Category Archives: exercise

Human Barometer and yoga

I think that my new nickname should be Human Barometer. It doesn’t matter how good I’m feeling or moving when the changes in barometric pressure are dramatic.

It always starts in my ankles. They feel a little tight, but not tight enough for a support or anything. I’ve I’d been training, I usually chalk it up to that. Then my knees get sore. That makes me check the weather a little more closely. If I see rain in the forecast, I know what is on the way and get out the turmeric and Aleve.

Once my hip and spine stiffen and go from an ache to throbbing pain, it’s on. So much on. Right now I’m typing this in a recliner with my back, neck, and head firmly against the back of the chair, legs raised in a partial recline. It’s the only comfortable position at the moment. My ribs, elbows, wrists, and shoulders are feeling it now, too. Tropical Storm Cindy is not heading my way (be safe, y’all), but I feel it anyway. Rain is coming ad we’ve had some here in Charleston since Sunday night’s thunderstorm.

Weather-related pain flare aside, I will get in some yoga today. It is International Yoga Day after all. I recognize my current limits and have a mix of workouts in my arsenal. I also know that I will always have a dog on my yoga mat if I step away.  16422838_10154381378520679_8437767875822278167_oFlexibility training helps make these bad days easier and make good days better.

Between yoga and walking, I am getting stronger physically. It just doesn’t feel like it on days like this. I’m trying not to fall into the pit that seems to open up whenever a flare is extended. Spoonies, you get me, right?

Happy Wednesday, Happy Solstice, and Happy International Yoga Day! May it be amazing!

One week ago

This time last Saturday,  your friendly neighborhood Sherrie walked her first 5K.

The original plan was to walk/run, but the joints were not having it.

I arrived late and started after everyone was gone.  Adele was singing her heart out in my ears and I was near tears myself.   But I kept going.  Besides, Charleston needed to see me repping for #TeamVegan.  I had someone ask about my shirt and plant-based living, which is what I’d hoped.

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And this band was my mantra.  I was there to compete with the Sherrie from a few months ago.  The Sherrie who wouldn’t have pushed the crowd out of her head and just walked.

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But I did it!  Black Girls Run Charleston,  Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness community, Official Team Green, Vegan N3rd Squad,  and my Facebook fitness families and running clubs, thank you.  To my family,  thanks.   To Sherrie from a few months ago,  see what you did?  We’ve got this!

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On to the next one!

 

 

Social dieting – do you participate?

Do you share your fitness journey on social media?  I do.  I share the good and bad, and have found a tribe of like-minded folks who support and share as well.  My feed is full of people at all stages of the fitness journey and it helps me keep motivated and focused. Note:   I compete with myself and see other’s journeys as theirs alone.  My progress is mine and where I am is directly related to me and former versions of me. 

Support and challenge groups are not new, but a new type of challenge is on the rise.  If you follow fitness accounts on social media, you’re sure to run across calls for challenges or bets that award prizes to the biggest loser.  Some challenges call for pledges of  $5, $10, $25 or more and the winners get to split the pot at challenge end.  I haven’t participated in this sort of challenge, but they are many.  Studies show that incentive-based challenges may increase motivation and success.  A Mayo Clinic study on “Individual- Versus Group-Based Financial Incentives for Weight Loss” not only found that “sustained weight loss can be achieved by financial incentives” and that “financial incentives can improve results, and improve compliance and adherence,” but lead author, Jeffrey T. Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., also cited the advantages of social dynamics for employers offering such awards to help control health care costs while also improving the health of employees, noting, “We found that these incentives were substantially more powerful when delivered in groups…” The study concluded that “A group-based financial incentive was more effective than an individual incentive.”  A Brown University suggests that shedding pounds can have a “contagious” ripple effect and concluded that social networks and teamwork play a significant role in enhancing weight loss outcomes in weight loss interventions.

If you want to start or join a cash prize challenge to kick off 2016 with a bang, consider signing up with HealthyWageHealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation’s obesity epidemic and improve America’s collective health.  How does a $10,000 top prize sound to you?  One top winner, Kristin Westerfield of Indianapolis, IN lost 114 pounds and won $4,000.

Are you a social dieter?  Which platform do you use?  Does it keep you motivated?

 

Sources: 

N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years,” New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-79 (July 2007)
Teamwork Makes Weight Loss More Fun & Successful

Leahey, T.M., Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., Wing, R.R., “Teammates and Social Influence Affect Weight Loss Outcomes in a Team-based Weight Loss Competition,” Obesity, 20 7, 1413-18 (2012)

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1671710

Review: Forever Flex Exercise Ball

I received the Forever Flex Exercise Ball for free to review via Tomoson.com.  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it.

