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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
To Wog, or not to Wog, that is the question: A Newb’s Journey 
into the World of Running

          I have been running for a few months now, and I use the term “running” lightly.  I always heard the word “running” and pictured a sleek, fit, well-trained and toned person swiftly moving around a track or a jogging path in some park somewhere.  That. Is. Not. Me.  Every time I tried to replicate that image in my head, as I headed out for a “run,” I always burnt out, returning home much sooner than planned, which left me feeling defeated.  Instead, I began walking with intermittent light jogs of a few seconds, then walking again.  Back and forth I would go between the two, and soon the term “Wog,” was being used instead of “running,” as in “Mommy’s going wogging for a bit…I’ll be right back!”    
Fast forward a few months, and I am now able to continue my jogging for longer periods of time with shorter walks in-between AND a few sprints here and there.  And with the combination of those three things happening together, I finally feel comfortable calling it “running.” WINNING!  Each day I run I am building more strength and endurance, which only helps my exercise goals of becoming a healthier version of me. 

Here are a few things I learned and recommend if you want to start running, or are running but feeling defeated.  Keep in mind, I still consider myself a novice and a beginner, and I still have a lot to learn myself.

·       Get. Good. Running. Shoes.
This will really help with the eventual aches and pains that are associated with the impact of any type of walking, jogging, sprinting or running.

·       Find an accountability buddy.
I found success with posting updates on FB or in FB groups.  I also enjoy running with a partner – it helps to have somebody there to push your limits a little bit.

·       Set out your clothes the night before. 
I tend to NOT want to get up in the morning, due to lack of sleep.  But if my clothes are ready for me, it is easier for me to force myself out of bed, get dressed and walk out the door.

·       Don’t be hard on yourself.
Notice I didn’t say “too” hard on yourself.  There is way too much going on in our individual lives to add anything more to our list of failures or expectations that we are not quite matching up to.  Life is hard, running should not be.  Enjoy it.

·       Don’t you DARE listen to that scale.
In fact, put it in your closet and forget about it.  Your body is going to change at its own pace.  I am a sugar addict.  I have not lost any weight since I started running.  But I feel GREAT!  So save those weigh-ins for your dieting progress.  I am not discussing diet here…just running lol.

·       Find some good music.
Music has a way of moving our body whether we want to or not.  Every little bit helps, especially on the home stretch.  Personally, I like a nice 80’s pop selection or 90’s R&B.  Justin Timberlake is a pretty good go-to jam any time as well.

·       Don’t drink too much water before or during.
Now, I don’t know what others say about this, but for me it hurts my belly.  I chew gum on my run instead so my mouth doesn’t dry out, and I guzzle water when I get home.

·       Stretch.
I stretch after I run, not because I like doing it but because I have to do it.  I tend to get something called “runners knee” as well as joint pain in my hips if I do not stretch afterwards.  It is painful, and it hurts the rest of my running plans for the week.  Running on dirt also helps reduce the joint pain I get from running, just a suggestion.

·       Change up your routes occasionally.
I do have a few routes that I will stick to throughout the week.  I like those for the days I do not have as much time or the days I want to work on my pace.  But they can get boring.  I like days when I change up the scenery and have new things to look at or explore.  I’ve found I stay out longer and go further on those days.

These are just a few of the things I thought important to share, that help me in my journey into running.  So, to answer that question of: to Wog, or not to Wog…YES I highly recommend wogging.  You have to start somewhere, just be patient with yourself and embrace the journey. 

Guest Blogger: Ranee Schmuker

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fit Looks Different

A few weeks ago, the last week of July, I was fortunate enough to travel to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the wonderful Beachbody Summit. What a fantastic event, surrounded by magnificent people and great all around motivation!!

I am not going to lie, I almost backed out of going to Summit because of my own insecurities. I was nervous that I would be judged because I am not in “my prime physical condition” and because “I felt like a fat kid going to camp.” I am SO glad I overcame my personal doubts and attended! This event was eye opening for me.  I was able to see something that I often say to my challengers, but this time it was staring me right in the face … Fit Looks Different on Different Individuals.

We are not all created equal, we are not all the same, and we all have traveled different paths to get to where we are.  At this health and fitness convention I saw every age range, size, gender, ethnicity, and fitness ability.  All of these individuals were in Nashville because of one common thread, we all are trying to better ourselves, to be the best version of us possible, and we want to help others do the same for themselves.  My biggest take-away from this event, love yourself in your current state! Your Wholesome & Fit is strictly yours, don't compare it to others!

Thursday, August 4, 2016
I spent last week eating out of a small garden. A small garden is a special place. There’s something so very calming about carefully moving aside the large, deep green stalks with over-sized leaves to seek the ready vegetables. Then as I reached inside to pluck the ripe and beautiful yellow crookneck squash, the deep purple eggplants, and the vibrant red tomatoes, I reveled in knowing these would make a delicious and healthy dinner when sautéed in a little coconut oil. As I removed some of the dead leaves around the base of the squash plants and moved to add that vegetation to the mulch pile, I thought about the circle of life. Finally, my pickings waiting in a basket, I watered the soil and watched the spray sparking in the sunshine. Life is good. Eat out of a small garden when you can.

-- Lynn Thompson Baca, guest blogger

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