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An observation on youth...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I spent 3 days this weekend at an equestrian competition with hundreds and hundreds of people, 75% of which were female...ranging in age from 13 to 75...and there were a very large number of these women in the 40-60 group and a good percentage in the 60-70 range as well.

I spent a lot of time people watching. I also met a number of new people that turned out to be a good several years younger or older than I thought they were based on observation alone.

And here's what I came to...the #1 thing that made a person look youthful to me....was muscle tone. I do NOT necessarily mean being ripped or having 6 pack abs or a butt you can bounce a quarter off of (although that's nice too!). But I do mean a certain amount of firmness or small definition to arms and legs, shoulders, ...and a backside that is not obviously used for primarily sitting. Even as we get a little older and skin is not as tight, if the muscles underneath are healthy and in use, it makes for a visible vibrance.

Attitude, healthy skin, fewer lines, atrractive and appropriate hair and clothes all played a big part too....but I really do believe a body that shows it is being used and strengthened and whose muscles are being maintained was the number one thing that made a woman appear more youthful and vital - at least to me anyway.

And I believe this applies to all body types and shapes...whether you are naturally leaner and more slight or larger boned or stockier, curvy or more angular.... muscle tone still is evident.

Use it or lose it!! maybe another motivator to get some strength training in!

  


Officially Stating My Goal To-Do List!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

In the spirit of "if nothing changes, nothing changes" I am going to break from tradition and state my goals for January - hopefully clearly and simply.

By stating these goals somehwat publicly I hope that this will provide some accountability.

So far as the "how"...I am using a new calendar system I've made for myself, with daily - weekly -monthly goals - rather than what I have done in the past which is periodically write myself a novella of epic proportions outlining everything I might wish to obtain and change in my life - everything from buy newrunning gear to support myself by means of a small business not yet founded (and then beat myself up routinely for never getting anything "important?" done). I know this will help me tackle small manageable things and that I will feel awesome and be buoyed forward when I get to check something off the list!!

So here goes...

Shana's Health & Fitness To-Do's (6) for January 2013:

1 Run a minimum of 40 miles - I have joined Spark Road Runner team and am also tracking mileage in Spark Fitness Tracker, which will help motivate me and keep me accountable

2 Select and register for a 5K in March - co worker will also be registering with me. He and I ran races in June and Oct together, so this will hold me accountable here

3 Make strength training at home on Sundays a regular practice - I kickbox on Tue and Thur which has alot of strength training exercises involved but need a third day. I have put it on my calendar and set my weights in plain view

4 Drink water or tea or have a popsicle instead of stress-snacking or mindlessly grazing the cupboards after 8 30 pm

5 Refrain from nibbling from the office candy jar(s) and stick to the fruit and protein snacks I pack everyday, or chew gum if I need something in my mouth

6 Eat scheduled nutrionally balanced tasty lunches on the weekend just like I pack for work Monday-Friday

Additionally I have promised myself I will spend a minimum of 1 hour a week on a photo sorting/displaying project I have been struggling with for 5 years...and that I will finish a small business book lent to me by a friend that I know is full of excellent info but I keep picking up fiction when I sit down to read. I also have some specific training goals for working with my horse, but I mentally file that separately - at least for now. Small changes.

AND last but NOT least...be Kind to myself and to others, always.

Sounds like a lot at first read ...But I really believe that it is very very doable and that laying it out and seeing my accomplishments will lead me to the body I want, create energy and further success in all sorts of ways.

Woohoo! - Here I come!!
~S





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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTRACHEL 1/27/2013 8:43AM

    Good morning! I thought I'd commented on this blog already as it inspired me to rethink how to do my goals and also to check in on them. I hope you are doing well on yours! I'm certainly learning from mine!

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Going Through The Motions!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lately I've been paying a lot of lip service to fresh starts and new bandwagons...blah blah blah. I am definately putting in more of an effort than Nov/Dec...but it is the bare mimimum workout and calorie reduction in order to actually say I am doing this. It is not enough to get results. I'm treading water and going through the motions.

Oddly enough, I'm in a really good place otherwise. Seems like I should be hugely motivated and going forward - not stuck. On the other hand, I'm very busy right now and running on a little bit of an erratic schedule and that is typically the kiss of death for my health and fitness goals.

I do feel like like I'm making tiny bits of progress on exploring my "self" and slowly remolding some bad habits (drive throughs, secret grocery store binges).

So what will it take to light my Spark?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAVOY1 2/11/2009 9:13PM

    Thank you to each one of you - all of your comments were helpful and gave me a direction to think. Although I haven't labelled or identified a specific thing, I do think I've conjoured up more of a feeling or vibe that's helping to keep me going and start to dig a little deeper again when I need to make tough choices about getting out of bed or walking past the kitchen. I like the idea of an event with a specific date, but apart from self imposed deadlines which I've been blowing off for years...all I can come up with is " to be in the best shape I can possibly be in order to ride as good as I possibly can this summer and show people what the fat has-been and the little TB can really do" and " to look as smokin' hot as I possibly can this summer and make heads turn" (ambitious I realize, but hey, set the bar high) Of course both of these require external reactions from other people which is dangerous. Anyway, my wheels are turning, so that's good.

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LABYRINTH 2/11/2009 11:17AM

    My two cents...

Even professional athletes find themselves going through the motions. What I think makes them successful is that they continue to do it even when they don't feel 100 percent. They don't let the blahs prevent the workouts or the eating right. That becomes their baseline that they commit to no matter their thoughts, moods or days. For them, it's like brushing their teeth.

