59 Like It Is

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The Scoop

So this week I realized that I am not a routine sort of person. You would think by my age I would have already figured that out. But I realized that life is about the journey for me and I am never done. I never think I can stop now this is good enough. I always wake up every day with some hair brained idea and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I am routine in that I am always thinking big picture. I am always thinking about how I can feel good health wise. I am always looking for ways to enjoy activity, ways to eat good food that is good for me and always thinking “am I fully baked?”

I look in the mirror and I see a 59-year old woman. Can I make her better? Do I need to? Do I want to?

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My Week In Exercise

My week is typical or not so typical for me. I don’t do the same thing every day much less every week.

Monday: 30 minutes of yoga followed by upper body strength training.

Up side, it felt so good to stretch. Down side, I find lifting weights boring.

Tuesday: 30 minutes of yoga, followed by lower body weights

Wednesday: 30 minute walk, 30 minutes of yoga and upper body strength training

Up side, I adore being outside and I have the most beautiful trails to walk and run on. It brings joy to my heart.

Thursday: I was sore and tired so I just worked in the yard a little. Plus I always get mild hemorrhoids when I do a new weight lifting routine. Not my best day! Ugh!

Friday: 30 minute HIIT run, 30 minutes of yoga and lower body strength training.

Up side, I love the cardio zen I feel when I get to run. Down side, I have cut back on running so I can do more strength training.

Saturday: Will be travel day and next week I will be in the mountains with a new routine.

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My Week In Food

We have been transitioning to a mostly vegetarian diet. We eat fish still but cut out beef, chicken, pork, etc. We also have cut out sugar. So I am learning how to cook a new way. In some ways it is easier but in some ways it is more difficult. It’s nice not to have to thaw and cook meat every evening but it is hard to put together flavorful dishes. But I have made some fabulous dishes that gives me hope.

I also gave up wine completely. Wow, I never thought I would do that. But the research shows it’s just not that good for me. So I am drinking a lot of iced green tea with lemon. We have given ourselves one night a week to go out to eat anything we want and drink a glass of wine. I like this because it makes going out much more fun and special.

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My Week In Beauty

You know I don’t wear a ton of make up but in these pictures I have no make up on. And I have been going a few days a week, makeup free. It is an adjustment to see myself. I am blond so my eyelashes and eyebrows are blond so its a change to see them natural. I know I sound like I’ve went off the deep end but I have not been painting my nails either. I am trying to let them grow out and strengthen product free. It’s kind of nice not to need to constantly do my nails.

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My Look

I took these pictures before my HIIT run on Friday. Everything is old and it is a really cute outfit but when I was running the leggings kept sliding off! So every time I slowed down I had to pull them up. So good on the cute factor but not so good on the function! Ha ha.

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Its All About Showing Up- a little story about aging

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The Scoop

I haven’t done a fitness post for a while and since that is one of the things I think about and work on the most I thought I would share how it’s going. If you follow me much you know that I love to stay active and eat healthy. But I also love to have fun and treat myself to all the things I love.

The last couple of years I have noticed that I struggle a little more with keeping up the activities I love. I’m a little slower, more prone to sore muscles and less motivated to do difficult activities. My weight is up a few pounds over where I feel best this past year too. And I find it harder to be disciplined enough to drop the weight which for me means cutting calories. This is all new to me. My whole like if I wanted to lose a few pounds I could do it in a few weeks. So I have been reevaluating my whole routine.

Here is what I am doing right now. First I try to do what is right for my body at least 80% of the time. That has been a life-long rule for me. I am still at a healthy weight so I mostly will just maintain my 125 to 127 pounds (which is where my weight seems to have settled) rather than worry about being 120 pounds. If what I do helps me lose a few pounds I will be fine with it. I have been doing HIIT runs,meaning that I do a five minute walk to warm up then I run at top speed for a minute and then walk for a minute and repeat for 30 minutes on hills. I do this every other day. On the opposite days I have been doing a 30 minute yoga session followed by a three mile walk on the trails around here that are very hilly. I work in a day off every few days.

I have been studying the new research on strength training and am finding there is a lot of false information out there in main stream media. Strength training doesn’t only mean you have to be in a gym with machines or free weights. There are many ways to build muscle that is lost through sarcopenia (muscle loss due to ageing). Running, hiking and even walking builds strength and muscle. Not only can it prevent sarcopenia it can reverse muscle loss due to aging. Here is a great article that sorts out some of the things we hear in the media today. My goal is to push my muscles to failure or to exhaustion because that is what builds muscle. I do that through my HIIT runs, hiking, and even my yoga pushes my muscles to exhaustion. Have you ever hiked or done somethings similar and felt your leg muscles go weak? Or with yoga you push your arm muscles until they shake? That’s the key.

As for eating I have not been meeting my normal standards. I am craving lots of unhealthy things and so I really have to think about what I am eating. As a rule we eat lots of vegetable, beans, legumes, etc., fresh fruits, lean meats in small amounts, etc. We have been trying pastas made of lentils, quinoa, and garbanzo beans and we really like them. I have a glass wine only a few times a week since alcohol can do a lot of damage. But I make brownies and cookies which probably aren’t the best for us. But at least they are home made so no preservatives and things like that.

