What’s On My Mind Wednesday [3.26.14]

We’re going to go right in to What’s On My Mind Wednesday today – hope you like the new graphic!

STATEMENT #35(1)

1. MH370 – It’s been on everyone’s minds recently. I’ve been watching the reports, and as much I knew in my heart that the plane went down, I hoped for the sake of all of those people and their loved ones that it would be found somewhere with all occupants alive. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I hope for all those involved, the wreckage is found soon and they can get some answers about what happened. So sad.

2. Running – My foot pain is nearly gone. I say nearly, because it’s been bothering me a bit the last couple of days. I’m assuming it’s because I’m back to normal activity, but either way, I’m not trying to let it get me down. Last night was the first time in nearly 7 months that I was able to run. I’ve never been a runner, but I’ve always aspired to be a runner. After having this ridiculous injury set me back, I’m more determined than EVER to become a runner.

After work, despite how nervous I was, I hopped on a treadmill and started to warm up. I battled that little voice in my head saying just to walk for 30 minutes, but I knew I had a goal in mind. I at least wanted to see if I could do it; make sure I could do something far more strenuous without pain. And I did it. I managed to run for 3.5 minutes. It was a slow. But I did it. This may have been the longest stretch of time I’ve run for since I attempted Couch to 5K last year. I was shocked that I could actually breathe. Normally when I start thinking to much about my breathing, I panic, thus sending me into full on hyperventilating mode.

I kept up a routine of walk at 3.5 and run at 4.4 the entire time. I think in total I only ran for like 9 minutes. BUT I did it. Even when I wanted to quit because my legs felt so heavy, I pushed myself to do another round.

My quick notes while working out.

My quick notes while working out.

Now to just keep this up and bring it to the streets when it gets nice out.

3. Weather – Which brings me to the weather. It’s official. I am so sick of New England. Well, I guess just the winter. It’s essentially been winter since November. I’m over it. It’s March 26th and the cape is getting hammered by a blizzard and it’s currently 30 degrees out. I’m sick of wearing my Ugg Boots, and my giant winter jacket and having to warm my car up before I get in it. It’s spring. Warm weather needs to be here… immediately.

This is a river.... not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

This is a river…. not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

4. Running Sneakers and Workout Clothes – After I injured my foot, I vowed that if I really become a runner, I would get fitted for running sneakers. I want to make sure I never get injured again, at least in terms of my footwear. I’m running in my Nike Pegasus’s right now. I know they don’t have the best support for running, but for what I’m doing right now, they are perfect. And comfortable. And that’s what matters to me. Hopefully by summer I will get fitted.

I also realized last night that while my ratty old ‘Washington DC’ t-shirt is perfect for walking and the elliptical, it sucks to run in. It was totally drenched in sweat, and I’m pretty sure it added 10 lbs on to my already heavy frame (essentially the 10 lbs I lost already!). Needless to say, tonight I’ll be trying one of my UnderArmour tops – hopefully that will help!

photo 1

5. Thinspo and Social Media – A hot topic around the blogosphere right now. Eating disorders are so prevalant and even more so now with social media. #Thinspo and similar hashtags are common on Instagram, but Instagram makes sure to have a disclaimer up about eating disorders and how to get help. I’m very impressed that social media sites are now trying to help those who are battling this. This very idea is what helped come up with the ‘Growing Up Alex’ series. She has an amazing story to tell, and I wanted to be bring awareness to it. I’m proud of her for telling her story and I hope you check it out. Part 3 will be up on the blog tomorrow!

I guess that’s it! Not too much on my mind this week.

Happy Hump Day my friends!

Advertisements

Clean your gym machines people (you never know who’s paying attention)

Happy Monday friends!

Today I’m all about the gym. Mainly because I had my first pain-free workout in nearly 6 months. I’m thrilled that the cortisone shot really seems to be working and doing what its supposed too! This morning’s workout was simply a ‘Let’s get used to being up before dawn and get your cardio back’. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical followed by some upper body lifting. I really like the nautilus machines, but since it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, I kept the workout small. I did tricep curls, bicep curls, the row and pulldowns – 3 reps of 10 at 30 lbs, except the bicep – I only did 2 reps.

collage

Anyways, on to the real reason for this post. Cleanliness at the gym.

