Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beating up little sister

My little sister, Abbie, came to exercise with me last week. We had a fabulous time at Zumba and then I begged her to stay and do a few more "fun" exercises with me. We started with walking lunges across the gym and back and then got 45 pound plates and pushed them across the gym. We were on our third set racing across the gym with the plates, screaming at each other and laughing as we raced when suddenly I heard a bang. Abbie flew over her plate and onto the gym floor. She didn't even have time to catch herself with her hands, her face took all the damage. I felt awful!
What's the worst injury you've had while working out?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Giveaway - Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

I'm giving away two copies of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a a Fit Mom on my book blog. It is a fabulous how-to manual for Moms of all fitness levels. I loved it. Enter the giveaway here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Too funny



This made me laugh so hard, I just had to share it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Post - Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

Five Ways to Get Fit as a Family
by Kara Douglass Thom

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking exercise is something grown ups “have” to do. For many adults the process of starting an exercise program can seem monumental and looked upon with dread. Isn’t starting anything always the hardest part? And often, adults don’t start exercising because they sincerely want to for the love of fitness, but because of health concerns or to lose excess weight. But if a child grows up with fitness as an integral part of his or her life, there’s no need to start. As parents we can remove what is most difficult about being fit: getting started.

When my daughters were very young I became aware that fitness needed to be included in parenting. For fitness to be a family value in our home, I had to make fitness part of their world, too.

In the book, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel 2011) an entire secret is devoted to mentoring. If you’re a parent, whether you’re aware of it or not, you are your children’s “fitness mentor.” When parents exercise, their children are more likely to grow up to be active adults. I think we can raise those odds when we also exercise together. Sure I still find time to exercise on my own, but I also seek out ways for my kids to join me when possible.

To that extent I've become a firm believer in the family fitness triad: being a fitness mentor to my children through my own workouts, helping my children discover their own fitness passions and finding time to be active together.

Need some ideas to include kids in your workouts? Here are five ideas for family fitness:

1) Is your child or children taking lessons? Sign yourself up, too. Whether it’s swimming, rock climbing, martial arts, or tennis, learning or perfecting the same skills that your child is working on gives you a common fitness goal—great for conversation at the dinner table.
2) Do you workout with a personal trainer? If you have teens or tweens, schedule a group session together every once in awhile. Request a workout that you can repeat together at home or the gym.
3) Is there an upcoming event you can train together for as a family? If your children are too young to compete, include them in the training process by telling them about your event and your preparation. Simulate an event for them at home or in the park.
4) If you have kids who play in the childcare center while you workout, take advantage of programs like Kids Play, which is a great introduction to “group fitness” for kids. Also, after your workout is over, take 10 or 15 minutes to shoot baskets or engage in a different kind of active play in the kids area before you leave.
5) Share your favorite workout with your kids. They probably know how much you love Zumba or Boot Camp or (fill in the blank with your favorite activity). Create a pint-sized workout for them so they can see what it is you do when you go workout and why you like it so much. The ulterior motive, of course, is that they’ll grow up to be your favorite workout partner.

This guest post comes from Kara Douglass Thom, a triathlete, freelance writer and mother of four. She and Laurie Kocanda are the co-authors of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Eating

With Thanksgiving coming up I'm already strategizing about what I will and won't eat. I can skip the rolls, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie but I am definitely enjoying turkey, sweet potatoes, and hand-dipped chocolates.
Health News said those who log more than 5 miles per day could relax about holiday eating because fluctations in their diet are less likely to affect them. I agree that if you work hard you can justify some extra calories once in a while but for me it works best if I set limits.

How about you? What do you have to enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner and what can you do without?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Incentives

My husband and I are cruising to the Caribbean in January. I have visions of white sand beaches and torquoise water and am spending way too much time googling the spots we're stopping at.

I decided I want to feel really good about myself on this cruise. I usually feel good about myself but sometimes when I'm on vacation (especially when said vacation includes a swimming suit) I find myself wishing I would've worked a little harder at the gym and said no to ice cream a few more times before I left.
So my husband provided some very nice incentives (shopping money, it's always shopping money) if I can get to the spot I want to be at.

Do incentives motivate you?
What's your prime motivation to take good care of yourself?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Win The Broken Path

As part of the November Blog Hop with Tristi Pinkston and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, I am giving away a copy of The Broken Path, which currently retails at $999.97 on Amazon. (You didn't know being my friend was so lucrative.)
Check out the giveaway here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

9 Strange Things You Can't Do When You're Pregnant

My friend, Christine, shared the article, 9 Strange Things You Can't Do When You're Pregnant with me. I was aware of some on the list. I really liked #7 - Clean the inside of an oven. My husband gets assigned some fun cleaning responsibilities when I'm pregnant, the shower is my favorite to pass off.
I was a little embarrassed about #9 - Drink caffeine. I was so exhausted during my last pregnancy that I slipped in a few Diet Cokes. Don't tell little Phoenix that his mama was neglectful. Next time I'll do better!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspiring Women

I love being around other women who inspire me to be a better person (without making me feel like dog dung in the process. You know what I'm talking about, sometimes we see someone who's amazing and instead of wanting to do better it just makes us feel crappy about ourselves. If you're having this problem you have to read President Uchtdorf's message).
My little sister's bday is today (Happy Birthday Abbie!) so we went on a fun girl's night Saturday. The women who came are amazing and I learned from each one of them: how to be a better wife, Mom, friend, author, and to be healthier and more fit. Yeah for girl's night out and for fabulous women who inspire others.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Fitness Can Aid in Cancer Treatment

Liz Davies is my guest today, sharing with us insight about fitness and cancer treatment.

Studies have shown that it is important for individuals who are fighting illness to keep physically active, maintain a positive attitude, and eat a balanced diet. These attributes are known to improve the extent of recovery and the duration of recuperation.

It is natural for an individual to become fatigued and lethargic when battling cancer. The disease and treatment, as well as the emotional toll can be difficult to handle. It may be the last thing that a person wants to do, but being active can improve the coping ability and energy levels of the individual suffering with cancer. This is true for people battling a cancer with a low survival rate like mesothelioma or a cancer with a higher survival rate like breast cancer.