My weight is up also because my hormones are out of balance. I have used bio identical hormones since I went thorough menopause at the age of 47 and recent tests showed I was getting too much estrogen and testosterone which among other things makes you hungry thus my eating like a teenage boy. Ha ha! So I am working with my doctor to adjust my dosages. I can already tell a difference and it’s only been a couple of weeks.

Anyway the point of me sharing all this is to say staying fit as most things in life ebbs and flows. There are easy times, good times, and then more difficult or down right hard times. One thing I know for sure is it is all about showing up. Each day is a new day and a chance to be good to my body. I just turned 59 and I am very aware that you can retain what you can’t regain. I know if I stop taking care of myself it is all down hill. So I show up!

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Fun Thing

I watch a lot of public television and recently I saw a show talking about the popularity of boulder climbing. Yes people climb big boulders for fun here in Idaho! It was crazy to watch. I consider myself a boulder jumper. We have lots of big boulders around our house in the mountains and for years I have ran at them and half climbed half jumped for pictures for my blog. I use a tripod and timer so that means I have ten seconds to get my butt up and in position. I have had so many laughs as I miss my target or fall. There I am in the middle of nowhere, by myself laughing like a nut trying to get a picture. Lots of times I get up and realize I lost my high heels and there they are laying the ground. Ha ha. The boulder in the picture below is small so one good hop and I was up but some require much more work.

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You can see all my looks on the LiketoKnow.it app when you search northwestmountainliving. Just download the free app and follow me or go to the shop tab on the blog to see them.

That’s it gang! Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

P.S. I started a new IG Account called @northwestmountainliving. If you want to follow along check it out because I will be linking all my outfits and maybe adding some try-on haul stories soon!

My February Uniform

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The Scoop

If you have been reading along this month you know I have been all about health and fitness. I have tried to put everything else on the back burner and put my health first. Heart disease runs in my family and some have had the window maker (worst kind of heart attack) at the age I am now. Yep 58. Most recently my brother passed away about a year after his heart attack because it damaged his heart beyond repair. He was 59, had is heart attack at 58. So I am trying to be proactive. I even went to get blood drawn for a special test but passed out before they could get enough blood so I have to go back again. This will be my third try because I keep fainting! Ugh!

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Anyway one of my theories is if I am always dressed to workout I will do so when the time is right. You can see my current workout routine here in my last post. Recently I put together these items to make what I am calling my February uniform.

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My Look

I am wearing American Eagle joggers, Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, Madewell Tee, zip up sweatshirt and a ball cap. I’m carrying a packpack that I have had a long time.

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Create Your Own Look

I’m linking my exact joggers, they come in four colors and I love them so much I have them in all four colors. They are light weight and stretchy and tts, I am wearing a small. Also linking same tee by Madewell. They run a little large, I am wearing xs would usually get a s. Exact same sneakers that I have had for several years but they are so popular they keep stocking them. They are the Stan Smiths. I linking other options for you too. I am also linking my same initial necklace.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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Watch Out

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the scoop

I hope you all don’t get sick of my harping on fitness but it has always been a big part of my life and now as I grow older I am even more obsessed with health. I don’t necessarily want to live long but I want to live well. I don’t want to become a burden to someone else or society if I can help it. Just because I am over 50 doesn’t mean I can’t look and feel my best. I want to breath air into my lungs, skip, jump and laugh until I close my eyes for the last time.

Recently I found a little tool that after using it for a week or so I see really making a difference. It’s a sports watch! I talked about it in my last post here, but in this post I wanted to give you a little more detail.

apple watch

I got an Apple Watch and love the look but also I am seeing how it motivates me to think about a healthy lifestyle. It reminds me to breath and guides me through one minute breathing sessions gently tapping my wrist as I take air into my lungs and then exhale. Do you ever think about how good it feels to really exhale? All the stress is shoved out of my body.

The big thing though is that this watch tracks how much I stand, my exercise, my heart rate, my steps and even the flights of stairs I take each day. It lets you set goals and then see how you do. At first I set low goals and just went though my normal day. When I saw what I had achieved I started competing with myself and see myself improving each day. It is fun!

Let me show you an example through a couple of screenshots of a day in my life.

  • The first picture is showing how many hours I stood in one day. And yes, I never sit for long but I was surprised at how little I sat that day. Yesterday is showed I was standing 12 hours and I was idle 2. That doesn’t count the night sleeping. I turn it off at night. Below it shows my steps and distance. This is a normal day for me, I didn’t go for a walk or run just normal house work, dog walking, etc. It also showed my distance for the day. I did go to the gym and do strength training but I haven’t set up tracking for that yet.

  • The next picture shows calories used. I set an easy goal of 240 extra calories to burn that day. It showed I went over my goal and it also shows total calories used that day just doing my normal routine. This is such great information and when I saw it I instantly decided to try to challenge myself.

  • Another perk I didn’t expect is that I give myself a break now knowing I am doing more than I thought. I always worried I wasn’t doing enough.

