Fitness

4 Favorite Fitness Finds

A short time ago, I worked an exhausting full-time job, only to come home and work more grueling hours taking care of my home and family. This made it extremely difficult to focus on my health because I was simply surviving each day, each hour, each moment. Since those super stressful days are in the past for now, I have been able to focus on my fitness and nutrition goals once again. Not only is this rewarding for myself, it is also hugely rewarding for my family because I can serve healthy foods, plan healthy activities, and overall I can promote and model healthy habits.

While I absolutely love a lot of what my local gym has to offer, over the past few months I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering some beneficial resources on the web. Allow me to share 4 Favorite Fitness Finds:

1. Calorie Counting App – I read on countless health websites the importance of logging the specific types and amounts of food you eat if you hope to lose weight. Indeed, I have had the most success in my weight-loss journey when I faithfully log my daily calories (in and out through diet and exercise). I highly recommend trying this out, at the very least you learn a lot about what you are putting into your body. I started out using the app called My Diet Diary, but through some recommendations from friends I switched to MyFitnessPal. So far, I am very pleased with the features of MyFitnessPal and I use it with ease on both my phone and laptop.

2. Strength Running Website & Newsletter – This is a great running resource offered by an experienced runner and running coach. His motto is: get stronger, stay healthy, run faster. I particularly appreciate his focus on injury prevention. If you sign-up for the newsletter you receive a ton of free electronic resources. And bonus, I have loved the content of each e-newsletter so far. Check out this interesting video on the Principle of Progression (this was an unfamiliar concept to me):

3. DoYogaWithMe.Com – I love, love, love doing yoga. When I can’t make it to a yoga class at the gym, I really enjoy yoga at home (while my boys are napping or after they are in bed for the night, of course). This website offers specific and accurate video descriptions and high quality yoga sequences. The videos range from 20 minutes to over an hour. Personally, I choose to watch on their YouTube channel. Here is one of their more gentle and relaxing videos:

4. 7 Weeks To Fitness – Admittedly, I have not yet tried one of these 7 week plans, I have only tried out the fitness tests. With that said, from what I can tell, this is such a great fitness option for people who don’t have a gym membership. Some options include: 7 Weeks To 100 Push-Ups, 7 Weeks To 300 Sit-ups, or 7 Weeks To A Triathlon. I am really looking forward to trying out 7 Weeks To Getting Ripped when I put my gym membership on hold in a couple months.

I hope you enjoyed my Favorite Fitness Finds. If you have some favorites of your own, please share them in the comments section.

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Weekend Roundup

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Riding the wave of happiness, motivation, and self-discovery

Well, it’s true, I’m the happiest I have been in a very long time. I am motivated and meeting my fitness and nutrition goals. I’m gaining more tools to be a better parent. And I am thoroughly enjoying upgrading my blog (Want an upgrade too? Check out the Zero to Hero blog challenge). I am attempting to ride this wave of happiness, motivation, and self-discovery, and in turn better my life in sustainable, life-long ways.

Part of my self-edification process has been gaining inspiration and insights from the many blogs I have discovered recently. So today, I am thrilled to give you my weekend roundup, linking to some of my favorite blog posts from this past week. This is just a taste of what I read and loved this week. Thanks to these posts (and many others), I am excited, inspired, motivated, and happy!

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I was encouraged by the post, I was brave and learned I don’t want to settle. In my own life, I know the Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape (1)importance of pursuing my dreams and not settling for mediocrity. My favorite excerpt from the post:

“What I want is to be living at 100%, giving my all to everything that I dive into and loving every single second of it. What I want is to tell my children to follow their dreams and not settle for anything less. What I want is to inspire my family, and others, by walking away from my rut and creating my own future, where I don’t just survive, I thrive… And that is exactly what I did”

Caitlin Edmon, Aprons, Trainers, and Bibs

While we all have off days, I do think aspiring for greatness in your life is totally doable. So Caitlin, I’m happy to join you in being brave and not settling.

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Earlier this week, in response to a daily prompt, I wrote Why haven’t I pursued my dream job? Check out another bloggers take in My Dream Job. I can really identify with her dreams because they relate to fitness. She talks about pursuing dreams and the importance of perseverance:

Message Stones“Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.  Sometimes, you have to go the long way around to get to your goal.  The important thing is that you never give up!”

Ebone Nut, One Crazy Mom

Yes Ebone! Lets persevere and chase those dreams.

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Rather Than Curse the Darkness, Light a Tiki Torch was a great reminder that a wide circle of loved ones is valuable. This blog post also made me want to ask more questions and be a good listener in the company of friends… there is so much to know about each special life you encounter. My new favorite quote is:file0001027084534

“What I love best about a circle is that there is always room for one more.”

Naomi, Writing Between The Lines

Naomi, you have taught me so much in a short time and I’m glad to be a part of your blogging circle!

