Fall Hiking in the woods

Fall Hiking in the woods
15 Nov

November is the best time of year to hike in the woods and see all the Fall leaves. There are so many colors to see around you. The ground isn’t the usual brown or green because its covered with the Fall leaves. This year the squirrels have been extra busy gathering acorns, there are not as many around to collect. I hope does not mean we are in for a chilly winter with lots of snow. Where is your favorite place to hike? Here is a link to my favorite spots in CT. Get out there soon before the cold winter comes.

This blog post was written in collaboration with Declan.

MileHigh Run club is awesome!

MileHigh Run club is awesome!
11 Feb

Hey Squad,

If you live in the NY area and love to run, you have to check out the MileHigh Run club.  The first class is free so you can see if its the kind of class that you like before committing any boutique class dollars.  My daughter Laura (the wind beneath all my running) went to the class via classpass and told me about it.  She had a great experience.

Truthfully, I had heard of the club before and wasnt all that interested in it. Boy was I wrong.  The class was amazing.  I took the Dash class which was about 30 minutes of running and then full body weight work. ( squats, lunges, planks and kettlebell work)

It has been my quiet goal to along with not getting injured, to gain some speed this year.  I know its tougher at my age, but everything I read said its possible.  I asked the coach afterward if my pace goal was attainable and she said YES!

So, I will be back.  I am going to go at least once a week during my spring marathon training that starts on Monday ( EEK!)

Check it out and let them know I sent you.

Cheerfully yours,

 

Phyllis4fitness

 

#TBT- My story in Huffington Post

#TBT- My story in Huffington Post
02 Feb

Hey Squad,

I thought that I would share this article as a throw back Thursday.  It is from June 2013.  I am so thankful for tall I have experienced since this journey began.

Mom Sheds 57 pounds after daughter issues the ultimate challenge.

Like many moms, Phyllis Strand was having a hard time getting rid of the baby weight she put on while carrying her first child. She tried cutting calories and the occasional Jazzercise class, but nothing more than a few pounds ever seemed to budge. It would be frustrating for any new mom, but even more so for Phyllis, since her first born, Chris, was now 28.

“I had two more children after Chris,” Phyllis explained, “Pamela and Laura, and I’d carry them as camouflage, to cover up the rolls. And I became the family photographer. We’d go on trips to the beach and I’d take the pictures, so I didn’t have to be in them.”

And she kept the mirrors in the house to a minimum. It wasn’t that Phyllis didn’t know she had weight to lose, but in her case, no one was making a very big deal of it.

“When my son started dating our daughter-in-law, she began taking the pictures. I remember thinking ‘Oh, Big Mama! For someone who cares so much about her hair, there’s something going on south of there.’”

“I was a size 14,” she continued, “and I was carrying around an extra 50 pounds. There seems to be this middle ground — where if you don’t tip the scale too far, no one says much. I’d go to the doctor and they’d ask if I smoked, if I drank or if I took birth control pills, but they never suggested that maybe I should drop a few.”

And Phyllis’s blood work didn’t appear to reflect any big issues. She took a little something for blood pressure, a little something for cholesterol and a tiny bit of medication for depression.

“They kind of made light of it. They said if it weren’t for pregnant women, they’d put these drugs in the water!”

But it was when she reached her 40s that her weight began to get in her way.

“There was a fullness to my belly,” Phyllis said, “that seemed to come with age. And there’s something weird that happened to my butt. It just suddenly began to sag. Gravity was taking over and that’s when I felt like I needed to figure this out.”

So when a co-worker suggested that they commit to a 90-day exercise plan, she agreed to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, as long as there was no running involved.

‘If I were being chased,” she laughed, “I wouldn’t run, I’d hide! We are not hunters in my family, we’re gatherers.”

The exception to that rule was Phyllis’ 25-year-old daughter, Laura, who had battled her own weight issues by beginning a running program. When Laura saw that her Mom was beginning to get in the game, she decided to challenge her to take the next step, by secretly signing her up for a 5K run that preceded the New York City Marathon. It was a race that would change Phyllis’s life, but the real turning point would come with two little words. 

It Ain’t Over: Phyllis Strand

“I literally said good-bye to everyone at the office, certain that my brain was going to blow up during the race. I had taken my workout up to an hour a day, so by race day, I was running a 12-minute mile, which really is just above walking, but it was running for me!”

“I took the train from Stamford, Connecticut, into the city and found my daughter and her friends. They were adorable — all dressed alike, in leggings and shorts with their hair up. And there I was, with 7 layers of clothes on, wearing a race day shirt, which they informed me was a faux pas.”