See why I love this watch so much? These screen shots are from a couple of days ago.

The first watch linked is exactly like mine. Linked options so you can compare styles.

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Dress For Success

It doesn’t always mean for the office, it means in all parts of your life.

my looks

I always want to dress fun for working out because it really does motivate me. My goal is to be strong and to feel good and I surround myself with all the tools I can to live that lifestyle. I love leggings especially black because they go with everything. I love over sized sweatshirts because you can layer them and pull them off if you get warm while moving. I love different sneakers for different things. Asics are best for me for running. I can have knee pain but virtually don’t if I wear this brand. I heard Hoda Kotb say that once and tried them and she was right. For other activities I love New Balance sneakers. And of course Niki’s are the lightest weight shoes ever. Hats just add a little spunk to a look and covering up a bad hair day is never a bad thing.

create your own look

In these pictures I am wearing all old stuff. Zella leggings (my favorite) Black sneakers are Niki and the other pair is ASICS. My grey sweatshirt was DIYed for off the shoulder, inspired by the other one that came that way. See this top in red here where I make fun of the Blogger Things I Do. I’m linking some fun things for you! Don’t be afraid to be you and do you!

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

Staying Connected

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Tricking My Old Body

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Change

does me good.

the scoop

I have always been into eating right and exercising. Nothing over the top but consistent. I have tricks up my sleeves that worked for me when I put on a few pounds. They were never fail until recently. My body is saying I know what you are up to and I am not going to go along with it. So I decided to try something new. My new plan is to trick my body! Ha ha!

How? Well, I now do something different every single day. So my body never knows what the heck is going on. Nothing earth shattering. Just one day I walk, one day I run, one day I weight train just one muscle group or one day I work my whole body through circuit weight training. Some days I clean the garage and some days I rearrange all our furniture.

I like this plan because I don’t get bored and I can always find something to do. My body has seen it all. All I have left is the element of surprise. And I can report that I am very strong. My husband is freaked out by the things I can lift. And my heart is strong. I can run for long distances without hardly breaking a sweat. I have a problem with a thick waist but I am on the case. My motto is move it or lose it!

my look

One of the things I know for sure is that I feel more fit when I wear fitness clothing. This outfit is all older things but I love these floral leggings and this longer black tee with a twist front. I have a little bomber jacket for when I am outside and basic black sneakers. All of this is old but I have been collecting active wear for years and love to dress for all occasions. Even exercising. You know, fake til you make it!

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sup’

  • It’s Friday and I am going to take the day off and relax. Maybe watch an old movie.

  • My friend and I worked for several hours on our YouTube video yesterday and it was so fun. We are learning from the ground up and the one thing we know for sure is that we have a lot to learn.

  • For dinner I am making my favorite Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream. Here is the recipe.

  • I added a Holiday Shopping Guide link up top and will be updating it often. Tis the season!

create your look

I always buy active wear on sale so I’m linking up some options for you.

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

See my Stella directing the show from her director’s chair? She is my heart.

Staying Connected

If you want to easily keep in touch with me, sign up for my updates or follow me on Bloglovin. I try to add interesting things to my updates not found on the blog so I hope you will find them a great supplement to my blog posts.

Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

The Count Down And Other Bits

Five days

until the calendar marks another year to my life.

the scoop

I have heard people say all my life that they are too old to do something anymore. I say I am too old not to do things. If not now, when? That is way more logical. Every time I hear that voice in my head say, you're getting too old for that I take the time to correct it. I'm not too old to do anything and I'm not wasting time debating it. It ain't over for me until I'm in the ground. Ha ha!

So this week the count down has begun to my birthday and each day I plan to do something that some would say I'm too old to do. Today I did my trail run and enjoyed it completely. After my run I made a bowl of steel cut oats with mixed berries and honey and almond milk to break my fast. If you don't know what I'm talking about read here.

outdoor living

The above picture on the left is right outside my front door. The picture on the right is my back deck. It's finally turned summer here and I am loving being outside as much as possible. To smell the pine of the trees and feel the sun on my back is like heaven to me. We sold our old wooden deck furniture this year and bought a comfy seating arrangement and I am loving it. I sit outside and read and watch the wild life and cuddle with my dogs and in the evenings my husband and I play cards and eat dinner outside. 

Find what you love to do

and do it!

my look

This is my motivation outfit. If I don't feel like working out I just put on workout clothes and find I am excited to work out. It's just another area where when you look good, you feel good. Oh it's true we all have low days but the trick is to keep up the fight. 

I'm wearing capri leggings, a sports tank and running shoes. I have my sunglasses and my running app with music ready to go. What could stop me now?

I almost always get my active wear on sale and here are some great items for great prices!

pictures above

Each spring I ready our front entry for summer. I have a couple of benches with pillows and a couple of planters that I fill with flowers. I was lazy this year and just planted Marigolds. They are supposed to repel bugs and I love the pretty yellows and oranges. Keeping things simple gives me more time to do the things I love. 

picture below

I take a lot of pictures in this part of my house because I can usually get enough light for them. It's basically my media room and office area. My laundry room is behind that door and it seems I always have laundry going so it is nice to have it close to my office. I rarely sit still for long so my environment is very functional. I am right next to my kitchen here too. This is nice because I love to cook and almost always have something prepping.

