Posts Tagged With: Fitness

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 18: Preparing for Lent

1: The Scapular Challenge

3535583670_9f417c1b3cI wrote about the myths and truths of the Brown Scapular on Wednesday, and in my fervor, I extended a challenge: To wear a Brown Scapular and tell one person what it’s really all about (and it’s not about having a free ride to Heaven). I’m considering ordering 25 from the Free Brown Scapular website and leaving 24 of them in the chapel with a little brochure telling the story. I may need someone to type up a Spanish version. If you would be interested in being my Spanish translator, let me know, and I’ll work on a short pamphlet outlining what the Brown Scapular is for. Well, first I’ll look for one online. That would be nice if it was already done for me. I’ll probably still need a translator, though!

Why would I only leave 24 in the chapel? I’d carry the other with me to give to the one person I’m going to verbally tell about the true purpose of the Brown Scapular!

Available for purchase on Kindle and free through Amazon Prime Lender’s Library

2: Mercy Most Divine

Since I get to read a book for free every month on my Kindle with Amazon Prime, I decided to read a Catholic book and do a review on it. I selected Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Diary of St Faustina and the End Times for this month, but I took it a little further. Since Scott and I both have Kindles, I suggested that he read it as well, with me. We’ve never done such a thing before, and neither of us knew the fully history of Divine Mercy.

Let’s just say, it’s been absolutely wonderful and we will definitely be doing it again! Scott has been on the night shift for 7 months now, and we see so little of each other. Reading this book together has been a reminder that we’re both on the same journey. Which, really, it’s so easy to get caught up in my spiritual journey and my prayer life that I don’t always recognize that it’s our spiritual journey and our prayer life. We are bound together in all things, especially our road to Heaven.

Read this book! Or any spiritual book with your spouse!

3: Are You Ready for Lent?

I, for one, am incredibly excited about Lent. It’s like Advent, without all the pressure. In fact, lack of pressure is a rule. No, you may not spend all day baking cookies and cakes! No wild spending sprees for you! Don’t even think of gorging yourself at a family dinner!

As we prepare for this reflective and penitential season, it is good to have a game plan and make sure that you have the resources you need. Our parish offers the Little Black Book for sale in the office. Someone from Women’s Club was kind enough to buy a box of them to hand out to all of us at our February meeting. It’s also available on Kindle. Magnificat Lent Companion is available in print or on Kindle. That is in addition to the Magnificat Year of Faith Companion. And Lent is a wonderful time to start getting into the habit of doing the Liturgy of the Hours! Don’t forget your daily reading and meditations!

That’s one thing Lent has in common with Christmas and Thanksgiving: it’s easy
to put too much on your plate, bite off more than you can chew, and end up with a serious case of indigestion. I’ve decided to keep the Little Black Book in my purse to read at lunch, do the Magnificat daily readings, prayers and meditations for mornings and evenings as well as Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Ignatian Retreat. I purchased the book at our parish book fair on Sunday, as well as a prayer companion. That’s a lot to do, so I’ll be checking in on myself to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed and just give up.

Just remember: there will be Lent next year, and whatever devotional you don’t do this year, you can do then if you still feel drawn to it. If you die before Lent comes around next year, well, you’ll have a highly spiritual experience then!

4: Speaking of Fasting…

I’ve been pretty darn good about sticking to my workout routine. However, my snacking routine has intensified dramatically so I have made no progress towards any New Year’s weight loss goals. It can be awkward to fast when you want to lose weight because it feels like your motives aren’t pure. The candid and controversial Simcha Fisher wrote up a wonderful little post on the topic. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend, especially if your baggage is spiritual and physical.

5: Curvio! Ooh-la-la!

Have you ever sat in front of the TV, seething in envy over a particular dress or accessory an actress was wearing without the faintest clue of where you might find it? Enter Curvio! I just discovered this little gem that allows you to sort through TV shows, right down to the particular episode of Mad Men where you saw that amazing little sweater. The matches aren’t always exact, but they come pretty darn close! There aren’t a whole lot of shows up right now, but Mad Men is on the list, and that’s the one we really want the outfits from, right?

6: Run for Your Life!

