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Tag Archives: Motivation

Circuit Training

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I love Circuit Training!  It breaks up the monotony of exercising when you’re stuck in a rut and makes the time just fly by.

Circuit training also has much greater benefits than just sticking to one solid exercise or taking breaks like most people do at the gym between each set (which ends up taking forever!).  Circuit training shocks your body each time you change it up therefore burning more fat and boosting your metabolism.  It also makes for a far more efficient and quick work out.  Just think… you could either do 45 minutes of cardio plus another 45 minutes of weight training OR you could do a solid 45-60 minute circuit training workout and be done!! (and the workout will probably be way more intense).

Today my workout went something like this:

10 min – slow warm up run at 6.0

30 sec. suicide runs

30 sec. double step up jumps

30 sec. push ups

Repeat another 30 second round

10 minute interval runs

30 sec. step taps

30 sec. mountain climbers

Repeat another 30 second round 2x

10 minute interval run

1 minute full sit ups

30 sec. twist taps

30 sec. scissors

Repeat abdominal one round

Stretch

That work out was the first workout I’ve done like that in a while and it totally kicked my booty!!  And I felt amazing afterwards!! Can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!!

I love these new Nike women ads, so inspiring!!

Workout Regime & Playlist

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Over the past year I have played around a lot with trying different workouts and what not.  I used to be an avid gym rat, but then after tightening my finances, I quit the gym and was forced to get creative.

First of all, I am the type of person who can definitely get bored very easily, so I knew I had to get a few things together for myself to fight off boredom and make me stick to it.   Also I needed something to keep myself challenged.

So here is what my play-list is consisting of these days:

The Time - Black Eyed Peas
Fancy Footwork - Chromeo
Like a G6 - Far East Movement
Waiting for the End - Linkin Park
Beggin' - Madcon
Name of the Game - The Crystal Method
Keep Hope Alive - The Crystal Method
Forever Young - Alphaville
Block Rockin Beats - The Chemical Brothers
Candyman - Christina Aguilera
Mint Car - The Cure
And Be Loved - Damian Marley
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
Man in Motion - From St. Elmos Fire
Dog Days are Over - Florence and the Machine
The Big Bang - Rock Mafia
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez
Hold it Against Me - Britney Spears
Power - Kanye West
Coming Home - Diddy - Dirty Money
Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

It changes a bit but for the most part I like to listen to pop music as it keeps me upbeat and pepped up.  But if I am doing sprint intervals then I need some heavy metal angry music to keep me really amped up and adrenaline pumping.

Lately I have been working on getting back my endurance and cardio since I was on about a 3 month hiatus from all working out because of the job that I had.  I just didnt have time or desire to work out.  Chock it up to being unhappy, winter time, and my schedule kept changing.  In any case, I am so happy to be back to working out, I have a lot of work to do, but I love running!! (well side secret… shhh… I hate having to start back running… meaning being off from running and then starting again…ugghhhh so hard!! Lol)

So I have been thinking about starting a training page on here…. but my workouts are so not consistent at this point that it would be a bit pointless.  I haven’t set up a training plan yet, at this point its more whatever I have the energy for.  Once I get my endurance back up I’ll see about setting up a training plan like I had in the fall and then post it on here for those who may be interested in getting some motivation!

Hope you enjoy my playlist!! I really wanted to upload an mp3 player on here, but I’m not quite that tech savvy soooo instead I just posted the names of the songs :-)

HAPPY WEEKEND!!


What songs do you listen to for your workouts??  Share with me!

Bikram Yoga

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A few years ago I discovered Bikram Yoga (aka Hot Yoga) and fell in love.  However due to the usual lack of mullah due to being a full time student I could only go every so often, whenever I could take advantage of the new student packages.

To explain what Bikram Yoga is here is the explination off of the Bikram Yoga website

Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.  Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

Bikram Yoga can be practiced under the guidance of a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher at one of the affiliated Bikram Yoga studios.

These studios are built in such a way that you always get the proper heating (104F) which help you to do your postures optimally. Bikram calls these studios as “Torture Chambers”.

It sounds a bit crazy at first, and the first couple times you do it you think to yourself “why the hell am I doing this” but then after you leave the class the feeling you get of being cleansed and refreshed is what brings you back over and over again.

So  a co-worker and I have become workout/diet buddies to help keep each other on track so that we can get back in shape.   Both of us have sort of fallen off the exercise wagon  since starting our job and falling victim to hibernation mode.   I’m sure many of you can relate.

