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My summer memories' treasure chest!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I was never the summer type. I don’t like heat, I can only stand sweat if it’s the product of a good workout and until recently the word swimsuit sounded like torture to my ears. Summer vacation was something I looked forward to only if it involved visiting new places, doing new things and going sightseeing. “New” was my synonym for summer vacation.

This year I visited no new places and I saw no new sights I had never seen before. My summer vacation was spent in places I’ve been many times in the past and there were actually no new things to see. Yet, I had one of the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation I’ve had in years. There were many reasons for this. One of them was that my children are no babies anymore and I didn’t have to run around them all the time fearing that they would do something reckless or dangerous and they would hurt themselves. I could do “grown-up things” – that’s what my daughters call them – with my children and that was really fun. We actually spent lots of time lying on the beach, sun tanning, reading our books – at last, we can all read now! – listening to music, playing and having fun!
Another reason was the lack of swimsuit-season-panic! Every year I would dread the time I would have to walk on the beach wearing a swimsuit. I would spend my whole summer thinking “Come September, I have to do something about my weight. I have to stop eating!” And my overwhelming feelings of disappointment would only cause me to eat more and more. This year I just had to maintain and check myself once more on whether I had actually made a lifestyle change. It seems I had! I’ll make sure to write a blog soon about my maintaining strategies.

Our vacation started by the sea. We visited a small seaside village on Evia island and stayed there for four days. What we actually did was staying on the beach all day. We just walked from the hotel room to the beach and back, nothing else! The weather was more than perfect and the Aegean sea was just calm and… perfect.
That’s where we spent our days.

I tried to experiment with my camera attempting to take a picture that would look like oil painting using some settings I had read about. I don’t know if I succeeded but I really like this picture. It’s like summer memories. Colorful and fading at the same time.

That’s the view from our hotel room at dusk.

Full moon! The view of the moonlight on the sea surface was stunning! Unfortunately I didn’t have an appropriate lens for that but I did my best with what I had.

Then we moved up to my favorite place in the world. My mountain village. I have never actually lived there but I spent there all my summers as a kid and a teenager.

We stayed with my parents for two weeks. We met friends, we went hiking in the forest, horse-riding and even river-fishing! – this one was just for fun, we didn’t actually catch anything!

We also visited Meteora again. For the children it was the first time. Meteora is a combination of huge rocks located right in the middle of country land near the town of Kalambaka. On them, there is a big complex of monasteries whose building started in the 14th century. If you ever come to Greece, don’t miss them!

Can you make out the huge net standing on top of the tower? This was used to take monks up and down back then!

Unfortunately, my camera battery deceived me on this day. Even though it looked full, it died when we got in the first monastery. Argh!!!
That’s the view from above.

I wish I could live so close to nature. It was very difficult for me to leave and come back to the city. I would wake up every morning by the sound of birds at my window and the first thing I saw was this:

It’s the view from my bedroom window.
I just didn’t want to leave this and go back to alarm clocks, traffic noises and tall, ugly buildings.

But… all good things come to an end. The good thing is that memories stay in our hearts forever. And they become our safe harbor when things get tough. We just sail into it, let the pictures, the sounds and the smells fill our mind and we make it through everything.

I wish you all have a small, golden treasure chest in your heart filled with this summer’s memories.
Thank you so much for reading.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AEROBISAURUS 8/24/2012 10:26AM

    I'm jealous! Lol ;)

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VIXSTERLU 8/23/2012 12:41PM

    Thanks for sharing! Usually my summer is filled with adventure. Not this time (knee surgery), so I am glad to be able to follow others adventures :) I know next summer will be great.

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MINNA72 8/23/2012 3:31AM

    Elle, what a fantastic vacation! Beautiful pictures, too! Thanks for sharing!

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BAKER1009 8/22/2012 4:36PM

    Wow Elle! This all looks so beautiful, and peaceful, and just lovely. I am so glad that you were all able to go on vacation, because I remember at the beginning of summer you were so unsure if you would be able to.
It's also awesome to hear that it was one of your most relaxing vacations ever. You soooooo deserved that!

Now back to reality...I know. So glad to hear you are beginning a 5k training program. Go you!! I'm here for you all the way!

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MICHSTATE 8/22/2012 4:24PM

    Sounds like an amazing vacation!!!!!:-)

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WANT2BEFIT10 8/22/2012 3:39PM

    It sounds like pure bliss! So glad you had such a restful relaxing vacation!

