…Jennifer’s Journey: 9 months post surgery…

In one month and a week, I am getting married! This weight loss journey was largely motivated by the fact that I was about to begin my life, with someone I love, and I wanted to make sure that I began that life as healthy and as happy as I possibly could. Since I first started this journey I have lost just under 100 pounds. Every time I say that it blows my mind! I feel (and look) like a totally different person. Now I will not lie, there are times where I have sat in bed, sick to my stomach because I ate something that I should not have or ate too fast, and have cursed the surgery. But in the grand scheme of life, I know that I made the right choice. Some things that I have learned since I am now about 9 months out of surgery.

1. This is a lifelong process: I have good days and bad days. Some days I do great and eat slow and get tons of protein and water and everything is great. Some days I slip up and have a soft drink or some candy. I get frustrated and eat too quickly and feel sick to my stomach and hate food. This is a journey. Not something that happens overnight.

2. I am more self conscious about how I look: Now this can be both a good and a bad thing. It is good because I am learning to love my new body. I love that I have tons more clothing to choose from and I love that I don’t get tired going up a flight (or three) of stairs and that I can run around the basketball or tennis court and not feel like passing out after five minutes. It is a bad thing because people are always hyper focused on my body and being someone who has struggled with my body image, it is hard to have people comment (even positively) about my body and how it has changed.

3. There are hidden expenses: I knew that losing weight would be fun and I knew that I would have to buy new clothes, but I did not realize the frequency that would happen. I am in the middle of cleaning out my closet and I have realized that almost everything I own hangs ill fittingly from my body. I have to also purchase new bras (which ladies know get super expensive i.e. $50+ each) every month. This in addition to planning for a wedding has really hit my pocket book. I also have to get a lot more blood work done and most of the labs are covered by insurance, but there is still a portion that I end up paying out of pocket every time I go to the doctor.

4. There is a lot of blood work: To go back to what I just mentioned, I have gotten so used to people taking my blood I can point them to the best arm and location to draw from. This is not something that I particularly enjoy, but I know that just about every time I go to a medical office, I will be asked to give some blood samples so they can measure my levels.

5. Everyday is something new: The good and the bad, the ups and the downs, everyday I find something new to enjoy about this process. I find myself absentmindedly tapping on my collarbone because I can now see it prominently showing. I find myself belting all of my outfits to show off how small my waist has become during this time. I enjoy spending less when I go out to eat and having tons of food left over.

No matter what, this process has been one that has been both challenging and rewarding. It is a life decision that you have to make and stick with it. As I said I do fall off the wagon at times, but I think I am more motivated than ever to stay on track because I see the success that I can have if I continue to work hard after surgery. My goal now is to enter into the coveted “Onderland” or what we call those who are in the 100s weight range. My hope is to get into my goal weight area and then find ways to maintain this weight goal in a way that is reasonable and manageable for my schedule. I also look forward to being able to wear the wedding dress of my dreams because I can actually fit into the mainstream dresses and was not limited to the “Plus Size” section this time. Life is good!

…State 24: Ohio…

One of my long term fitness goals is to do a fitness event in all 50 states.

I recently had the opportunity to cross off another state: Ohio!

I made the 10 hour drive from the Midwest to Cleveland to participate in a GORUCK event commemorating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over 80 people showed up to participate in this event.

What I learned about Cleveland and Ohio:

  • It was nice to navigate through the state! 3 lane highway a majority of the trip while in Ohio.
  • Cleveland is a BEAUTIFUL city! The downtown Cleveland area is created by some beautiful buildings, churches, and other monuments.
  • The Winking Lizard was kind enough to let our group congregate there. They provided PHENOMENAL service.  The food was also great (although it is not a traditional healthy place to eat they did have some good healthy meal options on their menu!) and they also had an extensive beer list!
  • Cleveland has THREE major league athletic teams!?? How did that happen!?? (Cleveland Browns NFL, Cleveland Indians MLB, Cleveland Cavaliers NBA)

Random things I noticed about Ohio:

  • Gas prices were approximately $0.10 – $0.15 higher in Ohio than in Missouri
  • I saw MORE cops while driving through Ohio than I saw in any other state (I traveled from Missouri —> Illinois —> Indiana —> Ohio)
  • If you want to take a picture in front of the “Welcome to Ohio” sign be cautious. The sign is located on a overpass that you pass under (and it is a busy highway) so you would have to stop in advance and have the sign in the distance behind you.
  • A version of “The Christmas Story” house is located in Cleveland!

