Fitness, Reblog

Just walk away from the junk food… #nutrition #health #fitness

Just walk away from the junk food… #nutrition #health #fitness

Think Smart

Food is fuel for your body. It has a direct impact on how you feel as well as on your overall health. Fast food isn’t necessarily bad, but in many cases it’s highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt (sodium).

These foods are often high in calories yet offer little or no nutritional value. When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition, poor health, and weight gain. Being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.Fast food can effect on your body :

1.Digestive and Cardiovascular Systems:

Many fast foods and drinks are loaded with carbohydrates and, consequently, a lot of calories. Your digestive system breaks carbs down into sugar (glucose), which it then releases into your bloodstream. Your pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which…

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Fitness, Running

You’re doing what?!? #running #halfmarathon #areyounuts

Never say never. Isn’t that the cliche? When I finished my last NYC Marathon (with a stress fracture) a couple years ago, I gave up running. I didn’t intend to, really – but the doctor put me on complete restriction (including no swimming!) for 10 weeks. [Okay, technically 4 and 6 since “unintentional running” (I forgot! Don’t judge me!) landed me back at square one, but I digress…]11124442_10208074848699202_7965970397228468056_o

I’ve only run short (and shorter… and shorter…) distances since. When my running club started up around 6 weeks ago, my friend Tess asked me if I’d be interested a Run & Ride 5K. We both love amusement parks (especially ones that feature Snoopy), and had been tossing the idea around for years. I said Absolutely! Then, a couple weeks later, I got a message from Tess saying she may be off her rocker, but she’s considering the half marathon instead of the 5K… and then she got on a cruise ship and left! Really?!? I toyed with the idea the whole week, just like Tess knew I would. [I may or may not have gotten her to run a marathon in a similar fashion.]

So…apparently I’m a distance running again. I’m actually pretty excited about it since I can never seem to reach the level of mindfulness and peace I get from a long run. I’m running a 5K with my running club in May and then I’ll begin a proper training program for the half. I am putting something new into my training this time around, though. When I quit running solely in preparation for races, I quit focusing quite so much on distance or speed and starting just running a set amount of time. I always thought if I did that, I would run slower (no goal, no measure, etc.). The opposite happened. When I’m not looking – I’m just running? I’m actually faster! By quite a bit. Is there a such thing as a non-training training program? There should be! So while I will do one day of speed work and one long run each week, I’m doing all of my other runs freestyle. No Garmin watch. No distance goal. No per-mile requirement at all.

I’ll be interested in seeing how it goes. I already committed to play in my work golf league, so this season I’ll take on two sports at once. However, I’m hoping that mixing up the training plan will take off some of the stress that comes with training (and risk of overtraining). Ready or not, here we go…

Fitness, Reblog, Travel

Two Loves Together #travel and #running

Marathon season is in full swing. Don’t worry about how you’ll get to the race—take Amtrak and focus on setting a new PR instead! Boston Marathon Held in early spring, the Boston Marathon’s historic course starts on Main Street in the rural New England town of Hopkinton and finishes near the John Hancock Tower in…

via Take Amtrak to Your Next Marathon — Amtrak

Fitness, On Writing

2017 Resolutions – Let’s Get Personal #HappyNewYear #2017

It feels pretty good to have my hands on the keyboard again. I gave myself a three-month sabbatical from writing (and a myriad of other activities) to focus on my new role at work, and I’m glad I did, but I am beyond ready to get back into some regular habits. I know a lot of people shy away from New Years Resolutions because they so often end in failure; however, ever since I quit smoking cold turkey many years ago, I have enjoyed great success with them – from running marathons to earning my PMP – so here’s to continuing the tradition. This is the first time my resolutions haven’t including something brand new. This year is all about reviving old good habits that have taken last place in the busy-ness of life. And somewhat uncharacteristically, I’ve decided to get a bit personal in hopes that anyone reading this will take a look at their own habits and maybe avoid some of my bad decisions!

12191940_10208073140376495_7424452354353438648_nResolution #1 – Running. Ever since I hobbled through the last half of a marathon with a stress fracture, I haven’t felt much like running. The past few weeks or so I’ve caught myself daydreaming about being out on a run…just me and my music and the fresh air. I don’t think I could ever feel like running if just for something like weight loss – there’s too many other types of exercise to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do or that you’re afraid you’ll hurt yourself again doing. But my daydreaming tells me my body is healed and my mind is aching for the peace and clear-thought that where such a large part of what made me start running in the first place.

Resolution #1a – Remember I haven’t had a good run in over a year and not get discouraged when I can’t just trot off a 5K before breakfast like I used to!

