LEB0401   13,525
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LEB0401's Recent Blog Entries

I braved the Polar Vortex!!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

So I'm really into Mark Sisson and his blog Mark's Daily Apply lately. It's been kinda slow at work so I spend hours poring over the hundreds of links he embeds in his posts.

Today's MDA was titled "17 Reasons to Walk More This Year". www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-t

The biggest takeaway came from a related article that read: "In my experience, its the easy, seemingly inconsequential stuff thats the hardest sell. The crazier, more unconventional stuff gets all the attention. Tons of people get out there and do heavy squats, order grass-fed cows, buy the latest Vibram model, learn to love liver, and proudly stride barefoot into the grocery store but they drove to get there. Its the easy things, like walking regularly and often, that are somehow the hardest to do. Theyre the easiest to ignore. Walking? Yeah, its nice, its relaxing, but it wont put on the mass and elicit the hormonal response of a set of heavy deadlifts. It isnt sexy.

Walking matters, folks. Big time. If we stop moving, even if were standing at our desks and hitting the gym every other day, were dying. Were telling our bodies that weve given up, that its okay to shut down, that all those millions of years of daily, constant walking were an aberration, a mistake, a fluke. Thats folly. I think you know it, but I dont know if you know it."

How true! I've made strides to accept the hardcore aspects of Primal, but I've been neglecting a big part.. sunshine and walking.

It made me so motivated to walk, I wanted to get out and see the sunshine! I ate my lunch then put on my coat and mittens and headed out in 21 for a lap around the nature trail. It was so invigorating. I left my phone behind at my desk, and when I spotted 3 little deer being goofy in a clearing, I cursed myself because it would have been such a cute pic. But then I realized it was much better to be in the moment, watching the woolly winter deer nibble on each other's ears in real life, rather than trying to snap a pic for fb.

I think I'm going to keep my barefoot shoes here at my desk for after-lunch walks. It's so easy to sneak away for a 20-minute mile on slow days, so why not?

Whole30 is going really well so far. Day 7 and I think I'm out of the "carb flu" stage. I've been instagramming my meals for accountability so don't forget to add me (@laural1sh) if you're interested in what it all entails.

I've also accepted two more challenges on IG. I'm doing the #jan14yogachallenge where each day @beachyogagirl posts a video of a pose and we all post our best attempt. There were some headstand poses right off the bat and it forced me to spend some time on them. I could already tell that my handstand pushups are getting better as a result! The other challenge is #flowin52 where my friend @paigelysaight has challenged us to record one freestyle pole dance per week for all 52 weeks of 2014. We post a clip for accountability. Then at the end of the year we go back and review how our dance style, vocabulary, trick progressions, transitions have changed throughout the year. It's cool!

Feel free to jump into any one of these challenges.. whether it's simply walking more, doing a daily yoga pose, committing to a Whole30, or freestyle dancing. Don't let the frigid temps keep you down, go out and live life!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATTUTT 1/8/2014 7:36PM

    Sometimes the walks in the cold winter air feel amazing! Great job for getting out there. And good luck with your challenges, it sounds like you're kicking their butts!

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ERIN1128 1/8/2014 2:15PM

    I like that walking blog, good stuff. The photo pose thing sounds like a fun idea!

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11 Questions to Ask Yourself in the New Year from Mark's Daily Apple

Thursday, January 02, 2014


A fun little activity from MDA!

1. What were your biggest failings or mistakes this past year healthwise that were preventable or avoidable?

Not better preparing for special occasions that break me from my nutritional routine. Every trip I took in 2013 took me over a week to recover from. Too many gas station candy bars, starbucks lattes, restaurant meals, and overindulging in homemade pasta!! By the time the trip was over I was tired, my guts hurt, and I had no motivation to workout.

2. What were your biggest health problems that were not preventable or avoidable and how did you respond?

I caught a cold in October and I took exactly one rest day but otherwise kept right on working out. Probably not the best plan because that sucker hung around for a while, and I think I was the culprit for spreading it around the gym :(

3. Which food consistently has the worst effect on you? How does it make you feel (or look, or perform)?

Ice cream. It makes me gassy, queasy, bloated for days. There's been a couple post-dairy workouts where I wimped out on the squats because I didn't want to let 'er rip at the bottom ;)

4. What concrete step or steps will you take to fulfill a more abstract resolution?

Complete my Whole30 in January
Squat 3x week for 8 weeks, then reevaluate strength program
Flexibility training, something every day

5. Why are you where you are?

I am stronger and fitter because I stopped counting and tracking. I started lifting weights that weren't globo-gym machines that do the work for you. I pole for at least 3 hours a week.
I am not a strong as I would like to be because I only crossfit once a week, and I cannot get into certain pole postures because I don't stretch enough.

