Get in the Game!

This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

imageAre you ready to be virtually motivated? Would you like to challenge someone to the ultimate test of strength and endurance globally or locally? Or how about challenging yourself for a personal best? Then, The Fitness Games are here! I was given the opportunity to try the unique new app, The Fitness Games and I found it more innovative and fun than any other fitness application I have ever used. The app is very user-friendly, (even for the technologically challenged like myself) as you add users to the app via their usernames, and challenge others in the categories of strength, cardio, cross training or full body workouts. You can also accept challenges from other users. At work while your opponent is completing the challenge during the day? Is your opponent in a different time zone or continent? No matter, the cool feature is that you can complete the challenge as your individual schedule allows, and results of wins and losses will be available once both users have completed the challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of workout options in all four categories.

I had so much fun challenging my workout partners. Here I am completing a Body weight Madness Challenge. First opponent, myself:

Plank walkouts. First round and smiling:

IMG_2079Second round of plank walkouts. Ok, this feels like a challenge now. Here is my, “this is not easy face:”

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My results after workout is complete and the challenge is submitted for scoring:

imageChallenging another user to a Full body circuit for time and weight lifted:

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 IMG_0811The Get Off My Back Challenge. Yesterday’s workout:

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It’s 2014 and this app is paving the way for a fun and interactive way to connect fitness lovers  worldwide, whether you are new to fitness, at the intermediate or advanced level. There is something for everyone, the weight-trainer, the cyclist, runner or lovers of Tabata/Insanity like circuits.  I am already looking forward to challenging more users this week. Try something new, break out of a plateau and…..

Let the Games Begin!

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Healing Yoga for Real People with Real Problems

With all the heavy weight training I have been doing, Yoga has been necessary for me to include in my fitness program to give my body a good restorative stretch on days of active rest. When I feel like doing a quick Yoga session in the comfort of my home, I turn to the show Healing Yoga for Real People with Real Problems. I discovered this program on The One network and was pleased to discover mini webisodes on the network’s website, making it extra convenient. After all, I am a real person with real problems.

 

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The host of the show is Deborah Devine, a self-proclaimed ex-workaholic who left the hustle and bustle of the corporate world behind when health issues such as chronic fatigue, stress, back pain and weight gain began to plague her. Now Deborah is a full-time Yogi who has traveled the world to enlighten people of all ages on the benefits of healing Yoga through teaching this practice.

 

Deborah Devine demonstrates a movement on a show participant

Deborah Devine demonstrates a movement on a show participant

(source)

 Healing Yoga focuses not only on physical ailments such as back pain and shoulder tension, but achieving mental wellness. Some of her shows also focus on dealing with depression, anxiety and grief. Deborah’s instruction is easy to follow, as she demonstrates movements with gentle TLC on some of her show participants. What I love about the show is that her participants range in ages from young adult to seniors, showing that it is never too late to restore and balance the body back to health. I hope to encourage my dad to start watching her show and trying the movements.

Whether I’m feeling tightness in the back, soreness in my neck or a little sad, I can just unroll my mat, and let the soothing voice of Deborah Devine aid in my path to healing and wellness and feeling renewed again.

Here I practice stretching out the core from Healing Yoga.

Here I practice stretching out the core from Healing Yoga.

 

To see more of Healing Yoga mini webisodes, episode guides and Deborah Devine’s bio on the ONE network, click here.

What is your favorite type of Yoga?

Grown Folks Lunch Boxes

It is that time of year again, packing lunches and checking homework. Moms and dads, what are you packing for your own lunch to get you energized and focused for the latter part of your work day? I know you are constantly worrying about packing healthy eats for the kiddies, but be sure not to neglect your own lunch time nourishment. I am always on the search for health-conscious lunch options. I try to avoid buying my lunch at all cost, not only to save money, but to save my waistline.

Enter Proteinis by Maple Leaf Natural Selections:

These little power-packs come with grilled chicken breast strips and dried fruit on the side. (apple or cranberry) The chicken is lightly seasoned and moist.

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I use them in wraps, as snacks with a hard-boiled egg and I especially love them in salads:

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What I love most about Proteinis is that they do not contain a lot of ingredients or additives. The ingredient list is nice and simple:

IMG_2088So remember moms, dads and all you grown folks, kids needs proper fuel for energy and concentration for their day, and so do we. You can’t prep for that huge board meeting, deal with those cantankerous clients or ask the boss for that deserving raise on an empty, under-nourished stomach now can you? Make sure your lunch box is also packed with goodness and ready to face the day ahead, however hectic.

This is not a sponsored post. It is just brought to you by my love for nutritious and convenient Proteinis.