Cancer is a stressful condition and unfortunately, stress has been linked to poor outcomes when treating health issues. Physical activity addresses this problem in several ways. A person will experience the release of “feel good” chemicals that lead to a better emotional state as a result of participating in exercise. The added circulation aids the immune system in combating cancer and healing after treatment or surgery. While a person is participating in the activity, it provides a period of distraction for other pressing matters.

The immune process of an individual is elevated when daily physical activity is completed. Anatomically, this is due to the features of the lymphatic system, which mirrors the vessels of the cardiovascular system and relies on it to achieve transportation to every area of the body. A healthy vascular system equates to the ability of the immune system to function at an optimal level.

Participating in physical exercise enables a person to maintain energy. This simple fact has a large impact on a person who is fighting cancer, for example pericardial mesothelioma. Battling fatigue is a strain that an ill person should not have to deal with in addition to the disease and treatment, this situation has a negative effect on the person’s outlook and stress management.

Body motion leads to a better tolerance of pain in most people. This enables a person to cope with symptoms and procedures much more easily.

People who remain in motion naturally keep healthier weights and have better blood chemistry levels when tested, showing a better overall function of the organs.

Fitness when dealing with cancer does not mean a person should be able to run in a marathon. Each person is different. Participating in yoga, Tai Chi, gardening, or walking the dog is enough for some people. Discuss an appropriate activity level with the attending physician.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

A Workout Loner

I'm a workout loner. I want to pound through my workout with only my Ensign magazine and my thoughts as company. I'm cordial to those who speak to me and sometimes even stop for a few minutes and chat but for the most part there's a sign in my eyes that reads, "Let me get my workout done and get home to my babies, please."

I wasn't always a recluse. Years ago I taught aerobics classes and couldn't run over a mile without someone to chat with. More recently, I organized groups of women to exercise with. We had a fabulous time and it was very rewarding to help them reach their fitness goals, but it all fell apart when I had my last son.

This morning a guy at the gym asked me, "When are you going to resurrect your workout group?" I didn't know what to say. Should I tell him that I miss my workout pals but it's sure easy coming to the gym whenever I can make it work with my husband and boys' schedules. Should I tell him that the group was very motivating but sometimes it was stressful to make sure everyone was working hard and using proper form and having a good time? Should I tell him that maybe I've just become lazy and selfish and only want to worry about me for a minute? I said, "I know, I miss my friends." And I do. Maybe I'll stop being so selfish, send out a text inviting my workout buddies to join me again, and stop being a workout loner.

What about you? Do you workout alone, with a buddy, or do you have a whole group of fun friends to motivate you?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cami's Week of Workouts

Happy Halloween!
I hope you all have a wonderful time seeing friends and families, chasing around cute kiddos in fluffy costumes, and stealing Halloween candy from the little ones. (I only steal the chocolate, I'm sure they don't even notice.)

I'm posting a typical workout week for me.

Monday - Treadmill sprints and lower body
Run - 2-4 miles, alternating between 7.0 and 10.0, 30-60 seconds each. I really love playing with buttons. I'll sprint at 10.0 then go down to 6.0 and put the incline up to 15. Or I'll start at 7.0 and up the speed .2 every fifteen seconds until I can't handle anymore. The real goal is to go really hard then ease off until you catch your breath and do it again. Interval work is one of the most effective ways to burn calories initially and keep burning over the next 24 hours.
Lower body circuit - 12-20 reps repeat through 3-4 times
Split lunges (I usually place my back foot on an exercise ball)
Box Jumps
Dead Lifts
Hamstring curls

Tuesday - Spin and upper body
Spin - I attend the spin class at my local gym or make up my own routine of sprints, hills, and jumps.
Upper Body - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Seated Row
Pushup
Lat Pull-down
Lateral Raise
Biceps Curl
Triceps Dip
Plank

Wednesday - Run - 6-8 miles

Thursday - Spin and combo
Spin for 20-30 minutes
Circuit: 3 times through
Push 45-pound plate across gym floor and back
Lunges with weighted bar across gym floor and back (usually about 60 reps)
Single-arm bent-over row
Burpie with pushup

Friday - Treadmill sprints and combo
Run - 2-3 miles of sprints (again, I just play with the control. I try to do at least 6-8 60-second sprints)
3 sets of 10-12 reps:
Lunge forward onto a bench and back onto the floor
Overhead Press
Squat and leap towards ceiling
Incline biceps curl
Triceps Pull-down

Saturday - Long run - between 6 and 15 miles (length depends on if cute boys need me, which they usually do)

Like I said earlier this is a typical week, I try to change things as much as possible to challenge myself. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Aha. I keep exercising intensely every morning and thoroughly enjoying my ice cream every afternoon. Is that why those five pounds just won't leave? Maybe Albert is trying to tell me something.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crossfit Workout

Here's the first workout I have for our workout swap. Compliments of Abbie Anderson and Crossfit UAC.

Day #1
Run 1 mile
Static squat hold 30 seconds
run 1 mile
static squat hold 30 seconds
Run 1 mile
static squat hold 30 seconds

Day #2
4 rounds of:
30 lunges
20 pushups
10 burpees

Day #3
20 reps - 15 reps - 10 reps - 5 reps - 10 reps - 15 reps - 20 reps of:
Kettle bell swing (if you don't have a kettle bell, use a heavy hand weight)
Box jump
Situps

Day #4
3 minute workout - 1 minute rest - repeat 5 times
3 burpees
6 sumo high pull
9 box jumps

Day #5
4 minutes jump rope
10 minutes of:
1 dead lift
2 russian twist
3 dead lift
4 russian twist
continue upping numbers till time is up

Sounds like fun, eh? Let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Workout Swap

At the gym this morning a friend of mine said he wanted to follow me around and do my workout. I laughed and told him it would probably be more effective for both of us if we switched workouts. The conversation gave me an idea. Why not swap workouts? Our bodies adapt to the demands placed upon them quickly, that's one of the reasons we hit a workout or weight loss plateau. One of the best things we can do is change our workout schedule, routine, time, and intensity but I'm sure a lot of you are like me and settle into a comfortable rut. Here's what I suggest.