Resolution #1b – While the running focus is mostly mental-health-driven, part of the resolution is really putting more focus back on my physical health. In my 30s, making purposeful health choices (like quitting smoking and picking up running) helped me through some major health issues practically unscathed. A hysterectomy seemed like nothing to me compared to the alternative. (NOTE: please know I don’t mean to downplay the seriousness of this situation, especially for anyone facing it who still wants children. Thankfully, my kids were already teenagers).

After I made it through the surgery and all the procedures, I spent ten years focused on my health, religiously putting up with the inconvenience of tests and biopsies every three to six months. Then the weirdest thing happened. In 2015 I got my 10-year-cancer-free card and, apparently, went completely batshit insane. Like a dumbass, I went from working out 3-4 days a week to doing practically nothing. Do you know what happens when you quit working out? Yes, you gain weight, but that’s just vanity. The real issue is that you quit paying attention to the crap you put into your body. I still don’t know exactly how or why it happened. I even started eating fast food, for Pete’s sake! I suppose not having to purposefully think about it or shoved in my face every 90 or so days with a blood test here or a biopsy there made the threat of it less real. Which is crazy, since my mom died from cancer just three years ago and I’m a walking genetic clone.

healthy-living-apple-300x279So here we are a year later and (thank you God) I just got through my dozens of tests and specialist appointments with no sign of cancer (or anything else serious). Funny how fast that year went and how little I thought about it, but let me tell you, I did a lot of thinking (and remembering) as I went through all those tests again. And I was ashamed of myself and how I took it all for granted. This year I’m shaking all that off and get back into the awesomeness of healthy living!


Resolution #2 – Writing. I have two half-finished books that I’m determined to complete this year. One of them, a non-fiction book about Agile Project Methodology, I (legit) set aside to complete another large Agile implementation and purposefully test out some ideas and theories I had suggested in the book. I’ve got a ton of new material swirling around in my head (which may be part of the drive to run so I can sort it all out and start writing it down!)

6a014e5fb9e8aa970c016764212744970b-800wiThe other, a work of fiction, quite honestly got set aside before I even hit the sabbatical. I had reached a point in writing that happened to coincide with some circumstances in real life and the emotional collision paralyzed me a bit. Whenever I wrote dark situations in the book as tight and tense as I think they need to be, I found it difficult to keep from picturing similar (worst-case scenario) events and situations happening to some real people I love.

Now let me preface that normally when I read something I wrote a few months or years prior, I am hyper-critical of my work. Sometimes I think parts are okay and maybe if I polished it I could salvage something, but for the most part, I fail to see any spark of originality, let alone brilliance, my professors and others have claimed to see. I read over my draft the other day and I realized that the parts I wrote with dread in my heart were some of the most honest and striking writing I have ever done. Also? The worst-case scenarios I kept picturing never materialized. I thought, maybe instead of hiding from the way my writing makes me feel, I need to embrace it and write through the emotion, raw as it is, and let my characters take on that dimension.

So there it is, for all the world to see. My New Years’ Resolutions. Perhaps now I’ll have to post every now and again on how it’s going and let the thought of that help keep me on track! 🙂

Fitness, Human Issues

Interview with Louisa – Marathoner, triathlete & mental health advocate

I love when people acknowledge the tie between physical and mental. When I can’t run for some reason or another, the first thing I notice is the change in my head space.

I follow Louisa on Instagram. Check out her blog, too.

Marcus Runs

As part of my blog I (MM) believe it’s important to share common and similar experiences. With over 22k Instagram followers and acting as an advocate for the equality of physical and mental health. I’m so inspired by the work she is doing. I’d like to introduce you to Louisa (LE).

MB: In 2013 you started training for your first marathon, which was London 2014, what advice would you give other people attempting their first marathon?

LE: Yes it was London 2014. My main advice would be to set reasonable goals. I gave myself a year to change which I felt was beneficial as I didn’t put to much pressure on myself and was able to go at my own pace. At the beginning I could only run three/four miles non-stop so I definitely had my work cut out. But I set small goals, I made sure I started covering…

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Fitness, Random Thoughts

Pizza by the Mile

I get this conceptually, and I admit to having done it on several occasions; however, I can’t help but to wonder if this turns exercise into punishment.

Would you gorge on a couple slices of hot, cheesy pizza if you knew how bad it was for you? Of course you would. Past research has shown that people mostly ignore calorie counts when they’re posted on a menu. But maybe you’d think twice if you knew how much exercise it would take to…

via Here’s How Many Miles You’d Have to Run to Burn Off a Pizza — TIME