Tuesday, January 12, 2010

4 Things to Do Right Now for a More Fulfilling Life

I've noticed that people have been rather moody and not so happy lately. I don't know if it's the frigid winter weather or the fact that the holiday season is now over (and the next "holiday" to look forward to is Valentine's Day-I know blah), but something is in the air and it's not a good thing! So I've put together a little list of things you can do to make both your day (and someone else's) just a little bit brighter, a little bit more fulfilling!
1. Cook Dinner for Someone Special: Make a fabulous dinner for your boyfriend, your mom or even your roommates! Go all out-crack open a bottle of wine, set the table all pretty and cook up one of your favorite recipes, something you haven't made in a long, long time! Serve a healthy multi grain bread with olive oil, salt and pepper for dipping, then move on to salad and alas the main course! For dessert, have something light like fresh fruit or chocolate covered strawberries. For a super easy and semi-healthy fruit dip, mix together a container of light, fat free Cool Whip with one package of instant vanilla pudding. Stir together and cool for a yummy, good-for-ya dip!
2. Design a Book: Always wanted to make a book? Well here's your big chance! Go to Blurb's website to download a super easy program to get you started on your book-making project. You can choose everything from the layout, background, soft/hard covered, etc. Prices start around $5 to get your book printed, depending on what you want!
A friends birthday coming up? Mom and dad's anniversary? You can design anything from a photo collage to a cook book, all with your own personal touch! Right now, I'm making a healthy cook book for a friend, featuring all my healthy recipes with photos to go along with them! Have fun with it-it will give you something to do in your spare time and make someones day when the finished project comes out!
3. Have a pizza party! Buy some pizza dough (whole wheat if you want to be healthier) and a few cans of tomato sauce, and invite friends over to join in on the fun. Have each friend bring a different topping, like mozzarella cheese, broccoli, turkey burger, pepperoni, onions and anything else you love! Put on some aprons and have a blast!
4. Hit the Slopes: Make the best of this cold weather, and hit the ski slopes! Grab some friends and your ski gear, and head up to New Hampshire or Vermont for the weekend to let off some steam on the mountains. Not a skier? Take a lesson or suggest to go night snow tubing instead, which can be a blast! Skiing and snowboarding aren't only super fun activities, but can also burn approximately 408 calories in one hour-what a deal!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Get With It: Know Your Body Fat Percentage!

The other day at the gym, I took the ever-dreaded boy fat test. I mean, honestly, what is even somewhat delightful about lifting up your shirt, getting your fat clamped with calibers and exposing parts of your body not even you want to look at in the mirror?
Well, I have to say, while that does sound quite frightening, it really wasn't as bad as it's made out to be. I thought of it more like a scientific experiment, and found myself quite fascinated by the whole process, especially the end results. 
And I have to say, I highly recommend each and every one of you scheduling an appointment at your local gym to do the same. 
So many of us rely on the number on the scale to judge our progress, ultimately making us feel really good about ourselves (yay, I lost a pound!) or otherwise really shitty about ourselves (ugh, I'm gaining weight again after all that!) 
But really that one little number is only a part of our progress, and sometimes can be quite deceiving. How can you tell if that weight gain or loss was due to fat or muscle?
That's where the body fat percentage test comes in handy, telling you exactly how much fat you have on your body. No lies. No BS. Just plain truth. 
Most trainers will test your body fat at 7 different measurement sites (including your abdomen and thighs, two "trouble spots" for women) using the calibers, and will then put the numbers into a common formula to determine the percentage, making the test super accurate! 
And once you know that number, you can really see how your fitness goals are progressing, and adjust your regime accordingly.
For example, while I am no where near the low end of the scale, my body fat percentage read 26%, a fairly healthy number for women in their 20s. 
On the other hand, another woman the same age may look skinny and weigh even 110 pounds, yet have a body fat of 32%, which isn't very healthy. One of the personal trainers at my gym refers to this type person as "skinny fat." They may look "skinny" in theory, yet much of their weight is made of of pure fat, which isn't what we aim for. 
The lesson I've learned from this all, and that I want you to understand as well is that looks (and the number on the scale) can be highly deceiving at times. That's why it's so important not to rely on that one number, and to look at your progress in a full spectrum of things, including the way you look in the mirror, the way your clothes fit and how much body fat you have. 
So go go ahead and suck it up: brave the body fat test. Trust me, it's worth it. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Follow Your Heart

                        . . from Google Images. . 

What do You Have to Lose?

I used to go through life with a sort of guard up. Yes, I'm adventurous and fun, but in the back of my mind, a little part of me was always holding back, not living to its fullest potential. 
I guess I was scared in a way: scared of not meeting my goals, scared of getting my heartbroken, scared of being rejected, scared of things not working out the way I had planned. 
I'd analyze the heck out of everything that by the time I was finally ready to go ahead and go for it, I'd have already talked myself out of it, forgetting what I'd even wanted to do in the first place.
It was like I was scared to let myself go, to go ahead and go for it. . . and go big.
But lately, I've been trying to live by a different mindset to let go of all those little thoughts in my head and inhibitions, and just live
After all, what do I really have to lose anyway? Sure, things could go wrong, I could end up disappointed or let down, but if that's the worst of it, why not try? 
So from now on, I'm making more of an effort to go with it, go after what I want and deal with the consequences (good or bad) when they happen. 
Go ahead and try it with me. Behave a little friskier. Make bold moves. Follow your heart, instead of your mind once in a while. Reveal your true personality, even if it's a lot to handle. Act up. Go for that dream job. Walk with confidence. Dream big. 
Life's way too short to hold back, so go ahead and go big; go after what you really want!