Are Rest Days Really That Important?

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I see it everyday on my Facebook fitness group – someone apologizing and feeling guilty for skipping a workout once in 6 months.  Others state that no matter what has befallen them in their day – sickness, hospital visit, working overtime –  they still got their workout in.

The comments on these posts are even more telling.  The skipping workout posts get little to no feedback.  The workout-no-matter-what posts get rave reviews, support, thumbs up, at responses of, “Awesome!” and “You rock!” It’s as if those who have skipped a workout get no support while those who pushed through are modern day gods!

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I need my rest days!

I have been working out every morning, 5 days a week, since the beginning of January and it has become an absolute joy.  But, last night I did not sleep well. In fact, I really only snoozed for about 3 hours. So when my early morning alarm went off, signaling that it was time to turn on my Tony Horton workout, I decided to roll over and go back to sleep.

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Looking back, I realized I needed that break because I was feeling over trained and tired from yesterday’s workout. It really had nothing to do with the lack of sleep, or laziness, or any other excuse to skip a workout.

But I wondered why I felt so guilty. I had missed workouts in the past.  I needed this rest! And to be honest, it was really nice not to have to jump up out of bed and sweat my skin off and shower and rush around to try to get everything done before it was time to go to work.

Do we under estimate the importance of rest?

Fitness experts and doctors all say that rest is just as important as activity. Rest days allow our muscles to recuperate – something much needed for muscle growth. During physical activity, our muscle fibers are broken down.  The rest day gives the muscles time to repair and regenerate.  If rest is skipped, the body cannot recover and indeed, further activity can lead to injury, decreased fox-1284512_1920performance, and lack of sleep, to name a few. Yep, you guessed it – muscle gain occurs during the rest times.

We need these rest days and we need to be unapologetic about it.

What we shouldn’t do is allow rest days to derail all the hard work we’ve done.  Lots of people (I’m guilty of this, too) tend to use rest days as cheat days and eat anything and everything they can get their hands on. Others tend to sit around all day in front of the TV and not move at all.

Do something different on your rest day!

While I totally condone a cheat day of eating everything while vegging out in front of the TV, it is something I do only once in a great while.  I typically plan some low level activity for my rest days.  I will hike, or do yoga.  I will get a nice, long stretch routine in while watching TV.  I will give my dog an extra long walk. I just try to do something that will keep me in the game.  Doing a little something helps my mobility, my flexibility, and helps keep me injury free.

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Bon Apetite!

In addition, I keep my diet on track.  As they say, 80-90% of fitness is accomplished in the kitchen. I tend to eat better and eat less on my rest days because I don’t have the calorie burn typical to my workout days.  I am naturally not as hungry and know that I will feel better if I keep my diet tight.

How do you stay on target when you are taking a rest day?  

I’d really like to hear from you. Do you get outside?  Do you play sports?  Do you go to Disneyland, like I do?  What is your favorite rest activity?

**Bev**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Giving Up A Hobby or, Addictions (Part 2)

I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately, considering that I am trying to streamline my life. I am realizing that the addictions I have (and didn’t really realize were addictions) are the very things keeping me from actually simplifying my life the way I want.  These addictions are not life-threatening, but they have had an impact on how I live.

You see, I have far too many things on my plate to truly lead a simplified life.  What woman doesn’t?  Some are non-negotiable – family, home, work.  Others are essential – fitness, diet.  Then, there’s everything else like hobbies and other miscellaneous distractions.  It’s the everything else that I needed to whittle down into what should stay and what should go.

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As I was going through my list of non-essentials, I really began to think about how I was spending my free time; which hobbies really enriched my life and which hobbies drained it. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish – how did those fit into my idea of a streamlined life?  What would I keep and what would I put down?

I had been going over and over these questions since the beginning of the year and when all was said and done, my answers really came down to one thing – controlling habits that had become addictions.

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After months of soul-searching, I put a name to my biggest addiction – sewing. My sewing hobby had become habit years ago and done so frequently that it became an addiction. Little did I realize that the habit/addiction had begun to clutter my life and my mind and in the end, drain my wallet.

Sewing always gave me a sense of being creative and busy.  It felt that there was always something for me to create. I started to feel as if I was never done. And any sewist could tell you, it’s true – you *are* never done.  There is a laundry list of garments you have to sew up.  There is a stack of unfinished projects on your sewing table. There is always someone asking you to make something for them.  Over the years, it became too much and I found that I would avoid sewing in favor of other things.

But, it was always there in the morning.

