My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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Resistance Bands: Cheap, Easy, Space Efficient

source: Grit by Brit

I recently acquired some resistance bands. They’ve been popular for a while & the internet is full of info — I’m really lame about trends — so I’m not going in depth here, but I did want to suggest them to anyone who hasn’t tried them & is looking for a cheap, easy way to do strength work at home without taking up a lot of space.  They are a little easier to use than weights, & if you drop them on your foot it hurts a lot less.

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Anxiety & the Gym

They’re all gonna have droopy boobs like me one day, anyway.
~The Oatmeal

Capture elderly oatmeal

Oh you must read this in its entirely. Go NOW!

What do that old dude & I have in common, besides droopy boobs & a generally cranky attitude?  We both want to be alone at the gym.  Not an issue exclusive to us.

When I searched “gym anxiety” a lot  came up.  Most of it was the usual “I’m fat/weak/clumsy/a heavy sweater & I’m afraid people will judge me at the gym”.  To which the usual answer was “Get over yourself. You’re not so special everyone is paying attention to you.”  While that is true, it’s not very helpful, especially for someone dealing with an anxiety disorder.  It’s also kinda mean.

Everyone’s anxiety manifests differently, so there are no blanket answers.  Personally, along with the “I’m fat & feel judged by all the fit people at the gym; everyone is laughing at me” form of typical gym anxiety, there’s also the anxiety that has caused me to cry in the grocery aisle – where only one other person was – suddenly overwhelmed by the idea of how many people were in the store.  There’s also the perfectionism causing a paralyzing fear of making mistakes & the paranoia that feeds the idea everyone is watching & judging me.  I’ve been trying to convince myself no one is paying that much attention to me in public for 20+ years, but it doesn’t work.  The being alone thing is part of what I like about running.  You may remember the only race I ever did.

Just not going to the gym is certainly one solution to this problem, but maybe not the best one depending on your goals.  I have chosen that route a lot of the time, & history says this will come around again.  If your goals lead you to pursuing the gym life in spite of your fear & loathing of other people, then here are a few suggestions from my experience.

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Building Your Home Gym

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
~Agatha Christie (HuffPo)

This raccoon is rocking the home workout.

Since I posted The Minute Jar yesterday, I thought I would give you some ideas for fitness equipment you can stock up on to help you out at home.

To that end I found this article on WebMD, “At-Home Workouts: 5 Essential Items for a Home Gym“.  This actually lists several items in five categories: cardio, strength, balance, flexibility, & Guidance.  They list a variety of options at different price points, as well as advice from personal trainers & how much space you need to use the different options.

At Real Simple, I found “The Best Fitness Tools for Your Home Gym“.  They polled their “exer-stars” for compilations of favorite tips & tools in categories by budget & level.

I’ve posted about home gym equipment before, so here’s a handy list of links:

DIY Foam Roller for $2.49
How To Foam Roll Like A Pro | Greatist
21 DIY Gym Equipment Projects to Make at Home | Greatist

Hope this helps!


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A Trip to the Local Library

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
~Henry David Thoreau (Brainy Quotes)

library books

No water mark or photo editing for this pic because I haven’t set my NEW LAPTOP up for it yet.  I  broke the screen on my other laptop months ago, so I was using it with a monitor. *le sigh*  I finally broke down & replaced it.

I went to the library today to finally get the last book in the Percy Jackson series (love the books, love the 2nd movie, disappointed by the 1st movie – in case you were wondering).  I also wanted to get a book on strength training while I was there.  I’ve been hearing a lot about The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess but no such luck.  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weight Training (printed in 2000) was the best I could do.  Should be alright for the basics though.

An Unquiet Mind: Memoir of Moods & Madness was on a nearby shelf, as was Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself.  I have quoted Kay Redfield Jamison here before, but never read the book – until now!  I had never heard of Body Clutter, but I am familiar with Flylady.  I grabbed the book based on the tag line & this from the back cover,

“…it’s not about finding the perfect diet, it’s about the way you feel about food & your body & understanding sound nutrition.”

I can get behind that.  I have been eating like the old me this month & I feel like crap because of it, so it appealed to me on that level.  Plus, I’m interested to see how it lines up with HAES principles.  It sounds like it could go either way.  I will let you know how it goes.

Have any of your read any of these books?  Have others you would recommend?  I would love to hear some opinions.


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Update: Feb 18-24, 2013

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. ”
~Joseph Campbell (Goodreads)

Okay, so I’ve been slacking for a couple of weeks.  I did a few runs, but have mostly done nothing.  Tomorrow though I am restarting the HH 10K program.  Refocused & back to good!  But even with the slacking I have noticed lately in other activities I’ve been getting up to, I am stronger & more flexible.  I’m quite impressed with myself.

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21 DIY Gym Equipment Projects to Make at Home | Greatist

The words “Do It Yourself” might bring to mind images of crocheted scarves and hand-embroidered mittens, but turns out the DIY community also has a harder edge. 

The Greatist: 21 DIY gym projects

21 DIY Gym Equipment Projects to Make at Home | Greatist

Fitness aficionados across the country are figuring out how to make their own gym equipment, saving money and boosting self-sufficiency in the process. Here, we’ve rounded up 21 DIY fitness projects designed to give you the tools to strength train, do some cardio, and stretch it all out in the comfort of your own home. Though some of these projects might be a little intimidating (concrete and power tools, anyone?), many of them are accessible to even the novice do-it-yourselfer.

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Weekly Update: Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2013

Since I didn’t finish the 10K week 2 last week, I repeated it this week.    I was still not feeling up to life on Monday, so I stayed in bed with my kitty & caught up on Tuesday.  That made Tuesday a very busy day!  Ended the week having ran two of my three days of the week, & did all three of the x-training/strength/stretching days.  I missed strength training, but I had a good day at tennis.  Hopefully this next week goes better.

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