Let's each write down a week's worth of workouts and share them on the blog. You can post yours in the comment section or email it to me camichecketts(at)yahoo(dot)com and I will post them througout the week (if you email it you will get your very own blog post). Then for the next few weeks we could try several different schedules and workouts and report back on how it went. Feel free to share whatever workout you are currently doing. If you didn't create your workout, give credit to whoever did. Please also provide descriptions of the exercise, especially strength training.

So how about? Are any of you up for a workout swap?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reading on the Workout

I love to read while I pound through the miles on the treadmill. Reading is the only way I can handle treadmill running, the stairmaster, or the elliptical for any extended length of time.
My favorite material is the LDS Conference talks in the Ensign. The talks are so intriguing and uplifting I lose track of time.
What about you? What keeps you entertained during a workout?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Healthy School Lunch Continued

The day after I posted my complaints on school lunch we received a flyer from the school. Dr. Heidi Wengreen, a friend of ours and a professor at Utah State University, has joined with Dr. Greg Madden and Sheryl Aguilar, to form the Food Dudes Program. They're offering more fruits and vegetables through the school lunch program and studying the children's choices and actual consumption of healthy foods.
We haven't ruled out corn dogs or chicken nuggets yet but at least the healthy options are increasing. Yeah!
If you can, encourage your school to check out the Food Dudes Program. I'm thrilled they're testing it at our school.
I feel guilty for being negative last post. So, let's focus on the positive this time. What has your school done to try to encourage healthy eating?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Healthy School Lunch?

My 9yo begs me every day to make home lunch. I usually try to make him a healthy lunch but some days it is just too crazy and he has to eat school lunch. I hated school lunch as a child but I'm always arguing with my boys that school lunch is tastier and healthier now (but my memory isn't always too reliable).

Next week is National School Lunch Week, "Let's Grow Healthy". My 9yo brought home the schedule of lunches for the week. As we reviewed the menu we both laughed and laughed. Four of the five days the main dish was grease - pizza, corn dogs, deep-fried chicken sandwich, and breaded beef patty. Some of the side dishes were nutritious but not all. My 9yo said, "They think that's healthy!"

We're not big deep-fried fans. Ice cream may be essential but you'd be hard-pressed to find corn dogs or chicken nuggets in our freezer (there's no room with all the ice cream). So I had to concede that my son only had to eat school lunch on spaghetti and meatballs day (guess I'll have to be more organized in the morning).

I've heard that for some children school lunch is the healthiest and most complete meal they eat all day. That's a bit disturbing when you look over the menus.

What are your thoughts? I know children enjoy deep-fried foods. Am I being too extreme to hope that they would be the exception rather than the rule at school lunch? How does your school lunch rate?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Girl's Getaway

My friends and I left the cute children with our husbands and spent the weekend in Park City. Fabulous shopping, delectable food, a couple of amazing trail runs (one that was so hard we called for a ride then died of embarrassment when we realized we were less than a mile for the hotel!), and fun times with friends. Couldn't ask for a better weekend.
What's your favorite activity on a girl's night or weekend away?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up and at 'em

I hate dragging myself from my soft bed at five a.m. But once I'm out on the street or at the gym I'm thrilled that I started my day early and fit in a fabulous workout. The problem comes in the afternoon when I fall asleep trying to edit my latest novel. I know a nap, a walk, or sniffing some peppermint oil is a healthier option but lately I've found myself eating chocolate or chugging a Diet Coke.
What do you do to reenergize yourself?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lotoja

My husband completed Lotoja in 13hr 13min. I am so proud of that guy! 206 miles and over 10,000 vertical feet in one day on a teeny little bike. It was amazing to watch.
I love distance running but cannot imagine riding a bike that long.
What's your favorite kind of endurance activity? Or do you prefer short bursts of activity and leave the crazy stuff alone?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who to Trust?

Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach Diet, Body For Life, Biggest Loser Workout, The Firm, PX90. There are more weight loss plans and exercise program options than calories in my bowl of Snelgroves. How do you know which one is right for you?
We each have a different body type, metabolism, and genetic background. Jenny Craig might have saved your neighbor, but it may not work for your body, lifestyle, or emotional health. You need to evaluate what your health needs are and how you can most effectively meet those needs without wreaking havoc on the other aspects of your life.

I love chocolate. If I try to go on a diet plan that cuts out all treats I get irritable. It's not worth it for me or my family to have me lose a couple of pounds and be no fun to live with.

I don't advocate "dieting." I've seen many friends and family go on diets and lose weight then gain it back. Because of that I would be careful when signing up for a specific diet program, especially one that costs a lot of money and/or promises quick weight loss. If you do feel one of the diet plans is what you need to stay on track, do your research. Talk to friends and family who have used the program. See what kind of research is behind the program. Discover what real people's results were (not the ads the company produces) and find out if participants were able to stick with the program long term to stay healthy instead of just a quick weight loss which is not only a waste of time (and money) but can be harmful.

The best dietary programs are going to focus on healthy, whole foods. I would discourage spending a bunch of money on the program's food. Not only can it be very expensive, but nobody is going to do that for life.

I would encourage you to talk to a registered dietitian before signing up for any program. A dietitian could also help you write a plan and counsel you on sticking with it, helping you avoid shelling out money for a diet that may be a scam or harmful to your health.

What about exercise?

Again, every person's body is different. I have a good friend who teaches Pilates and looks fabulous. My sister-in-law is a cardio girl (bike, swim, run, crawl, you name it) and she also has an amazing shape. I love strength training and focus most of my time in the weight room and running.

Variety is the key. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, I do it myself. Varying speed, intensity, and duration can help. It's also wonderful to try new things out, though not always practical.

But what if you want to do a certain exercise program like Crossfit or PX90?
Research. Check out the qualifications, experience, and success rate of the program designers. See if they have research to back up what they're selling (I like to see a few different research studies because sometimes the study is small or paid for by the group it benefits). Talk to people who have used the program or trainer.

Try it out. Make sure you like it before you invest too much time or money into something. Most local gyms/exercise programs should have a trial period so you can see if you enjoy the exercise and the group. Exercise machines should have a money back guarantee (within a certain time frame). You're sampling the program to see if you like it, but you shouldn't expect immediate weight loss or shredded biceps. Becoming fit takes time. Give the program at least six to eight weeks. You can tell if the program is going to be effective by how you're feeling. You should be tired by the end of a workout and slightly sore the next morning, but you shouldn't have pain in your joints or a feeling of tearing a muscle or ligament.