…Counseling for Men – Benefits, Treatments, and What to Expect…

What holds many men back from getting counseling and treatment concerning issues that are bothering them? According to the American Psychological Association, they may not know anything is wrong with them. Early childhood cues regarding what emotions are acceptable for boys to display have a lasting effect. As a result, their ability to discern their emotions as adults may be limited. And these men may be unable to express or determine how they are feeling. Depression or sadness may get buried under other numbing activities, such as porn, alcoholism, and more.

Women who are brought up under the same strictures may also show this stunted emotional development. And, of course, not all men have had childhoods where certain emotions were discouraged. Additionally, today’s generation of millennial men are shifting toward more openness to counseling. With 42 percent of those surveyed saying that mens counseling is an essential aspect of mental health.

Benefits to counseling and therapy sessions

Counseling is a means for men to reevaluate negative thought patterns that might be holding them back in work or in a relationship. Often, individuals are unaware of what triggers negative thought patterns. Counseling provides an objective perspective to help people find a way to more productive viewpoints.

Being able to discuss work issues in a safe space, without fear of negative feedback can reduce work anxiety. While coworkers may be sympathetic and know what a fellow coworker may be experiencing, in the long term this may be harmful to one’s career. Alternatively, friends and family may be a source of comfort. But too much reliance on venting to a friend or a sibling may negatively impact that relationship.

Approaching therapy as a means of stress reduction and other common therapy topics

In one study, millennials were asked what were the three largest sources of stress and how they ranked them. Work ranked highest, money second, and self-esteem third. Other common topics that men seek

help for include the following:

  •  Rectifying marriage disputes
  •  Achieving better understanding of their partners
  • Counseling to help end damaging patterns, such as a desire or propensity toward affairs
  •  Addiction related counseling
  •  Feeling stuck at work
  • Not knowing how to achieve a work / life balance
  •  Desire for greater achievements in work
  •  Finding meaning after one has achieved milestone career goals
  •  Finding meaning during a mid-life crisis
  •  Finding new meaning after retirement

Men are often initially hesitant to discuss problems for which they are not able to provide a solution. So some therapists approach the subject in terms of goals to be achieved through counseling sessions. For example, setting a goal of getting “unstuck” is an effective way of looking at issues. And helps men understand that counseling is simply a way of developing strategies for life.

Untreated depression and anxiety

Anxiety that is untreated can lead to addictions and compulsive behaviors. Furthermore, depression that is untreated can lead to clinical depression. Clinical depression affects almost all aspects of one’s life, including eating and sleeping patterns. The danger arises for men when they are unable to evaluate whether they are depressed. And what begins as depression turns into clinical depression with severe physical repercussions.

Men should be encouraged to connect with feelings of sadness. For men, learning to better connect with and manage their emotions will help them find success in work and in relationships.

Counseling relationships are the most beneficial when the person feels free to open up about themselves. So men should be encouraged to find a counselor or therapist they feel comfortable with. It may take a couple of sessions with a therapist before all feel comfortable. So they should be encouraged to keep trying, even if the first session was difficult. Working on one’s mental health is worth the initial hurdles one faces and will go far to enhance one’s quality of life and relationships with others.

…How to Recover Quickly from Elective Surgery Through Exercises…

According to the last data available from CDC (1996), there were more than 72 million surgical and non-surgical procedures performed on near 40 million patients. Surgery (emergency or elective) in general requires rehabilitation and one of the ways to ensure speedy recovery is through exercises to improve functioning in the medium and long terms.

Popular Elective Surgeries

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) revealed that there were 17.1 million surgical procedures performed in the US in 2016. To improve physical appearance and in some cases, physical function. Examples of surgery in this category according to a top Scottsdale plastic surgeon are breast augmentationmastectomy, lumpectomy (breast conservation), breast reconstruction and lymph node removal, also there is liposuction, facelifts and nose or eyelid surgery.