We all know gyms are not the most sanitary places. People are constantly sweating all over everything. In reality, it’s pretty gross. But we all go, because we want to be in shape, or get in shape. Especially those of us in the cold arctic weather of New England who can’t work out outside basically from November until March (or evidently April this year). I mean you could… but it’s cold. And I just don’t like the cold.

I ALWAYS clean my machine when I get on it and off it. I’m not a germophobe by any means, but it’s one place that totally grosses me out. Just the thought of someone else’s sweat that I don’t know being all over me just makes me start gagging.

jwoww gaggin

Source

After finishing my workout on the elliptical, over to the weight machines I went. I sprayed down my towel, cleaned the machine and hopped on the first. I did this for the four machines I did. By the time I got to my fourth (and what I would soon learn to be my  final machine), I noticed a woman behind me lifting really fast. I had just finished my second rep and was taking a quick break. She got up from her machine, passed by GLARING at me, and jumped ahead to the machine in front of me. It was obvious she needed MY machine and was mad that I was on it when she was on it.

Okay….

1. I was on the machine before you got over here so chill out and wait your turn and…

2. There is an identical machine directly next to me. Use that one. You don’t need to go in a straight line. It’s not going to kill your workout. I promise. Just use that one.

Anyways, as I started doing my final rep, I watched as she whipped out another set on the machine in front of me, got up and proceeded to go back to the machine behind me. I immediately wanted to throw up.

SHE DIDN’T WIPE DOWN EITHER MACHINE! I was getting ready to get on the machine she was just on (the identical machine next to it was being used) and was absolutely disgusted. Okay, I know I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I do it partially because I don’t know who used it before me. Watching someone as they use a machine and sweat all over it, and then leave it without cleaning it disgusted me so much I left. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t about to clean the machine she just sweated all over. Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want her to get the benefit of having someone else clean her machine, but come on people. How hard is it to clean a machine after you use it? It takes 10 seconds. I keep my paper towel with me and just re-wet it when I need it.

So thank you to the woman who didn’t clean her machine in front of me. I ended my workout early because I decided I’d rather be a germophobe then finish my workout and have to clean your sweat off of the machine. (I know. I’m insane.)

Moral of the story: Gyms are dirty places… even the cleanest ones, and you should all clean your machines. You never know who’s watching and ready to use your machine next. And who would rather leave than have to clean the machine you just sweated all over 🙂 (AKA me.)

Things I’m Saying to My Personal Trainer

My good friend, and health guru/coach Molly,  wrote a fantastically awesome post about all the things she’s tired of hearing as a personal trainer. This is my response to said post.

Here’s the thing, you may be tired of hearing it, but I can guarantee that us folks who are still trying to maneuver around the healthy-living/gym-stratosphere, are probably going to continue saying these things. And we’re going to keep wondering if what you’re telling us is really true. Because, for most of us, we don’t really know what we’re doing or talking about, but we think we do because we read tons of fitness magazines. And aspire to be healthy.

And I know that I’m going to keep saying these things to you. So be prepared to keep rolling those eyes…

“I don’t want to use those weights, I’m afraid of getting bulky.”  – Let me start here by saying, when I say this, it’s not out of fear of getting bulky. It’s because I don’t really feel like lifting 15 lb dumbbells over my head in a fly motion or whatever you feel like calling it. They feel wicked heavy, and I’m tired. Bottom line. So, you’re going to keep hearing this. And you’re going to have to keep telling me I’m not going to become a she-hulk. And I’m going to keep pretending I don’t know that, just so I can try to get out of lifting weights. Or at least the heavier ones. Give me a 5 lb dumb bell and I’ll go to town. 15 lbs… no flippin’ way.

