Our Rainbow

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I’ve hinted at a shift in priorities and here it is. Our little bug is due November 18! Both the baby and I are doing well and Ryan and I are feeling excited and blessed. Prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy are much appreciated!

Semester in Review: Spring 2017

Well you’ve heard my thoughts all semester. My classes were tough. I was stressed. I did schoolwork nonstop. But you haven’t heard me say how proud I am of myself and that this semester was actually a huge confidence booster. I studied like crazy and it paid off. My final grades:

Principles of Human Physiology- A

Virtual Physiology Lab- A+

Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry- A+

Organic Chemistry Lab- A+

Community Nutrition Planning and Evaluation- A

These are hard science classes (hard meaning physical, although I suppose difficult is also appropriate here) and I still did really well. My advisor told me the physiology class at my school is notoriously difficult and I was warned about the difficulty of organic chemistry by multiple people. I’m not pursuing my RD right now because of other priorities but this semester was a huge reassurance that if and when I do decide to, I’ll be more than capable of handling the classes.

And a big thank you to Ryan and my mom for listening to me vent, whine, and swear I was going to fail all semester. I couldn’t have made it through the semester without them.

Weekly Workout Recap 5/8-5/14

Thank you for the kind comments on Friday’s post. There is more to the story that I’m planning to share soon.

Anyway, let’s talk workouts. This is coming a little late because of a busy but wonderful family-filled weekend.

Monday 5/8-Jazzercise (as a student)

I scheduled an online final for the afternoon and knew I’d be spending all day studying. I decided to start my day off with some movement and headed to the Jazzercise center.

Tuesday 5/9-Rest

Wednesday 5/10-Jazzercise

My last class before the schedule change! I love seeing different faces when I teach at different times but I’m sad to leave this group. They just laughed with me when “finals brain” made me make some dumb mistakes.

Thursday 5/11-Rest

Friday 5/12-Barre3 Video

It was too hot to run or go to Jazzercise (the center gets really hot in the afternoon when it’s warm out and I have to be careful to not overheat right now), so I decided to do a Barre3 video. I was really struggling with motivation and only did a 30 minute video but something is better than nothing, right?

Saturday 5/13-Jazzercise

I threw together a new set and didn’t love it. That’s okay though because the new DVD is on its way-new routines, here I come!

Sunday 5/14-Rest

I spent the night in Denver with my mom and while we planned to run in the morning, unfortunately the timing didn’t work out (haha-no pun intended!).

I’m looking forward to more flexibility this week and hopefully being able to get back to 5 workouts a week.

Is This Worth It?

I have one more final today and then I’m finished! I’m so grateful to be done (well, almost done) with this stressful semester. That being said, I have something to tell you all.

About two months ago I was driving home from school absolutely exhausted because stress had kept me up the night before; I complained to my mom on the phone that I was so tired but couldn’t rest because I had more homework to do once I got home. She asked me, “Is this worth it?”

That stayed in the back of my mind for awhile but I didn’t think too much of it- I was too busy. Then a few weeks later, I broke down because I didn’t do as well on a Physiology test as I wanted and the question popped into my head. Is this worth it? Without even thinking, I answered myself: no, it’s not. It’s not worth it.

I’ve spent the past four months more stressed than I’ve ever been. My anxiety has been so high, I developed insomnia, something I’ve never experienced on a consistent basis before. I spent all my time at school or in my office at home studying. On weekends, I’d wake up, get coffee, and start doing schoolwork until dinnertime. I basically saw Ryan for an hour at night. I usually see my parents fairly often but as the semester went on, I barely saw them. When I nannied, instead of playing with the little girl I watch, I had to set her up to entertain herself while I did homework. I hardly remember the last time I spent time with friends.

You can tell from my workout recaps that my workouts tapered off as the semester picked up. Not only did I workout less, I felt as though my Jazzercise classes suffered because I simply didn’t have enough time to focus on it. I had to stop offering PT sessions. I cooked less and less as the semester went on and by the end, we were eating takeout at least half the week. I stopped blogging. Basically my life came to revolve around school.

This semester was tough and looking at the schedule I had planned, the rest of the semesters were going to be just as bad. I had a summer class scheduled to start on Monday, only two days after my last final, followed by seven online credits in eight weeks. The thought of it all made me want to cry.

