I know you are all already busy reading the Healthworks blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to point you to an online resource about women’s body image. If you haven’t seen it before, http://thebodyimageproject.blogspot.com/ is an inspirational and thought-provoking website where women share their thoughts anonymously about their body image. The women come from a variety of backgrounds and I’m confident that you can relate to something written on this site! The anonymity of the website means the writers can feel free to be honest about their body image, and the goal is to help break the silence in talking about the struggles and joys they have. The website includes an email address where you can submit your own thoughts.

If you could share just a brief paragraph about your own body image, not censored, what would you say? What have been the critical moments in your life around your body image? Consider adding your thoughts to the bodyimageproject blog and share who you are with the world!

-Kelli

Everyone has a perspective!

While I know you are all already busy reading the Healthworks blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to point you to an online resource about women’s body image. If you haven’t seen it before, http://thebodyimageproject.blogspot.com/ is an inspirational and thought-provoking website where women share their thoughts anonymously about their body image.  The women come from a variety of backgrounds and I’m confident that you can relate to something written on this site! The anonymity of the website means the writers can feel free to be honest about their body image, and the goal is to help break the silence in talking about the struggles and joys they have.  The website includes an email address where you can submit your own thoughts.

If you could share just a brief paragraph about your own body image, not censored, what would you say? What have been the critical moments in your life around your body image? Consider adding your thoughts to the bodyimageproject blog and share who you are with the world!

pumpkins

Fall is my favorite season! I love the red, orange, and yellow foliage in my neighborhood, wearing sweaters and jeans, and, of course, all of the great seasonal produce and flavors. Apples, squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are some of my favorites – gorgeous in color, full of vitamins, and easy to prepare.

I keep a constant supply of apples in my kitchen, which I’ve been peeling and chopping to add to oatmeal every morning – a sweet and easy way to sneak in a whole serving of fruit. Apples are a great source of vitamin C, and pectin, a soluble fiber. Below is a recipe for oatmeal, as well as one of my other favorite fall recipes – super simple Tofu Pumpkin pie. Also, check out this great Butternut Squash Soup recipe from the Whole Foods website (a great resource). All of these recipes are easy, and full of the nutritional benefits that Autumn has to offer.

Easy Apple Oatmeal

Peel one apple (firmer types like Cortland or Macintosh work well), chop into small pieces

Add to a bowl with ½ cup Quick cooking plain oatmeal, 1 cup water, 1 tsp cinnamon

Microwave for 3 minutes

I’ve been adding chopped pecans, raisins and little bit of Agave nectar, a natural sweetener with low glycemic impact – yum!

Keep reading for a great Tofu Pumpkin Pie Recipe! Read the rest of this entry »

For a long time, I was driven to the gym by my burning desire to reach a goal and by a specific deadline. If by Labor Day I couldn’t run a half marathon, then I was going to miss the race. Having such a definite cutoff date really pushed me to push myself. It made me really want to work out as much as possible and as hard as possible. The race was quite literally the only thing I talked about for a few months – in fact, I still talk about it a lot. After it was over, though, I had a really hard time feeling motivated. I accomplished the goal; heck, I accomplished a lot of my goals: I finished a half marathon, I lost 50 pounds, and I gained a lot of confidence. Once it was over, though, I couldn’t help but feel that I had less to strive for, besides my lofty mission of being generally healthier.

I think this means I’m a more concrete kind of person. I realized that I need to have a specific goal to work towards. Telling myself to go to the gym because it will be better for me in the long term doesn’t seem to cut it. However, telling myself to get my butt to spinning because I have to build up enough endurance to run a race – well, that’s the trick. So, now that summer is over (long over), I need to really formulate just what I’m working towards. Bear with me:

1. I ran a 5k in 40 minutes. I want to cut out at least a minute and run, comfortably, in the 35-39 minutes range. Good thing there are a lot of 5ks coming up. This weekend, I want to hit 39 minutes.

2. I already ramped up the number of times per week that I work out, but I need to start varying the kinds of exercise I do. I think my body has started to get used to my routine. I need to shake it up – so, goal 2 is to try a new class or do a new kind of workout every single week.

3. I lost 50 pounds (did I mention that already? I’m pretty proud…), but I know have more work to do. This concrete goal involves me losing another 20-30 so that I can go on a (second) major shopping spree. There are a lot of sub-goals that go into this, and I still have to work out exactly how I’m going to make it happen (stay tuned).

What are your goals? What motivates you?

-Hannah

 

For me, it might sound cliche, but beauty for me really does start on the inside. It’s like a state of mind, a state of love if you will. Then, whatever you can do on the outside is all like a bonus.

– Queen Latifah

I was inspired by this quote by Queen Latifah today becuse I picked up some pictures I had printed of my friends and family from the last few months. Its so easy to look at the people I love and know that I think they are beautiful for who they are, and then to struggle to look at myself in a picture without critiquing something about the way that I look or the way my clothes fit. While they may be honest with me with a picture that isn’t flattering, I know that when they see pictures of me, they just see ME for who I am.

