Fitness Vision Board

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Olympic athletes do it. Stylists do it. Walt Disney did it. Martha Stewart employees do it. Seems everyone's using "vision board" to direct their focus and achieve their goals. Using Pinterest to make a vision board is also a great way to get new fitness and healthy recipe ideas.

This USA Today article has some fantastic tips for using Pinterest to get new fitness ideas. Find inspirational quotes, workouts for each part of the body, full fitness routines, and motivational images. The best tip: categorize the workouts by weekday and build an entire workout routine. We should all try this, sitting down on Sunday to plot out the week's workouts on Pinterest.

Notice how I don't have too many image-related pictures on my vision board. My body type is pretty different than most and I don't want to get caught up in the whole image thing. Mostly, this for me is about feeling, striving, being and looking healthy.

On my Pinboard:

1. Cookie cutter fruit "lollipops." Play with your food, my friends.

2. Jenn Shelton. The book Born to Run really introduced me to this fabulous runner. She runs ultra marathons that are like 50 to 100 miles!!!?!? And from what I've seen, she's super fast, humble and unpretentious. And she used to study poetry. Love!

3. When You Lose Fat Chart: shows all the statistics about your body and how you reduce the chances of getting a myriad of medical problems by losing weight. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is!

4. Healthy Sandwiches, Six Ways. Makes you look at so-called "diet" food in a whole new way. PB&J isn't your only option, folks.

5. How to Run Diagram: I like to be cognizant of how I'm running so I can keep getting better, so this poster is a fine reminder.

6. Fruit Rainbow. Makes healthy food look fun, colorful, fresh, new and exciting. I think my Peanut would love these! (Hmmm, remind me about that on his birthday:)

7. Clear Your Mind. Go for a Run. This poster reminds me of how grrrrreat running makes me feel.

8. Fruit Smoothie in a Wine Glass: This picture got clipped off a bit. I just like that idea of serving a healthy "cocktail" of fruits in your finest glassware. Makes it seem like an indulgence rather than an obligation.

Check out this link from Shape Magazine about how Pinterest could change your life. I found this after I decided to do a post about vision boards, and it totally validates where I was going with this. Science is behind the "vision board" idea. Putting your goals in writing has always been a crucial step for actually accomplishing them. Putting your goals into concrete images takes you one step closer to fulfilling them. If you can actually visualize your goal, as in, know what they look like (taste like, feel like, etc), you'll have a much clearer picture to work with and direct your attention toward.

The article even validates what I said above about not using too many image-related pictures. Adding images of perfect, tanned, airbrushed models is dangerous. Self-sabotage is not what we're going for here.

What are you waiting for? Check out the Fitness eye-candy over on Pinterest. Or make an inspirational moodboard for other goals in your life with the same concepts in mind: financial, career-related, love-focused, food-minded, etc.

As they say over there, Happy Pinning!

Fitness On My Reading List

Friday, April 27, 2012

I picked up two health books on a recent trip to the library. Have I ever told you how much I love the library? Whenever I hear about a new book by Tracy Anderson or someone else of interest, I will often go reserve it online. It may take weeeeks, but hey, it's free. And I'm ok with being a tad bit behind on the world's reading pace.

This trip, I grabbed Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel and Fitness & Health by Brian Sharkey.


I have this fascination with becoming a certified personal trainer just so I know the science behind my workouts, not because I have a strong desire to start a new side business. When I found the Sharkey book, I knew that I had found what I was looking for. It looks like a textbook for an exercise physiology major. Yes, some of it is majorly boring, but I'm keying in on the stuff I really want to know about, like VO2 max and such. You're never too old to learn stuff!

I also just made it through Frankel's book (yes she has a prickly personality, but there's just something about her inner drive and business savvy that's admirable, am I right?), and here are my favorite quotes that stood out from her book:

"The simple fact is that you don't function normally if you constantly have to measure, count, restrict, and obsess over food" (p.7). I love this! It really puts things into perspective, doesn't it? 'Nuff said.

"No food is fattening, in a small quantity" (p. 45). Nothing is off-limits. Yipee. Just don't eat the whole cake in one sitting. I can do that!