But never the less, getting back in shape and healthy again always works so much better when you have a buddy to do it with to help kick you in the butt when you start feeling a bit sluggish!  I feel this should be a mandatory thing, every one should have a workout buddy!!

So we signed up for the new student special, which is a 6 class package, and will be extending it out to 2 classes a week until it runs out.  Then I’ll hit up my old studio to do their new student special Lol  my philosophy right now is to save money for California but also get back in shape the cheapest way possible!

What things do you do to cut back on costs, but still manage to keep up with your fitness routines and hobbies?


My Story

So this entry has taken me a while to write.  It is a rather intimate and personal entry, but given the content of my blog and my need to both help myself and hopefully help others I want to share.  Also, since it is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I feel that this is the right time to begin to share my story.

Over time I will break up my story into parts and share more about my struggles and my recovery, since I don’t want this blog post to be too long.  But for now I am going to tell you an abridged version of my story.

I know there are quite a few blogs out there which are based around the same concepts as mine; health, body image etc…  And I know for me when I stumbled across a particular blog back in January (2010) it honestly had a HUGE impact on me.  It was almost like an “ah-ha” moment.  Reading someones own personal story which was just like mine made me feel not quiet so alone.  It gave me comfort to know that its ok to still have these struggles from time to time, that there is no such thing as being “perfectly recovered.”   I guess that’s also part of the whole mindset that goes along with having an Eating Disorder, the constant need for own self perfection and control.   There is only so much one can do, but whats more is how you deal with the struggles.  I can choose to sulk and think I’m doomed for life with this disease or I can choose to accept who I am and use that pain to motivate me to work that much harder and use my own experience as an educational tool to help others.

Ironically my Eating Disorder manifested itself right after I decided to quit dance.  I grew up dancing, starting at the age of 3 with ballet, then I moved over to Jazz, then Modern and stuck with that through my first year of college.  After my first year of college I decided to quit dance.  My life long dream was to dance in New York.  I finally made it to New York for a summer dance intensive in 2002.   Finally! the dream I had, had throughout all my years of dance, there I was! But I was still unhappy.  I began to notice that I was quite different from everyone else there, meaning that everyone else had this drive and passion for dance.  Whereas I did not.  Don’t get me wrong I love dance, but there was a major difference between my love for it and everyone else’s.  I didn’t want to fight my way to the top, I just wanted to dance, perform, and have fun.  So I quit.  Now after years away from that world I can now finally appreciate it and go back and take classes and be in love with it in a whole new way which makes me happy.

After I stepped away from that world I moved onto a few other trial and errors as a major.  I tried photography, that was just too much work and I was way behind where everyone else was with all the art classes, I felt so lost!!  A few months into this new semester at college I grew into a deep depression and decided the best thing for me to do at that time was to move home and take some time off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  So I moved home and back into my moms house.  I got a job at a gym as well as a serving position at a coffee bar/cafe at night.  Over that next year I spiraled downward very quickly.  I got sucked into the party scene that comes with working at bar/restaurants.  I had no idea who I really was at the time so of course I followed what everyone else was doing just for the need to feel accepted.   Even though I had lots of so called “friends” I ultimately felt very alone, and the further I went into my disease.  It’s difficult to truly explain just how isolated one can get while deep into the disease.  But like any other addiction, the deeper and lower one gets with the depression and obsessive acts the bigger the blinders become.  You stop caring or noticing the people around you, and the more you become focused on “getting your next fix” or “perfecting yourself”.  I say “perfecting yourself” in quotes because often the major misconception of eating disorders is that it is all about vanity.  It soooo is not.  Granted yes part of it is, but that is not the overall driving force that gets you to the disease part.  It ultimately has to do with control.  It all begins when something in your life is out of balance and the person feels like they have no control over their life, or that something isn’t good enough.  Or if they have suffered from physical, sexual or verbal abuse as a child making them feel as though they are not good enough or that they are worthless.  This ends up making the person feel that the only way for them to regain any control is by what they put in or don’t put into their own body.  You have the control with what you do or do not eat.  The same can go with any addiction.  All of this has now grown to my major fascination with psychology and addiction (another passion of mine along with nutrition).

Moving onto the present time.  Stemming from all of this has of course led to me having to re-learn how to love myself and the body I was born with.  I have been recovered now from the depths of my eating disorder for quite some time thankfully.  But the “evil thoughts” aka negative self image bashing that goes on in my head, are still around.   For the most part I am able to keep them quiet, but I am only capable of so much and every so often, like when I am tired, or had a bad day or something to that effect they creep up on me and they can be oh so relentless.