For a few years after the invention of the digital camera (and even today), I took a lot of pictures of myself with my camera. Sometimes it was because there was no one else there to take the picture, such as when I was traveling, but most of the time I could be in a crowded place and stick out my arm and turn the camera around to take my self portrait While my friends continue to make fun of me for this act, especially when I am using their cameras, I have to say that it has made a big difference in the way that I view myself. Letting myself take a few “bad” pictures until I found one I liked helped me accept myself because I wouldn’t put the camera down until I liked a picture of myself!

I really love pictures and I like seeing the way my friends, family and I change and yet stay the same over the years. Its helpful for me to see the way that my hips and thighs look like my mom’s and my sister’s, and to know that those body parts are a part of my identity no matter how fit I am. It is also really rewarding and inspiring to see my body change over time as I have worked out and lost weight. I have never been one of those people who could be inspired to lost weight by seeing a “skinny” picture of myself or of other people, but I do love looking back and seeing how I have changed over time yet still stayed “me.”

When you look at pictures of yourself, what do you see?

-Kelli

 

Hello there! I’m very excited about the opportunity to blog! I just recently joined Healthworks. I’ve never really been a gym goer before but I tried the club with a BuyWithMe coupon and now I am hooked. As an official member, I want to share my experiences with you.

My goal in writing this blog is to learn about all there is to do at Healthworks so that I really get the most out of my membership. I’m hoping that when you read my posts you will learn something new, too. Maybe you will learn about a new class that you have never thought to try or you’ll figure out how to schedule a spa treatment online. As I mentioned, I’m not used to working out at a gym (especially one with so many options!) so you’ll find that I have a lot of questions about classes, machines, workshops, the spa, etc.

I am a former athlete who never really used the gym until college. Even then I wasn’t comfortable or sure of what to do in the weight room or how best to work out without a coach telling me what to do. Now, after coming to Healthworks, I feel more informed and have learned a lot in my first couple of weeks. As I continue to learn more, I would like to share what I learn with you. With all there is to do at the club, I feel like there are endless possibilities to get in shape, so I will start exploring and relaying new ideas. Hopefully, with the help of some of my posts, you’ll feel empowered to try a new routine or take a stab at something you always wanted to do.

If you have any suggestions for me on new things I should try or stuff you want to know, please feel free to comment or send me an e-mail at kyenrick@gmail.com. You’ll find that I’m more than willing to test the Healthworks waters and report back to the LiveWellWomen Community.

-Kate

Learn more about Kate by following the “Meet the Bloggers” link at the top of this page!

 

It took me a while to get used to my new fall schedule, but I have finally managed to ramp up my fitness goals (workout 5 days a week!) and settle into some sort of routine. My routine has pretty much been to go to spinning three times and smartbells twice each week; I had mostly been doing cardio this summer in preparation for my half marathon. You’ll notice that this schedule doesn’t leave very much room for running. In fact, I hadn’t really run very much at all since the Labor Day race.

Until Sunday, that is!

Some friends convinced me to run a 5k in Salem. Actually, I had planned on running two 5ks earlier this fall, in Newton and in Somerville, but for each of those occasions the weather was freakishly out of season (snow in October! Not my idea of a fun run…) and I wimped out each time. This weekend, though, I was determined to complete the race! Because of the differences in distance, 3.1 miles compared to the 13.1 of the half marathon, I had to rethink my running strategy and pacing goals. While training for the half marathon, I did a ratio of 1 minute walking for every 5 minutes of running in order to build up the endurance needed to finish the race. But 3.1 miles seemed much more doable – I knew that I wanted to do it in one go with no stopping, and that I wanted to beat my 5k time in the half marathon.

hannah_white_salem5kAnd I did! I finished in 40 minutes, which beat my last time by about 5 minutes! This is so crazy to me for a few reasons. Firstly, I can run for 40 minutes without stopping! I may not be the fastest, but that is such an amazing improvement from where I was a few months ago, when I couldn’t run for 10 minutes without stopping. Second, I drastically improved my pace, without even planning to! I think this is because of my intensive focus on cardio and strengthening my heart. Also, racing is so exciting. I never ever thought that this is something I would be interested in, and now I’m envisioning my future collection of race entry bibs. I talk a lot about wanting to change my life, and I know that I have. Really, there is no way that I would have done something like this a year ago. Now I can’t stop! Anybody interested in the Somerville Superhero 5k or Brighton’s Thanksgiving Day Race?

Finally, I should just say how super fun it is to run in a costume. The 5k was a Halloween run (it’s Salem, so of course it was Halloween themed), and I was excited to run in a costume. I wore my regular running gear, plus a few accessories: 20’s style flapper dress, satin gloves, feathered hairband, and fishnets!

-Hannah

What races are you running this fall? Leave your comments!