Peace!

And thanks for stopping by!

in case you missed it

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Follow

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting! I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

Fitness Times Two

the scoop

Suzanne of Crazy Blonde Life and I are joining forces today to share a fitness challenge. As life-long fitness lovers we understand the ups and downs that come with trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Check out Suzanne's post here and read more about what I'm doing below. 

the challenge

We're asking you to join us for a summer fitness challenge starting  June 1st. If you are currently active, inspire us all by sharing what you are doing. If you want to start living a more active life, join us by taking just 15 minutes a day, three times a week to do something you love. Be it walking, hiking, dancing, skipping or playing hopscotch, tell us your plan and then let us know how it goes!

Send us an email with your picture and your plan/progress and we'll share them on our next fitness post! My email is northwestmountainliving@gmail.com and Suzanne's is Suzanne@crazyblondelife.com. Hopefully we can turn this into a series that helps us all help each other to live healthier happier lives! 

My Fitness Challenge?

Boot Camp

my fitness challenge

If you have followed me for long you know I am always trying to up my fitness game. I love to feel healthy and be active and I defy age to try to stop me (I turn 58 next month). The past year though I have felt like I am in a rut. What I am doing is not working. I am not in optimal shape.

I've been running for over 10 years on a regular basis. I have not done strength training on a regular basis. With each passing year I have to reduce my calorie intake more to stay at the weight I desire. The result is that I have more body fat than lean muscle. I have belly fat which is the most unhealthy fat to have due to links with heart disease, type II diabetes and other illnesses.

A little over a year ago I did a boot camp and really enjoyed it. I learned a lot but felt like I knew more than my coach and didn't fully comply with the regimen. I took away several good lifestyle changes but didn't feel like I reached my goals. After realizing that what I am doing is not working I decided to do a round two of the six-week online camp.

the program

I want to be clear here that I am not a health or fitness expert and I am not advocating that anyone should do anything that I am doing. I am always trying new things and want to share my experiences because that is how we learn. Right? I wold love to hear your experiences too! 

This program is very interesting and those who have done it and stuck with it strictly have had amazing results in losing fat and building muscle. I started week five today. Here are the things I am doing. I will add links to some of the key terms for more detail.

1. Carb Cycling

I have two days a week where I eat low carb (less than 50 net grams) and do exercises, specifically sprints on one day and tabatta training on the second day to deplete my glycogen levels so I become a fat burning machine! Ha Ha. 

  • How's that working for you, you ask? The first week was hard. I felt almost sick those two days. I am now used to it but still don't feel 100% on those days.

2. Intermittent Fasting

I eat all my food in an eight-hour window each day. I usually eat only between the hours of 11 AM and 7 PM.

  • I have been doing this for over a year and actually like it. I still get to have my coffee in the morning so it is all good.

3. Weight Training

Three days a week I do weight training. I focus on different body parts on each of those days. I also do ten minutes of low impact cardio to warm up and cool down (like walking) and I stretch.

  • This is the what I am finding most beneficial! I can see definition already and have consisitently increased weight lifted, reps and sets. Woot! Woot!

4. Macros Tracking

I don't count calories but I do monitor my macros (carbohydrates, fats & proteins) and stay within healthy ranges for each. Except on low carb days a healthy range is 50% carbohydrates, 30% fats and 20% proteins. Two days a week I reduce my macros by 25%. It all sounds complicated but it is not. I use the free app My Fitness Pal to track everything. 

  • This is not so difficult. I am so used to it now that I don't really even have to track. Just sticking to clean whole foods 80% of the time is the key.

5. Two days a week are rest days where I take a walk, hike or something like that.

  • Love my rest days but sometimes I do NOTHING! Oopsy!

Results and take aways? I gave up running while doing this program. The whole point of this program is that as women we are under eating and over training and it is not working for us. So I am eating more than I have for a long time and exercising less. For me however not running is not working. Running for me personally is for my mental health. I get depressed when I don't run for a while. So I will add my short 30 minute trail runs every other day when I am done with this boot camp. I will had HIIT to my runs a couple times a week too. I will continue lifting weights three times a week and I will continue the intermittent fasting. I have done it for a year and a half and find no down side for me. I will also keep my macros on point. I will not continue the carb cycling. I just feel better if I eat a normal amount of complex carbs. 

So that's my long winded story! I hope you find something valuable in it.

Thanks For Stopping By!

Peace!

I always get my active wear on discount. After all its just for working out. I just ordered the first four items linked up. So cute!

More of my fitness posts . . .

P.S.

If you are'nt joining our weekly Style Wise Link Up, please do! You can join this week's here and while you're there meet my guest co-host and our featured blogger! 

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

My Next Challenge In Fitness Adventures

Whoa! I've hit a plateau!

What's up with that?