Is it worth it? No, it’s not. I want to be registered dietitian but not at the expense of my relationships, my health, and my sanity.  I value my family too much to miss out on time together for another two and a half years. Health, physical and mental, is a high priority for me and I’m not okay putting it off any longer.

I’m no longer completing the combined MPH-RD program. I’ll finish my MPH in Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles and graduate at the end of next year. I’m taking fewer credits each semester, which will allow me to spend more time with my family, relax, and do things I enjoy, like workout and blog.

Even though I’m disappointed the RD program didn’t work out, I know I’m making the right decision. I’ll talk about it more but right now I’m going to take my final and then finally take a break.

 

Weekly Workout Recap 5/1-5/7

Almost done-I just have to finish this week and I’ll finally be done with this semester! I’ll be spending all day studying for my toughest final but am hoping to make it to Jazzercise first.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Practice 5k at Girls on the Run

I did 3 miles with our team as our practice 5k. It took us somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour but I’m proud of all the girls for finishing.

Wednesday-Jazzercise

Same set as last week

Thursday-Rest

Friday-60 Minute Barre3 Video

I’m really enjoying the flexibility of online workouts. Friday afternoon I finished a final too late to make it to Jazzercise and it was too hot to run. I like fitness classes much more than creating my own workout, so it was nice to just head to the basement and start a video. This one was a major leg killer!

During the month of May, there’s a B3 Strong Challenge where you can get a discount code for the store if you do a certain number of classes; I probably won’t buy anything but I’ll use it as motivation to do 10 classes. B3 Strong Challenge: 1/10

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

I did the same old strength set as last week with just a few changes and it was still killer. On the last song, I asked my class “does everything hurt?” and we all agreed that yes, everything hurt.

Sunday-Walk, Run, Stretch

Sunday was a little bit of everything. I planned to go for a 3 mile run but as I was getting ready, Bailey followed me around with puppy dog eyes. I’m not running with her right now but she looked so hopeful, I decided to take her for a walk first. Then I dropped her off and finished with a quick (as in short, not fast) 1.5 mile run.

I finished with a 10 minute Barre3 stretching video. My legs were really talking to me after barre, Jazzercise, and running, so it felt amazing to stretch. B3 Strong Challenge: 2/10

Alright, wish me luck! 2 finals and 1 paper to edit and I’m free. At least until summer classes start. I’ll be back next week with some school and life updates.

Weekly Workout Recap 4/24-4/30

Happy May Day! Another week down, less than two to go.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Rest

Wednesday-Jazzercise

Considering I had no time on Tuesday to put a learn and practice a set, I quickly threw together a set of my favorite routines that I can do without practicing. Sometimes those end up being my favorite sets. I did Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) from about six years ago and my class was excited when it came on.

Thursday-Jazzercise (as a student)

I had Girls on the Run until 5 (more like 5:15 by the time all the girls get picked up) and a Jazzercise meeting at 7. It had already been a long day and I knew if I went home, chances of me leaving again were slim. So I decided to take the 5:45 Jazzercise class and enjoyed dancing in the back and not thinking.

Friday-Rest

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

I did the same as last week and pulled an old Strength45 set. It was a good one again.

Sunday-Barre3 Video

I’m actually really excited about this. I’ve been in a workout rut lately and am pretty limited on what I can do right now. I’ve wanted to try barre for awhile but there’s no classes around me. So when I found Barre3 offers online classes, I decided to give their basic package ($20 a month) a try; I enjoyed the one video I’ve done so far. It felt like intense yoga and my legs were definitely shaking on parts. It was great yesterday because I know without it, I wouldn’t have worked out at all. I’m looking forward to trying more videos (if you’re interested in trying it, let me know! If I refer you, we both get a discount).

Once school is done, I’m looking forward to running more (as long as the weather cooperates-we got hit with a snowstorm this weekend) and hopefully doing some races.

 

Weekly Workout Recap 4/17-4/23

18 days left in the semester. Just 18…but who’s counting? I seriously cannot wait to be done and have time for things other than homework again. Maybe I’ll even blog regularly again! I’ll have a couple big announcements next month but for now let’s just look back at last week.