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    That looks like a fantastic vacation! The mountain pictures are SO beautiful! I'm glad that you felt so much better about your state of health for this year's vacation. I definitely understand what you mean about the ability to relax now that your kids are a little bit older, too. Or should I say that I can imagine what you mean? Mine aren't there yet! Anyway... thank you for sharing!

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WILDASTER 8/22/2012 3:08PM

    Beautiful pictures, glad you enjoyed your vacation.

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JACKIE542 8/22/2012 1:41PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/22/2012 1:12PM

    What a perfect summer vacation! You make me want to go to Greece again... I visited the Meteora and found them amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us. I am really glad it was extra special this year for you. I loved the picture you took of your daughters in the sea, very artistic.
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ZANNBEE 8/22/2012 12:59PM

    Wonderful! Great pics. Sounds like a dream summer.

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Why I used to avoid shopping...for years!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"I’m sorry. I don’t think we have anything at your size."

I was at my heaviest. 90 kilograms, 199 pounds. I was at a mall, trying to find a gift for my niece. I went into a store that I would never walk into if I had gone shopping for myself. You know the ones. Where you’re lucky if you can find anything bigger than size 10, and both the customers and the girls who work there look like they have come out of the pages of a fashion magazine? That kind of store. And my niece actually looks exactly as described before.
I was browsing through clothes that I would never dream of wearing, when a very young, very fit, very thin shop assistant came towards me. She wasn’t smiling as they usually do but she had that awkward look on her face which looked like a grin of arrogance and disgust mixed together. She just stood beside me staring at me and just because I felt I had to say something I said: “Is this one size?” “Yes”, she answered. And she added: “I’m sorry. I don’t think we have anything at your size,” completing her comment with a disgusting look at me from top to toes…

I was never the kind of person who would stand up for myself no matter how unfair a behavior was. I would just gulp down my feelings and run away. Only to make them disappear later in the day with lots of chocolate and ice cream but that’s another story. In this case, I did exactly the same thing. I felt the tears filling the lower parts of my eyes and just said “thank you” and left before one of them would escape and run down my face! I was feeling embarrassed, humiliated, insulted, angry and desperate, all at the same time. And I did what I‘ve always done best in my life. I blamed myself.
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Her words would sound into my head every time I would go shopping from then on. Her look had haunted me and would come right in front of my eyes every time I dared to enter one of these stores. I felt I had no right to shop there. I was unwanted.

Fast forward to last week.

Sales period just started here and having a very limited choice of clothes I decided to go shopping. Nothing fancy, just a couple of T-shirts and maybe some pants or a dress. I hadn’t gone shopping for a long time. Having got rid of almost 40 pounds and being officially in the normal BMI range, this seemed like a promising experience.

Or at least that’s what I thought so.

I soon realized that I felt exactly the same way. I saw a very nice dress at one of those “thin-girls’ stores” but I just couldn’t walk into there and try it on. The words echoed into my ears and the feeling of being unwanted there stopped me from going in. I chose another store that had clothes for women for all sizes. That, I could handle!

I chose some t-shirts and went into the changing room to try them on. When I came out wearing one of them, a very polite, smiling girl came towards me and said “It looks great on you!” I smiled back and she added giving out a sigh “When your body has the right standards, everything looks good on you!”

Is she really talking to me? I looked behind me to make sure there was no one there. Then I looked at her and I realized she had lots of extra pounds but you couldn’t tell at once because she was tall and with a very beautiful face. “So that’s where the sigh came from,” I thought. I went on to explain to her that I didn’t always have the “standards” as she had said but I worked hard for it. I don’t think she believed me, though.

For a moment, I felt like Julia Roberts at that “Pretty woman” scene where she walks into that store and asks “Do you remember me?” I would just like to go back to that store and ask that girl “Do you remember that you said you had nothing at my size? Big mistake, big! Huge!!!” Well, just a thought. I’ve already explained I’m not that kind of person. At all!

Have you had any kind of bad experiences when shopping because of your size? Use them! Promise yourself that you won’t allow anyone ever again to insult you or make you feel bad about yourself. No one has the right to look down on us unless we allow them to. You are much more than an image in the mirror and if you want to change this image, it’s because YOU don’t like it, not because other people don’t. And you CAN do it. Your way.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 7/31/2012 7:56AM

    You hit a nerve with this blog: so many of us have been there! And I'm with 4A-HEALTHY-BMI: thrift stores are great, particularly while you're losing, but I got hooked and never stopped!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/30/2012 10:42PM

    Yeah, I remember those days, all too well.

