Thursday, September 26, 2013

Here's to Your Health

Someone was asking me for some health and fitness advice the other day, and suggested that I start a blog related to that. I didn't want to start a whole new blog, but I was thinking that since I fortunately don't have much melanoma related news to share, why not start posting more here about health and fitness related things? Health is connected to cancer prevention anyway.

First off, I am clearly not a doctor or any medical expert, blah blah blah. So don't listen to what I have to say and ignore your doctor's advice or anything silly like that. 

To start off, here are some of my basics for being healthy, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or just maintain your weight and/or live a healthier lifestyle; I'll expand on these basics in later posts:

1. Don't "Go on a Diet". Make lifestyle changes. A "diet" is what you eat, whether it's "good" or "bad".  Make changes you can stick with for life, and include foods that you love, even if they are not the healthiest, and work on finding substitutes, eating smaller portions, or cutting out the really terrible stuff completely. 

2.  Quality and Quantity BOTH matter. You have probably heard of, or been on, "diets" that restrict fat, carbs, or times that you are supposed to eat. Basically, it's calories in/calories out. If you consume more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight. If you consume less, you'll lose weight. However, the quality does matter as well. Your food should be doing something good for you, and candy, cookies and chips don't. A decent rule is that if you can't understand the ingredients on the package, don't eat the food. This website has some really good, detailed rules about eating Real Food.

3. MOVE and Pick Up Heavy Things. Whatever your goals are, we all need to move more. If your current exercise routine consists of getting up from the couch to get more chips, then start off with walking or taking a family bike ride. If you already have a basic fitness level, step it up. When you are comfortable with whatever you're doing, make it uncomfortable again. Lift weights. If you don't know how, and don't have a gym membership or access to a personal trainer, Google is your friend. 

4. Set realistic goals, and find what motivates YOU. Whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain your weight, set goals for yourself. Start small, and set daily, weekly, monthly goals to start out. It doesn't have to be based on that number on the scale, it can be just working out a set number of days/minutes each week, staying within your calorie range, or anything else that you set out to do. Reward yourself with something for each goal you reach - I warn against rewarding yourself with food, you're not a dog! 

5. Realize that you will fail at some point. We aren't perfect, there are going to be weeks that you don't have time to get to the gym or grocery shop, or you just give in to temptation. When that happens, don't beat yourself up, just pick up and move forward - right then, not the next Monday (the national day for starting anything).


Friday, September 13, 2013


Well guys, I am happy to report that I managed to go on a tropical weekend getaway, without getting sunburned or tan! It still feels weird to be happy about not getting a tan, but I was really proud of that. I wore my hats and sunscreen and tried to sit in the shade when I could, and it worked.  I had a great time with my friends, from the time we got into the truck to leave town Friday morning, til the time we got back home on Monday afternoon, it was a blast. Full of laughs, no drama, just a ton of fun. And everyone on that ship knew who we were, partially thanks to the awesome hats we wore:

Our shirts said "Catalina Wine Mixer" because we were 
talking about the movie Stepbrothers and thought
it would be hilarious.....and it was :)

We went to Nassau, Bahamas on Saturday, and Cococay on Sunday, which is a private island owned by the cruise line. In Nassau we just walked down to Senor Frogs for the afternoon, and in Cococay a couple of the girls stayed on the boat while the rest of us hung out on the white sandy beaches:

I also wanna let y'all (all 5 of you who read this.....) know about the lip sunscreen I've discovered. I've always been crazy about making sure I had sunscreen on my lips, because I've always gotten fever blisters if my face/lips get much sun at all. A couple of years ago, my mom got me some Supergoop products. I really don't care for their face sunscreen, I love my Neutrogena, but I LOVE their SPF30 lip balm. Every SPF chapstick I've ever tried has left a weird taste in my mouth (which doesn't go well with tropical drinks!), but Supergoop doesn't. I was a little leery at first because it's kind of shiny and I feel like that will attract sun, but I've been using it all summer and no burned lips or fever blisters! Check it out, and remember, you need sunscreen even in winter!

 And last, but definitely not least, when I got home, I got to meet the newest member of my "family" (not family by blood or marriage, but by choice)! I would like to introduce you guys to Vivian Ann:

Aunt Mel had just come from Spin class :)

This precious little girl was born as I was shipping out to sea, but luckily I got to see some pics and video before I had to turn off my phone. It's impossible not to instantly fall in love with her, and mommy and baby are both very happy and healthy!

Well that's all my news for now, I'm currently at Mayo for blood work but don't expect to hear anything but how great my blood is, as always :)