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file1711246044891In Moving Into the Light, Karen paints a picture of hope for challenging situations. Sometimes life just plain sucks and sometimes life can be good even when we are amidst struggles… but either way, thankfully we CAN get through the storm. I appreciate your story Karen and am looking forward to reading more!

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And lastly, this week I discovered the blog Running On Healthy. Two particular posts, IMG_0542Learning The Art of Negative Splits and Run For Those Hills, inspired a higher quantity and better quality of running for me this week. I love their blog tagline “Living Life Healthy, Fit, and Happy”. I plan to aim for a healthy, fit, and happy life for as long as possible.

 

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Thanks again to all who contributed to my better quality of life this week. You seriously rock!

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Why haven’t I pursued my dream job?

Me and a relay running buddy

Me and a relay running friend from high school

Since High School, my dream job has been the same, to be a high school track coach. It’s funny to me (and more than that, a bit sad) that I have never made any attempts to actualize this dream. I suppose my fear is that I’m being too nostalgic with the hopes that coaching would be as enjoyable as my own running years. I also fear that I have forgotten too much and now I don’t have the experience necessary to coach. 

This dream of mine began over 15 years ago, why haven’t I explored how to make this dream a reality? Would I need to volunteer for a while first in order to get my foot in the door? Probably. Will it take a lot of work? Likely. But aren’t our dreams worth it?

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New ‘About Me’ Page

I transformed from devoted Christian to self-proclaimed atheist, from religious to godless, and I’m here to blog stories, thoughts and ramblings about my Life Sans God.

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I grew up in beautiful Colorado and as a teenager I developed a love for staying active, sharing my life with people, and being my best self. I look back fondly on my high-school memories, in particular I replay one special moment often: the day me and 3 other girls placed 4th in our Medley Relay at the state track meet. Perhaps to some, this might not seem so glorious, and I have other accomplishments that sound better. But each of us worked damn hard that day (and many days prior), we accomplished something great together and I feel that I personally surpassed what I thought I was capable of doing. I literally feel butterflies and excitement all over again just thinking about it.

As I recall this story, it occurs to me that this event could have easily happened with or without god in my life. But the reality at that time, is that I was zealous for god and for the souls of every living person I knew. Don’t get me wrong, there were times I struggled to retain this fervor, but I was always sincere in my attempts to attain greatness for god.

Over 10 years later, I am the same person. I love staying active, sharing my life with people, and being my best self, only now I focus on running AND yoga and I share life with my husband and two preschool aged boys. Oh, and becoming my best self no longer involves a god of any kind.

Do you want to hear more stories, thoughts and ramblings now that my Life is Sans God? Well then… follow my blog!

**Please let me know what you think about my new About Me page**

This was Day 8 of the Zero to Hero Challenge. Learn more here.

Who am I? Why am I here?

Night RunGreetings, my name is Vanessa. I am a Colorado native with a love for yoga, running, Ultimate Frisbee and the outdoors. I am a wife and mother of two small boys (ages 2 and 4). At the end of the Summer in 2013 I quit my very stressful full-time job at a non-profit human services organization to stay at home with my boys. For the record, I prefer Domestic Goddess to “Stay at Home Mom”, it’s much more palatable.

A brief religious history

Religion, Christianity in particular, has almost always been a very important part of my life. I was involved in Christian groups through church and school since I was in middle school. When I went to college I got very involved in an interdenominational Christian ministry through my university. Completely separate from my church involvement, I attended weekly worship nights, regular prayer meetings and if I wasn’t leading a weekly bible study, I was certainly attending one. I discipled multiple young women, studied and memorized scripture, and met with accountability partners to attempt to remain pure and “on the right path”. I could continue to share about the different aspects of my religious background but to sum it up a bit more quickly, God and Jesus were the center of my activities, my thoughts, my conversations, my life. If I wasn’t a true and devoted believer, nobody is.

A loss of faith

Well, you probably noticed that I speak of my religious devotion in the past tense. More than two years ago I began questioning my faith in a more serious way than I ever had before. I asked questions about God’s existence, the bible, the prevalence of many religions, the problem of evil and more. For the first time in my life I began to let go of my fears and my reasons for believing. I asked questions and didn’t claim to have the right answer anymore. Read more on my loss of faith.

Purpose of this blog

Now, here I am, a formerly VERY religious person, daughter, sister, wife and mom. I find myself without religion, God, church, fellowship, worship, prayer, biblical guidance, etc. I often find myself with a sort of identity crisis, feeling isolated, confused, and in need of an outlet. Hence, the purpose of my blog: to have a place to share about my life and discover my identity now that I find myself without god. 

Blog topics

Considering that I spent the better part of my 30 years as a devout Christian, I think a lot about my former religion (and all that it entails) as well as my current lack of belief. So, while I certainly plan to blog about my former beliefs and my life after faith, I will also blog about my other interests such as: my kids and family, fitness and nutrition, natural skin and hair care, books, home organization and more!

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back to visit again! ~Vanessa

This was Day 1 of the Zero to Hero Challenge. Learn more here. I realize I joined this challenge late…but better late than never 🙂