When I was 2x-4x I bought everything online, to avoid that kind of treatment. I kind of miss getting stuff at Junonia. Their clothes were fun.

By the time I went under 2x I found I was dropping through sizes so fast it wasn't worth getting new things. I started treating my closet as a revolving wardrobe based on things found at thrift stores as I cycled through things, and when they became too big I'd just donate them back.

And I kept going to thrift stores because there's so much more choice in color, style, etc.

No snotty sales people, either.

And you can get pretty nice things in thrift stores. You should have seen the TODAY director's jaw drop when she said something about my outfit and I replied, "Thanks! I got everything except the shoes at Salvation Army."

(Written across her face in a kind of panic was something along the lines of, "OMG, you are just about to walk onto the set of MY SHOW in the next 5 minutes, wearing Salvation Army clothes???")

It was a priceless moment.


Comment edited on: 7/30/2012 10:46:07 PM

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CATDUG19 7/27/2012 3:46PM

    I had to come read this after those nice comments you made on my blog about shopping for clothes. I had a Pretty Women moment all day yesturday because my hubby sat with a huge smile on his face while I showed off everything I tried on. I really connected with what you said about losing the weight but not feeling any better trying on clothes. I had a little aniety yesturday but I didn't let it stop me. I stopped looking at sizes and just tried stuff on. Stuff i would never have tried before.

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CLAIREINPARIS 7/26/2012 4:22PM

    I almost cried as I read your blog... and almost from the start I thought of that scene in 'Pretty Woman', I smiled when you mentioned it!
I am so happy you can now buy 'normal' sizes. I do hope that one day very soon you'll feel completely comfortable shopping anywhere! You deserve it after all your efforts!
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LILDREAMY 7/26/2012 4:36AM

    That's horrible! I'm the type of person that would have went off on her, left and then went to my car and started crying, lol. I can't stand people to do things like that. She apparently needed to make herself feel better for some reason. It's a good thing I didn't know you then and you tell me about that because I would have made it a point to take a trip to the store personally (or from here, at least call corporate). I love to be able to confront people like that. I'm so hot headed it seems like it helps to relieve some stress when I'm done. :-)

I'm so very glad you don't deal with that anymore and I like the stores that do have about every size. I don't feel like I'm being "as" judged there. It's so easy to get caught up in what others think when you're shopping. I just used to not talk to a sales person at all cause I didn't want their opinion... AND what's funny is even though I'd lost a lot of weight I apparently have this "look" that tells the sales people to "stay the hell away cause I'm mean" or something. DH tells me when we've been out that I give off this look when we're shopping and that's why no one every comes up to me. He says it's the same look I used when I was over weight and I just never got rid of it I guess. He said my whole demeanor changes when I get to the cashier. Lol.

Glad things are better now cause you are so sweet and have such a good heart and do NOT deserve to be treated that way!
Maybe that cashier will get married, have a kid and gain a bunch of weight and then that particular moment will come back to her and haunt her. :-D
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AEROBISAURUS 7/25/2012 9:16PM

    I so know that feeling of being unwanted in a store. My first memory of feeling that way was when I was in middle school. The store 5.7.9. Yep! Those where the only sizes they had in there. Plus it was a super popular store that happened to be 'in' and you 'where cool' if you had their clothes. I went in there once with my gf at that time. She was very active and did gymnastics and dance so her body was beautiful and perfect in my eyes. I was so overweight I was wearing women's petite sizes back then. I remember being a envious of my friend looking around the store and trying things on and that made me beat myself up and all I could think was 'I hate my body, I'm so fat'. I hated that store and I was never able to shop at there. Thank goodness my friend was encouraging and not judgmental of my weight. She was always very positive and complimented my personality and my talents. I looked up to her. That store has sense to my knowledge gone out of business! Lol, serves em right.


Funny how one instance or someones comment either overheard or directly spoken too can effect you for a long time. It's an emotional scar and those are the hardest to heal.

Glad you went shopping and had a good time! It doesn't really matter what size you are. Clothes will either be flattering or not! Even if it is in 'your size'! Lol :P

Good blog, I enjoyed reading it!