Another procedure that is commonly performed is refractive surgery to correct vision. For women, there are common surgeries that are deemed important from a medical viewpoint or through choice. These include hysterectomy and tubal ligation.

Recommended Exercises

For major plastic surgery cases such as breast reduction/lift, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction as well as eye laser procedure, there should be no physical activity at least 48 hours after treatment. Later, light cardio exercises may be initiated depending on the procedure undertaken and the fitness level of the patient.

Patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery are encouraged to get the arm and shoulder going again with specific exercises. The attending physician will usually refer you to a physical or occupational therapist or even a cancer exercise specialist who will design a bespoke program. Some of the exercises will involve raising affected arm and deep breathing.

Hip replacement patients are encouraged to begin exercises immediately or as soon as able to improve recovery. The types of exercise include ankle pumps (pushing foot up and down), ankle rotation, bed-supported knee bends, buttock contractions, abduction (sliding the leg as far out to the side), walking, stair climbing/descending and other advance exercises/activities. A physical therapist will also design and follow an exercise regimen for the patient to use.

Prepping yourself up before an elective surgery can also improve the outcome and post recovery. This means getting into shape whatever way you can or avoiding foods that are bad for you to assist in better healing.  Moreover, whatever types of exercises are undertaken after surgery, it is equally important to include good nutrition to recuperate faster.

…3 Newbie Workout Mistakes To Avoid…

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If you’re completely new to fitness training, the very idea of the gym and long runs around your town can be intimidating. Although you’re probably not going to stick out as much as you’re afraid you will, there are still various newbie mistakes that people tend to make when they first get into training. Avoid these common errors, and you’ll get the most out of all your hard work from the very beginning.

Setting Goals you Can’t Achieve

Instead of being taken in by your fantasies of intense Rocky-esque montages, and going whole-hog right out of the gate, start off small, training just two days of the week. Keeping to just a few hours of working out per week, you’ll be able to integrate it into your other responsibilities and routines without making things too difficult for yourself. By setting yourself a goal that’s well within your reach, you’ll give your confidence a massive boost. Any extra sessions, if you feel up to them, are just the icing on the cake. If you’re ever pressed for time, focus on being efficient, and putting more intensity into a shorter session, rather than giving the gym a miss. It’s great to have big ideas, but if you bite off more than you can chew, you’re certain to regret it!

Going in Without a Plan

Okay, so you dragged yourself out of bed and managed to do a session at the gym. That’s great! However, the work certainly doesn’t stop there. If you wander around hopping on whatever machines are free and hope for the best, you’re only going to be wasting your time. Have a plan in place. By writing out your program, from times and exercises to the kind of supplement you’ll use, you’ll not only give yourself more confidence, but will convince yourself that you really know what you’re doing in the gym. Developing the right mindset goes a long way in working out effectively. You need to know not only the exercises you’ll be doing, but also how to perform each one properly. Executing everything you do safely should be a priority. Being a beginner doesn’t mean you have to learn your lessons the hard way. Working out your chest and back, for example, can do serious damage to your shoulders if you’re doing it wrong.

Putting Off Strength Training

Another big mistake newbies tend to make is focussing all their time on cardio, rather than making time for strength training. If all you do is conditioning and cardio exercises, especially in those early stages, you’ll burn some fat, but you’ll be holding yourself back from your long-term muscle-building goals. Remember that when you have lean mass for long periods of time, you’ll be burning calories, even when you’re done sweating it out in the gym. If you’re new to weight training, and nervous about compound movements like squats and deadlifts, you can always tweak these exercises by using more accessible equipment, such as dumbbells. However you start, make some room for strength training!

 

…Planting The Seeds For Fitness…

Image via flickr

No matter who you are, you want to be fitter. Everyone wants to take care of their body, but life can get in the way. After all, there is more to existence than hitting the gym five times a week. Still, working out and eating a balanced diet is essential if you want to maintain your health. The odds are that this tip won’t come as a surprise. In fact, you might have tried everything in the book to hit your targets and achieve your goals. If you have, now is the time to try using plants. Yep, plants can aid your health, and here is how.

