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Fitness and the Future: Looking Forward to 2017

   

Fitness and the FutureWith the end of 2016 fast approaching I’ve been thinking a lot about my fitness and the future.  This year has been a busy one for me and in the midst of all the “stuff” my fitness took a total nose-dive.  With lots of recovery time needed from two surgeries I don’t feel bad about giving myself a break though.  The real challenge is deciding what to do and where to go from this place.

       

I sort of hate new year’s resolutions.  I used to think of them as empowering or a great way to get back on track, but I just don’t feel that way anymore.  Most resolutions are overly grand, overly hopeful and not based in the reality of what is actually possible.  That’s not to say that goals in general are like this, it just seems like new year-related resolutions are often overly grandiose.  I’m not making any resolutions, but I am making some changes.

So what will 2017 have in store?   January 1 will be the start of my 7th Whole30.  I am repeating round 7 because I bailed on my previous attempt in November (the holidays proved a huge challenge to completing the round).  Whole30 is my favorite way to stop eating so much junk and get back to eating what makes me feel best.  It’s overly rigid and the rules can be pretty annoying, but you know what?  It works for me and that’s what’s important.

I’ve set another goal in RunKeeper for 500 walking miles.  I didn’t make it in 2016, but that’s okay, shit happens.  I hope to make it in 2017 and chances are much better this time with no surgery forecasted.

I’m going to expand my gardening even more to help me and my hubby eat better and get outside more.  I love how rewarding manual labor in the garden can be and the prize is tasty, healthy food – total win!

The most major thing I have learned and come to accept about diet and fitness is that there is no one right way.  If you thrive doing Whole30 good for you.  If you think Whole30 is stupid good for you too.  If you think new year’s resolutions are awesome I hope you make them and they help you reach your goals.  If you are like me and don’t find them useful that’s okay too.  What worked last time or last year or whenever may not work this time either.  I truly believe the only way someone will have long-term success with diet and fitness is to find their own groove.

You absolutely cannot put people in boxes or use a template-type approach and expect everyone will succeed.  This can be a hard pill to swallow as a fitness professional.  Your training basically teaches you if you do X, Y, and Z with your clients then everyone should have good results.  If they eat less, work more, do progressive exercises, etc., etc. everything should move in the right direction.  This isn’t always the case and it’s something you learn as you go.  This lesson has been something I’ve applied to myself too.  What works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa.  I think the key is to keep trying and when something doesn’t work you change your approach and keep going.

In 2017 I hope to continue learning and sharing what I’ve learned, sharing my own diet and fitness journey and inspiring other’s to find their own groove.  Here’s to fitness and the future! 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

RECOVERYbits Review

   

I received complimentary product to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.

       

When I was offered a chance to do a RECOVERYbits review I was excited to give them a try.  I previously tried ENERGYbits and really liked them so I was interested to see if I noted any difference in these two products.

recoverybits review

About RECOVERYbits

RECOVERYbits are 100% natural, organic chlorella algae.  They contain 40 vitamins and minerals.  The tablets are 60% protein which I find pretty impressive for a vegan protein source.  They contain no soy, dairy, sugar, gluten or caffeine.  In my opinion, they are pretty perfect from a nutritional standpoint.  Lots of things that are good and pretty much nothing that’s objectionable no matter what diet you follow.   RECOVERYbits are best for recovery, detox , immune system, digestion and anti-aging per the info on the package.

recoverybits review

The Tablets

The package says you can swallow them or chew them.  The package warns they taste “green” if you go the chewing route and I distinctly remember a very green taste when chewing the ENERGYbits.   The little pills even have a green smell too.  Not offensive at all, just clearly very vegetal.  Mown hay maybe?

The Good

  • These little tablets are nutritional powerhouses.  Four grams of protein in just 30 tablets is impressive all by itself.  Consider all the other goodies packed into a small serving and they really become something special.
  • I tried my bits on an empty stomach and had no issues.   I have a very sensitive stomach so this was a big plus.
  • RECOVERYbits are easy to transport.  Whether it’s due to travel or you’re just on the go RECOVERYbits are easy to take with you.  You don’t have to worry about measuring powders or packing liquids, you simply count them out and go.  The tablets are also very sturdy so they aren’t likely to get crushed up when you’re on the move.