10 Questions with the Dancing Runner

It’s a brand spanking new month. So why not start off with an inspirational story as some of us may be starting September with fresh goals. Perhaps one of those goals is to start running this fall.

I started following marathoner Chelsea Ross’ blog, The Dancing Runner, about one year ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Not only does she have boundless energy, she’s funny, upbeat, and a joy to follow. Chelsea initially started running to lose weight, and now it is one of her passions. She is a running coach and marathoner, as well as a certified spin instructor. I am pumped that Chelsea stopped in her tracks to answer a few questions about running, dancing, living and loving life!

1. How did your passion for running begin?

I have been running off and on since probably middle school. I was never really good at it or even liked it that much until I graduated college. Then a coworker of mine inspired me to get back into it. I used to work in TV news, in the newsroom behind the desk…working long hours and often overnight. Running became a huge stress reliever for me. I got laid off from news  and then found myself with a ton of free time. I started running more…then one day went to a social run at a running store in the area, Luke’s Locker. Some of the folks I ran with were training for half marathons. I had the free time so I figured…hey, let’s do this! I started training and soon got another amazing job working in tv but with more normal hours. It was awesome and gave me lots more time to train! I ran my first half marathon in the fall of 2009, my first full in 2010, and I haven’t looked back since. 

2. What was your first race?

Oh wow…it was probably a random 5K ages ago. I really don’t even remember my time. 

3. How did you train and prepare for your first marathon?

I trained for my first full marathon with Luke’s Locker…it’s a running store here in the Dallas, TX area that also has training programs. I would definitely recommend training for your first marathon with a running group. It will really hold you accountable and you will make lots of new (and lifelong) running friends! My first 26.2 was the Chicago Marathon. It was an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

4. What are your top 5 running essentials?

Running watch, Asics running shoes, handheld water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray. 

5. What are your suggestions to prevent running injuries?

Foam roll, yoga, strength training, compression socks. Cross train!! Do other things other than just run. It prevents not only injuries but just burnout in general.

6. How did get into spinning and then teaching spin?

 I’ve always loved spin class and have been doing it for years at my gym. I found it to also be a great compliment to running because it’s very low impact. One of the spin teachers and I are good friends and she really inspired me to get certified. I taught dance at the gym for about a year then decided to start teaching spin. I love creating spin playlists and love to encourage and challenge my students to really push the pace and work hard on the bike. It’s a very rewarding position to be a fitness instructor.

7. From many of your posts, I can see you have boundless energy. How do you transition with such ease from teaching a 6:00 am spin class to running afterwards? Please share your secrets for such energy.

COFFEE! Haha, there are some days when I don’t have boundless energy. Some days I have to really talk myself into getting a run in but it’s always worth it afterwards. I try to incorporate rest days into my routine and that always helps me to recharge.

8. Do you have any advice for those who want to start running, but are unsure how to begin the sport?

Just to be patient with yourself. It takes time to build your mileage, as well as your endurance. Join a running group and/or run with friends to keep you motivated. Also purchasing a running watch is a wonderful investment and it’s great to be able to see and track your data/mileage/pace and etc.

9. I understand you’re also a very spiritual person and your faith is vital to you. Does this help you to remain so positive?

I would say so. My faith is very important to me. I also try to keep prayer a constant in my life.

10. And finally, I really must know…..heels or running shoes?

Running shoes, hands down. Asics are the new Christian Louboutins. 

I know you “gotta run,” and you are one busy lady, Chelsea, so thanks for inspiring us this month with your fitness story.

For more exciting race recaps, running tips, Friday favorites in food and fashion, and her delicious Girl-on-the-go-Recipes and spin playlists, be sure to visit Chelsea’s blog.

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Chelsea completes a marathon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Side of Skinny

If I were to tell you that someone I know has often faced weight discrimination, would you think this person is over-weight? Magazine covers are often graced with waif-like models. Ribs, bikini bridges and thigh gaps are desired body features. Well, today I would like to introduce you to *Nicole. An acquaintance of mine who is underweight, not by choice, but because of her genetics. Nicole has all of the above, a thigh gap and a bikini bridge, but that doesn’t mean she is free from social ridicule.  From her story, you will see that life can be hard the for thin, and people can be just as cruel. Life isn’t always rosier on the skinny side.

*Nicole’s Story:

Last month I was in Shopper’s Drug Mart with my daughter. We were buying her feminine products for her first menstrual cycle. It was an emotional time for both of us. My baby was growing up, and she was anxiety-ridden about the whole life change. We were nearing the checkout counter when I noticed two middle-aged women in same aisles. As I passed, I heard one mutter quietly, but not quiet enough, “someone get that girl a sandwich.” They both started to giggle, upon which, the other said, “do women that size even get periods?” I was with my daughter, so I took the high road and just ignored them. When I was in bed later that night I was overcome with emotion and I began to cry. I was just thinking such negative thoughts, questioning my ability to be a good single-parent, thinking about those cruel comments I overheard in the drugstore.  I also started to feel insecure about my body again.