Protein & Muscle Mass

There are two parts to working out: cardio and building muscle. For the best results, the average person needs a mixture of the two. That’s fine when it comes to cardio because it’s so easy. All you have to do is jump on a treadmill or a bike and exercise for forty minutes to an hour. Building muscle is different because it’s complicated. There is so much more that goes into a well-defined muscle mass that it hurts thinking about it. The good news is that there is no need for complex diets and protein shakes any longer thanks to plant protein. With protein from a plant, the body can recover quickly and more effectively than before. And, because it’s like a straight injection into the body, there’s no need to change your diet.

Oxygen Debt

In fitness terms, an oxygen debt is when the body doesn’t use O2 to exercise. Instead, it uses carbohydrates and sugars, which causes lactic acid to form. There is also another kind of oxygen debt: the amount of oxygen in the room. No one thinks about the purity of the air, but you should if you want to see better results. If you think about it logically, the O2 in the air is what keeps you going while you work out. When that oxygen is lacking or stale, your body won’t work as effectively. Plants not only make oxygen, but they also cleanse the air. Anyone that works out next to plants will feel fitter and stronger thanks to the constant supply of oxygen.

Mental Workout

Exercising is of course physical. To say any different would be stupid. But, it’s also a mental exercise. The truth is that the average person doesn’t enjoy exercising. They do it because they have to, not because they want to. As a result, people like your good self are more likely to quit or make excuses. Stopping halfway through isn’t the answer because you’ll never reap the rewards. What you have to do is plow on regardless for the benefit of your entire body. Now, plants might not seem like the answer, but you’re in for a shock. For one thing, they brighten up the room and make it more hospitable. This small change will make working out less daunting. Also, the additional oxygen affects your mood. The less O2 that gets to the brain, the less determined and motivated you become.

They might seem insignificant, but plants are the tonic for a healthy life.

 

…A Healthy and Quick Weight Loss Meal Plan – Gm Diet Plan…

Having control over your weight is the most predominant thing as a matter of many health concerns.  But it just doesn’t mean to reduce your weight to the least which gives you good appeal and saves you from fat problems. One needs to have the healthy muscle and bone strength which also account for your weight. Now, we are discussing one such diet chart which gives you what you need and clears everything which is unwanted from the body. The diet is ‘Gm Diet Plan.’

 

About the ‘Gm Diet’:

Gm diet plan for weight loss has been in the popular health world for around 30 years started by General Motors company to increase the working potentials of their workers. It has seen explosive results of success, and it has been adopted by the world’s people with tremendous acceptance from then.

This weight loss diet plan is of 7 days’ duration which involves strict food habits and rigid timings. It is more advantageous when we try such foods which only extract the useless material in the body and supplies essential nutrients and minerals for the 7 days at a stretch. It is often termed as the weight loss diet as it has seen extremely effective results in this angle. It is now the most famous and the fastest way to lose weight amongst all the diets promoting weight loss.

Steps into the Gm Diet Chart

Gm diet is a crucial diet plan for weight loss, and it has equally adverse effects if the diet is not followed well. Because the foods suggested in the plan are so strictly designed for the control over weight and to melt the fats. One must be thoroughly conscious throughout the 7 days’ time so that he/she won’t be affected by the ill effects.

Before starting the diet plan, check with your doctor if your body supports the food habits that are going to be followed. If you are with weak muscles, weak bones, you should definitely not try this diet to lose your fats. There are other better ways for you to lose weight with foods.

If you are a child of under 18 age, or a pregnant, or a diabetic, or victim of any such disease, be at a distance from this. Because the gm diet chart highly focuses on burning the fats and sending the body cells rich nutrients. It has very strict timings and foods that do not consider your health condition whether you could bear with it or not. So be sure to be physically alright and then proceed for the week-days’ battle.

What Magic has the gm diet in it?

Though magic is a superficial word, for sure, you will feel that gm diet plan is a magical diet. The reasons are also multiple for this.

The results are so quick, psychological changes in the brain with the food taken will be marvelous, you won’t feel like leaving the foods that you have taken after finishing the diet.

But the real action of the fat burning foods isn’t just melting the fats and clearing the veins.  Detoxification needs a special mention in it.

The activity of the foods we take can be distinctly understood by daily analysis. The first four days of the diet is completely filled with fruits and salads. This makes an effective and fastest way to lose weight without gaining any calories and fats.