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MISHAMW 7/25/2012 8:08PM

    Hey there!!! I have been reading your blogs through Beth for a while now, and thought it was time to finally comment ;)

I don't shop. I don't like having to try one everything, don't like being harassed by sales people, and don't like it general. But I used to work at one of those stores.

No, I didn't work at one of the skinny girl stores, but I did work for a competitor store that sold mostly to all sizes, and at the time I barely fit into the biggest size they had. It was horrible having to buy clothing that you hated, that didn't fit, that you didn't feel comfortable in, just to work in a minimum wage job where you where treated like crap from customers, even though you had a degree. Yes, I am the very poster girl for disgruntled retail employee.

So from a "retired" sales person's point of view I want to let you know something. She had no right, nor should have ever said that or anything of the kind to you. I have a firm believe that she was one of those girls working there part time for the discount and was quickly let go. Also, I have to say, you see a lot of bigger people coming into the store and wearing clothing that isn't their size either. It can damage the product (yes it happens a lot) which is a big no no in the money hungry retail world. But again, no way should she have said that.

Here are some tips though. Go in the mornings as soon as they open in the middle of the week. This way, they staff isn't stressed, less bitchy, and don't have to deal with returns from the weekend (Monday's a B*). Also, if you put things back exactly how they were (or better), you have a better chance of them not getting mad with you.

Hope this helps and congrats on losing the weight!

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BAKER1009 7/25/2012 4:27PM

    I never had a bad experience, but mostly because when my weight got that big, I didn't go to my favorite stores to shop. I think I feared this type of experience.

I'm sorry that you went through this. But I'm glad what happened with you last week, and what you were able to share with the sales woman. I think she might believe you, and I think your words might be sticking with her right now. You might have just sent her down a healthy road Elle, you just never know!! Regardless, I'm glad you told her. We need more people like you in this world!!


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GUITARWOMAN 7/25/2012 4:19PM

    Yes, I have experienced that, topping out at 212 at my heaviest.

It's awful.

I am still shopping in stores that have a wide range of sizes, but have also made successful forays into Lululemon and Levi's where I have found clothes that fit but where I am still uncomfortable. I find the cute little salesgirls in those stores encourage me to buy sizes that I think are too small for me.

Different standards, I guess.

I remember that I cried when I first bought a size 14 skirt that fit.

Now I can buy a (generous) size 4.

And you know where the cute little salesgirls can go......

Thank you for this blog!


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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 7/25/2012 1:26PM

    oh wow. crazy how 1 experience can (hopefully) cancel out the other. you must feel great after that comment. great job!!!

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WANT2BEFIT10 7/25/2012 1:23PM

    Excellent blog! And OH SO TRUE!

I've so been there, and still haven't gotten used to shopping in "regular size" departments.

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NESARIAN 7/25/2012 1:22PM

    Great story and better message.

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JITZUROE 7/25/2012 12:55PM

    Yep, I have been made to feel like I was not 'worthy' of shopping in a particular location.
The comments can be said with a smile, but still bite at your heart.
Good for you on getting past the comments and finding nice clothes that work for you. Yeah!

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The best exercise for all of us

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I was never a couch potato. But the visit to the gym or a quick workout at home was always something I HAD to do not something I WANTED to do. The last time I had a gym membership was some time near my twenties! Ever since then, my exercise would be 20 or 30 minutes on the static bike or the treadmill whenever I felt like it. And of course walking – lots of it as I have no car – and swimming during the summer months.

Sparkpeople helped me “discover” exercise! No, let me rephrase that. Sparkpeople helped me discover the love for exercise I never knew I had! Through articles, coach Nicole’s videos, other members’ blogs, I began learning about new ways of exercise and their benefits to my body and my weight loss efforts. I started slowly, step by step. Tiny step by tiny step actually. At first, I was really disappointed at my fitness levels. I’ll never forget my first attempt to do jumping jacks! After about 4 or 5 of them I was lying flat on the floor thinking “this is it, I can’t catch my breath, I’m going to die right here, right now!” But I never quit. I just took one step back. Ok, I’m not ready to do jumping jacks yet but that doesn’t mean I will never be able to. I’ll do something easier and later on I’ll try again. And that’s how I learned that my body can do almost anything. The fact that we can’t do it today doesn’t mean that we never will. We’re just not ready for it yet.

I tried many things and I’m always on the lookout for more. Three years of experimenting with different types of workouts have led me to the following reviews.

