Getting grateful this month

Wow, we are now entering November. Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by?

Since it is November (and Halloween has passed) it means we are thrown into the holiday season.

I love the holidays.

But there is also a part of me that is glad when the holidays are over. This time can be so stressful and overwhelming.

And then there are all the temptations of overeating, so much sugar, lots of alcohol, parties, potlucks, etc.

At the beginning of this year I started a the jar project challenge for myself and shared it with all of you.

I did OK with adding slips of paper in the jar until sometime in April. Though I sometimes felt like I was playing catch up.

I went on vacation and never picked it up again.

We should be grateful all year around of what we have (instead of focusing on what we don’t).

But since it is November and the month most of us celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s do the jar project for the month of November as part of the GFG! Monthly Challenge.

Throughout the month let’s plan to fill the mason jar (or whatever you use) with little pieces of paper … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Skechers Go Walk shoes

For our recent trip to Amsterdam I wanted comfy walking shoes. I have tennis shoes but I wanted something else.

I bought the Skechers Go Walk shoes. I have a couple of other pairs of Skechers and like them.

The first time I put them on I couldn’t believe how good they felt. They are lightweight, flexible and super comfortable.

The Skechers website says this about these shoes: They elevate the natural walking experience, allowing you to interact with and respond to practically any surface, while offering the additional benefit of real world protection.

My shoe box claims this about the shoes: circular sensors flex and twist so your foot can move more naturally; proprietary lightweight, injection-molded compound with memory retention; anti-microbial insole wicks away moisture; scent protection built-in to combat odor; and lightweight.

We didn’t do a ton of walking. But my feet never felt tired or over walked. They were always comfortable and well supported.

And believe me, with some of the shoes I wear my feet hurt, are uncomfortable, can cause blisters, can squish my toes, etc. But not the Go Walks.

I like these shoes so much that I just might be ordering another pair … Continue reading

Back to life, back to reality (and routine)

I have been on vacation for the past two weeks. Spent some time in Tucson visiting my family, resting and relaxing and celebrating my yoga school graduation and teaching my very first yoga class.

The second week Curt and I headed to Amsterdam with our friend Jacob.

The past two weeks I have enjoyed my time. I ate and drank whatever I wanted. (Definitely didn’t get in enough water.)

I wasn’t as diligent with my yoga practice–but I still maintained a home yoga practice.

I did a considerable amount of walking while in Amsterdam, but not a ton, especially since we were staying in the center of town.

But I am back from vacation, which means it’s time to get back into that healthy routine and lifestyle.

I took today off from work so that I could have one more day to adjust to the time change/jet lag; run errands; go through the pile of mail and pay bills; etc.

I do love to travel. But it is always nice to come home and get back to a routine and back to normal.

And I got back to it today with a morning home practice, healthy eating once again and an … Continue reading

Walking to raise money

Next Sunday I am getting up at an ungodly hour on my precious day off to head to San Francisco to walk with my friends/co-workers to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

We are walking in honor of a great man who left this world too early a year ago today.

I was hoping to be No. 1 fundraiser on my team. So unless any of you want to donate 600 bucks I will have to settle for second place, which is pretty awesome, too.

But I have one week to continue raising money for this important cause.

If you would like to donate to me, please visit my personal fundraising page.

And hey, besides raising money for something important I will also be walking about 3 miles (and hopefully on a gorgeous San Francisco day).

Challenge: Get those abs in while watching calories

Wow, can you believe that it is already November? Halloween is over. Do you have candy lingering? Before we know it it will be December and Christmas and then a new year. 2014!

Go Fit Girl’s November Monthly Challenge ideas come from many Go Fit Girl! readers/friends.

Nicole M. asked for something abs related and a good challenge that has to do with resisting holiday overrating! She meant to type overeating.

Others concured on the stress eating. There was a request for maintaining food diaries.

Jen C. said, I would second the holiday eating (I’m trying to plan WW-friendly stuff already) and stress eating. Maybe … take a walk or finding healthy alternative instead of stress-eating?

Let’s explore Nicole’s typo: Resist holiday overrating. The holidays are supposed to be joyful and fun and full of spirit, right?

But for so many it is a depressing, sad, unfun, stressful time. How do many of us deal with those kind of emotions? Well, I drink (usually too much) and I definitely eat like crap. Bad choices and too many bad choices. And sometimes my great exercise routine goes out the window.

I have to say when I regularly exercise and eat healthy I … Continue reading

Taking the stairs

If you had the option to take four flights of stairs up or the elevator, what would you do?

For me it would depend on how I was feeling and what shoes I was wearing.