They detox your body extensively and provide immense antioxidants. The foods are no less than general diet nutrients in comparison.

From the fifth day of the gm diet plan, you will be enriched with calories and carbs. The beauty of non-vegetarian foods can be effectively enjoyed in the process. You need not bother if you are a vegetarian though it is not a vegan diet plan. But you can replace the foods with vegetarian alternatives.

7Day Plan

Sample diet suggestions are provided here which give you sufficient information and knowledge regarding weight loss meals and the gm diet plan. You can start this diet chart for weight loss initiation without any hesitation. However, you can get the similar foods related to the fat burning foods if you have previous knowledge on health and weight loss.

Starting with Day-1 of the diet plan weight loss, follow the entire pattern without fail. You can witness the guaranteed results.

1 st Day – Fruits and Water

Breakfast(Not later than 8.30 a.m.): Apples

Brunch Time(10.30 a.m.): Cantaloupes

Lunch(12 Noon): Watermelon

Post Lunch Snacks(4 p.m.): Orange

Evening Snacks(6.30 p.m.): Apples

Dinner(Not later than 8 p.m.): Cantaloupes and Guavas

Take plenty of water each time you eat something.

Do not take bananas throughout the day. Eat as many fruits as your hunger demands, but no skipping the timings!

 

2 nd Day – Fruits, Water, and Veggies

Same timings should be followed as the first day.

Breakfast: Boiled Potatoes with Butter

Brunch Time: Lettuce salad, some fruit juice or veggie juice

Lunch: Vegetable salad with cucumbers, carrots, onions

Post Lunch Snacks: Boiled broccoli, bell pepper

Evening Snacks: Boiled Cauliflower

Dinner: Salad with broccoli, green beans, and carrots

Add little amounts of butter or herbal oils like olive oil for flavoring, but not excessive. Avoid banana second day also. Take plenty of water.

 

3 rd Day – Fruits and Veggies

Breakfast: Cantaloupes or Apples

Brunch Time: Pineapples or pears

Lunch: Lettuce salad with cucumbers and carrots

Post Lunch Snacks: Orange and Cantaloupe

Evening Snacks: Pear

Dinner: Boiled broccoli, beetroots

Avoid banana for the third day too. Take water in proper amounts so that you don’t lack it anymore.

 

4 th Day – Milk and Banana

Breakfast: Bananas and a glass of milk

Brunch Time: Banana shake

Lunch: Diet Soup

Post Lunch Snacks: Banana milkshake

Evening Snacks: Bananas

Dinner: Bananas and a glass of milk

Do not avoid water, take plenty of it. Take bananas whenever you are hungry.

 

5 th Day – Brown Rice, Veggies, and Fruits

Breakfast: Tomatoes and Boiled Kidney beans

Brunch Time: Cup of yogurt

Lunch: Tomatoes and Bowl of Brown Rice or Chicken breast or fish.

Post Lunch Snacks: Salad with onions and sprouts

Evening Snacks: Apples and a pear

Dinner: Diet Soup

You can also take eggs as a replacement of tomatoes. Take plenty of water.

 

6 th Day – Brown Rice, Veggies, and Water

Breakfast: Mixed Vegetables boiled

Brunch Time: Kidney beans and tomatoes

Lunch: Brown Rice or Chicken breast or fish with Diet Soup

Post Lunch Snacks: A pear

Evening Snacks: Diet Soup

Dinner: Boiled Veggies

Do not add oil in any of the cooked foods. You can try some spices with tomatoes and vegetables as

they can detox your body as a plan of gm diet plan.

 

7 th Day – Brown Rice, Veggies, and Juices

Breakfast: Mixed vegetable salad

Brunch Time: carrots and Diet soup

Lunch: Brown Rice in a cup, Boiled vegetables

Post Lunch Snacks: Carrots

Evening Snacks: Vegetable salad

Dinner: Diet Soup

Do not bother about the narrow choice of foods; you can definitely get through this gm diet chart composed of such wonderful foods to eat. Also, you are only restricted to have certain foods but not on the weight loss meals how much you eat. You can have them in ample amounts without any problem.

Weight loss in 7 days is now a possibility for you after getting enough confidence to follow this tremendous diet chart for weight loss.