It's true! In all my years I have had a pretty good grip on my fitness routines. I limit my yoyoing to about 3 or 4 pounds and when I am up a few I immediately make the changes in my lifestyle to drop them. It's always been to take in fewer calories than I burn. It works and its fast and basically easy. Two weeks and done!

But this spring I haven't had the will power for lack of a better word to do what I know works for me. For the first time in my life, I almost don't care. But it just hit me recently. If I don't care about myself who will? 

So I am taking the reins for this ride and making changes. I have always been active. Always exercising most days added to not sitting much during the day. I think that has been part of my problem this winter. Sitting too much during the day.

So what will I do?

Go back to the tried and true. Consume less fuel and use more energy.

I've already started the process. I plan an activity for each day that uses my energy. Something that makes me move and keeps me engaged. I started with my closet. A full day of physical work moving the winter/fall things up and bringing my spring/summer things front and center. Next day was my office. I rearranged the furniture, cleaned and organized and boom another day of major activity. I have a list a mile long, especially as the weather warms up and I have the great outdoors to conquer. I also do my regular three-mile runs every other day. And I added a new weight training program for the days I don't run.

What about food? I have been showing you the healthy meals I have been making on my IG stories, and weekend blog posts like here and here. I'm pushing hard to eat lots of veggies, nuts, legumes, lean meats and fish. But I still want cake so I am human.

Do I fall off the wagon? You bet! But only for a moment. Every hour of the day is a new chance to do what I need to do for my body. The only body I will ever have. My hope is to keep it fit enough to enjoy this beautiful life I have been given.

So what's my new challenge? I am starting a seven-week boot camp this week that will be a major challenge. I did this boot camp a little over a year ago and it was intense. But I learned so many important lessons and I want a refresher. Things in health and fitness change all the time and I like to be on top of it. So stay tuned! I'll be sharing more on my journey through a collaboration with fellow bloggers as they also embark on their own new challenges in fitness adventures. Hint, Ball Room Dancing Anyone?

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Linking fun options for you. I think I need that active wear dress and sneakers. Obsessed! I have a few of these dresses and they are so nice for summer!

email updates

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boutique info

Just an FYI about my boutique. I usually post my outfits in the boutique in advance of  a new post going live and sometimes post extra outfits that I think you will like. So check it out daily if you want spring and summer style inspiration. Its under the shopping tab up top!

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

My Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

the scoop

Exercise: I have been slacking a bit on the health front. My main focus this last month has been getting back into running shape. I am in week four of my training and moving right along. This past week I was able to add hikes on the days I don't run so that is a  positive. I feel I will be in 5K condition for my goal date in April. Starting over hasn't been fun but knowing I can come back from injury has made me so grateful. My routine right now is to run every other day and hiking every other day with what I call yoga stretching everyday. It is a group of simple yoga moves I do that stretch and strengthen my muscles. 

Eating: I am not having trouble with intermittent fasting, as a matter of fact I enjoy it. I don't eat after 7 PM and then not again until 11 AM or noon. The problem I am having is what I am eating. I am doing about 50/50 rather than the 80/20 that I prefer. So my goal right now is to work on healthier choices. I seriously have been having cinnamon rolls, burgers, french fries and pizza way too often. Eating well doesn't mean I have to give up anything, I just eat whole, fresh foods. Nothing processed or from restaurants. I eat my cooking which I know if full of healthy oils, grains, fruits and lean meats. Luckily those are the types of foods I love. 

One of my favorite recipes right now is Brussels Sprouts Salad. I do several variations on this salad.  Sometimes I add a piece of roasted chicken on the side but most of the time it is a meal in itself for me. Fruit is my go to for desert and assorted nuts are my favorite snack. Only a small handful of nuts because they pack lots of calories but I find them filling and tasty.  I love eggs and sourdough bread ( I've been reading that it is the best bread to eat if you want bread) toast for breakfast ( usually around noon) and always use real butter with organic jam that does not have sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Many days I have avocado toast which I love. I always use a very high quality olive oil for everything. Anyway these are just some of my ways of eating healthy.

my outfit

I like to put on my active wear first thing in the morning to remind me to stay on track. Layering for cooler weather is key. Being able to add on or remove as needed while working out keeps my comfort level where I spend my time thinking about my workout not that I am too hot or too cold. I have on leggings, a thermal top and a puffer vest. I can take off the vest if I need to or I can even take off the thermal top and wear my vest as a top. This is all stylish and functional.

These pictures were taken while I was still in the Idaho mountains. Here in Arizona is it much warmer and I mostly wear leggings and tanks or even shorts if I exercise late in the day (as seen in last picture below). All my exercise is done outdoors except for my yoga stretching.

create your look

Below are some really fun options for creating your own look.

Healthy Lifestyle Update

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More options for Activewear linked below!

Make sure to check out my Boutique under the shop tab up top.

As always thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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How I Get High

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shop my look

My look is old but I found some cute options like these leggings here, that would be so cute with this jacket here. Add these sneakers here and you've got your own look! And I'm dying over this back pack here that would be a great gym bag or any day bag and would take you right into spring! More options for your look are below and in my boutique.

the scoop

It's true exercise is how I get high. My January started out on the right foot with my fitness being a top priority but within two weeks the long dark days and cold snowy weather had me slacking big time. So here I am getting back on the wagon. And that's okay because I believe the secret of successfully living a fit life is to accept the days you don't do perfectly and jump back on the wagon each and every morning. 