And for the record… maybe I’ll start sneaking a little bit of testosterone into my diet just so I DO bulk up and I can be like ‘I told you so… the 15lbs was way too heavy. Now I look like a man.”

On another note – if you google She-Hulk. It’s a real thing; like actually a comic book character.

“Can we just focus on my abs? I want to lose the weight there.” –  Yep, I know that there is no way to spot reduce fat (remember, I read fitness magazines), but I’m still asking because I’m hoping that you’ll know a way to make it happen. I’m also testing you to see if you’re lying to me. IF you tell me yes, then I know you’re just appeasing me because it can’t happen like that. If you tell me no, then I’m going to cry and decide that I don’t want to work out anymore. Because it’s too hard to lose weight. Seriously, just tell me I’m going to do 50 sit ups and immediately have super model abs. It will make me happy. And if you tell me this every time I ask this, eventually I will have awesome abs and the problem will be fixed.

“I don’t want to do this exercise. Can we try something else?” – Let me first tell say, I pay you to get me in shape. Having said that, I should have full control over what we do in our training sessions. And if that means, I want to sit on a recumbent bike, barely peddling, while reading a book, you’re going to let me do that. Remember, YOU’RE STILL GETTING PAID. Sure, I know, you secretly LOVE making me want to cry as I do ten more pushups and a 5 minute plank, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m only paying you so I can say ‘Yeah, I get to work out with my personal trainer today.’ It makes me sound like I’m a beast at the gym.  Let me do this occasionally… especially if I’m exhausted. And then occasionally I won’t complain about the masochist exercises your about to make me do.

“I don’t get how I’m not losing weight! I only eat Greek yogurt for my breakfast!” – We’ve been brought up in a culture where we’ve heard reducing calories and eating healthy helps up lose weight. Now we’re hearing that we should be eating more to lose weight. Quite honestly, I’m eating Greek Yogurt for breakfast because I’m so overwhelmed with the millions of options that it seems like the quickest and easiest when I have to work. Let’s be serious. I don’t have time to make anything in the morning. I barely have time to get a workout in, and get ready for work.  Greek yogurt with fruit sounds like a grand breakfast to me. And it’s high in protein. And lower in calories. Sounds like a win/win to me!

“I’m not seeing any progress. Nothing is changing!” –  In my one session a week with you, on the weeks where I’m not demanding to sit on the recumbent bike, I expect you to work miracles. And by miracles I mean, lose 10 lbs without lifting a finger the rest of the week. That’s how this whole weight loss thing works right? I work out once and WHAMMO the weight comes off. No? Oh. Okay. I guess I should probably start at least walking on the treadmill when I’m not working out with you.

“I’m going on vacation in a few weeks and I want to lose 10 lbs.” – I know. I probably should have thought of this before my vacation snuck up on me. Like 4 months ago. But let’s be honest. Pizza and beer were way more fun than working out and eating healthy. So now it’s time to crash diet until vacation when I can gain all of it back. That works right? You can totally help me do this right? I mean, 10 lbs is only 10 lbs right… it shouldn’t take THAT long.

So there you go personal trainer Molly. The reasons why we say the things we do when we’re working out with you.

*Disclaimer – I’m not stupid and I know half of the things I said in my responses sound absolutely ridiculous. The point is just a fun response to the things personal trainers are sick of hearing. This is more about the things that come to my mind when hearing these things;  I don’t speak for the population or majority.

**Disclaimer 2 – I’ve known Molly a really long time. We totally poke fun at each other all the time. It’s normal. She knows my eating and workout habits. She knows I’m a lazy bum most of the time, but also knows how long it’s taken me to lose 10 lbs (I hit it today and it’s been almost 3 months!). I trust her 100% with her advice and know that she’s not lying to me when she tells me these things. I just don’t always like to listen to her. She will totally agree with me on this too.

Feet, Activity, GF and Books – A Round Up

Well hi there!