WALKING WORKOUTS: The best way to begin your fitness journey. Even if you’re a couch potato or you use your car as a substitute to your legs, your body is made to walk. No matter how heavy or how old you are, if you have no other reason that limits your body movement, you can start walking now. Whether you decide to walk around the block or to the park or you purchase one of those walking DVDs which give you the chance to start slowly and at your own privacy, it’s your best choice to launch your fitness journey. You’re too slow? At least you’re not on the couch anymore!

YOGA: Mind and body experience. Too difficult at first as it requires good balance and flexibility. It teaches you the art of breathing which is really important in all kinds of exercise. If you stick with it, it does wonders to your body, to your mood and to your stress levels.

PILATES: Even though it’s not one of my favorites, I have to admit that it’s one of the greatest ways to strengthen your core. It looks easy but it isn’t. The moves use body resistance in a brilliant way which really wakes up even your most “dormant” muscles!

ZUMBA: Made for people with a dancing spirit! A great way to exercise and have fun at the same time. The moves can be a little tricky and if you’re a perfectionist like me, you might be disappointed at first or feel that you have two left feet! Great cardio exercise!

KICK-BOXING: My number one favorite! I never believed punches and kicks could bring up that heart rate so fast! It helps you throw away all your bad energy through every kick and every punch. Every second of a kickboxing workout makes you feel stronger and stronger. Ok, you got the idea. It’s my absolute favorite!

STRENGTH TRAINING: The absolute MUST! If you really want to feel and see a difference in your body start strength training now! Yesterday would be ideal! You can use whatever type of resistance suits you best. Free weights, resistance bands, gym equipment, your own body resistance, whatever you like. If you haven’t tried it before, chances are that soreness will hit you hard during the first workouts. Don’t get disappointed. Get some good rest between workouts, give your muscles time to recover and NEVER, EVER skip the stretching part.

BOOTCAMPS: Usually high-intensity programs you can find at gyms or on DVDs. They require an advanced level of fitness, unless otherwise advised by the creator. They usually incorporate different kinds of workouts – like strength training, kick boxing, some martial arts, dancing cardio – and they are programmed to last for a certain period of time. They’re usually really fun and super motivating!

CIRCUIT TRAINING AND INTERVAL TRAINING: These are also ways to put different types of workouts together. Circuit training is a combination of strength training and cardio exercise. Each circuit usually targets a certain group of muscles on the body and there are cardio intervals between circuits. Interval training on the other hand is mainly a kind of cardiovascular exercise which consists of intervals of high intensity and low intensity exercise. Both ways are used by athletes and they are said to be coaches’ favorites. They are definitely an excellent way to take your fitness to the next level but they require an already acquired level! So, don’t rush!

RUNNING: Well, this one I haven’t tried yet. I tried once but I had the same luck I had with the jumping jacks… It was probably too early. But I can tell you what I have realized from all my runners friends here on Spark. Running is not just another type of exercise. It’s a way of life. You either love it or you hate it. You either start and you don’t like it and you never want to try it again or you begin with a C25K and already dream of running a marathon one day. I really don’t know which side I’m at. But I really want to try it again. I want to feel the freedom they’re feeling. That’s how I see it. As freedom of the body and the soul. Like when a small bird manages to spread its wings and fly for the first time. Fly in the open horizon, alone with itself, feeling the endless boundaries of its own existence. Am I right runners?

After having tried all these kinds of workouts, after having gone through ups and downs during my fitness journey, I’ve come to one simple conclusion. There is one type of exercise that it’s the best for all of us.

It’s the one we like.

Because simply we will stick to it! We’ll have fun and we’ll want to do it again. It will become part of our everyday ritual and not our everyday torture.
So, try any exercise that you think you could love. But if you don’t like it, don’t push yourself into doing it just because you’ve heard it works. Try something else. You’ll find something that works for you.

Make exercise a synonym for fun. And enjoy it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 7/14/2012 2:45PM

    Elle, thank you for taking the time and effort to put this blog together. My main forms of exercise are running, walking, hiking (trails), and strength training. I think you just may be one of the people, like me, who gets hooked on running. I began running in my early 40's and I started by running 5 minutes without stopping and it was HARD! This past weekend I did a 7 mile trail run and I came in 19th out of the 40 women who were in my same age group. It is never easy but it is so worth it. Running has helped me mentally and emotionally more than anything else - I have sorted through a lot of stuff while running. I adore strength training because being functionally strong is very important to me, plus I find it more relaxing than yoga! Yoga and Zumba and Pilates are all on my fitness "to do" list - I think winter will be a good time for me to add these to my fitness menu. You are doing so great - I always love your attitude. PS If I can do jumping jacks, you can definitely do jumping jacks. I have worked my way up to 100 by adding a few at a time, same thing with jumping rope. I like little bursts of intense exercise to remind me that my body, as you so wisely remind us, is meant to MOVE!