The not so Good

  • It’s a lot to swallow.  If you chew them you get smacked in the mouth with a big green flavor, but if you swallow them like the package suggests, one serving is too many to go down at once.  I broke them into stacks of five, but even then that was six swallows to get them all down.  To be honest, around batch 4 or 5 I did gag a bit.  I truly didn’t mind the flavor of the RECOVERYbits, but trying to swallow a copious quantity of tablets wasn’t appealing at all.
  • The price.  I did sample these bits for free, but to buy them through the ENERGYbits website you’ll pay $115 for a bag of 1,000.  At 30 tabs per serving it will cost you roughly $2.80 per serving and you’ll get 33 servings a bag.  The website does point out that the price is comparable to other bars or drinks you might purchase instead and I don’t disagree with that.  You may be getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck if you can afford it, but RECOVERYbits definitely feel like more of a luxury item than a necessity at that price.

recoverybits review

Overall, I think RECOVERYbits are a great addition you to your routine if you are looking for a boost of nutrients.  I like the idea of using a product that is specifically meant to target recovery.  In my own routine I think I would add them in on an as-needed basis for use after intense workouts or times when my immune system might need a bit of extra support.  I don’t think I got the same boost from these as I remember from the ENERGYbits, but I like that there are different products you can use depending on your specific needs.

If you’d like to try RECOVERYbits or ENERGYbits for yourself checkout using code “BLOG” at www.energybits.com and receive 20% off!

Full disclosure: I was provided with a free sample to do this RECOVERYbits review. The opinions and views presented here are solely my own.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Don’t Let Other People’s Experiences get in Your Head

   
Other People's Experiences
Pixabay

Before I had my hysterectomy this spring I talked with lots of other women who had experience with similar procedures. As with anything else there was tons of advice and information shared. Some of it was good and some of it was crap. The most important thing I learned was not to let other people’s experiences get in my head. That sounds kind of negative but hear me out.

       

The women who had bad or difficult experiences were often the most vocal. One person told me having a hysterectomy will lead to organ prolapse and all my bits would fall out. This would be a very specific issue due to a variety of physical factors and not particularly likely. One women told me I would have terrible hot flashes and I should prepare to be miserable. This would typically only happen if you had both ovaries removed which doesn’t happen in all cases. One women told me I should prepare to gain weight due to hormone issues. Admittedly, this was the one that really got me. I researched and researched and what I found were a lot of websites with a lot of info on “female hormone imbalance” spouting a lot of home remedy type bullshit. What I did not find were credible, trustworthy sources that cited specific research and information indicating that this was really true. Crisis averted.

This bad info caused me a bit of anxiety. Were people trying to make me worry needlessly? No, they were trying to help, but their help was shaped by their experience, preconceived notions and education or lack thereof.

Fitness and diet are areas where this situation applies too. How many people have you met that wanted to project their experiences onto you? Your co-worker did Atkins or 21 Day Fix or some other program so surely that must be the right way to lose weight. Your sister eschewed a specific diet but was all about CrossFit or CIZE or whatever so that has to be the right way to get fit. Someone has a food or exercise horror story or triumph to share so that experience must be the way things are, right?

In reality it’s not that cut and dry. I’ve learned over a lot of years there is no one right approach to food or fitness. It’s great to gain insight and knowledge from other people but you can’t let other people’s experiences get in your head. What is true for one person may absolutely not be true for you. And what is true for you today may not be later down the road. As with a lot of things it pays to seek professional advice, do your own research and treat what you hear with a touch of healthy skepticism until you can draw your own conclusions.

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Transitioning off Whole30 and Reintroduction

   

Transitioning off Whole30

       

I’m one day away from finishing my fifth Whole30.  Transitioning off Whole30 has always been a challenge for me because by the time the days are up I am done.  Like annoyed, fried, a bit angry at food and plain grumpy about eating.  It’s been this way almost every time.  While a slow reintroduction would probably be good I am so over it that eating anything off plan sounds absolutely delightful.  Does this result in tummy aches?  Of course.  Does it result in regret?  Occasionally.  Does it ruin the progress I made?  Nope!