That’s the thing with the disease of an eating disorder.  With all other addictions, you can step away from the thing that harms you; alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping etc…. but an eating disorder you can’t really abstain from food…. you need food to live!! So that makes it just that much harder to fully recover.  The thoughts and obsession will forever be there.  It’s needing to get to that point of learning how to accept yourself and how to manage your thoughts about how you view food.  For me, as I stated before, I still struggle.  I consider myself midway recovered.  For a while I thought I was fully recovered, but realized I was more in denial.  I slipped back a bit about a year ago when I had a rude awakening about where I really truly was in my recovery.  So for the past year I have been doing a really deep internal look into myself and have been trying new healing methods to get myself to a point of full acceptance.

It is really brutal work, but in order to get to where I want to be, which is happy with myself, like really TRULY happy.  I know that I need to do some hard work before I can get to that point and STAY at the point.

What I am doing now, is lots of honest journaling, this blog, changing my diet (which is HARD!!!) by eating whole foods which nourish my body and provide it with lots of amazing nutrients that do wonderful things for every single part of me – especially the brain!.  I also do a lot of positive self talk.   And the hardest thing of all, is getting myself to take these steps S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I had gotten myself so accustomed to jumping head first into things and thinking I had to do them all at full blast and perfectly (that would be the competitive part of the disease) that I’d totally brainwashed myself.  In order to get something to really stick and become a habit, I need to take it slow.  So while I love to exercise and I know it’s good for me and keeps me level, I am making myself do things one step at a time.  Right now I am focusing on my diet, because ultimately, that is the key that is going to keep my body and mind strong.  The rest will just fall into place after that.

I recently had an epiphany – in order to achieve happiness with myself I have to treat it right.  It’s like being in a relationship, if you want a positive outcome with your partner you have to put into it what you want out of it.  Meaning, if you treat your partner like crap or skimp on loving them then the relationship will soon fall apart.  The same goes for you and you.  If you want yourself to be happy and strong you need to feed it right and treat it right, otherwise you will get sick, become unhappy and fall apart.

So that is my story in a nutshell.  Thank you for reading and allowing me to share with you some very personal intimate stuff.  I truly hope that with my story, and future stories, that I can help some other people out there who may be struggling themselves.   There is hope out there, and you CAN do it.

If anyone is in need of talking please do not hesitate to contact me and share your own struggles, story or concerns.  Elw.brown@gmail.com or if you need professional help please contact the National Eating Disorders Association for hotlines or information.

Tattoo on my left foot of the National Eating Disorders Association recovery symbol. Surrounded by butterfly's to symbolize "stomping out my eating disorder and being set free"


Belated New Years Resolution List

I know this is a tad late, however seeing as how I only just recently got re-acquainted with updated technology (aka my new computer) I feel as though I am allowed my belated posting on New Years Resolutions.

With that said, let me just say that this is my first year ever for making an actual NYR list.  In past years I’ve half heartily made lists in my head, but never really committed to it.  But this year I decided I wanted to change that and make a meaningful list.  One that was not filled with “lose 15 pounds” or other typical resolutions that everyone seems to make.   Instead I made a list of inward changes that I wanted to make for myself.  To, if you will, become re-acquainted with myself and to grow even more.

Sorry for the bad lighting! (I really need a better camera, *hint hint* *nod nod* *wink wink*)

This past year was a major year for me, LOTS of big changes.  So with entering into a new phase in my life, I decided that my goal for this year would be to really step outside my comfort zone and push myself to grab hold of life!! That sounds so cliche, but I really do mean it! Lol

So far I have seemed to be a bit resistant to making these changes.  But like with most big changes I recognize that yes, they do in fact take time.  As I have mentioned before, patience is definitely NOT my strong suite.  I should add that one to my list too Lol.  In any case, part of that has been my new job and having my schedule flip flop back and forth which has made getting into a good routine difficult to do.  But I am finally on my set schedule (THANK GOD!) so I am hoping that this will make a big difference.

I at first wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this kind of blog, as it doesn’t seem like it would be all that interesting.  But then I thought that it very well may give someone else some motivation as well as hold me accountable! haha only mildly selfish eh??

So here is to starting a new year, starting fresh, and making honest and non superficial changes!  CHEERS!!

What have your resolutions been in the past?  Have you stuck to them? What are yours for this year? and how do you plan to stick to them?

