Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!
Baby girl is still fighting a cold, so my sleep was on and off last night -- funny how little that matters when the next day has unlimited napping!
Mr Right made a yummy, healthy scramble with shrimp for breakfast, which I followed with an iced sugar cookie.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas~
For the past five years I've done all my shopping online, but the new baby (who's had a bad cold) has me in a new routine -- it's actually not routine at all -- running around doing last minute errands on Christmas Eve.
It's really not too bad, the weather and crowds could be so much worse. Went to Dean & Deluca and got some yummy treats for me and Mr Right to have at our Christmas tomorrow. Tonight it's off to the in-laws. I'm sure they'll have plenty of presents to spoil Mirabella (if you can spoil a six-month old).
Before January 1, I'm going to make a plan to get more workouts and yoga back into my life. The new job is a year old now, we have been in our new house almost seven months, and baby is nearly six months. All those changes in 2008 have me craving some routine. Nothing routine about this holiday season, but I hope to re-establish an exercise routine soon.
The tuesday night step class is going great. I didn't realize how much I missed teaching choreographed cardio. Always leave Lifetime Fitness really sweaty. And it's such a terrific stress release. Now I have to get yoga back in my life. Many good classes to choose from (it'll be awhile before I can commit to teaching again), but I can't seem to get to them. Maybe I need to create a 20 minute home practice that I can do each morning.
This past weekend I put Mirabella on the floor and did a series of downward dog, plank, cobra and she laughed like crazy. It was the sweetest thing. Maybe the mommy & me yoga classes are on to something...

Closing up my computer and getting back into holiday merriment. Have a wonderful one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

RIP girlfriend

I've been struggling to deal with the grief many are feeling at the loss of Lauren Chapin.
Read the story in the Star here.
She was a beautiful, talented, amazing woman.
Lauren was one of my first yoga students in Liberty(along with Laura, Lorraine, Trish, Deb). She was so helpful and so supportive. She was an original Phit Chick. I remember asking if "chick" might be offensive to anyone and she rolled her eyes. :)
I got to work with her on a series she wrote for the Star on healthfully indulging. It was great fun to go to the restaurants and figure out how to rein in calories so we could share dessert. :)
I just exchanged emails with her a couple weeks ago; she was asking when I'd be coming to Liberty to do that yoga class.
Thank you Lauren, for your smiles, wit and inspiration. It lives on in me and in many others, I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

health check up time

I've always said people pay more attention to the fuel they put in their car than the fuel they put in their body. I read a similar analogy today...

"The irony is that most women take better care of their cars than their body, and that is in large part because an annual inspection is required to continue driving your car," says Donnica Moore, MD, a women's health expert based in Far Hills, N.J.

I'm WAY overdue for a mammogram (pregnancy came when I was already overdue), so this quote made me feel a bit guilty today. Guilt isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if it moves us to take action.

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to check your calendar and make an appointment.

More thoughts and tips for taking care of yourself:

Read these five lifesaving tests you may need.
An annual check up with your ob/gyn or family doc.
Subscribe to magazines and get books that encourage healthy habits. Manage the mental inputs.
Get moving. Regular aerobic exercise is good for your mind, not just your body.
Pay attention to nutrition.
It's been a wonderful week. I taught a step class at Lifetime Fitness, the first time I've done step in six years (since my first fall in Liberty in 2002). It was really fun. Like riding a bike; you can't forget. Fortunately Lifetime has two group exercise studios with suspended wood floors that my knees benefit from!

Mr Right built our first fire this week. It was absolutely yummy.

Enjoy the fall this weekend: take a walk in a pumpkin patch, soak in a scented bath, do something positive for yourself!

The yoga events from last weekend have been rescheduled (read below). Thank you for the well-wishes; baby Mirabella is doing much better!
Create a healthy weekend,

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

39 weeks

I haven't been a good pen pal lately; extremely busy job, moving, and pregnancy are quite a full hand I've been dealt.
Closure can be tough for me, especially when it involves saying good-bye. Though I'm now in Leawood instead of Liberty, I plan to get back to teaching yoga up north after Labor Day. Still, many of my classes and programs had to change or end, and thank goodness for the many life changes -- I was too busy to be sad for long.

Moving into a new space is cleansing in a way -- you're forced to clean deep, get rid of "stuff." And it's so fun to personalize a new space; make it yours.
Phit chick Kelly did an awesome job painting the nursery for me -- the chick can not only run forever, she is quite the decorative painter.

At 39 weeks, my belly is huge and two hours of good sleep is a gift. Patience.

Something I'm really happy about: my doctor says I am a "picture of health." For a first baby at 43 years old, she is amazed and says I'm having a model pregnancy - healthy blood pressure, reasonable weight gain, active and (mostly) feeling good.

I was doing yoga and the elliptical at eight months, and I'd like to tell you I did the whole way through, but for the past month an occassional swim is all I've done. There's no doubt that 20 years of consistent exercise before getting pregnant has paid off. It's made it possible for me to relax a bit in this tired stage (though working eight hours and unpacking isn't all relaxing!) I feel very blessed to have such a healthy body.

Keep that in mind when life distracts you from your fitness routine -- the real benefits are ones you can't see.