"Talking about and thinking about food constantly can result in eating more than you really need or want, just because food is on the brain" (p.61). So true! That's why it's so important to not make food such an obsession. Distract and reward yourself with non-food activities to start training your brain away from that connection. Food shouldn't be such a worrisome thing.

"Make food special...Taking a little extra time to make your meal special will help you to feel so much more satisfied and content with your food" (p. 59). This relates to my previous post about making memories around healthy food. Food should be meaningful, not just something we shove in our mouths in between typing emails at work (oops, guilty!). Growing your own ingredients, refining your own recipes, and "designing" your own meals makes food more friendly.

Let me narrow this all down: Make friends with food, but don't follow it around like a stalker.

Ah, such sage advice from a former Desperate Housewife.

Book Pages: Totally 70s Teen Scene

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I picked this book up, not for reading pleasure, but simply for gaping at. The visuals are all-too-adorable and the tips are so cutely out-dated, I can hardly stand it. Just look at the title: Teen Scene: 1001 Groovy Hints & Tips. Your New Super-Hip NOW Guide to Everything!!! This book is rated "I" for tuned-in teens. Hee hee!

Being the fitness buff that I am, I couldn't resist the exercise and diet sections in the book. Oh, the health snobs of today would have a field-day with some of the downright outlandish tips. Here are the best of the best:

Mmmmm. The vegetable bouillon/carrot diet. How healthy is that? Not very!


Remember those side-to-side stretches in gym class?

So that's how they got such straight, sleek hair. They wore nylon stockings on their heads at night. They never taught us that on Three's Company, now did they?

Oh, this book is just chock-full of these precious off-kilter gems of advice.

My Garden is My Diet

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some exciting delicious things are starting to pop up in the garden already. Namely, asparagus. Oh, and the chives and orange mint are completely ready for snipping. The asparagus stalks only shoot up a few at a time--just enough for mama to enjoy a delish egg scramble. And it took three long years of waiting to be able to snip any at all. The wait was long, so the gratification is so sweet.


I have vowed this year to put together some yummy recipes for all the vegetables we plan to grow. I hate to say it, but we end up wasting a lot of our fresh fare because, well, what do you do with all of that zucchini? We shredded a bunch of it and put it in the freezer. Left some in people's cars, for real. But we could really do a better job eating from our yard. So, I've slowly been gathering tomato, zucchini and cucumber recipes so my toolbox is all ready come harvest time. No excuses!

Right now, I'm just enjoying the simple bounty of a few asparagus stalks here and there, mixed with Egg Beaters, snipped chives and whatever else is in the crisper. This time, it was mushrooms and yellow peppers. Then, I served myself with a side of turkey bacon and whole wheat toast. Oh yum!


My favorite fitness tool: ripped magazine pages

Monday, April 16, 2012

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite collections from my house. It's not the run-of-the-mill collection. If fact, I don't know anyone else who collects ripped magazine pages like I do. But I do. Oh, do I.


People, I could practically make an encyclopedia out of these (maybe there's already an app for that). I'm not normally predisposed to hoarding, except when it comes to magazine workouts. Ok, ok...and workout videos. But you see, the workouts only fill up two file folder envelopes, so don't call the A&E network on me, ok?

I have been a loyal subscriber to SELF magazine for at least 10 years and Shape magazine for almost as long. Each fitness mag has at least two workouts printed in it each month. That adds up to zero boredom for me!



I love that I have a mix of everything, from cardio to strength. I have workouts for specific body parts and equipment--whatever I'm in the mood for. I have capoiera, yoga, pilates, prenatal and all other different forms of exercise. Some are appropriate to do in front of the big windows at the gym. Some I will only do in my own home. Haha! And I never have to do the same one twice, which is a priority on my list.


And I love to give copies out to friends. Most recently, I made copies of all my prenatal workouts for a pregnant friend. I've tried to pare back the bulk of these folders, but...I just can't. These pulled workouts are such a crucial part of my fitness happiness. Many of these workouts are available on the magazine websites for free. If you don't already use these valuable, readily-available resources for getting fit, start today!

Easter in our parts...