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I fed this addiction constantly.  I followed every sewing blog I could, drooling over the garments these people made to perfection.  I would buy the materials to copy what they made.  When I was sad, I would go out and buy fabric, patterns, sewing tools to make me feel better because, after all, I will have time to make this and then I will be happy.  Through the Internet, new fabrics would find their way into my coffers.  The new sewing gadget  would be Amazon Primed to me in 2 days. I actually added a sewing line item to my monthly budget!

The final blow was that I knew that very few of my garments ever turned out well.  I would spend all this money on tools, fabrics, and patterns.  I would spend time cutting out, marking up, and fitting.  But, very few of the garments ever ended up in my closet.  Most of them ended up in the trash.  As evidence, anyone following along can see in previous posts my Dapper Days debacle.

These reasons are the very essence of addiction in my mind so, I am putting sewing down and moving on.

I no longer get the pleasure of it as a hobby because it turned into a chore.

Many factors have led to this decision and I was hesitant to really follow through with it for fear that I would regret the decision. But, the more I think about it, the more relieved I feel.

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Isn’t that what kicking a habit is all about?

Helen Mirren’s Roman Spring

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I just watched The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone with Helen Mirren on Amazon Prime and all I can say is, WOW!  If you get the chance, I highly recommend it.  Queen Helen is magnificent and brave in this role. You won’t be disappointed.

Not only is Helen Mirren fabulous in this movie (as she is in every movie), her wardrobe is to die for!  So much 1950s fashion yumminess!  I will just leave these here…

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Over 50 Fitness?

With my newfound fitness regime, I have naturally been drawn to fitness blogs. I want to absorb everything I read, take notes on form, diet, and health. I look at the pictures of these fitness models in their designer workout gear, sparkling (glowing) with sprayed on sweat. Reading the benefits of eating more vegetables all the while looking at colorful pictures of salads and freshly picked product.

Not surprisingly, something is missing. It’s all staged. And I know it’s all staged. I am not 20 years old any longer and haven’t been for quite some time. When I work out, I become a sweaty mess. With real sweat, mind you. Nothing sprayed on. I do not look glowing. Instead of breathing in and out in a uniform fashion, I grunt and groan during my workout. I expel air in places I didn’t know I could expel air from, quite by accident. My workout clothes do not match and are far from designer. Instead, my workout clothes are old t-shirts that shrank in the wash and leggings that have holes in the seam. I workout first thing in the morning before anyone else gets out of bed. Who am I trying to impress?

 

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So, I search out blogs for people my age – the over 50 crowd. Specifically, fitness blogs aimed at older women. There are lots of blogs about fashion for older women that touch on fitness (hey, look great in that designer dress by drinking more water!) but I am unable to find many for fitness for older women. Real blogs, not made up fluff.

Now, I’m not talking yoga fitness where these women barely break a sweat (although I know yoga can certainly be quite challenging and a bona fide workout). I’m talking about older women who actually lift weights, do burpees, pushups, pullups, etc. Older women who have muscles. Badass women, you know?

I found Wendy Ida who, at 66, looks pretty amazing. I follow her on Instagram. She doesn’t really blog, though.Wendy-Lets-Play

Or, Ernestine Shepherd:

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Unfortunately, Ms. Shepherd does not have a blog.

Tosca Reno is also badass:

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I have been following her for a while. You might know her from Oxygen Magazine. She owns it.

I do see some badass fit women over 50 but I go to their website and they are all trying to sell me something and are typically as unrealistic as the fitness blogs of younger women.

What to do, what to do.

Addictions (Part 1)

Howdy, Folks!

I don’t want to get all heavy with the addiction talk but something happened to me recently that I wanted to share.  It was brought on by a post by Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness who wrote about a 30 day alcohol sabbatical and I had to say that this really hit home for me.  I had been noticing some behavior of my own that, if I didn’t address it, it would soon become a problem.’

Now, I’m not going to get into the health benefits or psychological reasons behind addictive behavior.  Rather, I’m just sharing my own story and how an unlikely source helped me.  So, here it goes…

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I have never been much of a drinker.  I never really cared for it throughout the great majority of my adult life.  I was always the designated driver because I didn’t drink.  I didn’t mind.  It was just not my thing.

Once I moved into wine country, that all changed.  I found some wines that I liked and started partaking at dinners with friends and special occasions. No big deal, right? I liked the wine, I liked the little buzz I got from the wine and it was fun.  My husband and I would enjoy a glass after work, as we discussed our day.  It was a relaxing part of our daily ritual.  I looked forward to that relaxing first sip as I played Julia Child in my kitchen every night.