I am in Arizona now for a couple of months and have already hit the mountain trails and started my 5K training. It's hard to eat perfectly with so much food around. Every time we leave the house you can smell the lovely restaurants working their magic. But again, 80/20% rule. I'm a work in progress! 

One of the ways I help keep my self motivated is to dress the part. Putting on active wear first thing in the morning is a reminder throughout the day to move it or lose it. Movement of any kind is beneficial in my mind. 

my outfit

I'm wearing a pair of Bebe leggings in a big floral print which I love. I mean I thought you weren't supposed to wear large floral print on the bottom part of your body the explanation being it will make you look bigger. But I'm finding it actually camouflages things some. When I found this adorable bomber style jacket in the active wear area of the store I was YES! How fun is that! I'm seeing lots of gray sneakers and like how neutral they are and go with every thing. I love to wear my lace t-back sports bras rather than the usual thick fabric of a lot of sports bras. And that's that!

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More fun options below!

Make sure to check out my Boutique under the shop tab up top.

As always thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


How Stress Effects Fitness

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HOW STRESS EFFECTS FITNESS

Hi All! Welcome to this months' "Move It Or Lose It " fitness post. The new schedule for these fitness related posts is the first Saturday of each month. This week I am going to tell you how excessive stress can effect quality of life. You can exercise all you want and eat perfectly but if you are too stressed it will block your ability to be fit.

For me it is imperative that I keep stress at a low level. My body has never handled high levels of stress. Stress for me localizes in different parts of my body and can make me very ill or cause me to get injured easily. I've had stress cause chronic back pain, tendinitis in my arms, chronic stomach problems among other health issues over my lifetime. Never all at the same time but at certain points in my life where my stress level was too high.  Let me give you a recent example.

For a lot of the summer, my stress was too high. I was trying to do more than I could accomplish. Also like many women of my generation, I have people-pleasing tendencies that are unrealistic. For several years, I have had trouble with gallbladder attacks. Doctors have told me they can't find any real issues but whenever I get stressed I will have one. It feels like a squeezing, crushing sort of chest/torso pain. I will get short of breath and have to lie down. It usually only lasts a few seconds or minutes at most. I've also had my heart checked and it is fine too. It's just my body telling me to settle down. A couple of weeks ago I had the worst attack I have ever had. It lasted for at least 15 minutes and then the after effects lasted for a couple of days. I was in bed sick. No fever, just weak and not feeling right with my gallbladder aching. I was also in pain from injuries due to exercise and was not being able to work out.

While lying in bed I made a decision. I was going to change how I do things and make my life less stressful. I immediately figured out what I was doing that was unnecessary and gave it up. I structured my day so that I was living more for the things that bring me joy. I stopped doing things that were unnecessary and started doing things that I found pleasant and relaxing.

Here is how my days go now.  I wake up in the morning and my husband brings me my coffee in bed. (He has always done that so not new). As I have my coffee with my husband and dogs snuggled around me I do most of my blog work. I make sure my post is live, and I respond to comments. Then I do my link ups and blog hops and do all my blog promotion. I do about 15 minutes on IG and then I am done. Everything takes about an hour. After that I am pretty much done with it for the day. No more spending the day thinking and worrying about it and taking on things that are unpleasant and tension building.

Next I get up and go for my trail run. After my run I have a protein drink and shower. When I get dressed if I think my outfit is blog worthy I take photos. That only takes about 15 minutes at most. Three times a week I sit down in the afternoon and put together my posts. That usually takes about an hour. I have gotten very streamlined about it all. This is also the part of blogging that brings me joy. 

I am a researcher for my husband's consulting firm so anything I need to do for that gets done mid mornings. My afternoons are spent cooking and doing projects around my home. I love to cook and I love to turn recipes into healthy meals. We have been eating so well since I started my new routine. 

The biggest changes I've made have been to not let social media run my day. I hit it about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 more in late afternoon. And that is it. It hasn't been difficult to let it go. My evenings are spent eating good meals and time with my husband. Chatting with my kids and grand kids and doing things that make me smile. Life is just too short!

The result has been I feel better than I have in months. I was so over extended that I was unable to even exercise without injuring myself and now I am back to my trail runs and picking up speed with each one. No pain. I am grateful that I was able to make the changes necessary to feel good again. 

Point of this story? If you have excessive stress in your life, remove it if at all possible. It shortens the life you have and diminishes the quality of your life.

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That's it for this post! Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Skin Care

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MY SKIN CARE HISTORY

Part of total fitness is taking care of your skin. My story is probably like so many others' stories. Not until I was in my early 30s did I use sunscreen and then only a low SPF on my face, completely skipping my neck and chest. You can see the difference too. My neck and chest are pretty damaged. But at least I was consistent and I wasn't one to sun tan much so I never burned. I did for a few years go to tanning beds in the spring to get a start on a tan. So regret that.