My "Ah-ha" moment with raw whole foods vs. processed foods

So lately I have been trying to become more in tune with my body in terms of nutrition, and feeding my body with whole foods and superfoods which nourish and heal the body in amazing ways! I have become so fascinated and perhaps nerdily (yes I just made up that word, roll with it) excited about the amazing ability’s that food has if used in the correct ways.  The way that we are supposed to be using food.

I will do another post on my favorite superfoods soon, so stay tuned for that!

So it was perhaps about two months ago.  I started having some digestive problems, and overall was just feeling very run down.  Granted there was also a fair amount of stress going on in my life due to the whole job hunting thing, and I was not doing a very good job of eating very well.   So I decided to do a bit of an experiment on myself of eating only whole foods, and primarily raw, to see what effects it would have on my body and mind.

What I discovered was this:

When I ate lots of processed foods, sugar, coffee etc… I was tired all the time, bloated, crashed in the middle of the day and just felt overall gross and depressed.

However when I ate whole clean foods, everything from scratch, nothing processed, I felt alive! I felt healthy, non bloated, eager to work out, happy, and overall extremely productive, which in turn also leads me to being on track health wise.

In writing that it seems like a big obvious DUH!!!  Especially since I wrote an entry a while ago about doing that exact type of experiment.  But I, like everyone else, sometimes need a good re-jump start or refresher, if you will.  Yes, I too will sometimes lose my way with healthy eating.  But it’s always good to remember that tough times will  not last forever, and healthy eating is a great way to pull yourself out of a funk.

Back to what I was saying, when you eat whole foods it forces you to eat at a slower pace.  Whereas processed foods are just that… so overly processed that there are no fibers in there to hold it together.  In other words, those types of foods break down quite quickly in your mouth therefore you end up eating faster and larger quantities.

So, all of this is to say that I am slowly but surely making the solid (no pun intended) transition to whole foods, and further away from overly processed vegan “faux meats” no matter how delicious and convenient they may be!  It not only makes me feel amazing, but it also makes me happy because I get to cook a lot more! which I love to do, and making all kinds of different and exciting meals and recipes!

Coming up soon:

My latest food obsession – POMEGRANATE!!

And a few recipes I’ve whipped up… though I have to admit, I’m so bad at taking pictures of my food while cooking.  I just get so wrapped up in the cooking I only realize after wards that I’ve totally forgotten to document the process and the final out come! ooppssss :-/  I think part of that issue though is that I don’t have a great camera with which to make nice looking photos, or nice cookware… I’m ohhh what some might call a bit of a perfectionist and only like the best!!  Lol

Inspiration Boards

Anyone else love arts and crafts time as much as I do??  I’m going to assume that there is a unanimous rise of hands, I mean why wouldn’t you love arts and crafts?!

Something I love to do when I am feeling out of sorts is to get out all of my arts stuff and make some art.  Whether it be painting furniture, making collages,  making new cool clothing out of old t-shirts etc… etc…    Well a few weeks ago I was feeling particularly out of sorts and decided to do some fall cleaning and organizing (another thing that makes me feel good, I know total nerd alert) with all of my magazines that I had.  I like to keep magazines that have all kinds of nutrition info or new and different fitness exercises.   Anyway, so I decided I wanted to go through them all and cut out all sorts of positive messages throughout them all and make a collage of them to hang in my room.  This way when I wake up every morning I see all these positive messages and it will give me motivation to keep going.

I made it body image and fitness oriented.  Words that help me to accept and love the body that I have been given and to be strong and fuel my body properly so that I can reach my fitness goals of running my first half marathon in a few months.

So this is what it looks like:

I also made this one:

I had a blast making them, as I do with most artsy projects.  I could spend hours doing them!!

I think it is so important to do things that you love doing that isn’t your main job.  To keep that kid inside you.  Things I love to do in my free time, which I have A LOT of these days,  are dancing, artsy things, organizing, baking, reading up on nutrition related things and anything health related and watching movies!

I love being creative, although lately I feel like its more of a nuisance… meaning, my head won’t stop coming up with awesome ideas for what I want to do in life and how I can combine all of my passions into a job.  You’re probably thinking “that’s awesome how can that be a bad thing?”  Well when you don’t have the capital to start up your own business, or the experience it starts becoming depressing.  Eventually, say ten years from now, I plan to open my own business, but until then I’ll just keep planning, patience is not something I do very well… *sigh*

Do you have any special or fun things you like to do to draw inspiration or motivation for yourself? If so what?

And if you have your own inspiration boards share them with me, I’d love to see how you create yours!


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