It's extremely hard to wade through all the different options for diet and exercise programs. It really comes down to trusting your own instincts. Don't buy into quick weight loss schemes, they may work initially but will always let you down long term. Also, as a Christian I turn to the Lord when I'm making a decision. He cares about you in every aspect of your life. He doesn't want you wasting time, money, or becoming irritable.

Your health is important. Make sure your decisions regarding your health are not taken lightly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Running

I love summer! Nothing is better than running or biking outside in the morning, swimming in the afternoon, and eating ice cream on the porch at night (I can justify ice cream anytime).

Exercise is exhilirating in the summertime. I feel like I could run for hours (though my knees beg to differ). It's a million times better than pounding out miles on a treadmill when it's 10 degrees outside. A friend of mine told me she's ready for summer to be over. I can't even stand the thought! I'm trying to plan warm vacations throughout the winter so I can survive emotionally until next summer.

What's your favorite summer activity?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Give Up

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." Michael Jordan

One of my favorite nephews graduated from high school this year. He's a smart, good-looking, talented boy. He's also one of the nicest, hardest-working kids I know. The Michael Jordan quote was on his graduation announcement. I'm convinced his brains and talent (can't change the beauty part) have been developed to such a great extent because he learned to work hard at a young age.

There are many different aspects of life where hard work is essential. My husband is riding his bike in a race called Lotoja. From Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the race is 203 miles and almost 10,000 feet of vertical gain. In one day! I hurt just thinking about it. Other riders who have completed the race have told him it is 90% mind over body. Of course you have to train well and have the right equipment but the most important thing on race day: Don't give up.

No matter what you want to succeed at, it is imperative that you put in the time, train hard, and get the right equipment or help but the most important thing: don't give up.

Below are a few areas of my life that I want to succeed at but sometimes find myself becoming discouraged.

Fitness: Becoming fit is extremely tough. Many people start an exercise regime and quit because they get injured or sore or just plain sick of it. Please don't give up. I promise you it will get easier. As you do an activity you will enjoy it more. I'm finally recovered from my fourth baby and I completely understand how hard it is to get back into shape. It hurts. But it gets easier and more fun. Keep a positive attitude, keep making yourself get out of bed (I know, I love my mattress too), and keep trying different kinds of exercise. The variety will help you become more fit and keep you mentally excited about exercise.

Healthy Eating: As I exercise each morning I am convinced that I will eat healthy the entire day. By two p.m. my taste buds are hollering for their ice cream fix. I'm embarrassed to admit that most days I succumb. But it's okay to give in once in a while. You don't have to be perfect to be a healthy eater. I like the 90/10 diet plan (i): if you eat healthy 90% of the time, 10% of the time you can eat what you want. I try to eat low fat meals loaded with veggies so I can splurge on ice cream. Don't throw in the towel just because you slipped up on your diet. Enjoy the treat and do a little better next time. Or better yet, plan for the treat so you don't feel guilty or out of control.

Writing (or any worthy goal): I know of many writers who keep a file filled with rejections from agents and publishers. Not me. I toss them in the trash, delete them from my computer, and try to erase them from my memory. Writing is a tough industry. It's rare to hear of a successful writer who didn't deal with rejection. It's brutal, but no matter what kind of industry you're trying to succeed at, you have to keep going. Learn from the setbacks and get up no matter how many times you get knocked down.

Family: As a parent I repeat myself so often I get tired of hearing it. No wonder my boys tune me out sometimes. Parenting is one of those areas you can never give up on. Even though it seems like they're never going to get it we have to keep working, trying and praying. "No success can compensate for failure in the home." (ii) My focus has to be on my boys. When I start having those selfish nudges like wanting to eat a meal sitting down, I remind myself that they're growing up fast. I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to teach them but I also don't want to miss out on the fun.

Spirituality: Endure to the end. How many times have you heard that one? It's always when I get kind of comfortable and think I'm doing things pretty well that the Lord reminds me of several areas I can improve. Never fun, but as we obey the commandments, pray our guts out, and listen to those promptings we can become more like the Savior each day. And when I catch those glimpses of loving others as He did. The humbling is very much worth it.

What goals or dreams are important to you? How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?


(i) "The 90/10 Diet" by Joy Bauer
(ii) Quote by David O. McKay, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Donate books to families in need

I'm collecting new and used books for women and children escaping abusive situations. If you can help out, please go to my book blog, read up on the details, and post a comment. Thanks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Home

I only gained four pounds on the cruise. I know, four pounds is a lot to gain in one week but you should've seen the food! Luckily my husband and I biked, hiked, and walked at every stop and even made it to the on-board gym four times. I shudder to think how bad the weight gain could've been!
Now back to normal, healthy food and some tough workouts to get those four pounds off. Hope you are all have an amazing start to summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cruise Time

We're cruising to Alaska. I'm thrilled to see this beautiful area, spend time with my husband, and relax, but I'm worried about leaving my cute boys and eating healthy in the midst of so much temptation!

I'm sure my boys will have a wonderful time with their cousins. Here's hoping I can survive without them. And how to survive without trying every dessert on the menu? The plan is to only eat the foods I am dying over (chocolate) and ignore those I can do without (bread basket, pastries, pie). We're also planning very active shore excursions to keep us feeling good.

Any advice on how not to gain the Cruising Five?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Biggest Loser Finale

Made my boys watch The Biggest Loser finale last night instead of reading bedtime stories. Rotten parenting, but I had to know who won before I read it on Facebook or something! It was amazing to see those transformations. Really helps me want to keep going strong and forget the must have ice cream excuses.
Did you watch it? Do you love the show?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Balance

It's easy for me to become obsessive about exercise and eating right. I realized the other day we were in trouble when my 5yo held up his Honey Nut Cheerios and asked, "Does this have too many calories?" I think it's extremely important to teach children how to live healthy but there's a balance. For me it works best to schedule my exercise. I can workout in the morning, but the rest of the day is focused on my boys. I also try to keep it real with meal planning and treats. We will eat healthy meals most of the time, but it's okay to go out on Saturday night, or plan a meal that has cream of chicken soup in it every once in a while (you should see how excited my boys get at those dinnertimes), or eat a bowl of ice cream while we sit around and chat at night (we try not to do it every night, I promise).