Still, one glass does not make a drunk, right?  Well, not exactly.  Yet, it had become habit to have that wine.  One glass turned to two and I began to think,

hmmmmmm…..’ 

But, because I could go a few days without wine, I didn’t think too deeply about it.

Then, going out to eat lunches and dinners with my family consisted of me ordering a mixed cocktail, something I had never done in the past.  Again, innocent at first but on a consistent basis, I could see that a problem was brewing. But, since it was only one cocktail, no big deal.

 

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Being a wine club member didn’t help, either.  That monthly $75 membership fee didn’t kill my budget but it was an extra expense that could have been saved.

hmmmmmmm….

In addition, getting wine club discounts on bottles meant that throughout the month, I would pop over to the winery and pick up a nice bottle on the weekend for the gourmet meal I was making that night. The added cost to my grocery bill for the two, or so, bottles of wine I would buy.

Again, …hmmmmmm…..

This relaxing, nightly habit had become an addiction. One that I knew I would need to break.

Then, in my email box came Steve Kamb’s article about taking a 30 day break.  It was just what I needed!  I knew I needed to face this head on before it became a real problem and Steve Kamb was just the guy to help me.

 

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My husband and I talked about it and he admitted that he, too, was thinking, ‘…hmmmmmmm.”  He did not face the same problem I had because his stomach would not allow him to drink as much but he saw what I was doing and was concerned.  He said, however, that I was one of the few people he knew who had the ability to pull herself back from the abyss.  I was able to look at myself with clear eyes and see what needed to be done.

Thank God!  The spouse was right.  I had always been able to pull myself back.  Even when I was a teenager and I experimented with drugs, I always reached a point where I could stop.  Where I could pull myself back from destructive behavior.

So, I quit.  No fuss, no muss.  Have I struggled?  Yes.  The Friday night of the first week when I really wanted to sit down, relax, and connect with my husband over a glass of wine.  But, after a couple of hours, that feeling passed. Throughout the following weeks I had fleeting wisps of desire for a glass of wine but quelled them.  After all, the non-drinker in me was, blessedly, stronger than the drinker.

After 30 days, I feel better.  I sleep better, of course.  I hadn’t realized that I always felt a little drunk, like my body was soaked with wine. That feeling is gone.  I no longer have to add those calories into Myfitnesspal anymore.

Will I have a drink now?  Probably in the future at some time but not yet.  I like the freedom of non-addiction.

Have you ever given up an addiction for 30 days?

How did it work out for you?

Would you do it again?

 

 

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I got a job!  Yes, that is what I’ve been doing with my time.  The SAHM thing was really nice and I loved it but financial obligations began to loom, forcing me back into the workplace.  It’s a good job, close to home, and allows me to have a life. But, things have been busy…..

I have lost 16 lbs. since January!  I’ve been on a fitness kick and I haven’t written much about it.  Not sure why.  I just wanted to see if I could keep with it, I guess.  I sometimes run hot and cold on fitness regimes.  I know it’s necessary but I get lazy or distracted and typically stop within a week or two.

 

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Anyhoo, It’s a Facebook group led by Tony Horton so we are doing all his workouts.  We started with P90X on January 1st and just finished up 3 weeks ago and began a hybrid of P90X3 and 22 Minute Hard Corps just this morning for the next 60 days. There are roughly 1,000 people in this group and not everyone posts all the time but it is a very supportive gang and lots of fun.  Everyone there is a real person – some older, some younger, some fit and some not so fit – but all in the same boat and wanting to get healthy.  Lots of people post their post-workout photos.  I didn’t do that the first round of P90X but I’m going to start for this hybrid round, just for the hell of it.  It might keep me more accountable, heheheh.  My goal is to lose at least 10 more pounds but what I really want to do is develop my physique and have some nice arms.  This is me this morning after my workout:

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I am pulling no more punches on my workouts.  I’m tired of being this overweight.  The exercise and diet are the only things that make me feel physically better.  I have far more energy and my clothes fit again.  Win-win.

In sewing news, I just couldn’t!  My Dapper Days outfit that I had planned just didn’t work out and I was so frustrated that I was ready to give up on sewing altogether!  Very little of anything I made was wearable and it was too costly a hobby to continue.  The great people on Patternreview.com talked me out of quitting and helped me get my mojo back.  I have a simple pattern awaiting my attention that should be a quick sew and instant gratification.  I just need to get started on it.

I also got sidetracked with fabric!  I have discovered that there are fabric artists with their own online presences and designs.  The fabrics are expensive but SO CUTE, original, and really speak to the Disney geek in me.  Check this one out:

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I was making a sling bag with this fabric but I haven’t finished it yet.  It may turn out to be yet another wadder.  I don’t know yet until I finish it but I can see where the problems are going to be.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, this is the end of the Dapper Day saga and a picture of what I wore yesterday.  All store-bought.

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I matched the building, which was my goal.  I was dapper-bounding as Main Street.

That’s all for now. Since I have settled into my new routine, I will be able to blog a little more often.  Expect to see posts on sewing, fitness, and food.

Have a great day, everyone!

 

Lark Tee #2

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Another Grainline Studios Lark Tee iteration using fabric from Needle in a Fabric Stash. I believe this fabric is from Birch Fabrics but I’m not 100% on that.  The owls sold me on the fabric and the colors remind me of hot chocolate.

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I cannot gush about this pattern enough!  I do not have to make any alterations in length or fit.  It’s just easy-peasy, right out of the envelope.

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I have a lot more knits in my stash that I need to use up.  Before too long, I will have a rainbow of t-shirts.  Just call me the t-shirt maven!

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As always, my darling Casey wants to be with mom.  Great picture taking from the husband.  Took this shot just as I was looking up.  Don’t you love it when that happens?

Happy sewing!

Wadder City

Wadder: a technical term in sewing which means “to sew a garment and then discover it is truly horrendous, thereby resulting in the wadding of said garment and disposal into nearest refuse receptacle or relegation of wadder to dark corner or drawer”.

Yes, it has happened to me.  Case in point:

 

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A closer look…

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And another:

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This was not was I was expecting to happen.  Needless to say, the collar/lapel isn’t being my friend.  I have plucked it apart with seam rippers over and over again but to no avail.  I just struggled with this stupid lapel and collar.  Believe or not, this is the best it got after all the fuss.  As a reminder, this is what the jacket was supposed to look like:

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I still have the jodhpurs to sew.  I’m good at making pants so I don’t suppose that these will give me much difficulty but I also didn’t think the collar would be so tough, either.  On the other hand, it was my first attempt at this type of collar/lapel and I did not fully understand the steps.  I googled the best I could to get some sort of direction but those tutorials were different from the pattern instructions and the construction finally eluded me.

So, what do you do with a pattern that you no longer want to work on?  I simply do something else!  Sewing is a hobby and once it becomes a frustration, I lose interest.  After a couple of days thinking about what to do, I came up with a different outfit. 

Plan B was put into place.  I went to Goodwill and picked out a man’s button up top (because I figured it would be cheaper to buy one second-hand than to try to make one and at $6, I was right) and change the outfit to Meryl Streep in Out of Africa…

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Instead of making the pants, I could make a long skirt with the same fabric that I was going to use for the jodhpurs.  I like the little pocket on the skirt.  Something along these lines…

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A skirt would certainly be easier (and quicker) to make than pants. Now all I have to do is find the right pattern for the skirt and/or modify one I already have.

Wish me luck!

Happy Sewing!

 

 

Lark Tee

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The Lark Tee by Grainline Studios is, in my humble opinion, the best t-shirt pattern out there. It is such a great fit that you can’t mess it up no matter how hard you try. This is my second make with this pattern. If you recall, I made the boatneck version in a wonderful striped fabric from Mood. I shamelessly copied Salioleta because I fell in love with her make.

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I got the fabric at a local shop called Needle in a Fabric Stash. They feature mostly quilting cotton but had this fabric along with some other really cute knit fabrics that are high quality and have great recovery. I am all about knit fabric recovery because I absolutely hate it when my t-shirts get all stretched out of shape. The colors in this knit are so vibrant and lovely and match with just about everything in my closet. Win-win!

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My old girl, Casey, wanted to be in the pictures with me and here I am trying to get her to sit so that I could get a good shot. No such luck.

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That’s it for now. Happy sewing, Everyone!

Simplicity 1106

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is something I decided to whip up while I wait for my lining fabric for the riding jacket. It was a very quick and simple pattern and took me about an hour to finish up.

I got the fabric at JoAnns last year while I was buying something else. Isn’t that always how it happens? I saw it and fell in love! It is a very light and drapey rayon/cotton blend and it will be perfect for spring and summer.

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The back opening is something I don’t normally do. I am pretty modest and worry about my bra strap showing through, heheheh. The top yoke lays flat but looks a little wonky in this picture because of the way I’m standing. Regardless, I am very happy with the way it turned out and I know I will be wearing this a lot.

In addition, this top looks like it will do well as a casual top or dressed up with white slacks or skirt. I, of course, do not typically wear skirts or dresses but I might make a bit of an exception.

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So, that’s all for now.

Happy sewing!