Years ago, I had gone out night clubbing with some friends. We were pretty drunk, and as we ran across the street in the rain to catch a cab, I tripped over a sewer (one of those sewers with the bars.) A so-called “friend” yelled out, “hurry Nicole! Don’t slip through that sewer. You could probably fit!”  It was just so natural for her to tease me. We were also with a heavier girl that same night. Never did she mention her size. Around this same time, I became pregnant with my daughter. My body changed a little and my breasts and thighs became fuller.  My ex (my daughter’s father) often made comments that he liked my new booty, and bigger chest. After giving birth, my body returned back to skinny. I think I lost even more weight from eating less to care for a baby. When my boyfriend began to cheat on me, I turned a blind eye. I was at home, cleaning, cooking, changing diapers and feeling horrible about myself and he was out picking up girls. Don’t get me wrong, my child is my life and I couldn’t imagine life without her, but those few months after her birth were tough. I was often sad and lonely.  This was around the time J-Lo became famous and everyone was talking about how beautiful her curves are. I often spent the time looking at my body in the mirror and hating how I looked, wishing for fuller hips, and thighs. Just as a big girl may wish for skinny legs or a flat stomach, I was wishing to be bigger.  Maybe if I had a bigger booty, he would love me again.

It wasn’t always like this. In high school I was envied by many girls. They would all tell me how lucky I was to be skinny. I got a lot of compliments for my boyish frame. Some were jealous that I could eat anything I wanted and never get fat. It was true. I loved Big Macs with extra fires. I loved jumbo Oh-Henrys and bags of chips and I wouldn’t gain a pound. Everyone would ask me my secret to being so thin and not gaining weight. Did I purge in private? Did I take diet pills by the bottle? Did I do non-stop aerobics? Nope. I did none of those things. As a matter of fact, I hated exercise. I never exercised. I was just a natural string bean.

Presently, I’m still pretty skinny, but I have changed my thinking and lifestyle. I cannot eat whatever I want now, because any size I gain goes right to my stomach. Not just for me, but for my daughter. I have to be an example to her, so I love and accept who I am. My daughter is very curvy (sure didn’t get it from me!) Never do I want her to wish to be smaller or different. I tell her God made us who we are and we have to be thankful. I cook healthy foods for us and rarely do we go to fast food places, and I quit smoking.  Before I moved up North, I went to Zumba with Char (Tigress) and our mutual friend Desiree a few times. I loved it because I love to dance. Now me and my daughter go to Zumba two times per week at the local community centre in my new city. She loves it too and I want her to be active. Not a couch potato like me at her age. As for my love life. I’m single and skinny. Any man who is with me will love me for me, and that’s non-negotiable. I love myself and I love life.

Thanks for listening to my story.

Thanks to you Nicole for sharing your story. Skinny, large, short or tall, it’s never acceptable to comment negatively on the appearance of others, because you never know who will be crying tears on their pillow that night from another person’s words. Compassion and respect go along way.

 

Tigress on the Prowl

This tigress is hunting, and she wants YOU!

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Before there is any confusion, I have some explaining to do. I am currently seeking guests for upcoming posts for my Stories of Inspiration category. When I first started this blog, I wanted to feature at least one inspirational story per month. I think it is important to encourage, uplift and motivate those who are on the path to change. So, if you have met a goal, passed a daunting obstacle, achieved something you have been working hard for and want to celebrate your victory by being a feature on a post, why not do it here? It does not have to be a fitness goal. It could also be a life change that made a positive impact in your life in other ways as well.

I hope to contact other bloggers and ask you if you would like to be feature on a post. There are a few I will be emailing or contacting through your comment section this week. Many of you have inspired me, so I want to spread your message of determination and positivity.

These are some past posts where people have featured their stories of success:

www.fromtrextotigress.com/rebuilding strength
www.fromtrextotigress.com/a mind that matters
www.fromtrextotigress.com/inspiration from across the miles
www.fromtrextotigress.com/positive thinking 101
www.fromtrextotigress.com/more than a beachbody

Please contact me at weathyarms00@gmail.com if you are interested in sharing your story of inspiration. I would love to hear from you. Together we can prove that it is possible.

Artwork of tiger by Stella Mays. For further inquires visit http://www.stellamays.co.uk/originals.html#slider-5

10 Ways How YOU Can Help Gaza

fromtrextotigress:

Please read and share.

Originally posted on Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork:

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It was Martin Luther King who said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Let’s light our hearts up and send love to those in need. There’s nothing more we can do from behind our laptops.