I figured I would do a little update post today as opposed to a ranting post, a learning post or a post about someone else. I mean, this is after all a look into my world! I mean, I do the other posts because let’s face it, my life is pretty ho-hum every day. I have the same routine for the most part – get up, go to work, go to the gym/work out (if I don’t do it in the AM), eat dinner, go to bed and do it all over again the next day. Hence why I try to throw some different things in the blog!

Update time.

The foot: If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you would know that I’ve been fighting a foot injury since September ’13. I was diagnosed with metatarsalgia, a possible neuroma, and finally a stress fracture. After nearly 3 months a boot, and not feeling any better, I moved to see an orthopedic and began following a new treatment plan. He felt it wasn’t a stress fracture and just an overuse injury, and prescribed PT and orthotics. Since I can’t really afford orthotics, I bought regular inserts to help with the issue.

I’ve been in physical therapy for just about a month, and unfortunately, there is has been no improvement. We’ve tried stretching twice a day, heat, ice, ultrasound, elec stim and massage. I get temporarily relief day of, but then the pain comes back. Thankfully (or maybe not…) the pain has localized, and PT is thinking it’s a inflammation issue. I go back to the doctor next week and we can start working on the next steps. I REALLLYYYY don’t want to get into cortisone shots if I don’t have too, so I’m hoping he will suggest something else. I guess we will see! I mean, if he thinks it will help, obviously I’m going to probably do it.

PT

The view from my table this AM.

The good news with all of this is I haven’t been letting the pain keep from being active. I’m still going to the gym, but just doing the elliptical, arc trainer or bike, and still riding when I can (as long as the pain isn’t bad). I think at this point, if I couldn’t be doing something, I would be going crazy. And having the 100 Days of Active is keeping me motivated too!

And that leads me too…

100 Days of Active: So far…. I have completed, 4 days out of the 100. Thankfully I figured out that it was like 110 days to my birthday, so it gave me a couple of days to play with. Unfortunately, I was already negotiating my own goal on day 2…. but now I’m getting into my groove. Today will be day 5 with 104 days until my birthday! I was hoping to ride tonight, but with the foot pain pretty bad today, looks like I’ll be doing my laps at the grocery store with some pilates when I get home!

exercise

Last night’s work out. My goal is always to do a 5K on the elliptical. I’ve been doing them in just about 37 minutes. Last night I did it in 35! (My HRM went a little longer than the workout!)

Gluten-Free: Two words that seem to be everywhere these days. And as of this week, I guess I can add it to the list of things about me too. Yep, I’ve gone GF. Well, I’m trying.  It’s only really day 1, since I ate a ravioli yesterday (and proceeded to die after),

After a lot of trial and error, it appears that I have a sensitivity to gluten. To the point that when I eat things with it, I pretty much feel like I’m dying. So I’m trying to stay away from it. Which is hard. Because I love bread, bagels, crackers, cookies, pizza, calzones, beer…. pretty much all things gluten. But I know if I really do have an intolerance, I’m only going to feel better. So that’s my focus. Thankfully, there are so many good GF foods and recipes out there now… it’s become so common that it’s easy to handle these days. I’m just completely overwhelmed right now, but hoping I’ll feel less that way as the days go on. I know my body already feels less bloated and angry. So that’s a win!

Last night's dinner - Tuna with sriacha, celery and tomatoes on lettuce with a dill pickle on the side!

Last night’s dinner – Tuna with sriacha, celery and tomatoes on lettuce with a dill pickle on the side!

eryn e photography: I never post photo business updates here anymore, but it is part of my world, so here you go. I’m excited for my 3rd year in business and I’m hoping this will turn out to be my busiest year yet. I’m already starting to book up, and I’m excited to expand my client base. Having said that, if you read this and are in the MA/NH/ME area, and are interested in having photos done, I’d love to chat with you! You can visit my website for more information, e-mail me, or leave me a message in the comments and I’ll get back to you. I’m also running mini-sessions on May 4th in Newburyport if anyone is interested (see flyer below!)

Spring-Mini-Sessions-2014

E-mail me if interested and in the area!