…Heart Healthy Workouts You’ll Love…

Getting fit and healthy requires motivation to change existing bad habits and make good ones. A lot of the motivation for getting fit is thinking about the impact a lazy lifestyle has on the body. It’s not just the muscles on your arms and legs, but your heart that you need to think about the most. Every time you nip into the gym or the doctor’s surgery, you’ll be faced with posters letting you know that just thirty minutes of exercise every single day is enough to keep your heart healthy. You also need to think about the foods you eat, and the effect they have on your organs.

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Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise doesn’t sound like a particularly long time, but for your heart it’s enough. It’s about keeping it beating harder and above your resting rate to get the blood pumping properly around your body. You don’t have to do thirty minutes at once; you can break it into smaller chunks and that’s where HIIT (high intensity interval training) comes into play. You can get yourself invested in classes and gym memberships, even taking personal trainer certifications to make your health your focus. You can teach others that smaller bursts of exercise will still have a positive effect on heart and lung health. There are some brilliant ways you can get your body moving to keep your heart as healthy as possible, and we’ve listed these for you here so you can get some great ideas about how to keep your heart in tip top shape.

Walk It Out: Walking is the number one way to get your heart rate up. It’s not only free, but it’s enjoyable. You can choose to pump the music up and speed walk everywhere you go, or you can stroll with the children in a pram or with a friend. It’s up to you the pace you take as long as it’s one that gets your heart pumping. It’s important to remember that aerobic exercise uses all the larger muscles in your body in a repetitive motion over time and walking hits that mark. It’s kinder on joints that can’t manage the impact of running. Walking is a fantastic way to raise the heart rate while being social, so leave the car in the drive and walk everywhere you go. You can invest in fitness watches like these that can track your heart rate and steps and you can turn it all into a contest!

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Step Fast: Aerobic exercise requires you to reach between 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. It doesn’t take long to get fit and regular exercise will allow this to happen for you. Climbing stairs is a great way of getting into that target range. We’re not suggesting you start running up and down your stairs at home, although please do feel free if you like! Head to the gym to use the stair master and start using the stairs at work instead of the elevator to get you to your floor. Small changes like these are great for heart and lung fitness and should be incorporated into your daily routine as much as possible.

On Your Bike: Cycling is one of the best low impact exercises you can do for your joints and your heart. The pumping motion you do when you push the pedals up and down is fantastic for the muscles in your legs as well as the heart. Investing in a stationary bike like this one for use at home will help when the weather is far too wet and unpleasant to cycle to work. You’ll need to make sure that you have positioned the pedals and seat at the correct distances so that you can feel comfortable and not overdo any muscles.

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Make A Splash: If you want exercise that works your whole body without impacting the joints, swimming is your best bet. Not only will you be able to keep all your muscles moving in a way that works your whole body, but your heart will be the recipient of all the aerobic benefits of moving through the water. Working your heart to its maximum while putting less stress on your bones and joints is a fantastic way of getting around conditions like arthritis. There’s never an excuse for not exercising if your body is working, and swimming is kind to the body while giving you a great workout.

Running Man: Elliptical machines like these are becoming ever more popular as an all-round at home workout. Most gyms invest in them and more and more people are buying them for home use. An elliptical machine gives you both an upper and lower body work out that sends the blood pumping around the body. As it’s an all-round aerobic exercise, your heart can work steadily up to a peak rhythm. It’s not a bad investment if you hope to have a healthy heart and lung fitness level.

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Dance The Night Away: More aerobics classes within sports centres are focusing on the fun aspect of exercise by introducing dances like Zumba. You only need some decent footwear and an element of fun and you could be doing some high or low impact footwork that ramps up your heart rate and your smile. This type of exercise is far easier to stick with as it has the fun attached and you can really enjoy yourself as you swirl around the dance floor.

Games Console: Rather than sit on a computer game and blow up the bad guys, why not invest in a Wii Fit? Interactive video games that have you leaping around the room to bat an imaginary tennis ball or doing boxing can increase your heart rate enough for a great workout. Half an hour a day on a games console goes by quickly!

You can do any number of these exercises for half an hour a day, five days a week and feel fantastic while you do it. Never miss a workout, even if all you’re doing is power walking around the local park. Love your heart and your body will love you for longer.

