Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running Shoes In Your Future?

I have had it in the back of my mind that I needed to have a back-up pair of running shoes. Fortunately, I was fitted for running shoes at my local FleetFeet store and I knew pretty much what I needed to get. So, off to the web I went. My online vendor of choice is Running Warehouse. After a few minutes of searching and comparing, I chose a great pair of Nike shoes (for $59 with free shipping and no state tax) that were equivalent to the Brooks pair ($100 + tax) that I bought last February.

True to their promise, the shoes arrived in two days. I tried them and they were extremely comfortable. I have not felt any difference between the two pairs, although I have been using the new shoes mostly on a treadmill.

So, if you are looking for a new pair of running shoes and you know exactly what you are looking for, then I recommend the Running Warehouse. They even have free return shipping if the shoes are not what you needed. Customer service just does not get any better than this!

By the way, I still suggest that you get fitted for shoes at a running shop (like FleetFeet), especially if you are new to running or if you feel your needs have changed. After that, you cannot beat the savings and convenience of the Running Warehouse.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Paving the way to a great day

DailyOM - Sending Love Ahead to Your Day
Upon waking, many people consider the coming day with trepidation. Because of the natural human tendency to focus on what we fear or dislike, it is easy to unwittingly send a message of unease into the future that negatively impacts the quality of your day. However, while our lives are busy and frequently replete with challenges, they are also rich with joy and experiences worth savoring. We can attract this natural bliss into our lives by starting each day with a message of love. When you send love ahead to your day, that love will manifest itself in your interpersonal interactions, your professional endeavors, and your domestic duties. Tasks and circumstances once made trying by your own anxiety are transformed by your love, and you will find yourself approaching life’s subtle nuances with great affection.

There is more in the full article.

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The real measure of your contributions

What is accomplishment? Is it measured by the number of zeroes in your salary? By status or your level of fame? Or could success possibly come from the number of lives you touch? In today's world, where people are famous just for being famous, it's easy to get caught up in the quest for being noticed and appreciated. People and ideas can be trampled along the way if nobody looks out for them. If leaving a legacy is important to you, it should not come at the expense of your values. If you let it, you'll end up leaving a legacy you didn't want, and that kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? The greatest and most noble acts are the ones that are done when we think no one is looking. When you stop expecting thanks or anything in return, your contribution is more welcome than ever. The irony is that the nicer you are, the more important you become.

Source: http://www.SparkPeople.com

This reminds me of the concept of Ethical Wills. Creating an ethical will is a great step to defining the values that will govern your actions. How will you be remembered when you are gone?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Avoid dieting and fitness mistakes

This is an excellent article about what to avoid when you are thinking about going on a diet or exercise program: Expert Solutions: Metabolism Mistakes

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Good advise for getting healthier

This SparkPeople article gives you all the details you need to begin a healthy fitness plan: Dos and Don'ts of a Successful Fitness Plan

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Stop & Chew

I must confess -- I am bad about eating quickly, hardly chewing my food. And that is not a good thing to do. I remember being a slow-eater as a child, but sometime in my teenage years I began to eat quickly and the habit has been difficult to break.

I encourage you to read this great article and learn about the benefits of chewing properly:

Stop & Chew Your Dinner

I sometimes find myself rushing my kids to eat quickly, and then I stop and remind myself that eating quickly is not the best thing for any of us!

Enjoy your meal -- be mindful of your eating!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You got to love a story like this one!

A Mantra For All People

Today, I acknowledge the inner light within me
and I honor that inner light,
for it is the true source of my beauty.
I share that inner light with everyone I encounter.
I remember that my beauty has nothing to do
with my body size or weight.
My beauty has everything to do with who I am
and I honor that person, always!

I read this on one of the notes from my previous post. I found one source at this website:

Affirmations for a Healthy Body Image—Wings for the Heart

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A Beautiful Movement

As it sometimes happens, someone has started a movement to help people feel beautiful. And feeling good about yourself is as important as anything else on the journey to be healthy:

Healthy Tipping Point: OPERATION BEAUTIFUL: Today's Notes

Do you know anyone that could use a boost? Leave them a note to let them know!

