Warrior Room

2017 Goals

Looking back at my goals for 2016, I’m glad I didn’t shoot for the stars and make unrealistic goals. I did ok…but fell short. Life got in the way and I didn’t quite make it. I did read a lot, I learned my new camera and I tried my best to give the fur babies lots of attention once Logan arrived.

In the spirit of going a little easier on myself I’m making goals I think are realistic and doable.

2017 Goals

1 ) Read 65 books.

I tried to read 80 books last year and didn’t make it to that number. In hindsight I realize now that just wasn’t going to happen with a new baby!

I still read quite a bit, though, and I’m glad you guys enjoyed the book reviews I posted. I’d like to read 65 book this year and I really need to start working through my “To Read” list on Goodreads. It’s ridiculously long–over 1000 books–because I read stuff and get recommendations from people and add them to my list to read and so my list just gets longer and longer. I periodically go through it and delete things I’m no longer interested in, and I DO read a lot of the books on my list, but I somehow seem to collect more titles than I read. 😉

2 ) Lose 20 pounds and get healthy

In my last post I discussed weight loss and how it’s almost time to start getting serious about it. I’m slowly starting to wean off breastfeeding and then it will be time to buckle down and lose weight. I’m not sure yet what method I’m going to try. Michael successfully lost 30 pounds last year doing his diet and I may give it a try. At the very least I’m going to try and cut down on the sugar I eat, limit my liquid calories, and reduce my calories more.

–> I’d like to go back to the Warrior Room. It’s been about 2 years since I was working out there! I loved how STRONG it made me and it helped me so much with my knee and back issues. I took a little break from the Warrior Room after Christmas two years ago with the intention of going back and then started having issues with my back and couldn’t go. Then I got pregnant. 2017 seems like a good time to return!

–> The healthy part: Aside from losing weight, I just want to be better. I was doing REALLY good all year with eating healthy foods and drinking a ton of a water. Flash forward to recently, when we were sick all the time, I fell off the healthy habit wagon and I’d like to get back into eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking MORE WATER!

–> I’d also like to get back into yoga. We’ll see if that happens.

3 ) Run a 5k

I did do a bit of running in 2016, despite just having a baby! But I never did quite get my running legs back in time to run the two 5k’s I signed up for. I was definitely disappointed but it was the right decision to listen to my body and skip the races.

I think this year I will be able to train for one, though! I think I will try the Couch to 5k app again.

4 ) De-clutter my life

This is kind of a vague goal. There are things I want to “fix” in my life and environment. For a few years now I’ve been donating lots of stuff to the Vietnam Veteran’s Charity to declutter my house. I want to continue doing that but get more serious. I need to go through all the clothes I packed up when I got pregnant and get rid of stuff that no longer fits, or probably won’t ever fit again. I’ve been holding on to stuff that I don’t need to and I just feel overwhelmed by it.

Also, I want to try and go on a social media diet. In the past year I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the negativity on social media and in our world. I want to take a break from it, or limit my exposure to that stuff, but like a lot of people these days I’m addicted to the easy access on my phone. So we’ll see.

4 ) Spend quality time with Logan

I’m really excited about this one. After 10 weeks of maternity leave I returned to work last year working in the office for 2 days a week and teleworking the other three. It was the most beneficial thing ever. There is no way on this planet that I was emotionally (or physically) ready to go back to work full time after just 10 weeks. The summer was absolutely amazing. I eased back into work, I spent time with our new baby, I got to heal and rest more and on the two days I was in the office Michael was able to stay home with Logan and bond, too.

In September I started working in the office 3 days a week and have been teleworking 2 days since. Again, it was so helpful! In September when Logan started daycare 3 days a week I had a really hard time with it emotionally and I know that if we had to put him in daycare 5 days a week then I probably would have quit my job. I just was not emotionally ready for that step. I am so grateful that we had these opportunities!

Now that I’ve had this extra time with Logan I do feel ready to go back to work “full time.” Starting in February I will be working 4 days a week, extending my hours a little bit, in order to have 1 day off. Wednesdays are going to be “Logan and Me Time”. One thing teleworking has shown me this past year is that I need more “life work balance” and I think this will help.

My plan is that on Wednesdays Logan and I do fun stuff together (out of the house). I’m already making plans–playdates with friends who have babies his age, meeting new friends with babies, the library has free story time events for babies, we’re going to try swimming lessons and I found a hiking group for people with small kids. When he’s a little bit older I’d like to go back to doing volunteer work and include Logan in that.

I’m going to try this new schedule for 60 days and re-evaluate after that.

So that’s what I’m planning for this new year.

QUESTION: What are your goals for 2017?

Book Review: Lift

How did treadmills and weight machines become the gold standard of fitness? Why have some of us turned our backs on the mirrors and gleaming devices of the traditional gym? What is the appeal of the stripped-down, functional approach to fitness that ís currently on the rise? In this captivating narrative, Daniel Kunitz sets out on a journey through history to answer these questions and more.