I love lifting weights, but lifting doesn’t always love me.  During the times when my bones and joints are particularly sensitive, Pilates and yoga are my jams.  When I need to get off the floor for lifting or ab work, I get on a ball.  Well, I used to until the dogs made a chew toy out of my last one.  It’s my fault for leaving a partially deflated ball within their lines of sight.  I loved that thing.  I’d sit on it when working at my desk or reading in addition to using it in place of a weight bench.  And it was purple, too! Sigh.

I was on the market for a new one when a review opportunity brought one to me.  Live Infinitely’s Forever Flex Exercise Ball is perfect!  It’s available in several sizes, two colors, affordably priced, strong, and comes with a pump, extra valve plug, plug remover, and training plan.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, I had mine in my hands two days after placing the order.  I went with the dark gray instead of purple this time.  Hopefully the pups won’t mistake it for one of their toys.

exercise ball ball 2
Have you used an exercise ball?  If not, you need to make sure you get the right size for your needs.  Since I’m not the tallest person, I selected the 55 cm size (for those of us under 5′ 6″).  Live Infinitely has them available for people in the 5′ 6″ to 5′ 11′ range (65 cm), 6′ to 6′ 4″ (75 cm) and taller than 6′ 4″ (85 cm).   Using one that’s too small or large will throw you out of proper alignment.

Oops, looks like the man and boy will need their own since mine is too small for them. 

Once I inflated this baby, I decided to get some ab work in.  This industrial PVC ball is strong!  It holds up to 2200 pounds (way over my weight) and anti-burst tested.   I finished my workout and was beginning to regret but not regret how hard I went.  I sat on the ball for a while before making a recovery drink.

The Forever Flex Exercise Ball is  easy to clean and has non-slip ridges that came in handy on the hardwood floor.  It also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and fantastic customer service.  Would I buy this?  Yes, and I will buy a bigger one for the man and boy if they request it.  I might make that one purple.  You know, so we can tell them apart at a quick glance.

So, do you use an exercise ball?  Tell me about it.

 

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Books

You know I have a cookbook problem.

SAMSUNG
A few of my favorites, including books from authors I have a girl crush on. HInt – all of them.
al fresco
I reviewed this book and still pull ideas and recipes from it from time to time.
ice cream sandwiches
Don’t think any commentary is necessary.
Supercharged-Juices-Smoothies
Because your friendly neighborhood Sherrie does not fear the green,
meal plan bb
Meal planning was in full effect here.

 

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules! Noms!
A classic.
A classic.
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats.
HappyHerbivoreLight-2526Lean_FrontCover
I’m digging the recipes here. They help me stick to my eating plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the books are from the library or part of my personal collection.  I have one within reach daily.

By the way, if you’re in or near Charleston, SC, you can meet Happy Herbivore herself, Lindsay Nixon at the College of Charleston on Thursday!  I missed her back in 2012, but will be there this time.  Hope you can make it, too!

See ya, January! Happy February!

I’m glad to see January 2015 go. It was a craptacular month and I don’t think I could easily handle a second month of it. An annoying reason I hated the month is the setback. Grr, the setback. But, January is over and February is here. I’m ready for it.

I tried to post this yesterday, but the January Kick Ass continued for an extra day. My saved pots disappeared three times.  I was not amused.

My goals this month are to get my eating back on track and learn more about what ails me. Research might drive some people crazy, but it helps me feel like I have more control. The Fibromyalgia quirks and tummy issues don’t bother me as much since I have an idea what to expect. I hope that makes sense. I wonder sometimes if it does. If it doesn’t, I blame Fibro Brain. 🙂

And speaking of research, I picked up this goodie a few days ago. candida

Ricki Heller‘s blog is one of my favorite stops and I know the advice in this book in my hands will make a huge difference.  I’ll share more about the book and recipes here and in my Examiner column.  If you need sugar-free, gut-healing whole food recipes, take a look.

I was advised to consider the possibility of candida overgrowth a little over a year ago.  I took the assessment and scored in the top range before I completed the whole thing.  Oy.  Overachiever, I am.  These recipes work with my eating plan.  I just have to tweak things here and there.

For fitness, I’m starting another round of 21 Day Fix starting on February 8.  21 Day Fix Extreme drops today, but I am not ready for that one.  Both 21DF and 21DFX are designed to get you on track with 30 minute workouts (yes), an easy clean eating plan, and quick results.  All moves include a modifier front and center and only minimum equipment is required.  I’ll use resistance bands and my favorite exercise mat.  If you’d like more information on either program, give me a shout or visit my store.