Do you want to do a random act of kindness? Leave one of these notes and boost someone's self-image. It is free ... it is kind ... and it is true. We all have extreme inner beauty that we need to tap into so that we can become all that we are capable of being.

You are a beautiful person ... share that beauty.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

First 5K Race -- what a rush!

Saturday evening I participated in my first 5 K race. It was a great experience!

The event was the Candlelight Run in Greenville, SC. The kids, my friend Dwala, and I ran in the 1-mile Family Fun Run/Walk at 8 PM. It was very hot (upper 90s). I finished this event with a 9:20 (unofficial) time. Not too bad!

The 5K started at 9 PM. It was still fairly warm (mid-90s), but it had cooled down enough that it was tolerable. I lined up towards the rear 1/3 of the group because this was my first race and I know my time is not the greatest. Beginning the race was lots of fun -- and very hot with all these folks altogether! Once we made our first turn, we began to spread out and the heat dissipated some. Traffic (slower runners and walkers) became an issue a few times, but for the most part it was a great run. I kept a very steady pace throughout the run, slowing only once to get some water.

The end was funny (in a twisted sort of way). The Finish Line was on a downhill stretch. As I had learned from my friend Dimitra, as soon as I saw the Finish Line I pushed through as fast as I could. Surprisingly, I had plenty of steam left. But … I over-did it! I was going so fast that, on the last sensor at the line, I tripped, landed hard on my left shoulder, and skidded down the asphalt a few feet. I bet not too many runners slide into the finish line that way! :-) It was a baseball classic move!

My official time for the race was 35:48 (Gun Time) or 34:16 (Chip Time). I ranked 653 out of 819 male contestants. Considering the fairly long uphill terrain and the high temperature, I think that is a respectable time. Definitely something to work on to improve for future races.

I have to say that there is an incredible rush that comes from running a race. For the hour after finishing the event I definitely felt an adrenaline high that I had never experienced!

Now, looking to the future:

a) This week I need to recover from the fall and heal my shoulder; I will workout as much as I can with the aim of getting back to normal as quickly as possible.
b) I am going to increase my training to bring my 5K time down to 30 minutes.
c) I will probably enter a race in August (yes, I know, another hot temperature race!) and another one on Labor Day.
d) I want to run at least 3-5 5K events before training for an 8K race. I will then do 3-5 8K events before moving to a 10K race, etc.

What a rush being fit is!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sleep more, weigh less

Insomnia Can Hinder Your Weight Loss
Recent medical studies show that sleep loss can increase hunger and affect your body’s metabolism in a way that makes weight loss more difficult. So if you’re making a good effort in your nutrition and fitness plans, you still might be able to improve your success with better sleep.

I can attest to this. For years I slept an average of 4 hours per day — and my weight increased substantially. Of course, it was a combination of factors that included less-than-ideal nutrition and lack of exercise, but the lack of sleep contributed tremendously to weight gain.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Mindful Eating

My friend Juliet Hewitt, who also happens to be a co-worker and my Yoga Teacher, wrote this article and I wanted to share it with you:
Summer is almost here. As you cruise the supermarket checkout line, magazine headlines promoting new weight loss strategies all vie for your attention. Each one promising a new secret method to help you lose weight and get into your bathing suit: “Ten Steps to Slim Thighs in Ten Days!” “Celebrity Workouts – Learn the Exercise Secrets of the Top Stars”.

If you are like me, you have fallen victim to their siren song and purchased one of these magazines. After reading the articles, you are disappointed. There is no magic diet, pill, or exercise program. Eating good food and exercising is what really works, but that doesn’t sell magazines. I am not going to give you tips on exercise or diet today. There are plenty of places to find this information if you need it. What I am going to tell is a tip that maybe you haven’t considered before: practice conscious eating. Become an astute watcher of your eating habits. In doing so, learn to slow down and contemplate what you are eating before and while you are eating it.

What you eat and when you eat should be a thoughtful decision. Learn to make eating a “conscious” rather than “unconscious” choice. As you observe your hunger rhythms, remember that when you experience a hunger pang you don’t have to eat immediately. If you are tied to a family mealtime and you are hungry before dinner, teach yourself to wait until dinner is served to eat. When you do choose to eat, enjoy it. Taste your food and don’t feel guilty about eating a treat. You made a conscious decision to eat it! There is no joy in eating a dessert if you are going to feel guilty about it. If you know you will feel guilty about it, make a conscious decision not to eat it. Lastly, if you do eat something without mindfulness, forgive yourself immediately. Mindfulness takes practice. Like any other skill, it takes effort to cultivate.