How do you keep a balance between being healthy and enjoying life?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nervous

I'm running a 10K for Smithfield's Health Days in the morning. It's a fun, family-oriented race and the distance isn't a big deal, but I still get nervous whenever I think about it. Is that silly? I think it's because I know I'll want to push myself and I know how bad that hurts. The course is up a canyon so I can already feel that hill. I keep telling myself I just have to put one foot in front of the other, but it's not helping!
Any advice to calm my nerves?
Do you ever get nervous before an intense workout?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

What to do?

Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach Diet, Body For Life, Biggest Loser Workout, The Firm, PX90. There are more weight loss plans and exercise program options than calories in my bowl of Snelgroves. How do you know which one is right for you?
We each have a different body type, metabolism, and genetic background. Jenny Craig might have saved your neighbor, but it might not work for your body, lifestyle, or emotional health. You need to evaluate what your health needs are and how you can most effectively meet those needs without wreaking havoc on the other aspects of your life.

I love chocolate. If I try to go on a diet plan that cuts out all treats I get irritable. It's not worth it for me or my family to have me lose a couple of pounds and be no fun to live with.

I've told you before that I don't love "dieting." I've seen many friends and family go on diets and lose weight then gain it back. Because of that I would be careful when signing up for a specific dieting program, especially one that costs a lot of money and/or promises quick weight loss. If you do feel one of the diet plans is what you need to stay on track, do your research. Talk to friends and family who have used the program. See what kind of research is behind the program. See if you can find out the honest results and if participants were able to stick with the program long term to stay healthy instead of just a quick weight loss which is not only a waste of time but can be harmful.

The best dietary programs are going to focus on healthy, whole foods. I would discourage spending a bunch of money on the program's food. Not only can it be very expensive, but nobody is going to do that for life.

I would encourage you to talk to a registered dietitian before signing up for any program. A dietitian could also help you write a plan and counsel you on sticking with it, helping you avoid shelling out money for a diet that may be a scam or harmful to your health.

What about exercise?

Again, every person's body is different. I have a good friend who teaches Pilates and looks fabulous. My sister-in-law is a cardio girl (bike, swim, run, crawl, you name it) and she also has an amazing shape. I love strength training and focus most of my time in the weight room and running.

Variety will improve effectiveness and help you stick with exercise. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, I do it myself. Varying speed, intensity, and duration can help. It's also wonderful to try new things out, though not always practical.

But what if I want to do a certain exercise program like Crossfit or PX90?

Research. Check out the qualifications, experience, and success rate of the program designers. See if they have research to back up what they're selling (I like to see a few different research studies because sometimes the study is small or paid for by the group it benefits). Talk to people who have used the program or trainer.

Try it out. Make sure you like it before you invest too much time or money into something. Most local gyms/exercise programs should have a trial period so you can see if you enjoy the exercise and the group. DVDs or exercise machines usually have a money back guarantee within a certain time frame. You're trying it out to see if you like it, but you shouldn't expect immediate weight loss or shredded biceps.

Becoming fit takes time. Give the program at least six to eight weeks. You can tell if the program is going to be effective by how you're feeling. You should be tired by the end of a workout and slightly sore the next morning, but you shouldn't have pain in your joints or a feeling of tearing a muscle or ligament.

It's extremely hard to wade through all the different options for diet and exercise programs. It really comes down to trusting your own instincts. Don't buy into quick weight loss schemes, they may work initially but will always let you down long term. Also, as a Christian I turn to the Lord when I'm making a decision. He cares about you in every aspect of your life. He doesn't want you wasting time, money, or becoming irritable (justification for my chocolate obsession).

Your health is important. Make sure your decisions regarding your health are not taken lightly.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shopping

Went on a shopping spree with my friends yesterday. I haven't been shopping for normal clothes for over a year and a half. I'm finally back down to my happy weight and I've got to say that it was a delightful day. My friends are wonderful and it was so much fun to try and clothes and have them fit. I even got a Hapari swimsuit and felt good about it (swimsuits are always tough). My friends tried to get me to eat a brownie at dinner and I couldn't do it. It was so fun to feel thin I actually had no desire for chocolate. I'm sure that will change tonight when my husband wants to stop for ice cream after our Friday night date, but right now I'm super motivated to be healthy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5yo worries

My 5yo asked me, "Mom, how do I exercise so I can lose some weight?"

Oh, no. Looks like Mom needs to stop talking about losing the baby weight.

I believe it is crucial to teach children to enjoy being active, offer them healthy food and instill good health habits, but when a 5yo who is completely healthy is worrying about losing weight? Mom and Dad probably need to watch what they are saying and focus on being healthy rather than losing weight.

I searched the internet for good articles on the subject. There were many on childhood obesity and how to help children lose weight (which are sadly important subjects) but there weren't as many on positive body image and one I found (that I really liked) had an ad for quick weight loss pills right next to the article. Empowered Parents had a good article, "Body Image Concerns in Young Children" by Abigal Natenshon.

What do you do to make sure you're sending healthy body image messages to your children?

Monday, April 25, 2011

No Excuses

An older gentleman comes to the gym with his bottle of oxygen strapped to his back. When I watch him lift weights I always think "That's how I want to be when I'm in my 70s."
I'm impressed by so many different people. A friend with breast cancer who not only keeps running but is training for an ultra marathon. A 60+ year old lady who is in better shape than most 20 year olds. My husband who finds time to exercise even though his schedule is overflowing with work, church, and family responsibilities (not to mention that lengthy honey-do list). An expectant mom who keeps walking through the pain.

All these people help me realize that I have no excuse not to push myself. Who inspires you to keep working hard?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trail Running

My sister-in-law is trying to talk me into doing an ultra marathon trail run. Logan Peak. 28 miles across mountain peaks. 7261 feet change in elevation. Does that sound insane? I'm excited about the trail running - reduced overuse injuries, change of scenery, and an intense workout. But I'm a little nervous about the 28 miles when I haven't been training for long distances.
Have you ever tried trail running? How about an ultra marathon?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gearing up for half-marathon

Smithfield City is hosting their first ever half marathon. If you live in Northern Utah you are definitely going to want to check this out. Smithfield City does a fabulous job on their short races (Turkey Trot and Health Days). This half-marathon is not going to be easy (hills galore) but I know it will be well-organized and my favorite part - no smelly bus ride up a canyon. You begin and end at the Rec. Center (it's a loop so it won't be boring). I am so excited for this race. I get nervous just thinking about it, but excited as well. If any of you live out of town and want to run, we've got a fabulous guest room! Any race plans in your future?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love the Scale?