 

…HIIT VS LISS…

First, there was HIIT training, and just when we’d managed to wrap our heads around that concept along came LISS. We know that HIIT training is about sweating it out and pushing ourselves to the limits in a short amount of time. So what exactly is LISS, and which should we be doing?

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What Is HIIT Training?

HIIT training became very popular a few years ago and has continued to remain so because of Instagrammers and fitness bloggers. It stands for high-intensity interval training. If you go to an HIIT training session you will be expected to push your body to its limit in explosions of exercise. Then you have a rest before moving on to the next exercise.

What Is LISS Training?

LISS training may sound like a new fitness craze, but some of us have already been doing it. Put simply LISS training is low-intensity, steady-state exercise. Quite a mouthful. It’s the antithesis of HIIT training. Instead of working extremely hard for short bursts, LISS training encourages low-level exertion spread out over longer periods of time.

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What Are The Benefits of LISS Training?

LISS training is great for those looking to lose weight. The training encourages cardio exercises which are low in intensity. These include walking, jogging, swimming, even ballroom dance classes count! These are all amazing for burning fat. Lower intensity exercise is actually considered better by some. The body needs oxygen in order to metabolize fat. These lower intensity exercises free up more oxygen for the body to use. When less oxygen is available our bodies have to resort to getting it from carbohydrates.

LISS is also great for those who are new to sport, older or recovering from an injury. Low-intensity exercise put less strain on joints. This is good news for those with a fear of exercise-related injuries!

What Are The Benefits Of HIIT Training?

The huge benefit of HIIT training is that, just like LISS, you can burn fat. Unlike LISS you can do it very quickly. People love that they can fit a quick HIIT session into their busy lives and burn fat fast. The other benefit is that because of the higher intensity you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve stopped!

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So Which Is Best?

As we all know, there is no shortcut to achieving the results we want. HIIT is amazing for seeing results and for giving a great workout in a short space of time. The reality, however is that you won’t be as fit just doing HIIT training you need aerobic exercises that LISS offer too. LISS may be time-consuming and HIIT may be draining, but we need to do both to get great results.

 

…Everything is bigger in TEXAS, except the GORUCK patches…

The GORUCK Texas Triple:

The GORUCK TOUGH  is a 10-12 hour endurance event.  You start the even typically in the evening around 9:00 PM and continue the event until the following morning. The Texas Triple was complied of THREE consecutive GORUCK TOUGH events that were back-to-back-to back.  What made this even more challenge…. The first event was held in Houston, Texas, the 2nd event was hosted in Austin, Texas right after the 1st event, and the 3rd event started/ended in San Antonio, Texas right after the 2nd event.

The Why:

Eric, John, and myself (pictured above) have completed the Triple Heavy, Triple Light, and the Triple Scavenger. Logically it only made sense if we completed the Triple Tough! Collecting triple patches from each of the offered events is something that NO ONE in the GORUCK community has done….until WE did it.

Another hidden meaning… 

Despite really wanting to collect all of the bolts, the Texas Triple has another special meaning for me.

The start of the first Tough was scheduled for March 9, 2017.   March 9, 2006 is the day that my mom passed away. So every year on March 9th, I traditionally light a lantern, say a prayer and a few words to my mom, and reflect on my life as I watch the lantern slowly drift into the darkness of the sky.

Each year, I have had to light the lantern alone…until this year…

I had some of my closest friend by my side to help me and be apart of this special moment.

Well… I can not forget how we almost burned down Houston, Texas…

But Lucky for me… I had brought TWO lanterns so one lantern was successfully launched into the night sky.

So for me, completing the Texas Triple was not just to earn the patches. I wanted to do these events in honor of my mom. She was a women known for giving back to the community. As a child I remember doing an abundance of community service events and donating my own toys/clothes to those who were less fortunate. I can say that my mom helped me to see the true meaning of “it could always be worse” and to appreciate the things and opportunities that are received.

The cadre

CADRE DAN! The creator of the GORUCK Heavy. A senior cadre who shows no mercy when it comes to carrying weight during one of his events.  If you plan on doing one of his events plan to be under A LOT OF WEIGHT! He favors sandbags (and sand babies) and lots of miles. He is also a fair cadre and will teach you some pretty cool tactical skills.