6. How will you hold yourself accountable?

I'm instagramming my Whole30 and also the January Yoga Challenge to force myself to eat properly and stretch each day. I set up a gym buddy here at work to lift with me twice a week.

7. What kind of criticism have you received lately?

In athletics, flexibility is lacking. I cannot get to proper squat depth without lifting shoes bc of ankle flexibility issues, and many pole poses I'm strong enough to hold, but just can't bend far enough to get into them. In life, I'm too messy. Constant complaint from neat-freak military bf.

8. What are you willing to do to change?

Spend more time on unpleasant tasks like stretching, cleaning up after myself, and holding myself accountable.

9. What are you physically unable to do (comfortably) that youd like to be able to do (comfortably)?


10. What, or who, stands in your way?

My job. The commute is killing me. By the time I get home at night all I want to do is cram food in my gullet and lay on the couch. Going to a pole class just feels like misery at that point. Looking for a new job for a few months now.

11. If you could do anything with your life, and money were no object, what would you do?

Live on a farm, growing my own produce and raising my own meat. And rescue lots of little kitties and puppies to come hang out on my farm with me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLRWILLIAMS25 1/8/2014 1:31PM

    Just saw you posted a blog and came to check out some of the ones I missed. Love these questions. It really makes you sit down and evaluate what you've been doing and what you should be doing. I may answer the questions too :) Glad to see you back on spark!

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ELIZABETH5268 1/2/2014 2:07PM

    Those are good questions. Thank you for sharing!

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PUNCHILOUIE 1/2/2014 12:45PM

Have a Happy and Healthy 2014

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A Year Later...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last year vs. This year

Last night for fun I snapped a pic wearing the same clothes and in the same posture as in my "30th pound lost" pic (my lowest weight since adulthood)....

I'm so so so so so so happy with my new lifestyle!!

I don't mind when the scale goes up emoticon emoticon
I eat A LOT of delicious food! emoticon emoticon emoticon
(Seriously, a LOT of food. My bf's family couldn't believe how much I shoved in my face)
I can do things I thought were physically impossible for me!!! emoticon emoticon
I don't worry about silly things like "monthly fitness minutes" because I LOVE what I do for fitness!! emoticon


I'm about to start another Whole30, so if you're curious about what Paleoheads like me eat, follow me on Instagram @laural1sh. I just got a new Paleo cookbook, so I'm geeking out in the kitchen and posting a lot! I also throw in a new pole trick here and there :)

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLATURTLE 2/12/2014 4:51PM

    YOU ARE THE MOST CUTEST!!!!!!!!! I hope your 2014 is still going amazingly strong! RIPPED!!!!!!!!!! :D

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RYDERB 1/1/2014 1:21PM

    emoticon emoticon you look amazing! I'm starting a new whole30 tomorrow! Can't think of a better way to kick off the new year.

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CATTUTT 12/31/2013 6:22PM

    You look so amazing, congratulations!

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EVRLNGFOO 12/31/2013 4:54PM

    you look awesome! followed you on instagram, i'm evrlngfoo, can't wait to see the yummy recipes!

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SDLEE514 12/31/2013 2:22PM

    Following you! you look incredible!

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RUDITUDI2000 12/31/2013 1:59PM

    Excellent! You rock!

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LOWCARBRENEE 12/31/2013 1:56PM

    Great job!

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BIGPAWSUP 12/31/2013 1:52PM


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NCWINECHICK 12/31/2013 1:50PM

    Thank you for sharing! You look great! I look foward to following you on instagram and finding more out about this Paleo stuff!!! :)

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Thinking about coming back to Spark....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You guys...


I just PR'd my backsquat on my lunch break! By 15#!!

The plan was to do 85% 5x2-3. But they were just going up so easy that my workout bud urged me to put more weight on, which put at 5# below my max. Did that for 3, no problem, so we went for a 5# PR. Did it for 2, so then we went for 15# PR and it was a grinder but I got it up!! Weeeeeeeeee. Does that make any sense to people who don't lift? I drank the koolaid and I can only talk in jargon! Right after we did 15 to 1 kb swings/burpees and I finished in 24:08

On the other end of the spectrum, pole has been going very well too. I did a solo performance in our Winter Showcase and got compliments on my routine, which was an awesome feeling. Within the last week or so I mastered a trick that I thought was a "benchmark" trick, one that if you had it, you were pretty darn good at pole. I worked for weeks on it, and now it's finally solid.