Before baby number four I jumped on a scale every few months. I focused mostly on how my clothes fit and how I was feeling. Since I had my baby, I've weighed myself every day (sometimes twice). I don't want to be obsessive, but it's a lot harder losing baby weight at 36. A study at Brown University proved that weighing yourself daily can help you keep weight off. But what if you get obsessive about the scale? Realize that your weight will fluctuate from day to day, instead of worrying about an individual day, average your weight over a week's time. Calories Per Hour has a great article about how and when to weigh. I think the bottom line is: If weighing yourself daily helps you stay on track, do it. If it upsets you or you get obsessive about it, use another tracker like a tape measure or how your clothes fit. It definitely is a personal decision, another time when you need to decide what works best for you, mentally as well as physically.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat like a baby

My 7mo is teaching us some great lessons about how to eat. Though we might not want to aspire to his chubby physique, we would like to be as uncomplicated about food as he is.

#1 - Fruits and veggies are amazing. Phoenix downs any kind of fruit or veggie placed on his tongue. I love fruits and veggies as well, but pureed prunes? That's pushing it a bit far.

#2 - You don't have to clean your plate. When Phoenix is done, he's done. There's no sneaking in one more bite. It really is okay to throw food away or save it for another meal. Let go of the guilt and the extra calories - toss it in the garbage.

#3 - Don't eat it just because it's fun. There's always an uncle, cousin, grandma, or brother who thinks it's fun to feed the baby dessert or dairy (before a year) and see how the baby likes it. It's okay to eat sometimes for fun, but for the most part eating should be to improve health, increase energy, and sustain life. Sorry to be the party pooper but if a food is going to hurt you in the long run, it's not really fun.

#4 - Slow down. My husband loves to shovel Phoenix's food in as quickly as the little guy opens his mouth. I cussed him and now we're both taking it slow. Me because I need to run around the kitchen and do ten things between each bite. My husband because he knows I'm watching! As a mom it's easy to rush through eating. Don't do it. Slow down and savor each bite. You'll eat less and you'll enjoy life more.

The older I get the more food issues I find myself dealing with. Keeping it simple and uncomplicated may just be the key to getting over the unhealthy behaviors.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Social Eating

I've learned that I don't enjoy food in social situations. I'm so immersed in the conversation and enjoying friends or family that I can shovel in food without even tasting it. Because of this I try (emphasis on try) not to eat unhealthy food when I'm socializing. I wait to savor my ice cream or chocolate when I'm at home and can enjoy each and every bite.

Do you find yourself enjoying food more in some situations? Do you ever make rules for yourself of what you can eat and when?

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to get through a tough workout

You're cruising along in spin class and the instructor tells you to sprint, give all you've got. Do you ever feel like you can't give any more? I love the feeling of working hard (after it's over) but how do you keep going when you really just want to lie down and have someone place chocolate on your tongue?

I either block my mind, concentrate on the beat of the music, count to thirty (and promise myself I'll stop pushing so hard when I hit thirty), or think about how good I'm going to look in my new swimming suit (I can dream big, my brain doesn't know my thighs are 36).

What gets you through the pain of a hard workout?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Healthy as a Family, Dance!

Kathleen Thomas from Primrose Preschools asked me to share this fabulous post with you. The boys and are working on our dance moves so we can shoot our own video. My 4yo can really move it!

Dance can be a fun, easy way to introduce physical activity into a child's life. As a provider of educational day care, Primrose Schools has recognized and is actively fighting against the childhood obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity is a critical issue for young children in America. The Family Dance-off supports Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals, which collectively treat 17 million children annually for every illness and injury imaginable.

Through their annual Family Dance-off event, families are encouraged to record and submit a 30 second video of themselves dancing to promote fitness and strengthen family ties.

Participating in the Family Dance-off is easy:
1. Record a 30-second video of your family's best dance moves. Don't be afraid to let loose and be silly!

2. Visit The Family Dance-off site and upload your best take by March 19.

3. Share your video with your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

4. View and vote daily (you can place five votes per day) for your favorite family dance video!

What would a competition be without prizes? Primrose Schools is providing prizes that aren't only great for your family but for your whole community, with $65,000 in donations to local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals:

• Grand Prize: $5,000 and Primrose will make a $30,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

• 2nd Prize: $3,000 and Primrose will make a $20,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

• 3rd Prize: $1,500 and Primrose will make a $15,000 donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital

• All 14 Finalists will also receive a FLIP camcorder

Visit The Family Dance-off site for details on how to take part in the fight against childhood obesity, participate in the competition, and view past competitors!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Headcase

This merry-go-round of trying to eat right is turning me into a headcase. I motor along for a few days being healthy and happy then I'm slammed with the need for chocolate. I tell myself I'll be satisfied by a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate, but I end up eating the entire bar, then I start searching for ice cream or convince myself that baking cookies qualifies me for "Best Mom of the Year Club."
Sadly I talk myself into most of these transgressions. I justify: I worked hard today at the gym, I deserve a treat, or I excuse: I have no self-control. I really hate it when I convince myself that I have no self-control. I know it's not true, but it's an easy lie to believe, it excuses my chocolate snitches.
The best I can do when I get like this is to remove myself from the situation: go on a walk, call my sister for emotional support, go play with my boys, say a prayer for help. Eventually I can convince myself I do have self-control. It's amazing how empowering it is when I actually exercise that self-control rather than bury it with chocolate urgings.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Want to be a Biggest Loser Too

I love The Biggest Loser. It's an inspiring show. A few months ago I posted about all the lessons I've learned the six times I've watched the show (which is a big deal for me as I don't love television).
The other night it hit me that The Biggest Loser is a lot like Extreme Home Makeover. I remember seeing that show when we were building our house. I got irate. They could build a house in one week. We couldn't get our countertops done in one week! But I had to face the facts: Extreme Home Makeover is not reality. The Biggest Loser isn't either. Very few of us are going to lose 17 pounds in one week.
I try to remember to concentrate on the important stuff, the scale is moving in the right direction and I'm making good choices every day. I will return to my pre-pregnancy weight just like our house finally did get finished. We enjoy those countertops every day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feel the Pain

