Pump some Iron

When I work out, I like to have high-intensity exercises, I like to sweat, and I like to see the calories burn. So, naturally, I am a cardio person. I never used to work out with weights, because in my mind, I don’t sweat enough, so I must not be burning calories.  Plus, who wants to get bulky, anyway? So, I kept putting off the weights, and deeming them unnecessary.

I have read and heard that there are so many benefits of including strength training to your work out regimen, but the encouragement never really sealed the deal for me. Even though I heard that it increases lean muscle mass and that it keeps your body burning calories for longer, the verbal benefits didn’t really give me the desire to go lift weights.  I finally started going to some cardio and weight training classes right before my surgery, and then that had to stop, so I didn’t try long enough to see any results.  It wasn’t until after I spent an entire month hopping around on crutches, that I noticed my arms getting toned.  This is when my interest in weights began to peak, and I learned that persistence is key.

Now that I have tried to maintain the toned arms, I’ve started to work on making my entire body toned through strength training.  And now that I have finally incorporated it into my workouts, I think differently and I feel differently, and believe me, it’s a change worth making.  I definitely feel the increased energy, and, although I cannot feel the calories burning throughout the day, I feel the changes in my body.  The best part is that sore feeling when you know you’ve challenged new muscles in your body. When we challenge our bodies in new ways, we force our muscles to work harder, and, in turn, it jumpstarts the fat-burning and weight-loss process.

So, now I can speak from experience when telling you why you everyone should pick up some dumbbells and turn up the resistance for a change. Incorporating weights into your work out routine will let you feel the burn, feel the strength, and, eventually, start seeing the changes. If an extra 10 minutes off the machine means 100 less calories to you, believe me, those 100 calories at that moment will probably add up to 150, later.  Try for yourself and try to find the results you’re looking for.  Then, you can gradually increase your iron-pumping sessions to 2-3 times a week.  Good luck and have a great weekend!

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Making Decisions

Have you noticed that the more options we are given, the pickier we get? If you are hungry and go to a restaurant with a large menu, you spend too long being indecisive, but if the menu only had chicken or beef, you’d probably make your decision in a second. Or going to the store when you need a pair of jeans, but not being able to choose because, all of a sudden, you need a new boot cut and a new straight leg and a new skinny jean and a new boy cut. So many options make it hard for us to make a firm decision. But what’s even worse is the more we get the less appreciative we seem to be. Why is that people with less seem to be much more grateful than those with more?

I hadn’t put much thought into this until I was talking to a friend who is trying to make a difficult decision. She just came out and said “I wish I had nothing and I didn’t have a choice to make, then I would be forced to be happy with what I’m given.” I had never thought about it that way before, but it’s true. We usually find a way to be happy with what we are given, but when we get to choose what will make us happier, we can’t seem to choose which way to go. 

I had originally written this post as a stress-relief tip on being content with what we’ve been given by having the attitude of a “poor man.”  I was ready to post it, yesterday, but, ironically, I was put to the test, first. I ended up having to make my own choice, and believe me, it was a petty one. But, because I am me, this little decision turned into the biggest ordeal. I didn’t end up posting to my blog, yesterday, because I wanted to see what I would learn from my own experience. So what did I learn? Well, first I learned that things are much easier said than done! But I think we all know that one! But, I learned to go with the decision that made me happier.  The “right” option is not always going to make you happy, but if the one that makes you happy can be “right” then go for it. Where the line seems to get obscure for me is where it is right for me and where it is right for others.  One of my biggest lessons in my blogging journey is learning to worry for myself as I worry for others and take care of myself as I would take care of others.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to live the life I do and for what I have been given, but that doesn’t change the fact that the smallest choices seem to play such a significant role in my approach towards happiness. I do not think I’m the only one in this position, which is why I feel brave enough to post this to the public.  Hopefully, we can embrace an “attitude of gratitude,” when looking at what we’ve been given, and when it comes to making choices for ourselves, hopefully we can embrace an “attitude of self-gratitude” and think about our own happiness.

At the end of the day, remember that the choice you do make was made for a reason, and there will be good in that plan. “Be content with what God has given you, and you will be the richest of people.”