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 7/11/2012 9:57PM

    all around agreed.

I've always loved sports and that is how I got my exercise all my life up till mid twenties. Kids(and lots of them)makes it hard to be on a team of my own and commit to a couple times a week + tournaments.

I've loved the time+workout=happy mama but thats even been hard as I moved out to the county 3 1/2yrs ago.

But....they just built a new rec center/full gym out here that opened last month so I am back to ST.

All my weight lost last year was due to running outside, snowboarding & workout vids.

Anything you love, I believe, cannot be enjoyed every single day. I think some days you have good ones and some days you have a bad one. But if you love it the majority of the time, you will definitely make it a lifelong activity.

Have a good one. Oh, and definitely try running...just try may be wishing YOU started yesterday:)

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BAKER1009 7/11/2012 2:24PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon Blog! Love it!

I couldn't agree with you more. Walking is how I began my journey. I remember my SIL telling me about Leslie Sansone and walking at home. I thought she was crazy. I couldn't believe that she was getting a good workout by walking 2 miles inside her house every day. That was until I tried it, and holy crap, walking outside for 2 miles would have been easier! I couldn't even walk the full 2 miles in the beginning. I walked until I was doing 5 miles a day. That is when I realized I had to change it up, and went to cardio workouts, especially kickboxing, which I too am a huge fan of.

As you know, I didn't start ST until this year, but as you also know, I fell in love immediately. I think there are too many misconceptions surrounding ST, and I think that is why many avoid it completely. Maybe you could write a more in depth ST blog to help educate emoticon

I love what you are doing with your series of blogs. You are the emoticon emoticon


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BECKY3126 7/11/2012 10:33AM

    I really loved this blog. And the quote.

You are so right. I have tried so many different exercise routines. I LOVE strength training. I am doing ChaLean Extreme right now for that. I have recently started a running program, and while I am not in love with it just yet, I feel like I will be. My body is still adjusting to the newness of it. And kick-boxing is an all-time fave! I haven't done it in so long. I may have to put that back in my routine....

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AEROBISAURUS 7/11/2012 10:25AM

    I agree Elle! You do have to find some kind of enjoyment from what you do for exercise. Changing your attitude towards physical fitness is key to keeping it up! I myself had never enjoyed strength exercise because it made me feel weak and defeated (dang ole' heavy weights) but I sucked it up and kept doing it. Now that I feel and can physically see the change on/in my body from ST work but it's changed my attitude towards it. Now I love the challenge and I actually look forward to being sore from it! emoticon

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 7/11/2012 10:04AM

    I love your breakdown of all the exercises. I do cardio and circuit right now and have never felt better.

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What's your choice?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Day by day.
Step by step.
Choice by choice.
That’s how you’ll reach your fitness goals. But the first day, the first step, the first choice will be your guide to all the following days, steps and choices. You have to decide HOW you want to lose weight.

There are two ways to lose weight: the fast and the permanent. You might be thinking that the categorization I’m doing is not right as the first describes the time required and the second describes the time it will last. But believe me, thousands of stories of weight loss from people all over the world can easily prove one thing: when it comes to weight loss, fast can’t be permanent and permanent can’t be fast.

That brings you at a crossroad just at the beginning of your journey. What is more important to you? To get rid of this weight fast, as soon as possible and be able to see a certain number on the scale even for a little while? Well, you can find hundreds of crash diets and promising diet pills and supplements out there that can help you reach your goal. If, on the other hand, your main interest is losing the weight and keeping it off forever, no matter how long it will take you, then you should vote for what we call a “lifestyle change”.

I’ve previously shared with you my experience of both dieting and lifestyle change. This is the blog link in case you want to have an idea.

Choosing to change the way you live won’t be easy. It’s actually the hard way. It’s the road less traveled. And it’s a bumpy road. Quitting on the diet mentality that most of us have been used to for years can be very difficult. Getting rid of everyday habits of your life up to now, whether you’re 20 years old or at the first stages of retirement, is a big deal. And that’s where motivation comes to do the trick.