Transitioning off Whole30 in an orderly fashion (aka “Reintroduction“) is meant to give you greater insight into how certain foods affect you.  Adding food back one group or type at a time allows you to experiment with how you feel after eating.  This way you can take control over items or groups that may cause you trouble.  Maybe beans or oats or rice don’t bother you a bit, but alcohol or dairy sends you into fits.  You may never nail down the source of potential issues if you add back lots of different foods at one time.  The Whole30 website lays out a 10 day plan for reintroducing potential agitators.  It’s a smart plan, but in all honesty I’ve never had the patience to follow it very closely.  Even without following the plan I’ve still been able to identify some potential trigger foods so I don’t think I’ve cheated myself too bad.

Each Whole30 has helped me a little bit differently.  I’ve learned there really are certain foods that bother me more than others.  I’ve learned that eating greatly impacts my sleep.  I discovered that alcohol, while occasionally enjoyable, is pretty much not my friend.  I’ve learned that I can eat more by volume (a hugely surprising amount) of quality food and actually lose weight.  I’ve found that Whole30 helps me reset my cravings for sugar and junk food.  I also learned that food actually starts to taste different once you aren’t eating sugar and processed goo.

I didn’t step on the scale once or take measurements or even pictures this time.  This time it was about cutting out food that wasn’t nutritionally sound and killing my cravings for junk food.  In the past I’ve wanted to stick with Whole30 principals and for a while it has worked, but eventually the bad stuff has crept back in.  Instead of letting things spiral into an eventual free for all I’m making a different plan this time. I’m going to to eat fairly close to Whole30, but add dairy back in.  Dairy is something I miss terribly when I do Whole30 so I feel like if I allow some latitude with this food group maybe it will be easier to stick with eating better.

Are you thinking about starting a Whole30 or doing one right now?  Follow my Whole30 Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration!

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week, both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends!

Want to see more Whole30 posts? Check these out!

Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience while working through the Whole30. This is not a recommendation or suggestion for you to do the same, nor is it an endorsement of the Whole30 program. Before you begin this or any diet or exercise program you should discuss it with your doctor or qualified health care provider to determine whether it is safe for you. This post is based on my personal situation and is for information purposes only. Anything contained herein should not be treated as guidance or advice.

Afraid to Exercise After Surgery

   

Afraid to Exercise After SurgeryMonday was the first day since having my hysterectomy that I followed a planned exercise routine. To be honest, I’ve been afraid to exercise after surgery. I was worried that it would hurt or I would hurt myself. I’ve been lacking motivation too.  Mostly I was just afraid that something bad could happen.  After dealing with issues for so long it’s nerve wracking to do anything that might possibly leave me feeling like I did before.

       

Exercise, especially bursts of intense activity like sprinting, was often a trigger for intense episodes of pain.   I would have terrible lower abdominal pain and other issues that could last for days. My physical therapist attributed this to sudden, intense muscle contraction that would provoke irritated areas. After seeing fibroids and endometrial bits lurking places they shouldn’t have been it makes sense.  Maybe this tissue got fussy when jostled.

There seems to be no concrete scientific reason as to why this type of issue happens to some women. Some sources blame hormones, but polyps and fibroids are also potential culprits.  Because so many different things can be contributing factors each case is likely to differ in cause and needs thorough investigation.  In my case this was just one of many issues so it took lots of treatment trial and error before deciding on surgery.

A huge part of my fear lies in doing something that creates any kind of issue like I had before.  While all the offending parts have been removed, I would be incredibly disappointed if the problem wasn’t fixed.  Unfortunately, I think that the only way to get over this worry is to actually get back to regular activity.  So here I am, very slowly adding a planned routine back to each day.  I’ve picked modest activities and lighter weights and plan to progress to more activity as tolerated.  I am nervous, but also excited to get back to doing something I know is beneficial.  While I have been afraid to exercise after surgery I’m slowly going to tackle this issue at my own pace.  I know that eventually things will get back to normal. Hopefully my new normal is one free from the pain that plagued me before.

Disclaimer:  This post is based on my personal experiences only and is not a recommendation to engage in exercise post-surgery.  You and your doctor need to thoroughly evaluate your specific situation after surgery to determine when and what activity may be right for you.  To ensure your health and safety you should not engage in fitness activities until you get the all clear from your doctor or surgeon.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner.  This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.