Someday you may take an executive-level job, move to a new community, have a baby at an advanced maternal age (or, heaven help you, all three at once). A low blood pressure and established relaxation techniques will bring you tranquility through it all!
Create a healthy day,

Monday, May 19, 2008

crazy busy

Long work days, classes and pregnancy-required rest has kept me away awhile, but I have some good stuff to share!

I saw a book "Crazy Busy" when bookstore browsing and checked out the author's website. I really like this list of "10 Principles to Managing Modern Life."

Had a conversation with some Eq gals last week about abs and was asked the BEST abdominal exercise. There are several of course, but one is the dead bug yoga pose with arm & leg extensions. Take a peak at it on this handout and give it a try.

I've managed to keep up with exercise during pregnancy, even though it is quite a bit different. I have substitute taught water aerobics at Lifetime Fitness in south Overland Park, and done Prenatal Yoga at one of my favorite studios Darling Yoga. My walk/jog sessions are definately walks, and I've had to learn to be ok with three times a week instead of four or five, but all in all, I'm a healthy "older" mom!
I'll be finishing the session of early morning Equilibrium and Sat yoga (Yep, I can still do down-dog, no twists though). Then there'll be a brief break. I'm already counting down the weeks until I can get back to my regular yoga classes!
Create a happy, healthy weekend,
P.S. I'm STILL updating our website, but will be available again soon!

fatigue busters (Jan 31 newsletter)

Hi there [member_name_first]~

Recently returned from a six-day business trip, with meetings in Florida and Oregon. The pinnacle of my fatigue came on a six hour flight from Atlanta to Portland (wouldn't have been so bad had I not started that very day with a 7am breakfast on the east coast and ended with an 8 -9pm meeting on the WEST coast -- geez).
I've always considered myself a hard worker, but at 17 weeks pregnant, those 16 hour work days and long flights were almost too much. And yes, I practice what I preach with water, rest, vitamins and good nutrition. Some weeks just require every tool in your Phit tool box. My fatigue busters:
1) Legs up the wall pose. This yoga pose is so easy to do in a hotel room; you can lay on the floor or the bed. Here's a photo on Yoga Journal; but I don't use a bolster, just lay flat on the floor. The trick is to sit really close to the wall so you can kind of "swing" your legs up. You get a nice hamstring and low back stretch, but best of all your feet, ankles and legs get the benefit of reverse gravity on circulation. Those main arteries that pump blood up your leg all day long get a break, and your entire circulation system benefits. I used to do this when I worked trade shows in my 20's and my feet would HURT at the end of the day. Didn't find out until much later that it was a hugely beneficial yoga pose.
2) Walking. Surprise, surprise! But a couple of mornings my meetings started at 7:30am and the silly fitness center didn't open until 6:00am. Even though I only got a whopping 22 minutes on the treadmill; I felt so much better. And I LOVE how the most routine shower feels like a spa treatment when preceeded by a bit of cardio.
3) Music. If you don't believe in the mind-body connection, play your favorite song next time you are tackling a task you dread. And what a way to make time fly. What did we do before iPods? (Actually I remember packing several CDs with me, seems so bulky now!)
Here's a few of my Phit Favorite Tunes:
Need to rev up -- as in that "first mile" on the treadmill: 60's sing-alongs like The Foundations, or (embarrassing as it is, these always make me smile) The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" or "Come on Get Happy." Sounds ridiculous, but in my days of teaching Spinning three times a week, I saw more than one 50-something executive male start pedalling faster when I played the multi-colored bus music! If you want something a little more current (like a half a decade more current) try the Cardio Dance Mix on iTunes. It always makes me hit the speed "up" arrow! Rihanna and the Black Eyed Peas work well too.
Need to relax: Can't beat the early Enya, and I love the compilations on "Pure Moods" CDs. And Deva Premal is the ultimate for that totally vegging out (napping, meditating, warm bath soaking). When I play her at the end of yoga, I can literally see people sink into their mats.
Need to feel like "I can do this": Madonna, Aretha, and best of all: Tina Turner!
I'd love to expand this list, especially the exercise tunes, so email me here and tell me what gets you going. I confessed to the Partridge Family for crying out loud, so give me your real favorites. I'll share a list next week.
On the flight home I listed to an audio book on leadership and gained some amazing insight into taking control (and responsibility for) my schedule, my day, my health, my career, my goals. Found an interesting parallel perspective on the web too: comes down to being a player and not a victim. Here's my notes (rough, from the airplane):
Personal responsibility stems from being a player rather than a victim. For example, a victim responds to:
1. what happened to you?
2. who wronged you?
3. how did they hurt you?
4. what should they do to make it right?
5. what are the consequences to you if they don't change?
a player responds to:
1. what challenge did you face?
2. how did you choose to respond?
3. what are the consequences of your actions?
4. could you have done something more productive?
5. what can you learn?
Huge possibility for application here: my day, my health, my finances. The reoccuring question: am I going to exercise? Is it my co-workers or my job's "fault" that I can't? Is it REALLY another person's fault?

I also loved this quote shared by Emerson: what you do speaks so loud, I can't hear what you say.

Under the "coming soon" category: Phit Chick Kim Sickels has been teaching classes at Slim & Tone on North Oak which closed recently, and she will be starting a new class on Wed evenings at Pinnacle Physical Therapy. Email her at or call 816-589-6489.
Create a happy, healthy week,
P.S. I'm in the midst of updating our website; will be available again soon!