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Boulder Shoulders

A couple of months ago LeBron James was front and centre in the news. His announcement that he is returning to Cleveland had residents cheering and celebrating in the streets. Andy is a huge basketball fan, and of course he was watching all the coverage on the sport networks. He especially followed The Heat, being a former Miami local. I am not much into basketball, but when I watched with Andy last season and The Heat was in the finals, what I did always notice was the size of LeBron’s shoulders. Wowza! Make that a double wowza! Those things are like boulders. I said to Andy, Colorado should add another basketball franchise to their state called the Colorado Boulders, and LeBron should sign with them because of those massive things. Their Jersey would just have a graphic of Lebron’s shoulders. I might be on to something here. Now, this segues beautifully into what this post is all about. Shoulders.

Would you look at the size of those things? They're almost as big as the basketball.

Would you look at the size of those things? They’re almost as big as the basketball.  (photo source)

As a natural t-rex, I am constantly searching for shoulder workouts to apply to or change my routine once in a while. I love working my shoulders and seeing any progress because they are so darn hard to add any mass or growth to. While researching shoulder workouts, I came across this killer move. A three-part drop set, which includes, Arnold Presses, palms facing in presses and palms facing out presses.

Here is the demonstration:

I do this for about 2 or 3 super-sets (resting between each set.) Can I tell you, my shoulders are on fire by the second set. They begin to get sore and fatigued during the sets, not afterwards. Of course I always ensure to do a good shoulder stretch after completing the super sets.

I was actually going to do the demonstration above and just link to the resource, but my “it’s burning face” ain’t camera-friendly. Trust me, you’re much better off seeing the lovely Elaine Morales execute the movements with ease and grace and without my clenched teeth or excessive grunting. Try it out and be prepared to feel the burn.

*I do not advise executing this or any exercise program without first consulting your doctor or certified fitness professional, especially if just starting. Limitations, injuries and safety must always be considered first and foremost. *

 

Facing my Goliath

I was feeling frustrated with my stalled pull-up progress. Many people I spoke with at my gym (well the three ladies who can do unassisted pull-ups) all said it took them about a year or less to do unassisted pull-ups with consistent training. That was my first mistake. Comparing my progress to others.

What is wrong with me, I wondered? Is it taking me this long to do one unassisted pull-up because I’m that weak? I am at the stage where I really want it and want it now. On Friday, I was also on the verge of giving up. Thinking this was all pointless, maybe I should devote my time to another gym goal.  A more feasible goal that is within reach. Then I thought, but I really want this. A pull-up to me would be a true testament of strength. I thought back to when I was in junior high. I had to do a speech in front of my entire class for speech arts. This was mandatory. I am terribly shy when it comes to public speaking and the thought of speaking in front of an entire class with all eyes on me was terrifying. The fear was so crippling that I wanted to play hooky from school and just fail the project.  My mom showed me a verse in Samuel chapter 17 in the Old Testament that evening as I practiced my speech. It was about David facing his opponent the giant Goliath and defeating him in battle. I still read this passage today when faced with an intimidating situation. Whether you believe in Biblical stories or not, David’s hubris and bravery cannot be denied.  It makes any obstacle seem possible to face. My mom assured me that if young and small David faced and defeated a giant, I certainly had nothing to fear and to remember this before my speech. To make matters worse, the speech was about wolverines. I mean why? We could research and speak on any topic. Why I chose wolverines I don’t know. The speech had a few bumps in the road, and I’m pretty sure Peter Alexovski in the front row of desks was falling asleep during the hunting habits of the wolverines. (Funny, he kind of perked up when I got to the mating habits part).  I completed the speech and got a B- for my efforts. After all was said and done, it wasn’t as terrifying as I expected.

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Today I had another Goliath to contend with. The pull-up bar. Standing beneath the bar it looked cold and unwelcoming. I felt as tiny as David looking up at the bar, like my symbolic steel giant.  Time to face my Goliath. I pushed a secure bench under the bar and stood on the bench. Placing my hands on the steel about shoulder width apart, I gripped firmly overhand. With a deep breath, I pulled myself up…..about an inch. Yes, that’s it. I inched myself up and dangled there for about 10 seconds before releasing and stepping down on the bench.

A success? Um no, but the bar doesn’t seem so scary anymore since actually making contact with it.  Now is not the time for a defeatist attitude. This is all about baby steps because one inch today might be two inches tomorrow. Let’s face it, I have one helluva obstacle to face.

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My nemesis. The unassisted pull-up bar.

What “Goliath” are you facing in your goals if any?

Artwork of David and Goliath by Von Glitschka
Visit: www.vonglitschka.com