Book Goal: I’ve read 18 books out of my 100 goal. I’m on book 19 now. If I keep this up, I’ll definitely make 100 books by the end of 2014. Check one more thing off of my bucket list. I’m currently reading ‘The Man Who Left‘ by Theresa Weir. If you ever want to keep up with things I’m reading, feel free to friend me on GoodReads! My goal on there says I’m behind, but it’s because a couple of books I’ve read I couldn’t find on GoodReads.

Alright, I think that’s good on the updates.

Have a wonderful day!

Eryn

Friendly Feature – Meet Sara!

Friendly Feature time! This week, you’re all going to meet Sara. She’s transformed her life and is now a Crossfit addict, a Beachbody coach and ready to help others achieve their fitness goals! Introducing… Sara!

Tell the readers about yourself

I’m Sara and I just turned 28. I’m a desk jockey by dcrossfit6ay, facilitating the marketing and programming of global webcasts for pharmaceutical companies, and a Crossfitting enthusiast by night. Fun fact is I travel religiously – In the past 4 years I’ve been to 13 countries and 7 big cities outside of MA.

What does a typical day look like for you from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed?

I’m up by 5:30AM and in the car by quarter of 7 – I live in the city of Boston but work in Burlington, MA, so my commute through the city to the north shore is a complete nightmare. I work a full day, typically on the phone with clients from as close as Cambridge and as far away as India, discussing new products and new pharmaceutical regulations. If you need to know about Obamacare, I’m your girl. I usually head to Crossfit at Crossfit Woburn for the 5PM class, workout for an hour, and depending on my mood, head to Blast Fitness in Medford for a run or brave the 6PM traffic through the clusterfluff that is the O‘Neill tunnel to get home. Once home, I’ll usually whip up something paleo, shower, watch an episode of Love It or List It (whatever, I love HGTV), or scare myself with an episode of Game of Thrones, and I’m dead to the world by 10PM.

crossfit5Tell us about your transformation story.

I was a cheerleader for… like, my entire life. I never really thought about having to go to the gym because I was always so physically active. When I was 21 my family moved 800 miles away to Raleigh, NC, and because I was still in college, I moved out on my own with my boyfriend at the time.  I got really caught up in unhealthy eating – so much of crap food is just so easy to prep and eat, and I was working full time and going to school full time, and I didn’t consider the calories or what I was actually consuming. In the fall of 2011, I was in my sister-in-law’s wedding, and when we got the pictures back, I was just so disgusted with myself. So I started going to a bootcamp class at 5AM 3 days a week. In January of 2012, we started this bootcamp fitness challenge, and I went straight balls to the wall on fitness. I lost a ton of weight and ran my first 5k. I won the challenge that April. That year, I ended up running 14 races, including 4 mud runs, a 10k, and a 10 miler. And I started working out additionally with the trainer who ran the bootcamp classes at his gym, building muscle. By the fall of 2012, I was ready to make a change, so I started going to some Crossfit classes at AE Crossfit in Woburn, acrossfit1nd I fell in love with it.

CrossFit is a big part of your life – can you tell the readers how you got into it and what you love about it?

I’d been hearing about Crossfit for a good long time. It was one of those “classes” that I’d been scared of taking, because I was never the type of girl who pictured herself with a barbell. I was scared to pick up dumbbells, because I always thought that heavy weights = bulking up. But then I started. My first WOD (workout of the day) killed me. Like, DESTROYED me. I thought I was in good shape? Yeah, no. I’m a girl who doesn’t want anything to defeat her, and this was the challenge that I had been looking for. There’s a meme that says something like “the day you start lifting is the worst day of your life – because from that day on, you’ll never be as strong as you want to be”. So true for me. Hitting a PR (personal record) in a weight is SO rewarding for me. But hitting that doesn’t stop me – because now I want to go heavier next time.

crossfit2Have you competed in any CrossFit competitions?

I’ve competed in 2 competitions, both as a partner. Crossfit is broken into 2 sections – RX’s (the prescribed weight) and scaled (a modified weight). My first comp I did with a girlfriend, and we won the scaled division. The second comp I did with a guyfriend, and we came in second to last as RX. Only makes me want to be better so next time, maybe we can be third to last.