I know that this week I've had some workouts that I was WT? I hate this crap! but I kept going and pushing down those pedals. I got on the scale, and it hadn't budged. Crap! But I still went back and did the exercise and counted the calories.

So that's part of it. Another part of it is finding something that is meaningful to you personally. For example if you set something for yourself like "bellydance performance" and you had absolutely no interest in bellydancing it wouldn't work for you! It might even backfire. So you have to find that thing inside of yourself that "lights' that fire" and it generally isn't the exercise or eating but something collateral... maybe a horse show, or a horse clinic, or hiking a mountain or taking surfing lessons.

Motivation is a funny thing. It can be spring from a tiny spark to a huge blaze or continue to fizzle no matter how many matches you use. emoticon

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ZESTYLADY 2/10/2009 7:34AM

    I hear you about the schedule affecting your ability to accomplish goals. My best lesson has been understanding that I really am committed to being healthy for the rest of my life and that I keep getting back on track no matter how many slumps I hit. If I look back at my lifestyle four years ago, I see huge differences that are now my "normal." Process not perfection, as they say. And Spring is coming...so they say. Who the heck are "they" anyway???

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RWETHAIRYET 2/9/2009 2:59PM

    and my 2 cents? Sometimes it's better to be going through the motions and just trying to hold steady than to totally give up. At least the habit is still there if not the enthusiasm. I spent most of January just going through the motions. I'm feeling a little better now, but I think basically I'm just trying to cruise through this tough time of year and not lose any ground until my "good time" of year starts...the time when I can get outdoors and work in the yard and do the things I enjoy.
I think Deb is right, setting a definite deadline is helpful. Keeping an incentive outfit...just a little smaller than what I can comfortably wear does work for me. I'm making a start on planning what I'd like to do for hiking so I can put it out there on my local team and see if I can find someone to go with me...I'm not the fastest hiker even when I'm in the best of shape, so the thought of going with someone else...well, let's just say that's motivating, because I want to be able to keep up, lol.

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MIZZ_D 2/9/2009 12:15PM

    I know your last question "What will it take to light my Spark?" was rhetorical, but thought I'd offer something.....

For me, it took a clearly defined goal with a deadline to do it. Belly dance performance: March 22.

Previously (2007), it was committing to running a half-marathon (and having to fundraise $5500 to enter) that got me off my heinie and lacing up my running shoes for the 4 months prior to the event.

A committment to an event (where I am accountable to others and/or performing in front of a crowd) works wonders for my motivation, I have found.

Some people find buying or laying out a target outfit motivates them. That has never worked that well for me. I've had a pair of "skinny" jeans hanging over my bedroom door for a year, to no avail....LOL.

These are some things you may want to consider?


Comment edited on: 2/9/2009 12:17:27 PM

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What a Difference a Day Can Make

Monday, February 02, 2009

On Sat I was irritable and combative.
My dog was refusing to eat and shaking and lethargic (after her miracle recovery)
I was lamenting the fact that the weather conditions did not really allow me to ride my horse comfortably or safely.
The roads were such that on the local road to the barn we were pulling over at a sharp narrow turn and passing single file due to deep snow and whiteouts.
I felt overwhelmed with chores and to-dos.

On Sun I was relaxed and openminded.
My dog started eating and went to the barn and ran in the snow and played with her bone.
Sunny & mild so I I threw the tack on my horse, waded throw the thigh deep snow and had a ride, bouncy and brisk, but still a ride! Joy!
I could see the black surface of the road and they were ploughed to full width.
I gave myself permission to leave some chores undone, and I baked cookies for my son and finished my book.

What a difference 24 hours and a new day makes! Worth keeping in mind sometimes.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RWETHAIRYET 2/2/2009 4:40PM

    Alright, I think it all has to do with what brain synapse happens to be firing when we first open our eyes in the morning. If we could only figure out the faulty ones and disconnect them, we'd be golden.
I'm glad things turned around for you. It really is all a matter of attitude. Now if only we could keep the attitudes we like and discard all the rest.

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Oh yes I can

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I fought it all afternoon....I wanted into that candy jar at work from 1:30 on...it was nearly unbearable. I drank 3 bottles of water and had 5 pieces of gum. But I did it. It was all psychological. And I was so pleased with myself. Then I spent nearly 2 hours in the car driving home in a storm and had to stop at the grocery store. I was stressed, hungry andnot looking forward to getting home to absent minded argumentative teen and evening routine...so I was nearly talking outloud to myself as I circled my cart around the bakery section. I was just about to the old trick of buying a box of tarts or danishes, eat 3 or so, pay for it with other stuff at check out, then toss package in trash in parking lot to hide the evidence. You have no idea how strong the compulsion was. But somehow I dug deep and told myself to hang in and then I could feel so awesome tonight instead of all the range of negative emotions that would come after this 5 minute "fix".

Well here I am - I did it. Came in within my calorie goal for today. NO binges. NO guilt.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZZ_D 2/1/2009 1:01PM

    Fantastic!!!!!!
So I guess nothing tastes as good as being guilt-free feels?!!!!
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ZESTYLADY 1/30/2009 8:42AM

    emoticonNice save girlfriend!

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RWETHAIRYET 1/29/2009 11:16AM

    Way to go!!! All tough reasons not to ditch the plan, for sure. I know when the kids were teenagers, that alone was enough to send me to the pint of Ben &jerry's, lol. emoticon

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LABYRINTH 1/28/2009 8:46PM

    BRAVO!!!! emoticon

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