Picture it. What do you want to look like in a year from now? How do you want to feel like? Which ugly habits do you wish to have got rid of? Make a visual of yourself and keep it in the front window of your mind. Whenever things get tough – because they will – close your eyes and stop by your mind’s window. Your image is still there. And it’s up to you to make it real.

Just believe it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 7/10/2012 8:07AM

    yup yup. you got it:)

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ZANNBEE 7/9/2012 10:56PM

    Awesome blog!

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SHANTODD420 7/9/2012 1:17PM

    Thanks for sharing what a great blog.

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ANNIEONLI 7/9/2012 10:56AM

    Great blog!

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Thursday, June 28, 2012

… who’s the most honest of them all?

Whether it’s your first attempt to lose weight or you’ve actually lost count of them, every time you are on square one, you are likely to feel determined and ready to shed those pounds once and for all. But if you want the outcome to be successful, you should start by facing your biggest ally and at the same time your worst enemy on this journey: yourself!
So, stand in front of your mirror, be honest to yourself and answer three simple questions.

1. “Do I really need to lose weight?”

Over the past few months that my weight loss became obvious I heard comments like “How did you do it? Why can’t I succeed?” voiced by perfectly normal-sized people and sometimes people that one could easily call skinny! There are thousands of influences out there that could cause us to have a distorted opinion of our body image. Of course the important thing for everyone is to feel good in their body. But if you don’t, think about it again. Don’t just count on weight charts and indexes. They might be indicative of our overall size but some flexibility is always accepted even by experts. Who do you usually compare your body image to? Are you really overweight or are you being a very strict judge of yourself? Give it a second thought. Then go on and set realistic goals based on a real-life, ideal body image of yourself.

2. "Who am I doing this for?”

You might be doing this for your husband because you’ve noticed the way his eyebrow raises at the sight of your skinny, fit next-door neighbor. You might be doing this for your wife because she keeps “reminding” you how handsome you looked when she first met you. You might be doing this for your best friend who’s getting married in a few months and wants you to be his best man or her maid of honor and would like you to look your best. All these may sound like great motivation – and they are, as long as they’re just a motivating occasion and not your actual reason. Otherwise, you’ll be taking orders from someone to start something you might not be ready for. And the chances of failure begin to rise.
You have to do this for you! In other words, you must want this badly! And such a strong desire can only be yours!

3. “Am I ready for the changes involved?”

Let’s face it. Any big life change requires sacrifices. When you decided to go into university, when you moved far away to another city to pursue the career of your dreams, when you took the big step of getting married, when you accepted the huge responsibility of becoming a parent, you had to leave some of your habits behind. Well, now you’re about to change yourself. You’re about to change the only thing that has been with you ever since the first second of your life and will carry you through to your last breath on this planet: your body! Does this sound like an unimportant change compared to the ones mentioned above? Then why wouldn’t it require sacrifices?

Focus on your goal and make these sacrifices worthwhile. Embrace them and they’ll lead you to a new version of yourself!

That was easy, wasn’t it? You practiced your first lesson of honesty to yourself. It might sound simple but it isn’t. If you think about it, you’ve lied to yourself many times. You’ve found ridiculous excuses for not exercising or for overeating, haven’t you?

But honesty is the foundation for any successful and productive relationship. And only if you have established such a relationship with yourself, will you reach your goal one day.

Face yourself, face your fears, face your challenges. Get ready for change!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 7/4/2012 11:15AM

    honesty IS the best policy. and it totally fits with weightloss and fitness.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BAKER1009 6/29/2012 8:33AM

    Great blog Elle!
I think it is always a good first step to try and see why you got where you are. It doesn't all have to be bad. I mean, some people emotional eat. Others gained weight during pregnancy and just didn't have the time to spend on themselves after the fact. Regardless...identify that reason! And be honest with yourself. If you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?!

I love everything you've wrote here, and the motivation quotes/pictures. Wonderful blog!! Thank you for taking the time to write this and to help us all on this journey!


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LUCINDARW 6/28/2012 5:07PM

    You have hit the nail on the head! Honesty is always the best policy whether with someone else or your self. It does take a lot of courage for some of us to do that and follow through with change for life. I want to do it for me and to be around for my daughter and grandchildren so I can set a good example. Thank you for your blog. Lucinda

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ZANNBEE 6/28/2012 5:06PM

    This was an awesome blog. Again. Great reminder as always that it's a process and that it's as much about our mind as it is about choices.

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