I think we all know that there is a benefit to walking up stairs. I mean, there are machines at the gym for this activity.

Is there a benefit to going down the stairs?

This New York Times blog post says, since you’ll burn less than a third as many calories going down a flight as going up, don’t count on walking down to build fitness or shed fat. Still, you use different muscles going down, and they contract differently at that, so going down does make a contribution to your legs.

The blog post also says, since every little bit of exercise is a step forward on the long road to health, walking down stairs is also a plus. But while gravity makes walking up tough, it makes walking down easy on the heart.

The article, 8 reasons to Incorporate Stairs into Your Workout, states that walking up and down stairs every day can tone your legs in no time. Click here to … Continue reading

The amazing psoas muscle

The psoas muscle (pronounced so-az) affects every facet of your life, from your physical well-being to who you feel yourself to be and how you relate to the world. A bridge linking the trunk to the legs, the psoas is critical for balanced alignment, proper joint rotation, and full muscular range of motion, according to Yoga Journal website.

Recently in a yoga class with Baxter we focused on the psoas muscle with various yoga poses.

This Yoga Journal article talks about 10 yoga poses you can practice to release your psoas, such as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), pictured to the left.

Lunge variations, Vrksasana (Tree Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose) are also some poses that can be performed to work the psoas.

Also from the Yoga Journal website, in walking, a healthy psoas moves freely and joins with a released diaphragm to continuously massage the spine as well as the organs, blood vessels and nerves of the trunk.

Wow, one muscle does all of that?

Wikipedia says the psoas major is a long fusiform muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the lesser pelvis. It joins the iliacus muscle to form the iliopsoas. In … Continue reading

Comment Contest Tuesday

Alright, today’s Comment Contest Tuesday runs in connection with September’s Monthly Challenge.

The Monthly Challenge asks readers to think about the things they don’t have time for (a fitness class, shopping for fresh veggies instead of eating/serving frozen meals, cooking at home regularly, going for nightly walks after dinner, getting up in the morning for a 20-30 minute yoga practice, making it to the gym at least three times a week, going to bed at a regular time, etc.)

This Comment Contest Tuesday, starting today and running through Tuesday, Sept. 17, asks readers to post their challenges and wants and needs. Other readers can suggest ways to achieve these challenges.

For each challenge a reader posts their name will get thrown into a random drawing. For each suggestion to challenge posted, the reader will get their name thrown in a random drawing twice.

This is a two-week long Comment Contest Tuesday, as I want to encourage readers to post their many challenges and for my readers to take the time to come up with solutions for each other.

You have a full two weeks to post challenges and solutions. Every single challenge post gets your name thrown in one … Continue reading

September Monthly Challenge

OK, for September’s Monthly Challenge I dug into my stockpile of ideas from readers from a Comment Contest Tuesday a few months back.

Thanks, Nicole W. for this idea.

Normally we have one nutrition challenge and one exercise challenge. This month they are kinda combined into one.

This Monthly Challenge also asks for a little extra participation by GFG! readers. You’re ready for this, right?

Like I stated yesterday, I need commitment and support from my readers. You can really show it to me with this Monthly Challenge.

This challenge breaks down throughout this month.

Week 1) Think of things you don’t have time for (a fitness class, shopping for fresh veggies instead of eating/serving frozen meals, cooking at home regularly, going for nightly walks after dinner, getting up in a little earlier for a 20-30 minute yoga practice, making it to the gym at least three times a week, going to bed at a regular time, etc.).

Week 1 1/2 and Week 2) Figure out how to make time for at least one thing. Bonus points for taking on a nutrition AND exercise challenge. I will make this a Comment Contest Tuesday this coming Tuesday, the third. Readers can … Continue reading

Walking Wednesdays

When the weather is nice in South San Francisco (and that can be iffy) there is a small but mighty group who walks together on Wednesdays.

The regulars come and go and come and go and new people trickle in.

I am not a huge walker and personally would rather not walk.

But if it is with a group of people it makes me much more motivated. (And with our wellness program you can earn points, which eventually earns you prizes.)

I can’t walk every Wednesday as on alternate Wednesdays I have Toastmasters. But when I can I join.

There are so many great reasons to be part of this group: meet new people; meet up with co-workers/friends you don’t see as often; get away from your desk (I rarely take a lunch break and usually eat at my desk while working); fresh air; and, of course, exercise.

According to this Mayo Clinic article, walking helps you maintain a healthy weight; prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; strengthen your bones; lifts your mood; and improves your balance and coordination.

The Mayo Clinic article has some great tips. I recommend … Continue reading