And that wasn’t the only issue. As the race was about to begin, Phyllis found herself at the back of the pack, while Laura and her friends were right up front.

“They place you in the pack,” the apprehensive athlete recalled, “according to your speed. I was like number 2 billion! So I texted my daughter and said, ‘I don’t like it back here.’ And I got two words back. ‘Run faster.‘ That was it. It was on!”

“I couldn’t run fast enough at that point. I’d see people in front of me and think I’ve got to be faster than that person. And I’d make it my goal to get ahead of them. I’d see kids running and thought, ‘If they beat me, this is going to be embarrassing.’ And as I headed towards the finish line, it hit me — I’m going to finish my first race. I’m actually finishing a race!”

Not only did Phyllis finish, she made it past the finish line just five minutes after her daughter. And to top things off, all that training helped her take off 25 pounds.

Laura continued to challenge her Mom, convincing Phyllis — who still had another 25 pounds to go — to try a 10K and then for her birthday, a half marathon.

“I have to admit,” Phyllis said, “I was worried about that half marathon, so my husband and I secretly drove to Philadelphia to sneak one in before I ran with Laura. Chuck told me that every time he saw a stretcher, he’d say, ‘Please don’t let that be Phyllis.’ But I made it — 13.1 miles. I made it!”

So on October 7th, 2012 — the day Phyllis turned 52, she joined her daughter for the Staten Island Half Marathon. And as she reached the 5K mark, she noticed her husband in the crowd. Typically, he would have been holding up a sign the couple brings to all of Laura’s races. But when Phyllis passed by, she noticed Chuck had it by his side. She stopped briefly to ask why — and his answer: Laura hadn’t gotten there yet.

And just at that moment, Phyllis heard a voice from behind her. It was Laura asking, “You’re not ahead of me, are you?”

“That was the best birthday present ever! I was ahead of my 25-year-old daughter at the 5K mark!”

In the end, Laura did beat her mother to the finish line, but she circled back, so they could cross it together. By the time Phyllis finished that race, she was not only an accomplished runner, she was on her way to wearing a size 2. She had lost 57 pounds.

“I owe my life to my daughter,” Phyllis said. “I wish so much that someone in one of those doctor’s offices had just said something years ago. I have so much energy and I’m so happy now. I wish they had told me how much of a difference exercise could make in my life.”

Have a great day.

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

Wrapping up the Whole30

Wrapping up the Whole30
28 Jan

Hey Squad,

Monday marks the end of the Whole30 challenge for me and challenging it was!

Here is what I experienced.

I cook more ( yes myself) and I plan ahead more.  I learned that you never want to be too far away for an approved food choice because temptation is everywhere.

My workout endurance shot thru the roof.  In the past it was very tough to stick to a strength training plan due to fatigue mid week.  I no longer have that.

My sleep is amazing.  I used to wake up in the middle of the night several times. That no longer happens.

Finally my mood has leveled off and I am not experiencing “the blues” as often. This makes sense since serotonin is produced in the gut. You can read all about it in the link I have provided.

What all this means for me is that I do not want to go back to the sleep deprived, fatigued person again.  I am going to stick with this meal plan although I will use a lot more plant protein. I will also add back in paleo (non whey) protein powders and the occasional gluten free breads.

I am ok with saying goodbye to chips. It will be tough to keep that up, but the benefits outweigh the crispy goodness.

Whole30 is something I would recommend if you have an inkling that something is holding you back from your optimal performance.  Its easy enough to stick to it for 30 days and you will know after 20 days what effects it has.  The only way to determine what was causing your symptoms would be to add back things one at a time.  I am not up for that because the detox process was way tough. ( que- Cranky phyllis)

I call this an overall NSV ( non scale victory) since I have not weighed myself.  Its really not about that since I have experienced so many overall benefits.  I feel lighter even if the scale doesn’t reflect that on Monday.

Happy to answer any questions of you have them.

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

 

 

 

NSV- non scale victories

NSV- non  scale victories
17 Jan

Hey squad,

I learned a new term this month. NSV- non scale victory.  The key part of the Whole30 challenge is that you commit to not weighing yourself for 30 days.  This is so that you do not get encourage if the scale does not move, or due to bloat as your body detoxes you gain. Its all temporary in the process so you should avoid it.

I am halfway thru the Whole30 and I won’t lie, its been rough.  I feel like it been such a learning experience.  Its important to celebrate all your NSVs when you start a plan. I think that now that we bring more awareness to things like this, you can stick to it.  One of my lines has been, “do not let any number on the scale or the tag of your clothes, dictate how you feel about yourself. ” Celebrating NSVs helps support that.
Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness