Monday Sweat Report (a day late)

Keeping it real and honest here means posting my workouts. While I settle back into blogging I have decided not to dive into the deep end with the promise of posting every day. That would be setting me up for failure. I’d like to give myself a little breathing room and not have the heavy weight of “I should be…” pushing down on me every second of every day. So my posting goal is very simple and easily attainable. Two posts a week for now. Monday’s I will share my past week’s workouts and then I can post one more day during the week. As the weeks pass I can add another post and another and another if I’m inclined to do so. While I’m keeping it real and honest I’ll also be keeping it sane.

And I’m a day behind. I’m going to pretend that I’m not late.

Lets get on with my workouts from last week.

I was sick for two days, Wednesday and Thursday. No workouts those days.

Monday – treadmill 30 minutes
Tuesday – no workout
Wednesday – treadmill 30 minutes
Saturday – treadmill 30 minutes & Pilates workout
Sunday – no workout

The BIG exciting news is that I got a new piece of fitness equipment and I’ll be sharing in another post what it is and how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

That’s my week in review. How was your workouts last week? What’s on tap for this week?

And Then It Was Fall

Where I’ve been? It’s been awhile and it feels so good to be back here. I’ve missed this blog so much this past year. When I first dipped by toe into the blogging world it was with a fitness blog. Bikini or Bust (yeah, that was my blog’s name) and it was hosted on a fitness community. I had no idea what I was doing but I instantly fell in love with blogging. Though having no one around that was involved with blogging or even knowing what blogs were all about I didn’t have a support system for bouncing ideas around, for getting advice or just having someone to chat with about blogging. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog about fitness. I then spent some time on a food blog but realized that while I love cooking, I didn’t love all the time required to produce a high-quality food blog (photography was a huge time suck). Then I created Secrets of a Healthy Chick. It was all good then I became nervous that I couldn’t sustain a fitness only blog. Could I write about fitness every day for the rest of my life? Wow, looking back that was a lot of pressure to put on myself. Rest of my life? Of course the answer was no. So I took up residence at a lifestyle blog. Which I did enjoy but it never felt right to me. Being here felt right.

So here I am. Back at blog home.

And there are some reasons why I’m back at Secrets of a Healthy Chick.

Call To Adventure

While plotting a novel (I’ve also been writing) there is something known as the Hero’s Journey and it’s used in plotting. Stories usually open up in the hero’s ordinary world where you get to see him in his regular worlds, everything is normal but on the horizon there is the call to adventure which is where he is thrown into something extraordinary and this leads him down a path where he will need to make a decision. Well, my call to adventure came yesterday. I stopped in TJ Maxx to do a little browsing and found a pair of jeans and a skirt. Took both into the fitting room. Then I left the fitting room without either item. The reason? They didn’t fit. Oh, it kills me to write this. But it’s the truth. As I approach fifty I do have a few things working against me but I am in control of how often I workout, how much I move and what I eat. Time to turn things around so that on my next shopping trip I’ll walk out of the store with bags of clothes that fit.


Turning the big Five-O

That’s right. I’m less than 3 months from the BIG birthday and I refuse, absolutely refuse to let myself physically go. Sure, my body is in the midst of changing but I will not sit on the sideline watching life pass by and resign myself to a life lived in elastic waistbands. I want to age healthfully and gracefully and fashionably.

What to expect

Fitness, that’s a given. But I’ll be writing about food. I love to cook and bake and I’ll share my favorite recipes and helpful tips in the kitchen. Nutrition is a huge part of being healthy but life is far too short to pass up a chocolate cupcake. I’ll be sharing my fashion scores because I love to shop (majored in Fashion Buying in college) and every fit chick needs a fashionable wardrobe. After all, life isn’t lived exclusively in sneakers. My pups. You’ll see photos of my two favorite dogs quite often. I am truly shameless when it comes to them.

I’m excited to jump back onto the fitness bandwagon this fall. I’m looking forward to new workouts and selecting my rewards for meeting my goals. I hope that as I settle back here you’ll stop by for a visit every now and again and please say “hi”, I’d love to meet you.

Sunday Morning with Blueberry Muffins

This Sunday morning was warm and humid. It seems to be a weather pattern we will be in for the next week. Welcome summer! To start the day, I rode our exercise bike for 10 minutes and then did the Pilates Series of five before heading into the kitchen to bake a batch of blueberry muffins.

Since March when we purchased our exercise bike, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it. But knowing that cycling is an awesome calorie burn I decided that one more attempt to embrace the bike should be made. And it seems that the bike and I are finally getting along. My plan is to work up to 30 minute sessions first thing in the morning. It’s whisper quiet (unlike the treadmill) so I can watch the news at a normal volume level.

When my 10 minute session was over, I hit the mat for the Series of five. Series of five is a sequence of abdominal exercises that builds strength and endurance as well as aligns the spine and centers to body. The series consists of:

1. Single Leg Stretch
2. Double Leg Stretch
3. Single Straight Leg Stretch (Scissors)
4. Double Straight Leg Stretch
5. Criss Cross

Cycling and abs taken care of, I was ready for the day. And ready to bake up a batch of my favorite blueberry muffins.

Now, lets get to the food. It always makes me happy. These muffins are easy to whip up and delicious for breakfast or a mid-day snack.

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Blueberry Muffins Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, slight beaten
1 1/2 cup blueberries

1/4 cup all-puropse flour
1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.

Combine flours, oats, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, stirring until combined.

Combine yogurt, milk, canola oil, vanilla extract and vanilla extract, whisking until blended.

Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stir until just moist.

Fold in blueberries gently.

Spoon 2 rounded teaspoons into each of the muffin tins.

Prepare topping by combining all-purpose flour, nuts, brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake at 400 degrees 14-17 minutes or until muffins spring back lightly when touched.

Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans.

Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Makes 12-18 muffins.

Have a Plan, Will Sweat

I’ve recapped my workouts a few days ago for the past 31 days and I’m pretty satisfied with what I accomplished. A lot of workouts compared to the month before. But, then I asked myself if I was satisfied with the results of those workouts and the answer was a definite “no”. I didn’t lose any weight and I didn’t sweat off any inches. But I did become consistent.

This tells me that I need to rethink my workouts going forward.

I need more strength training and I need more intense cardio. And I need to eat cleaner. I will say that I have been making better food choices and I need to continue with that.

This planning has led me to a little shopping. Exercise DVDs to be specific.

Yes, there was happiness here a few days ago when the package arrived.

I’ve begun my new workouts and I’m staying on schedule, keeping the consistency that I have began in March. And let me tell you, I’ve been sore. I’m loving these workouts.

There are challenging exercises, some I’m rockin’ and others I’m struggling through. And these workouts are leaving me sweaty and I actually have been doing the cool downs (yes, I kinda tend to skip that part) because I need that time to bring down my heart rate. I promise to share what they are really soon.

It’s too early to tell if I’m in a honeymoon stage with these new workouts or if I’ve found my next love in working out.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you tried a new workout and fell in love with immediately, only to find out a little later that you’re you’re not just that into it?

One Little Word, One Big Head Trip

All it takes sometimes is one little word to undermine all the success you have accomplished. That’s what has happened to a friend of mine. Long story short, she made the decision to get healthy and she lost 50 pounds. 5 – 0. I’m so proud of her because she made a commitment to herself and stuck with it. Then the other day she had a doctor’s appointment and he told her that according to her BMI she was obese.

Yep. That little word packs a mighty powerful punch.

As quickly as that word slipped out of his mouth, all that my friend had accomplished disappeared. She could only focus on the word “obese”.

Of course I told her that she’s done an amazing job and that she should be so proud of herself for what she’d done. I told her not to focus on that word. Just keep going forward and that BMI scale can kiss her ass.

On Sunday, my friend put her dog in her car and went on a long hike. It was a good one because she was sore the next day. I was glad to see that she was rebounding from the trauma of that one little word.

I’m 22 years older than my friend and I’ve found that certain words can play with my head, but I’m finding that their effect has a shorter lifespan. I guess some things do get easier as we age.


Why do we tend to focus on the negative things about ourselves? Why do we set a higher standard for ourselves than others? Why can’t we see ourselves the way we see our friends and family?

Dove Beauty Campaign, Dove Beauty Sketches makes us pause and think of how we see ourselves. If you haven’t watched this video, please take a few minutes and watch it. You may change how you think about yourself.

A Month of Workouts

Does this happen to you? You decide to keep track of your workouts, either on an elaborate spreadsheet or in a notebook or one of those fancy workout journals only to have it fall to the wayside? I’ve been there and I’ve abandoned the journaling in a matter of a couple of weeks (if that long). So there was some point where I figured this all logging/journaling/tracking wasn’t for me and figuring that I’m past 40 this was something that just wasn’t “me”.


I really needed to focus on my workouts and I needed to be to see what is or isn’t working. And in order to accomplish those things I needed to log my workouts.


I decided to stay positive. I can do this. I know I can. But I wasn’t going to create a spreadsheet, buy a notebook or get one of those journals. Nope, I was going simple – paper and pen. That’s it.

Guess what? It worked. Who knew?

I managed to record every workout since March 9th. And now I’m reading the list. In 31 days I took 8 rest days, I took 4 Pilates classes, I hit the treadmill for various lengths for 13 workouts and 3 strength workouts.

I see a trend. Lots of cardio sessions, very little strength workouts.

I don’t think that’s a good balance for me. But I’m proud of myself for 23 days and journaling them. So I’m taking a moment to celebrate this accomplishment before I begin thinking about the next 30 days.

Do you record your workouts to keep track? Do you review your past workouts and tweak based on your present fitness goals? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to your workouts?