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I am officially registered for the Color Me Rad 5K in Oklahoma City on May 11! Which means I need to start running. Soon. I found this lovely little 5K plan from The Color Run (which is essentially the same thing as Color Me Rad) but there are tons of 5K programs you can follow. The most important thing is to do it! Last year, I was able to do a full mile before I fell off the wagon. That may not seem like much to you, but for a fat smoker who never played sports growing up, it was a big deal! 

When I get out of work tonight, I’m going to go out shopping for running shoes and try to start a running routine on Saturday if I can. I’ve got some pretty bad shin splints so I may not be able to progress at such a rapid pace, but I’ve got 3 months, so I can go slowly, I just have to keep going!

Previously, I had some concern over registering because I didn’t know who the charity would be, but I have since learned that it will be The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

7: One More Take!

I’ve been awfully long winded in these takes, so I’ll be short and sweet and Saintly!

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Had enough nonsense? Looking for something coherent? You can try again back at Conversion Diary!

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 17: Unchained Edition

1: Off the Chain

734428_159189494228432_129676950_nWhile out riding my bike today, I was pedaling with much more ferocity than my bike could handle and the chain slipped off. I managed to get it back on (Scott is really the bike mechanic in the house—and the car mechanic as well, although I’ve tried) but it came back off after another half a mile. So, I was forced to do the walk of shame back up to the house, pushing my bike along. Of course, I took the opportunity to feel immensely sorry for myself for having worked so hard, only to have my final success snatched from me before I could see it come to fruition—oh there I go. I’m starting up another pity party. Except that my pity parties are a bit hardcore. It’s more like a rave than a party….

2: Mechanic, Shmechanic

I learned to leave mechanics to Scott a few years ago after I did some work on my car. Something had gone wrong/stopped working–I can’t remember what–and I got into the fuse box and changed out the fuse and it worked again. That was the moment I decided I was qualified to work on cars. My back windows stopped working, and then my “CHECK AIRBAG” warning came on, so I got into the fuse box to fix it right quick.

As I recall, it was about $300 later that Scott forbid me from ever “working” on the car again.

3: Offering It Up

A few months ago, I talked about learning to “offer it up” when faced with suffering. As a convert from Protestantism, this is very strange to me, but it makes a lot of sense. Since I’m a converting from fatness, working out provides an endless opportunity to suffer. My legs ache, my arms ache, and with the mystery health problems I’ve been having, it’s tempting to just quit. When I feel like giving up, I’ve been focusing in on someone and offering up my suffering on their behalf. For example, I may think of someone in particular like our beloved priest, Father Ed. Or someone in general, like all those who are suffering and oppressed. Yes, this hurts, but if I offer it up and ask God to comfort them instead of me, it’s easier to press on.

4. My Sweetie and I!

5970026021_a1a2a1e53b_zIt’s only about 2 weeks until V-Day! What are you doing with your sweetie? We both have to work, and our schedules conflict to the point that we won’t even get to see each other that day! I’m thinking we’ll go out to IHOP just after midnight on V-Day, since it’s right between Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent. So we can have bacon. That’s what love is, isn’t it? Sneaking out after midnight to eat bacon and pancakes together? Sounds like love to me!

5. Tradition!


The ever eloquent Dr. Taylor Marshall talked the other day about Catholics migrating to parishes that were more traditional. Maybe it’s just because I spend so much time on Catholic blogs, but I feel like there’s a slow, powerful movement back toward more tradition, less secularism. Does anyone else feel the pull? The beauty of embracing the sacred over the casual?

As a matter of picking up old traditions that have been tossed aside, I’m thinking of getting a holy water font for the house. Where would I get the holy water? I haven’t got a priest and the fonts have all been removed from the church. I could get a spray tan and sneak into the Lebanese Maronite church down on Alameda maybe?

Are there rules for having a holy water font in your home?

6. Lent is Nigh

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Because people told me last week’s fish picture was disgusting.

Lent is almost upon us! I’m thinking of doing a weekly post of Lenten meals. Scott and I are considering adding another meatless day or two, and I’ll be going meatless at lunch every day but Sunday.  Meatless doesn’t have to be fish. I’m not particularly fond of fish, but Jesus was absolutely mad for it. In fact, on one occasion when the disciples were out and didn’t catch any fish, they were ready to turn back, but Jesus was like, “Oh, no! Throw that net over on the other side! We are not going back until we catch some fish!” I’m paraphrasing of course….