Monday, April 9, 2012

...was filled with food, food, food. From Friday night when we got to be Guinea pigs for a new restaurant to the Saturday buffet to the two family meals on Sunday. We were stuffed.

We covered all the bases, making cookies and dying eggs for the Easter bunny, hitting up two Easter egg hunts, finding Easter baskets and heading to church in our Sunday finest.


From our family to yours...We hope you had a safe and beautiful Easter.

Easter 2012

The Book and its Cover

Friday, April 6, 2012

I've learned a lot of things about myself from reading. Authors have an inexplicable gift for putting seemingly unimportant circumstances into words that make them sound profound and forming crisp ideas in the mind of the reader.

Reading material also has the tendency to trigger new ideas in me. From reading, or sometimes accidentally reading things wrong, I've come up with ideas for writing. Small nuances, gestures, explanations or observations begin a cycle of thought that's all my own. It might be a memory trigger, an emerging pattern, or a way of looking at something from an unexpected angle.

I have also learned a great deal about myself from books. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance brought me out of an all-encompassing funk when I was a teenager. I had an inferiority complex and was extremely self-conscious, to say the least. I couldn't understand why people generally dismissed me, come to find out I was projecting an image of, to be frank, worthlessness. The main character was told that he came off as harsh and conceited when he didn't participate in conversation, even though he was really the shy, contemplative, watch-from-the-sidelines type. This sort of revelation, as simple as it sounds, had a profound effect on my life. It's those sagacious passages that have the ability to trigger momentous ah-ha moments just when we need them most.

This idea can also be applied to your outer appearance, your visible binding and covers. When you wear frumpy clothes, throw your hair into a bun, bite off your nails and fail to remove accumulated lint from your garments, you come off as someone who doesn't care. People instantly read this cover, no matter how much you think they won't. I'm not saying your worth is found in how you look, but the care you take with yourself tells people something about you before they have a chance to peel back the layers.

This is why they tell you that to be a good writer, you need to read; to be a good conversationalist, you need to read; to understand the world, you need to read; to take a break from your life, you need to read. There are so many reasons to read, but nearly none more important than mining your own identity and understanding your existence in this fine world.


Book Pages: Happy Homemaker

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I love the iconic image of a homemaker--not the part about passivity, but the tender ways that she cares for her home, children and relationships. That's still a wonderful thing, no? I really wish I could just make my bed in a way that would please a hospital caretaker. Really I do--it was even on my list of yearly resolutions to learn how to make the perfect bed. I don't like the stuffy-ness of trying to keep a perfect house, but I do try to instill in my child the value of a clean, comfortable home.

So, when I saw this little dandy at the thrift store for like $3, I knew it was meant to be.


Originally though, it was the gorgeous imagery that endeared me to it. The Home Almanac was published in 2004, but the images look like they're straight out of your grandma's old issues of Good Housekeeping. They're to die for.


If this doesn't make you want to clean your bathroom sink, I don't know what will. I mean, surely a little scrubbing will turn it into a Greek bath.

Every girl needs to know how to keep flowers fresh. Especially when receiving a bouquet from a suitor is a rare occurrence.

My grandma took me aside one time to show me how to properly iron clothes. It wasn't that she thought I was incapable, it was because she had a vivid memory of her own grandmother teacher her. She wanted to pass that memory along to me. I accepted. This page reminds me of that day.

Shouldn't we all treat our homes with such care? With our own elbow grease put into every corner, we can't help but relish in our feeling of achievement. Plus, these youngin's are just too darn cute. Ah, shucks.

I have a crush on this idea of backyard luminaries. And canvas party tents. Great Gatsby-style entertaining.


The words and images are almost poetic. Ah, to be poised atop chintz pillows and outdoor hammocks.

But seriously, this book from 2004 is a real charmer. It has the old-fashioned appeal with real-world modern applications. Yes, throw pillows really are a great easy way to freshen your living room with each season. From practical cleaning tips to interior design strategies, the pages are filled with everyday ideas to make a house feel like a home. If you can do it in high heels and an evening gown, you've probably got a leg up on the rest of us.

I noticed a comment on Amazon that someone uses this book as a standard gift for showers and housewarming events. What a precious idea!