As far as cleansing and skin care maintenance I wore very little make up until just a few years ago. With raising children, working full time and doing all I had to do, make up wasn't high on my list of priorities. I wore a little blush, eye liner and mascara and that was it. I rarely washed it off when I went to bed. Bad huh? But it's the truth. 

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I have almost always used Olay cleanser and moisturizer and that is it. Once in a while I would try something else but I wasn't in to spending a lot of money on things like that. This summer though Nudu Natural Beauty sent me a selection of their products and I was delighted to try them out. They are not compensating me if you buy anything, they just wanted me to share if I liked the products.

I have went through full bottles now of the cleanser, astringent, and moisturizer and well as eye cream. I love the way the products smell and I love knowing they are all natural because as I get older I am more conscious of what I put in and on my body. A few weeks ago they sent me a bottle of their renewal cream and I used almost all of it before sharing my thoughts in this post. My thoughts are, this is a lovely product and I will continue to use the line. It is fresh, simple and just my style. Not too fussy but pleasant and kind to my skin.

My advice to everyone, is don't wait until you are my age to start taking care of your skin. You are worth being kind to yourself and so am I!

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That's it for this week!

Peace!

Exercising Too Hard. It's A Thing!

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Exercising Too Hard. It's A Thing

I really worked out hard this spring and summer. I was hiking, running and lifting weights most days of the week except for when I was injured. I was also spending much of my time in pain from sore muscles and tendons. I finally came to the conclusion that I was doing something wrong.

The last straw driving me to the conclusion that I was doing something wrong took place a week or so ago. I had been lifting for several weeks and felt strong and was gradually increasing weight, repetitions and sets. That day I hiked and increased my weight and reps and sets. It felt like a great workout at the time. The next day was my trail run day. I noticed early in the run that my legs felt really tight, which was unusual, but I kept going and completed the run. The day after that and for almost a week I was in so much muscle pain that I ended up in bed for part of the time because it hurt so much it made me sick and depressed. This is not what exercise is supposed to do for you.  

I did some research and came to the conclusion that I have been working out harder than my body can handle. I believe I have adrenal fatigue brought about by too hard and too much exercising. I need to rebound from this before moving forward. My plan is to do a slow two mile hike each morning followed by 30 minutes of gentle yoga in the afternoon. Both of these things should give me a decent workout but not unduly stress my body. I will also take a day off each week and will reassess where I am in a few weeks.

If these changes produce results, I will carry them forward into my fall routine. I usually change my exercise regimen with each season for several reasons. One is to keep my body surprised and working hard. Two, it is necessary where I live because of our changing weather. And three, I get bored doing the same thing all the time so this makes exercising more interesting.

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That's it for this week!

Peace!

 

 

 

My Botox Story

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MY BOTOX STORY

Just before Thanksgiving 2013, I decided to take the dive and try Botox. The miracle without a knife! I was so excited to see what would happen. This may have changed by now but at that time I learned that Botox can only do so much. It could soften the lines around my eyes that are not caused by smiles. Smile wrinkles are there to stay. It could soften crow’s feet until you could hardly see them, and it could do the same for the horizontal lines on my forehead . . . but not those above the outer edge of my eyes because that could cause them to droop. Last, it could soften my “Angry 11s.” Those, I learned, are the vertical lines between your eyes from what I like to think of as contemplating too strongly for too many years.

I sought out a reputable clinic and was attended to by a nice and experienced Physician Assistant who injected the Botox. It hardly hurt at all, just a tiny pinch. She talked to me for a few minutes explaining the realistic results that I could expect and then did the injections. I was to return in a couple of weeks for follow up.

I started looking for my new youthful face before I even got home, although I had been told it could take up to two weeks for it to take effect. Each day I looked and watched for the miracle. Finally, I noticed some softening. But I also noticed itching. I was always told you have to suffer to be beautiful so it was worth it, if I felt beautiful. It became a comical game for me, watching to see what would happen.

My final verdict was that I looked rather odd. When I lifted my eyebrows, I had lines above the outer edge of my eyes but not on my forehead. It seemed silly looking so I decided not to raise my eyebrows for anything. Easy peasy! After three months of itching (I am told another brand may not itch) and thinking about my facial expressions, I decided Botox was not for me at that time. Maybe I will try it again someday. But at that point in time I was fine with my decision and I still am for now. I am 57 and nothing is going to change that.

That was my Botox story but I will tell you right now that I support anyone who wants to do anything to make themselves feel better. I, too, look for the elixir, and always will. I am a girly girl. I love pink! I love makeup and clothes and anything that is feminine. I fall asleep at night imagining the different outfits I can create. I dream in color and create dresses in my dreams. I hope on my deathbed that I have my eyeliner and lipstick right next to me. Not for anyone else, but for me. I feel these things are what separate us from the animals! 

I have been grappling with aging and the changes in my looks for many years. I don’t like it one bit. Why? I don’t know. Is it because people treat you differently when you start looking older and weaker? I think that is a lot of it for me. I am a force to be reckoned with and my looks can’t change that but people are definitely responding to me differently.