Split pea soup is just wonderful. Or potato soup. Maybe one Lenten recipe a week? Two? I’ve got a few weeks to think it over. Maybe someone should host a link-up.

7. Shutting My Mouth

3111207407_ea37525588One thing I’m giving up that I’m not waiting for Lent for is gossiping. Of course, I went out with friends tonight and gossiped my little mouth off. It’s so easy to fall into, which is why I’ve got to wrestle my way out of it. Gossip is so wicked, and an affront to the dignity of the human person, but it seems so harmless that it’s easy to get sucked in.

Enough is enough!

So, I’ll shut up now. You go on over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 13: Getting Back on Track Edition

First of all, my prayers are certainly with Jennifer during this dreadful, uncertain time. Let’s petition all of Heaven for the protection and care of the Fulwiler family!

I’ve been absent from the blogging world for the last few weeks. The holidays were busy, busy! In addition to endless Christmas shopping, and running around, I decided about a week before Christmas to get a jump start on my fitness goals for the new year. So, instead of blogging, I’ve been using what precious little time (and energy) I could muster to jump around the living room like a maniac so I could feel the burn! The result? Now, 5 days into 2013, I’ve already increased the length and intensity of my workouts . Woot!

I did so well last year. For 6 months, I worked out, and I was training to do a 5K, but…life got in the way and I got off track. Then, I started having health problems and didn’t want to risk making things worse. Well, not working out hasn’t made my health any better, so I’ve decided to work through the pain. In the 6 months that I did manage to stay on track last year, I learned a lot, so I’ve decided to pass on some of those lessons with 7 things I recommend for getting in shape.

1: Shoes. Proper ones.

When I started working out, I wore 10$ sneakers from Walmart. Within a few weeks, I was on cloud nine. Every day, I could feel myself getting stronger, I had more energy, and I just felt….better! Then came the pain. Shin splints. The worst part about shin splints is that there is no gradual progression. One day, perfectly fine, the next you’re in screaming agony at the slightest exertion. Walking becomes strained, squats and lunges become painfully difficult, and jumping jacks? Jogging? Butt kicks? Ha! No way! I ended up having to decrease the intensity of my workouts for a few weeks to allow myself time to heal. At a time when I was moving forward so brilliantly, to have to step back was a slap in the face. Not knowing very much about shoes, I bought a pair of Skechers Sport sneakers for 50$. After some heavy mileage, I recently ordered a replacement pair through Amazon, that are pretty much identical, but with pink trim! They came with pink laces, too! 😀



I’m sure a good many people would say they weren’t up to snuff since they didn’t cost an arm and a leg, but the difference was amazing. My feet not only felt supported, they felt loved. I also used a calf support, and continue to use it to prevent further injury.

Bottom line: GET SOME DECENT SHOES!!! And using a calf support from day one probably isn’t a bad idea. Having to dial down your intensity when you’re making progress sucks.

2: A Fitness Plan

You simply can’t just jump around your living room doing random exercises and expect consistent results. Last Christmas, I bought my husband an XBox 360 (which he was DYING to have) and I bought a Kinect as nice little add-on for the both of us. Oh. My. Gravy. It was money well spent, let me tell you! I bought a bundle that included my choice of game, and since I was being such a generous Santa, I chose a game for myself!

I highly, highly recommend The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for Kinect!  Having Bob as a virtual personal trainer is just fantastic, and there are just so many ways to customize your program. You choose the length, (As little as 20 minutes. I mean, come on. You can start out at 20 minutes, right?) the intensity, and the muscle focus. You can also set it to utilize equipment you have, but I don’t actually recommend that. I set it to use my resistance band, but it didn’t use it for a few weeks, and then when it did, I was scrambling through the house searching for it while Bob was screaming at me to get with the program.

Overall, it’s fantastic. It’s like having 100 workout DVDs in one, but better. Bob constantly gives me feedback (sometimes quite unwelcome) when I fall behind, when I’m not kicking my leg up high enough, and when I’m nailing the routine. Really, it’s also safer than regular DVDs because if I’m arching my back when I need to keep it straight, Bob always lets me know so I can avoid injury.