I've gained more weight and still am fitting in my same pants! Yaayyy. Yesterday at our christmas luncheon a guy commented that my biceps were getting big lol :)

So while all of this was going on, I kinda gave up on Spark. Spark doesn't advocate fitness and nutrition advice that I believe in or is relevant to me. Most of what I practice is taboo in this world (aka, eat eggs every day, don't do cardio for long periods, add fat to every meal).

But... in the new year I want to focus on fueling my performance. I want to get serious about weightlifting and continue to advance in pole. I want to get so fit that they would feature me on Spot Me Girl.

I just did the calorie calculator on EatToPerform.com. They gave me a calorie goal of 2300, fat goal of 100g, protein 135g, carb 230g. Which has me thinking about using the nutrition calculator again. I feel like a I eat -- a LOT, but really I've been without my food scale and tracker so long I have no idea how much I really consume in a day. Plus tracking would keep me from sneaking junk food like the butter cookies that somehow ended up on my desk.

I'm planning on doing a real Whole30 in January (not the Whole30-lite I did in November for a few weeks!) So maybe I'll track that month only so it doesn't feel like I'm chained to tracking again. Sounds like a plan!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUDITUDI2000 12/20/2013 9:39PM

    Even though my goals are not lined up with what spark advocates, I like it for tracking my fitness and on occasion, my food. I like to read up on blogs too! Whole30 again sounds awesome! I want to see a new picture of you, sounds like you are rockin those workouts. emoticon

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Top 13 Nutrition Lies That Made the World Sick and Fat

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This article showed up in my Fb newsfeed yesterday, and promptly started a debate!

I wholeheartedly believe every single one of these points made in the article. PLEASE read the whole thing and take a moment to digest the information. The commentators at the bottom of the article have also dug up some very insightful links that are worthwhile. They also bring up valuable points and counterpoints to each argument.


I'm sharing this here because I sincerely think it could help the SparkCommunity. A year ago, I was chained to scales and trackers. I had ANXIETY when I was unable to calculate nutrition info to the gram. When I went to the gym, I spent all my time doing aerobics, spinning, or running. I was happy that I lost weight, but I was miserable because my life was consumed with counting and tracking. I knew that if I let go of the trackers, all the weight would come right back. Every time I tried to free myself I promptly gained 5lbs. Wanna know why? I was eating a high carb/low fat diet. My body was STARVING for nutrition.


I'm starting to sound preachy.

Deep breath....

What I'm trying to say is, I feel like I was duped. I tried SO HARD to follow the rules of eating healthy, but the rules were incorrect.

It makes me want to cry when I think of people scared to eat eggs and bacon, but instead choose a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast because they were told by a DOCTOR it's "heart healthy"!

I can't make people change their minds about nutrition, no matter how passionately I feel about it. It's something that's been ingrained into Westerners for decades. All I ask is that every individual do some research. Get both sides of the story. Maybe even try a Whole30, and see how much better your body functions when you feed it happy healthy fats and nutritious vegetables.

Ok, that was me going off the deep end.

Next blog will be happy and uplifting, not a PSA, I promise :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUDITUDI2000 11/7/2013 8:41PM

    Feel the same way! This is proven true for me. Have been eating Paleo since end of July this year. Its way easier and less tracking to eat Paleo than to eat high carbs. I did not think I could keep running and eat Paleo but that was not true either! I actually gained weight when I was training for my full marathon! There is PLENTY of evidence to support it. Thanks for sharing your heart! emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1128 11/5/2013 11:57AM

    Interesting...thanks for sharing.

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LIS193 11/5/2013 11:04AM

Once I eliminated wheat from my diet I lost the weight. Bring on the olive oil, nuts, eggs, avocados and coconut oil!

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HEALTHY-SPARK 11/5/2013 10:41AM

    Interesting article! I'm not sure I totally agree with everything on there, but most of it -- it's definitely food for thought. :-)

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SDLEE514 11/5/2013 10:26AM

    Thanks so much for sharing!! Great affirmation :) I'll be keeping this article for reference :)

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COOKINGSTARS 11/5/2013 9:54AM


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