Cadre Karl is newer to GORUCK, If you do his events plan to be on the off beaten trails (not in the city, maybe lost in the woods or on some city trails). He also favors a lot of weight and long miles.

Houston…we have a problem….

Houston was by far one of the difficult (mentally) toughs that I have done. The path that we took was direct. When I say that I mean…when you looked down the trail and saw nothing but a straight trail for MILES….you knew that is where you were going…. alllllllll thhhhhhhheeeee waaaaaaaayyyy toooooooo thhhhhheeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnd of that trail. Typically during a event you zig zag across paths, neighborhoods, or whatever route the cadre pick for you. So having this type of route, and watching your team slowly inch towards the end of the route made it difficult embrace.

Oh…we also walked through MILES of ankle to knee deep swamp water. Yes there were bugs, snakes, and anticipated alligators…

We also lost speaking privileges for a long portion of the event. Walking long miles and not being able to talk for sure presents mental hurdles. But, the team we had was very proactive and helping when needed and did what they could to try to help keep people’s spirits positive.

Overall H-Town left me muddy, swampy, and itchy. I have done “X” amount of events (seriously I do not know…I stopped counting… LoL).  I have NEVER had the terrible skin rashes that were acquired from the Houston Event (and probably a slight mix of the other cities… but this was the event with the most environmental factors).

Austin, Texas

Austin is a beautiful city! South by southwest (a huge musical festival) was also going on this same weekend. I was keeping my fingers crossed that we would be able to navigate to the capital and be around some of the awesomeness of the festival…

We spent 100% of the time on a trail.  Which is NOT a problem, but it was raining and the trail was made of pebbles and stones.  The concern for one of my team mates falling and getting hurt because a harsh reality when my Midwest sidekick Meghan slipped on some rocks and twisted her ankle. As a team we put her on the litter and carried her out of the trail so our support staff could pick her up.

The Austin trail was dark, raining, and to be honest you really could not appreciate the beauty of the trail because it was so dark. I researched the trail after the event and I am sad that I was unable to really enjoy the fullness of the trail since the bulk of the event was done at night and in the dark.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, the home of the Alamo. The home of Texas revolution and the river walk. San Antonio has so much history and so many things that can be explored and enjoyed.  Sadly, we did not get to enjoy any of the history of San Antonio during this event.

We spent our time on the River Walk BUT on the outside boundary of town.  For those of you who do not know, the River Walk is a man made shallow river with walking path that dissects the city of San Antonio.  The River Walk leads up to the Alamo and a lot of the down town restaurants and shops. It is a beautiful city monument and is  well built and maintained. It provided a nice path for us to follow providing minimal environmental hurdles for us to deal with during the event.

We stayed on the trail and got to enjoy the lights of the city from the distance. Lost of miles, lots of sand bags, and still lots of smiles.

Overview 

I was really expecting to get to see and experience the depths of these three major cities in Texas. Cadre Karl and Dan immediately made it known that they wanted us to explore the wilderness of Texas…and that is exactly what we got to do.  I am not saying this was a bad thing! It was very interesting to get to see a different side of Texas.  BUT, I was slightly disappointed that we did not get to see the city or at least the capital of Texas.

The team overall was GREAT! There was very little (if any at all) bickering or arguing.  Everyone seemed to get along great and we moved well as a team (although the cadre may feel other wise). Courtesy of Cadre Dan we were able to keep the sand babies for the duration of the Texas Triple.

The Texas Triple was bitter sweet for me because it was the moment that Eric, Jon and I achieved something that NO ONE in the GORUCK community has done. Although it may be a small victory it was a goal that we wanted to achieve and I could not have asked to do it with a better group of people by my side.

One more thing…

Pictured above: Connor (top left), Meghan, Stephanie (me), Chris, Jon, Jill, Eric (2nd row left), and Dan.

When doing an event you have to make sure to acknowledge and thank your support crew!!

Sam (a GRT from Oklahoma) volunteered his time and his weekend to shuttle us around in the Funk Wagon (the name we gave the van for obvious reasons). THANK YOU SAM for taking time to get us to Texas, around Texas, and back to the Midwest safely! He also took some awesome pics for us during portions of the event. If there was  an all star shadow award, I would totally give one to Sam!