If you don’t have an XBox, you can still make a plan! Here are some ideas:

  • Workout DVDs: I’ve used “The Firm” workouts in the past and they’re great. 
  • The Gym: I’m way too introverted to work out in front of people I don’t know and take the chance of running into people that I do know! However, it’s the best way to get access to a wide range of equipment. A few hints: Do some research online and build a plan for what machines you want to use and what kind of routine you want to do. Also, be sure to utilize the staff and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what they’re there for! It’s better to risk looking silly for not knowing what you’re doing than to get hurt or not get what you’re paying for.
  • Spark People: Whatever your plan is, tracking it via Spark People is a great way to track your success, get motivation, tools, and support.
  • My Fitness Pal, My Net Diary, and probably a bajillion other smartphone apps: I really love My Net Diary, but it’s not available on my Kindle Fire tablet! So, I’ve been using My Fitness Pal, which is working out pretty good for me so far. The bottom line: look around and try a few out and see which one works best for you. 
  • Endomondo: Endomondo doesn’t track your meals, strictly fitness, so I put it in a different category. If you’re running, biking, hiking, walking, Endomondo will track how fast, how far, and how many calories you burned. It’s great for competing against yourself, and seeing how far you’ve come.

3: A Heart Rate Monitor

The Biggest Loser Ultimate workout estimates calorie burn, and so does Endomondo. But there were times when I felt like my efforts weren’t accurately recognized. Especially when my Kinect sensor couldn’t see me doing my hiplifts because my living room is so small it couldn’t see me on the floor. At the end of the day, I wanted to know for sure. I looked at different products, but my research led me to the conclusion that the heart rate monitor was the best way to check my calorie burn.

It’s so much more than that!

Just knowing my target heart rate zone and where I am has made a big impact on my workouts. I can just glance at my wrist and know when I need to dial up the intensity. It’s also nice that an alarm will sound if I’m about to have a heart attack. We fat people worry about that. Knowing when my intensity level is dropping and knowing I’m not actually dying has really helped me to give my best at every workout.

I use an online calculator to check calorie burn based on average heart rate because the monitor seems to calculate calorie burn based on me being male. And it’s pink. It turns out, though, that I do burn more calories than the game and apps tell me.

‘Cause I’m intense like that.

5: Nutrition

Last year, I was dead set on dropping pounds. I used Weight Watchers at first, because that’s what’s always worked for me in the past. As the weeks went by, however, despite sticking to my plan and working out regularly, the pounds were lingering, and I started having trouble getting enough energy to do my workouts. I looked over my food journals and checked the details. Turns out, points aren’t enough. It needs to be a little more complicated than that.

I wasn’t getting enough calories, for one thing, even though I met my points goal. I also wasn’t getting enough protein, hence the workout lag. I upped my calories, upped my protein and dropped some pounds!

The last few months, however, I’ve learned a lot more than that. Since I’ve been having health issues, I’ve started looking at food a lot differently, and focusing on getting the right nutrition. I only eat meat once a day, and make sure to get at least 5 servings of vegetables daily and 3 servings of fruit. More energy? Absolutely. Despite pain, pain, and more pain, I have the get up and go to get through my workouts because I’m cutting out the crap and cramming in the good stuff. There are some exercises I couldn’t get through before even after months of working out that I can do now. Eat your veggies! Cut out the processed crap! No sugar!

Well, that and…

6:QUIT SMOKING!!!!

I have not once had to stop while working out because my lungs were searing. I still need a break after an intense exercise, but I no longer need a break after every exercise.

7: The Right Motivation

Vanity is a powerful motivator, but it’s not strong enough for most people, and the rewards aren’t very meaningful. Focus on improving your health, your mobility, and extending your life. Do you want to walk with the greatest of ease when you hit 80 or do you want to hobble around at 50? Do you want to die at 50? Or do you want to run your 50th 5k at 50? I’ve lost a lot of weight since I was my all-time heaviest and the biggest victory I had wasn’t fitting into a pair of jeans or turning heads. It was the day I realized I could get in and out of my car without struggling.

I know my 7 must-haves are hardly exhaustive, but I hope they help you on your journey to better health! And head over to Moxie Wife for more quick takes with Hallie!

Note: While writing this post, I realized I was linking to a lot of Amazon stuff. So, I joined the affiliate program. If you should click on one of the fine products featured here and buy something, I’ll make a tiny bit of money that I’ll probably just spend on more stuff from Amazon. Anything recommended here is the exact product I own. (Except the calf support. I have it in EXTRA large, not large as featured.)

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