Practicing mindfullness teaches you to work with your body, rather than against it. Eat what you truly enjoy and truly enjoy what you eat!

Thanks, Juliet, for such a great article!

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Finding fault with everything you see

We all know people who just like to complain. It seems that no matter how good they have it, they're always spreading negative energy. Even the best, most painstaking listener can have trouble with someone who finds fault with everything around them. You can shine even in the worst situations if your character is strong. If you're starting to see the "dark side" too often and find yourself blaming your circumstances on other people, take another look. If you think a change of scenery will solve all your problems, think again. Change can be good. Moving on to new things can be an exciting chance to stretch yourself and break a rut. But it's important to start with yourself when you're finding things to improve. No matter where you live, work or play, the only constant is you. You can't escape yourself. Change on the outside will have no effect on your happiness or fulfillment unless you change on the inside, too.

Source: http://www.SparkPeople.com

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Could You Give It All Up to Follow Your Dream?

Having a dream and determination are basic ingredients to accomplish anything you want in life:

Could You Give It All Up to Follow Your Dream?

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

There is only now

I encourage you to read this:
My motivation has always come in waves. One month I'm completely dedicated to my health and the health of people around me. I live the way I've always wanted to live: wake up early, take the dogs for a walk, come home and make a healthy breakfast, do some chores around the house, make a nutritious lunch, play with my dogs, etc. It's those times when I'm at my best.

Then the wave ends and I'm suddenly dragging out of bed late in the morning, I drag myself to the kitchen and make the quickest, least nutritious, biggest breakfast I can come up with. I take my plate to the couch and eat everything (plus seconds) while watching TV. In a fried egg coma, I remain on the couch for most of the day and most of the night, sometimes not even getting up to shower! At the back of my mind I ask myself, is this how I want to spend the rest of my life? Unfortunately, when I'm deep in my fried egg coma, the answer is always a cop-out: I just have to deal with my guilt until the "healthy" wave picks me up again so I can ride it for as long as it will carry me. Of course, the healthy wave usually lasts about a month, tops, while my unhealthy wave lasts 3 months to a year!

This past weekend I got to thinking about my "healthy wave" and I suddenly realized that everything I did when I was soaring on my healthy wave was due to an obsession with the future. I would spend so much time thinking and planning for the future that I became overwhelmed by my own thoughts and eventually I would get to a point where I'd just tell myself ENOUGH! And I'd quit.

So I woke up Monday morning and decided that I would stop living in the future and start living TODAY! Yesterday was the first time I told myself this mantra. Yesterday was the first time I actually understood it, believed it and practiced it. TODAY I will make the best decisions I can make with what I eat and how I workout. Tomorrow's motivation is irrelevant. Tomorrow's motivation doesn't exist. It's all about TODAY.

Source: Tomorrow no longer exists for me (Page 18)

As humans, we continue to worry about yesterday and tomorrow, and we do not realize that "now" is made up of all our yesterdays and now is what tomorrow will be. If we focus on changing "now", on doing the best we can with "now", then tomorrow will be the best it can possibly be!

Coach Lou Holtz said that to WIN means to focus on "What's Important Now" — focus on "now" to win at anything!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Invest in healthy changes

This article discusses what to do to make sure your kitchen will help you live a healthier lifestyle.:

Where is Danger Lurking in Your Kitchen?

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Self-Worth and Self-Esteem

The following article describes, beautifully, the significant difference between self-esteem and self-worth: DailyOM - Worth

I encourage you to read it and really take in the critical difference between these concepts. You are definitely worth it!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Changing the World: one smile at a time

Have you ever walked by someone in the street and have them smile at you? Do you smile at people when you greet them? Please read this article and I think you will see how we can change the world, one smile at a time: DailyOM - Common Courtesy

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The voice of experience: working long hours can be unhealthy

Years ago I had to work more than one job and had very little time to rest. I gained weight despite being relatively active; here is why:

Too Much Work Can Pack On the Pounds

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