What does a typical meal plan look like for you?

I eat 90/10 paleo. Basically I allow myself one cheat meal a week. Paleo is removing all grain, dairy, legumes, sugar, and processed anything from your diet. I eat 6 meals a day. On a regular day, I’ll eat 2 egg whites in the morning, scrambled with water, cooked in coconut oil. When I get to work, I’ll eat half a banana and walnuts or almonds. For lunch, a HUGE spinach and romaine salad with 4 ounces of grilled chicken, tons of veggies, with EVOO and vinegar.  Before crossfit, depending on my mood, either a small green apple with a tbsp of almond butter or carrot sticks and guacamole. For dinner, 6 ounces of protein (steak or chicken or shrimp, usually) grilled or steamed veggies, and sometimes roasted sweet potatoes or brussel sprouts.  Last meal of the day is usually a scoop of almond butter on a spoon (don’t judge me, lol). I also drink at least half my body weight in ounces in water per day – and sometimes more. Being adequately hydrated can aid in your performance by up to 18%.crossfit3

How has your journey led you to pursue a personal training certification? What else are you doing that is currently in the health/fitness field?

I’ve been talking about personal training since I started bootcamp. I loved everything about it, and since I was a cheerleader in the past, I think I’m good at encouraging others to keep going. Several times, my bootcamp instructor would go on vacation, and I’d take over his planning and run the 5 and 6AM classes before work, and I loooooved it. Structuring the workouts, planning the music, yelling at people to keep going, was really fun for me. I also just got into being a Beachbody coach, and I’m slowly ramping up into that.

Who/what is your biggest motivator? I’m really my own biggest motivator. I’m a big proponent of being your own cheerleader. No one else is going to make you get off the couch and go run. No one else is going to tell you to get a salad instead of pizza for lunch. No one else is living in your body besides you – YOU have to want to be healthy and make good choices on your own. I refuse to count on someone else to motivate me – because what happens when that person isn’t there? It’s up to you.

crossfit4What is your advice to those who are struggling to get into a groove of a healthy lifestyle?

As much as we would all love it to be, it’s not an overnight process. There’s no miracle workout or meal plan. There’s no weight loss drug or shake that will make you skinny or fit by tomorrow. And you have to keep reminding yourself of that. It’s OK to fail sometimes – maybe eat 2 cheat meals a week or miss 2 workouts in a row. It’s ok – because failing means that you’re still trying. But you have to persist. A lot of things come up in the way of fitness – injuries, sickness, lots of stuff going on at work, etc. But that doesn’t mean you should stop. An hour workout is 4% of your entire day. A healthy meal takes just as long to prep as heating up the stove and throwing in a pizza. If your shoulder hurts, work on legs. If you feel the sniffles coming on, take a Tylenol Cold and go run outside. Tough work stuff? Sweat out your aggression on that dumb guy in sales – it’ll make you feel way better and less guilty than hammering back a few beers. If you have time to sit down and watch TV or go online, you have time to put on your running shoes and get a workout in. Don’t make excuses.

You can find me reblogging tons of fitness and health stuff and sometimes mentioning my own workouts at:

Tumblr

Facebook

Instagram

100 Days of Active

Ah. The gym. Like everyone else, I vowed to make the gym part of my daily routine during the new year. And like everyone else, that vow quickly turned to a thing of the past. Well, at least until the third week in January. I told myself daily “I’m going to go to the gym.” and by 5 PM, it turned into “It can wait until tomorrow.” and the next morning, it would be, “I’ll go after work“, and needless to say, the same routine followed.

resized_procrastination-panda-meme-generator-i-must-to-go-gym-to-tone-up-but-i-ll-do-it-next-week-dc0a68Source

So here we are, almost to the end of February. I was going strong at the gym for about 2 weeks, and it slowly faded off again. Not for lack of motivation, just because things got busy and I preferred sitting at home and reading my latest book or crocheting, then getting to the gym.