I am seeing a lot lately about not using the phrase anti-aging. And I feel strongly that in some ways we as women are our own worst enemies. We talk all the time about our wrinkles, our bodies being dragged down by gravity, our weight, our thinning hair, and what we should or shouldn't do about it.

Sometimes, we forget that our goal is (or should be) to change the perception of a society that regards women less beautiful as they age. Don't you hate being told you look great for your age? I want to go back to the days when I was young and never looked at others and tried to judge their age. I never looked at my beautiful grandmothers or mother and saw their wrinkles and thought they were old. I only saw love, wisdom, and beauty.

I am so glad to be part of a generation that is challenging stereotypes. I hope I can be a part of the march to celebrate our segment of the population just the way we are. It helps to read, learn, and share with each other about how to grow as we age. For me, I am still slowly figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be woman who is proud of who she is, and of her family and friends. I want to be a woman who forgives the times she reached a fork in the road and went the wrong way. I want to look at myself in the mirror and not hate my face but say, "Job well done, Cheryl!"

I will however get up most days and play with my makeup and think about the perfect outfit for the day’s activities. If you are going to be on a boat you should be dressed like you are going on a boat. Fashion and beauty is an art that you wear. It is a reflection of how you see the world. Everyone has their thing, fashion is mine, and that is what makes the world go round.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Breaking Up - With Exercise

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Breaking Up With Exercise

I've exercised fairly consistently my whole life. But every now and then I need a break. Lately I have been really working out hard and regularly. Even when I had house guests for two weeks, I never missed a run, hike, or weight lifting session. But this week, all the events of spring and summer caught up with me and I realized I was tired. Bone tired. I knew it was time to do what I have always done when I hit a wall. I broke up with exercise. So how do I break up with exercise? I understand that the breakup is not a long-term thing; I relax and give myself a break understanding that mental health is as important as physical health and I take a day or few off. Experience allows me to understand that a break from exercise can actually improve my overall fitness by allowing me to rest, rejuvenate and prepare to get back at it, stronger in every way. 

Here is how I knew it was time to break up. On Monday morning I went for my trail run, it took all my energy to get ready, but I have a few tricks I use to help when that happens, so out the door I went. I did the run, but it felt slow, heavy, and I found no joy in it. I had to walk the last quarter of mile. Tuesday, I went for my hike, and came home and lifted weights. Again, it just didn't feel good. I had no energy the rest of the day and I could tell it wasn't just a passing thing. Wednesday, I was sore from Tuesday's weight lifting. With all this, I decided it was time to take a break so I took the rest of the week off. Almost as soon as I made the decision I started feeling better and even started looking forward to Sunday or Monday when I knew I would again be raring to go.

THE TRUTH

Sarah Gibson, Certified Personal Trainer finds that many fitness junkies equate the idea of taking a day off with Satan. My husband was that way when he was a serious distance runner who sometimes trained in excess of 50 miles per week. She points out how this is not true and my husband no longer over trains either.

Rest periods are a part of many professional training plans. They allow the body and the mind to recuperate to our benefit. As Sarah says, “As we work out, we place greater strain on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. Our immune system is activated when there are muscle tears or joint strains, but if the body doesn’t come out of continual practice, this system doesn’t have the time to catch up and start patching everything back up. Thus, if you’re building muscle, you should take a day off from lifting the same region so the body has time to repair the muscles you’re working.”

I have observed the truth of this in my own exercise regimen. Running and other impact activities stress joints and connective tissue. Those who exercise regularly generally have lower measures of inflammation but they also have higher measures immediately after vigorous exercise. Systemic inflammation (e.g., as measured by C-reactive protein) needs to return to baseline; otherwise you may experience joint damage from inflammation. Cycles of deep rest can aid in this process.

Rest days depend on the type of athlete you are, according to Gibson. Mind and body athletes (think Pilates and yoga) may want to take a day off altogether, whereas bodybuilders may only want to take a day off from lifting, but still do a little cardio. Your need for rest days may also depend on your fitness. We need to learn more about this.

I have also observed that it is important to eat differently on days of rest. In general, eat less and perhaps consume fewer carbohydrates. It is OK to stick to your nutrition plan, but make it a light day. This will be different for everyone and your body will probably hit a point where you feel ravenous because your metabolism has shot through the roof as you work out more regularly. Just remember to eat right, eat on time and drink lots of water.

Give your body love and attention and know that every successful athlete does this, too. Take your day of rest to reflect on how far you have come and plan how far you will go!

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That's it for this week! Let me know if there is anything you want to know about how I incorporate health, fitness, and beauty in to my life. And thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

TIP
I have little tricks I use to get myself going on days I don't feel quite up to it. On days that I am feeling slow, I put on my exercise clothes thinking just because I put them on doesn't mean I have to do anything. Then I tell myself to just head out the door and if I still don't want to do it I can come back inside. Almost every time I go that far, I end finishing and feeling really great. Another trick I use is to do a different exercise. If a run sounds too strenuous, I take a relaxing walk. I always feel much better when I do something. If none of those things work, I take a break and I don't beat myself up. I focus on my next workout.