Just because something hurts does not necessarily mean it's good for you. I love exercising hard and "feeling the pain" but you should always be careful not to push so hard you injure yourself. Also, there are some popular fitness moves that might hurt but don't give you much benefit. For example - lying on your side and doing leg lifts could make your outer thigh feel tired, but there's not much muscle in the outer thigh so you're not effectively strengthening a muscle or increasing your metabolism. Another example I see often at spin class is to squat down on the pedals and hold. The isometric contraction doesn't burn many calories or increase strength but it makes the legs feel tired so instructors love to do it.
Next time you're hurting find out if the hurt is beneficial. If not, don't do it no matter what kind of looks you get at spin class.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top 10 Fitness Icons of All Time

Who really inspires you to get fit? Michael Colgan is my all-time favorite. "Nothing tastes as good as lean and mean feels." How can you not love someone like that?

Mastersinhealthcare.com published a great article "Top 10 Fitness Icons of All Time." Really fun to read and get inspired.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every bite counts

I'm finally losing the last of my baby weight, only six pounds to go. It feels wonderful to fit into my clothes and workout hard again, but it's frustrating how strict I have to be with my eating to keep losing.
The difference between a normal weight and overweight person is 100 caloreis a day. Do you know how easy it is to snarf down an extra 100 calories? (For me at least) I read an article in Prevention about a lady who lost 120 pounds. She said, "You'll never feel bad about not eating something." Perfect counsel for me. Walk away from the kitchen. Very empowering stuff.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Unlearn Your Pain Book Review

I finished reading Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Howard Schubiner. If you have any kind of chronic pain (migraines, fibromyalgia, neck or back pain) you should read this book. For a complete review and more information please refer to my book blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Howard Schubiner



I've been reading this amazing book, "Unlearn Your Pain" by Dr. Howard Schubiner. I'll post a review next week on my book blog but I wanted to share this interview with all of you since I know you're all interested in healthy living.

1. The title of your book is “Unlearn Your Pain.” What does the title mean?
The most important aspect of dealing with chronic pain is to understand what is causing it in the first place. Modern medicine is good at identifying certain causes of pain, such as fractures, tumors, or infections. However, for the majority of people with chronic pain, modern medicine cannot identify a specific cause and is left with treating pain with medications to attempt to cover up the pain. “Unlearn Your Pain” conveys the simple,
yet revolutionary concept that pain is often a product of learned nerve pathways that can be reversed.


2. What is Mind Body Syndrome?
Mind Body Syndrome (MBS) is a term I use to help people alter their understanding of their symptoms. When a person is diagnosed with fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic pelvic pain, they view their disorder as a disease over which they feel they have little control. Replacing their medical diagnosis with MBS helps them to see that they actually can control and reverse their symptoms, even if they have been present for many years. MBS can be used interchangeably with Tension Myositis Syndrome (coined by Dr. John Sarno), or psychophysiologic disorders.

3. What type of illnesses would benefit from your book and your program?
Once a specific medical cause is ruled out, the following conditions are those that can be applicable to the concepts and methods of “Unlearn Your Pain”. Chronic neck or back pain, tension or migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ disorder, interstitial cystitis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, chronic abdominal or pelvic pain, whiplash, vulvodynia, chronic tendonitis, repetitive stress injury, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic fatigue, tinnitus, paresthesias, anxiety and depression.

4. If I think I may have Mind Body Syndrome, what is the first thing I need to do?

I suggest reading the first four chapters of “Unlearn Your Pain”. It describes the scientific basis of learned nerve pathways and explains how stress and emotions can lead to real pain and other associated symptoms. If you recognize that these chapters describe your situation, you have a great chance of success in reversing your pain.

5. Describe your book in three words.
Understanding, compassion, hope.

6. What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired by the amazing recoveries of my patients and their courage in facing their past, their lives, and their pain. I wanted to bring this message of hope and healing to a wider audience.

7. What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading “Unlearn Your Pain”?
I hope readers see that they are not alone and that they can truly heal themselves.

8. What Makes Your Book Unique?
This is the only book that explains the neurologic and psychologic scientific basis of chronic pain, offers a complete self-diagnostic interview, and provides a step-by-step process for healing chronic pain in most people. It is based upon groundbreaking research that demonstrates its efficacy. Since there are millions of people affected with the disorders covered in this book, it has the potential of restoring lives that have been broken. In addition, it is a wakeup call to modern medicine to understand the true cause of chronic pain and stop its reliance on expensive and ineffective treatments.

9. Tell us where “Unlearn Your Pain” is available.
The book is available from amazon.com and from www.unlearnyourpain.com.

To view Dr. Schubiner's invitational video click here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mom's exercise benefits the entire family

My husband has long known that it's beneficial for him when I make it to the gym. My boys sometimes complain about me being gone if they wake up early but even they are starting to understand that Momma is a lot more happy when she starts her day with exercise. It's not selfish to spend some time improving yourself. Here's why it benefits the whole family.

1 - More Bonding Time for Dad. I'm a selfish mother. I adore each of my boys and don't like sharing them very much. Especially when they're babies. My husband is an amazing father, but sometimes I hamper his chances to connect with our newborns because I just take control. When I'm gone to the gym, I can't interfere. Dad can snuggle, play, turn on crazy music, or let them watch a TV show before the sun has even shown its face (something Mom would never allow). Dad has different rules and my boys love it. And of course I don't dare say anything because I'm off enjoying myself at the gym. Yesterday I came home to my husband in the shower with the baby (so cute to see that tiny body curled up against my husband's broad chest). The little guy blew out his diaper and Daddy dealt with it perfectly. Mom being gone once in a while is good for all of them.

2 - Exercise Puts Mom in a Good Mood. "Exercise releases endorphins, natural hormones that flood the body with a feel-good energy, a natural high! You release stress through physical exertion and regulated breathing, so you can let go of the day’s challenges and go home feeling relaxed and refreshed." (i)

When Momma's happy, everybody's happy. That is too true. I definitely set the mood for our house. After I exercise, I feel better physically and emotionally. I'm excited to go home and enjoy my children and husband. Exercise quite simply starts my day off right.