The first couple weeks of the month, I was fighting a horrible upper respiratory infection. Needless to say, I waited to start working out until I could actually move without coughing.

Now, I’m back to my slump. But instead of just sitting idly by, I’ve made a new goal.

100 days from today (Okay…it’s 110 days) is my birthday. Today marks my new plan of ‘100 Days of Active’. Every day I have to do SOMETHING active, whether it means heading to the gym, going for a walk, exercising at home… something. I bought a tracker for my phone and I plan to document it on Instagram too.  While the ultimate goal is to lose weight, this goal is just to give myself something to work towards and say ‘I did it!’.

If you haven’t checked out this inspirational story, then please do. LaKeisha Shurn took the 100 day fitness challenge to better her life. It didn’t just help her to lose weight, but helped her learn to love fitness and herself, and she continued her weight loss journey.

I plan to do the same. 100 days is just a fun challenge for me to find my passion for being active. I hope to lose some weight/inches along the way, but the goal is to learn to love exercise.

I was once a competitive horseback rider who was at the barn 4 days a week and was in the best shape of her life. Now with only riding a few times a month, I’m ready to find that competitive spirit again with exercise. That devotion that I had to my sport.

Dawn and I, ASB Hunter Country Pleasure, Twin States '00 - photo by Shane Shiflet.

Dawn and I, ASB Hunter Country Pleasure, Twin States ’00 – photo by Shane Shiflet.

Tonight, I’m also starting a 30 day abs/squat challenge to go along with it. And no, I will not use this as my ‘daily’ active. This is just a supplement. I’ll be doing my before picture tonight, a 30 day photo (when the abs/squat challenge is complete), and then one at 100 days. Maybe another at like 60… but that will depend.

I’ll post updates on here. But not daily. I will be posting daily updates on my activity on my Instagram account – stop by and follow me there if you’re interested!

Friendly Feature – Meet Sierra!

1098118_10152594011689460_497852833_n

Taking a break from paddleboarding

Well today I’m bringing back the Friendly Feature. I’ve known Sierra for most of her life, seriously. She contacted me earlier this week to see if I would be interested in having her write pieces for the blog every now and then since she is working towards a nutrition degree. Of course I jumped at it. First things first – meet Sierra!

Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sierra Gamble. I just recently transferred to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and I am in their Nutrition program. I absolutely love to snowboard, ride horses, and I am a certified gym rat. I also love to paddleboard and watch the Bruins. I believe that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve that goal no matter how hard you think it may be.
What made you want to go to school for nutrition?

At first I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to study, so I took a GAP year and worked at Abercrombie & Fitch in the lovely city of Boston. After commuting in and out of Boston for almost a year I decided that I would finally apply to colleges. I applied to three schools and ultimately chose Plymouth State University. I did my first two years there as a Health Education major, but something did not feel quite right. I knew I wanted to do something pertaining to health for the rest of my eternity, but I didn’t necessarily want to teach about health in a school setting. I talked to the registered dietician who worked at PSU. She was a really great resource to help me decide what to do. Sara Patterson, the RD at Plymouth, recommended many great universities in Massachusetts. I talked it over with my dad and I chose to apply to the University of Massachusetts Amherst because it has an amazing Nutrition program. I didn’t just get accepted, I was offered a spot in their commonwealth honors college program, which was amazing news and here I am today as a second semester junior.

582031_3766793448722_1840048112_n

Getting in a good stretch before The Color Run 5K

What is your favorite form of exercise?

My favorite form of exercise would have to be cardio-kickboxing. I would recommend this class to anyone who really wants to kick their gym routines back into gear. It is extremely intimidating at first, but it is totally worth the pain. You sweat buckets, your heart rate stays increased the entire time, and you can learn some modified self defense moves, which can be useful for anyone. I also like to row, bike, do my own running intervals (occasionally), mountain climbers, jumping jacks, modified burpees, and ABS, and of course weight lifting and other cardio exercises that I find on the internet.
What does a typical day look like for you from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed?