Lift cover

I was asked to read and review the book LIFT by Daniel Kunitz. The book sounded really interesting to me because I was curious about the changing culture of fitness.

tlc logo

I remember growing up in the 1980s, my mom was really into jazzercise and aerobics. She was even a teacher for a long time. I used to go to the classes with her (not to participate but to go to the daycare) and I’d watch all these moms doing step aerobics in their leotards with their big hair and your typical 80’s music. 🙂 I think a lot of my readers probably remember that time!

The author goes through the history of exercise–Roman times, event ancient Chinese history. He also discussed his own transformation through exercise.

One morning the author was sick and hungover after a rough night of partying when he had a realization. “It dawned on me that the state of your body isn’t something you either choose to care about or leave be, for your body never just is–it is always either decaying or getting stronger. Not choosing is still a choice. [pg 7]”

Daniel Kunitz AP

The 70’s happened and “people began to shake off the smoking-drinking-drugging hangover of the previous era in unprecedented numbers by joining in the new fad for jogging. Twenty years later I did the same. Of course, by that time some things had changed. The terminology, for: what was once a mellow jog became running. [pg 8]”

The author then realized that smoking and running didn’t really go well together and he quit smoking.

“Running is monostructural: it improves your endurance but not your strength, balance, explosiveness, or flexibility. It might make you skinny, but it won’t produce muscles. [pg 10]”

I found that interesting and very true. In my own experience I was very much a cardio-junkie. I ran, I did the elliptical, I biked, I swam and did the stairmaster. I LOATHED weight lifting. It was slow, it was boring, I didn’t see the calorie burn I saw while doing cardio. Then I started getting injuries and I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working.

“Over time, as I noticed that even those who showed up each day to the gym didn’t make any visible improvements. I had to wonder if this was due to their perfunctory attitudes or the cause of them. [pg 12]”

How true is that statement?? It is very true for me! Being a gym rat I see the same people at the gym when I go and they all look pretty much the same. There is one guy that I saw on a regular basis and then I took a break from the gym a few weeks before my baby was born, then about 6 weeks off postpartum–I came back to the gym and saw that guy and did a double take. He was HUGE. His muscles had quadrupled! I was shocked. I don’t know what he did but he is the only one that comes to mind that made a very real difference in his body.

It’s easy to go to the gym and get into ruts and do the same thing every time, and your body doesn’t change or improve. The author talks a lot about the “new” crossfit phenomenon and the concept of FUNCTIONAL fitness–which I wholeheartedly agree is the better way to work out.

“I’d never seen anybody make a bicep-curling motion outside of the gym. [pg 13]”

Re-thinking the way we do fitness, the way we lift weights is making changes. I learned that going to the Warrior Room. I became SO much stronger MUCH faster doing functional things like flipping tires, carrying sandbags, swinging kettlebells, etc, than I EVER did lifting weights at the gym.

“So why did weight machines continue to flourish in gyms? Aside from the gleam of technological novelty, they offer the untaught user a way to lift. Properly training with free weights requires some skill, while the Olympic lifts–the snatch and clean and jerk–are highly technical, demanding extensive, long-term coaching to master. It wasn’t until quite recently, with CrossFit, that significant numbers of people came to grasp the importance of skill-based work. [pg 248]”

I admit, I often use the weight machines at gym. When I first started getting into weight lifting I did the machines because I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the skill set yet. Then having some training sessions with a personal trainer and eventually joining The Warrior Room, I learned those skills and got better at free weights and realized it was more FUN using kettlebells and free weights. No wonder I thought weight lifting was boring–sitting in a machine and going through the motions IS boring!

“By removing skill, machines essentially turn strength training into a low intensity activity: you might look better by using them but you’re not challenging who you are today to become a better version tomorrow. [pg 248]”

I never thought of the weight machines like that, but it makes perfect sense to me. You sure don’t get your heart pumping sitting in a weight machine and passively pushing, not like you do with dramatic movements like kettlebell swings!

“But what’s the point? To what end do we train and eat right and get enough sleep and learn new physical techniques and then relax by watching other people doing these things? [pg 39]”

It was really interesting reading about the history of exercise and weight lifting.

“Weightlifting refers specifically to the sport of shifting loads from the ground to overhead. Although it was included in the first Olympics in 1896 as a field event, it was excluded from the 1900, 1908, and 1912 games. It returned as its own event at the 1920 Olympics and over the course of that decade evolved into something like the sport we know today. Weightlifting was codified in 1928 as three lifts: the snatch (pulling the bar in a single motion from the ground to overheard), the clean and press, and the clean and jerk (cleaning means hoisting the bar to the shoulders, where the athlete can either press it overheard or jerk it, using the leg to provide momentum). [pg 163]”

This book is perfect for the reader that likes history and is interested in reading about the evolution of fitness. It was fascinating reading about the different trends and how things changed–and how ideas and values changed.

I personally would have liked more personal anecdotes from the author’s journey from unhealthy to fit, because what he did share was interesting and I could relate to a lot of it. The book felt more history-heavy than personal. I think there could have been more of a balance between the two. If you’d like to read this book, check it out here:

HarperCollins | Amazon Barnes & Noble

Happy reading!