3 - Exercise Can Also Help Relieve Depression. This is something I never struggled with until I became a Mom. "In the New York Times recent research, studying twins, indicated that, despite studies that seemed to suggest that exercise was almost as effective in relieving depression as anti-depressants, in fact, the association of exercise with reduced anxious and depressive symptoms could be explained genetically: people disinclined to exercise also tend to be depressed. One does not cause the other.” (ii)

The release of endorphins and relief of depression can lift us as Moms and obviously help the home be a more cheerful, relaxed place for our children.

4 - Mom Being Strong Can Prevent All Kinds of Stress. You can catch toddlers hurtling themselves at your pregnant bellies, you can carry your eight-year old to his bed when he's sick, and win an arm-wrestling competition against your twelve-year old (ah, the glory).

5 - Great Example. We all want our children to be happy and feel great. If we are good examples of healthy living, they will almost always follow that example.

6 - Momma's Looking Good. I remember as a teenager being proud of my mom when she came to school. She was nice to everyone and she also took good care of herself. I'm a year away from my oldest becoming a teenager and I sure hope he's proud of how I look so when I run into the middle school screaming, "Where's my adorable little boy?" I don't embarrass him anymore than necessary.

7 - Long, Healthy, Happy Life. Patricia T. Holland said, “Anyone who reads a newspaper or magazine is constantly reminded that proper diet, appropriate exercise, and plenty of rest increase our daily capacities as well as our life span. But all too many of us put off even these minimal efforts, thinking our family, our neighbors, and our other many responsibilities come first. Yet in doing so, we put at risk the thing these people need most from us: our healthiest, happiest, heartiest self. Unless we take care of ourselves, it’s virtually impossible to properly take care of others.” (iii)

We all want to be there for our children and grandchildren. Exercise is going to improve our health and prevent a myriad of health problems and diseases. If you have a hard time staying healthy for yourself, think about your family. It's worth it to take care of yourself so you can take care of them.


(i) Exercise can Make You Happy & Healthy by David Bohl, read the entire article here.
(ii) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, check out the blog here.
(iii) Patricia T. Holland, "On Earth as it is in Heaven." Book information here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sick

The flu and colds have gone through all four of my boys. I got overconfident and thought I was immune. Not so. Can't breathe through my nose and want to sleep all day. Any wonderful home remedies you want to share? I've been overdosing on Vitamin C and drinking my Reliv so hopefully I'll get with it soon.
Hoping you all stay healthy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Time is Now

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, let me do it now; for I shall not pass this way again." S. Grellet

I always get excited this time of year to be on top of my life again. I make all kinds of goals and plans: To have an effective schedule for homework, chores, family fun time, bedtime, etc. To eat healthier, eat smaller portions, and exercise harder. To meet my writing goals. To serve others more effectively and more often. To clean my house (no, not really, that's still way down the priority list).
Even though I get really excited about my goals, it's always easier to plan for tomorrow rather than today. Tomorrow I'll study and ponder my scriptures instead of just reading them. Tomorrow I'll be fun and play with my boys for longer than five minutes. Tomorrow I won't eat a bowl of ice cream (but I really need one tonight). Tomorrow I won't sleep in (but the baby was up a lot last night and right now I really need to snuggle my pillow). Tomorrow I'll make the boys clean their rooms (then I'll redo them while they're at school).

"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Thomas Jefferson

"When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no, I'll start tomorrow. Tomorrow is disease." V.L. Allineare

It's great to make goals and to plan for tomorrow, but we need to live for today. I love having many lofty goals but to be effective in accomplishing those goals I try to break them into easier, daily goals. I also like to write them on the calendar so I know what I need to accomplish today.

Today I will make a healthy dinner for my family and resist chocolate (oh, the torture). Today I will revise five pages of my manuscript instead of check out Facebook posts during computer time. Today I will get out of bed when my alarm goes off, drive to the gym, and not come home until I sweat. Today I will go visit my adopted grandma. Today I will respond with patience and love when my four-year old is flailing on the ground screaming for a donut (that only happened twice so far).

It's easy to get overwhelmed if we think we have to do everything perfectly for the rest of our lives, but if we can take it one day at a time it seems more manageable. If anyone told me I could never have a bowl of chocolate ice cream covered with chocolate fudge again I'd probably eat ten bowls to stock up on the sensation, but if I just tell myself that I'm not having a bowl today but on Friday I can have a treat, I don't go quite so crazy.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a wonderful call to action in the May Ensign: "Now is the time to adjust your lives to be able to have a temple recommend and use it. Now is the time to have meaningful family home evenings, to read the word of God, and speak to our Heavenly Father in earnest prayer. Now is the time to fill our hearts with gratitude for the Restoration of His Church, for living prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the priesthood power that blesses our lives. Now is the time to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, become His disciples, and walk in His way." (i)
Now is the time to accomplish our goals, improve ourselves, and love and enjoy our family and friends.

The other day in the grocery store, the young man at the deli counter handed me my meat. I mumbled, "Thanks. Have a nice day." He grinned and said, "No. You make it a great day." We each have a choice. We can choose to make it a great day or we can choose to become bogged down with frustrations, offenses, and a to-do list that we can't accomplish.

"There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most." Thomas S. Monson (ii)
Today is the gift we have been given. Make it a great day and let tomorrow take care of itself.

Cami Checketts is a wife, mother of four boys, exercise scientist, and author. http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com - http://fitnessformom.blogspot.com

(i) Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Way of the Disciple," Ensign, May 2009, 75-78.
(ii) President Thomas S. Monson, "Don't procrastinate what matters most," LDS Women's Conference, May 2, 2008.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Clean

My husband decreed our family's New Year's Resolution: Being Clean
The boys groaned and Momma cheered.
When he actually explained his thoughts the boys were a bit more receptive.
Being Clean Physically - keeping up the house, brushing teeth, showering, eating healthy, getting exercise
Being Clean Mentally - Working hard at school and keeping entertainment clean and uplifting
Being Clean Spiritually - Acting the way the Savior would with other people.

I really like it. It's easy to remember no matter what situation we're in - be clean.

What New Year's Resolutions have you made?