A typical day for me when I’m at school, other than Mondays, would be: waking up before 9am, checking my blood sugar and dealing with my wonderful diabetes, eating a bowl of cereal with banana slices, go to at least three classes, book it to the gym and attempt to find a cardio machine to use or a space to stretch and do abs, workout for at least 45 minutes (preferably an hour every time), and then do homework, papers, and projects for the rest of my life. If I am lucky I will fall asleep before midnight.

I’m not usually that lucky though.

121_506694618215_5687_n

Riding ‘The Doctor Did It’ in a Walk/Trot Equitation class in Quentin, PA


You were an avid horseback rider growing up. What are your fondest memories and what do you think horseback riding taught you, besides riding a horse.

Riding horses was my life since I was 5 years old. I was definitely a lucky girl to have a family that could afford for me to take lessons and then show horses for several years. I don’t think I could ever break it down and pick one fondest memory. I have many with a few different horses. Ernest was my families first horse and he was the most perfect creature you could ever imagine. Having a bond with an animal that size is something I can’t even explain. People who do not ride horses would never even begin to understand. Horseback riding and being around horses has taught me many things that I still carry with me. It gave me more compassion than I believe I could get from just having a a dog or cat, it taught me to be competitive and to always be my best, but that my best doesn’t always mean that I am first. It also taught me how to work with others and gave me the work ethic I have today. I believe that I would be a completely different person today if I had not had this life experience.


What are you most looking forward to doing once you graduate with your nutrition degree?

I can’t wait to graduate only because I want to work with people who struggle with finding motivation to change their lifestyle and habits. I want to show people that even though life can be challenging and a struggle, that things will get better and that you just have to push through the bad things going on. I want to work with people that can relate to me and feel comfortable talking to me about things that I have struggled with as well, i.e. diabetes. 

What would you like to do with your nutrition degree?

I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with my nutrition degree. I want to graduate with a nutrition degree, become a registered dietician, and I also want to become a personal trainer and a diabetes educator. I want to be able to wrap everything together and be superwoman.

167484_10150120507661399_4590519_n

Snowboarding! One of my favorite things to do.

Who/what is your biggest motivator?

I would have to say that my dad is my biggest motivator. He has always been there for me and has always pushed me to do what I want and be who I want to be. It’s not always easy, but he always tells me how proud he is of me and makes sure I am always going down the path I want to be on. We always talk about how my courses are going and how I can do better and where I want to go after graduation.


How has dealing with type 1 diabetes helped with you nutrition degree? What have you learned from it? How have you dealt with it?

Having type I diabetes has really pushed me to want to do nutrition as a major because it is so relevant to my life. I always want to know more and understand how things work so I can ultimately be the greatest diabetic patient my doctor has. With the knowledge that I will obtain, I will also be able to help other people with diabetes, which ever type it may be, and show them that diabetes will not ruin your life; it just makes your life a little bit different from others. Understanding how foods work in your body has been really useful to my life and my disease. For example: rice has a really high glycemic index, which means that is rapidly effects a person’s blood sugar, whether they are diabetic or not. 1377295_10152005050260955_1141578078_nSince rice has a high glycemic index, it means that it will spike my blood sugar rapidly instead of gradually, which is not good for trying to control it. Insulin can only work so fast and it gets messed up when my sugar sky rockets faster than the insulin is working.

What is your advice for those who are struggling to get into the groove of a healthy lifestyle?

My advice for someone who is struggling to get in the groove of a new and healthy lifestyle is that you have to realize that absolutely NOTHING happens over night and that it is going to take some time. Taking that information into consideration, it is OK to have a bad day and back track. It is not the end of the world as long as you get back on the right track. It will eventually get easier because eating healthy and exercising will become a daily habit just like eating junk food and watching TV used to be.

Don’t give up, it is to easy. Challenge yourself!

Stay tuned for some fun pieces from Sierra! I’m sure excited to have her joining the blog 🙂