21 day fix dvd
30 minutes a day, clean eats, and modified moves that even I can do. Love it!

 

Do you have specific plans or goals for February? If you need or want support and encouragement, give me a shout.  If you’re following a different program, it’s all good. This is all about support for whatever your goals are. Swing by Facebook and say hi.

Until next time, be good to yourself.  Remember that you are not alone and that you are your competition.

Peace!

 

How was your 2014?

It’s the time of year when people make grand resolutions after looking back at the current year. I’m not making any grand resolutions myself. Goal setting seems to work better for me. I’m happy to have reached the majority of goals I’d set for myself and plan to do more of the same in 2015.

I’m ending this yer on a healthier note than I started it. I have more answers than questions about my health and am on the healing track. I’m not 100% there, but I am much better than I was. I still hurt daily, but I hurt a lot less.

I’m still working on my fitness. Yes, Beachbody programs play a huge rule, but walking and flexibility training are in the mix. I plan to take on Body Beast in 2015 and hopefully hubs will join me.

body beast
Body Beast works for men and women. Muscle burns fat, baby! Sherrie Thompson photo.
meal plan bb
To train like a beast, I must eat like a beast. Yes, I will be plant-based because that is my way. Sherrie Thompson photo.

As for family stuff,  I plan to keep doing what we do.  I’ll love and accept them for who they are as people and not just because of ties.  and I’ll beat the girl in her games, dammit.  I can’t help it that I’m a dedicated PS person and shen bounces around.

As for swearing, that’s not going to change.  I know when to reign it in and when to let loose.  Letting loose is when I’m lifting heavier or tripping over the dogs.

Here’s to you.  Set goals, work toward them, and live well.  Do your thing.  Compete only with your former self.  Love yourself as you would anyone dear to you.

Peace.

**The link will take you to my Beachbody page.  If you need a coach, suggestions on a program,  or just want to hear from someone who gets it, give me a shout.**

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Good and bad days

We all have days when we feel pretty dang good.  Our moods are good.  We sing along with the radio and maybe dance, too.  We hit our workouts with enthusiasm and leave it all on the floor.  The workday flows smoothly and the kids go to bed without a fuss.  Those days rock.

Oy, bad days.  We feel like there’s a rainstorm overhead.  Work is a mess, the kids fight and whine about everything,  and you cannot stop dropping or tripping over things.  We burn dinner.  We feel overwhelmed and fall into bed only to stare at the ceiling most of the night.  Those days do anything but rock.

Today is in-between for me.  I’m singing and dancing in my seat, but there is no dancing.  I’m barely coordinated enough to walk.  And don’t get me started on cooking.  My mind and body are not on the same page and a fibro flare is around the corner.  But it’s okay.  This will pass.  I will survive and thrive.  And dance.

What kind of day are you having?

Throwback Thursday

How do you get your fitness on? If you’re like me and not a big fan of traditional workouts, get more active in general. Play a team sport, dance, actively play with the kids and dogs, or get out and do more. Hubs and I are spending our free time on weekends going around and playing tourist. Sometimes it involves longer car rides, but we make up for the time seated with time walking around the sites. The sheer number of historic sites in Charleston makes it easy to find something to see.

We visited the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial

tuskeege

Drayton Hall

drayton tree

drayton house

Charles Pinkney Site

pinckney cypress

and looked at the water for a while

water view

dragonfly 2

We also went in search of a 4,000 year old Shell Ring, but it was getting a little late to hit this trail.

trail

I don’t care that hubs had a flashlight. Besides, the mosquitoes were pretty fierce and hungry. We’ll go back another day.

How do you do non-traditional fitness?

Until next time, peace.

All of the pictures are mine.  If you want to use them, give me photo credit and send me a link.  Don’t be the guy who steals pictures. 

Painsomnia is real

It’s a little after 2 am and I’m wide awake.   I don’t want to be.  It’s nothing new, really,  because insomnia is my frenemy.  What is fairly new is pain-induced insomnia.   Thanks to fellow spoonies, I now know that painsomnia is real and unfortunately common.

So, what do I do when painsomnia strikes?  It depends.   Tonight I’ve played around on Instagram and Facebook.   Sometimes I work if I have a deadline around the corner.   If I’m still awake in an hour, I’ll go pack lunches for the family.   Or not.  The thought of the 5 am alarm going off while I stare at the ceiling is a downer.

I’m going to meditate for a while in corpse pose and hope I can drift off.  If not, I’ll see you later.

Do you get insomnia?   How do you cope?