Monday 4/17-Rest

Tuesday 4/18-Jazzercise

I subbed a class and was so grateful to have teaching as motivation to work out.

Wednesday 4/19-Jazzercise

Thursday 4/20-Rest

Friday 4/21-Jazzercise

Our schedule is changing again soon and this was my last Friday class. While I’m sad to give it up, having one less thing on my plate for the next three weeks is a good thing.

Saturday 4/22-Jazzercise

After a couple of lackluster strength sets and no motivation to make a new one, I pulled one from a few months ago. Luckily it did the trick. I even got a text that night from someone saying she was already sore!

Sunday 4/23-Rest

Just a walk with Bailey. These walks lately have been my favorite way to end/start (whatever you consider Sunday) the week. It’s a great way to get in 30 minutes of activity and not think about school.

18 days, 18 days, 18 days. I can do this. For now I’ll just be proud of myself that, even with everything going on, I am keeping up some semblance of a workout routine.

Weekly Workout Recap 4/3-4/16

I missed recapping last week but my workouts have been so lacking lately, there’s not much to recap.

Monday 4/3-Rest

Tuesday 4/4-Jazzercise

I took a class as a student and enjoyed the chance to just move and not think.

Wednesday 4/5-Jazzercise

My format for this week was Strike, where all the cardio routines have a kickboxing component. It isn’t my favorite format but I did manage to put together a set I enjoyed.

Thursday 4/6-Rest

Friday 4/7-Jazzercise

A regular customer told me she had her highest ever calorie burn during this class and that comment made me feel pretty good for the rest of the day.

Saturday 4/8-Jazzercise & Strength45

I don’t know why but my strength set just missed the mark. It didn’t feel very tough or enjoyable.

Sunday 4/9-Hiking

My friend Faire and I decided to make good on our promise to take more breaks from homework and hike instead. We chose Maxwell Open Space because it’s flatter and neither of us felt like an intense hike. Since it wasn’t a difficult hike, I brought Bailey along.

Even though it was great to be outside, I won’t go back to this trail. It was narrow and crowded, meaning we spent the entire time watching for runners and bikers approaching from both directions and stepping to the side of the trail to let them pass. It wasn’t exactly relaxing.

We finished the morning by stopping at a coffee shop near campus that allows dogs and then going for a walk around campus. I think Bailey liked that part more because she had a little more freedom to sniff around.

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Her favorite though was the Puppiccino we picked up on the way home.

Monday 4/10-Rest

Tuesday 4/11-Rest

Wednesday 4/12-Jazzercise

Thursday 4/13-Rest

Friday 4/14-3 mile run

I had to sub my Jazzercise class out and instead woke up early to go for a run.

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Three slow, foggy miles. It felt good to run again.

Saturday 4/15-Jazzercise & Strength45

I don’t know what is going on but my strength set didn’t do it for me again.

Sunday 4/16-Rest

I convinced Ryan to take the dogs for a walk with me to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate Easter. Benji made it around the block before we dropped him off and went another mile or so with Bailey.

Right now my focus is to make it to the middle of May and then I’ll be able to do more with my workouts again.

Weekly Workout Recap 3/27-4/2

This semester is really taking its toll on me right now. Last week I had two tests; this week I have another test and a project due, on top of all my normal assignments. When prioritizing my time, unfortunately workouts didn’t make the cut last week.

Monday-Rest

Tuesday-Rest

Wednesday-Jazzercise

Thursday-Running at Girls on the Run

I probably ran/walked around 1.5 miles with the girls at practice.

Friday-Rest

I had to sub out my class so I could take an organic chemistry exam.

Saturday-Rest

Sunday-Jazzercise

A Sunday instructor needed to swap classes so I traded my two Saturday classes for her one Sunday class. It was nice not to put together a new strength set (time crunch again) but I did miss Strength45.

School is my main priority right now but I know I need to take care of myself too. I’m hoping I can find a better balance this week.

Nutrition Advice You Can Trust

You see it all the time of Facebook. Someone asks for nutrition advice and gets all of kinds of comments: “try this type of protein shake” “do Whole30” “cut out carbs”…the list goes on and on and on. Or “I’m a health coach. PM me to lose weight.” Worse still, I see fitness instructors on a Facebook group ask what they should tell their customers about nutrition and diet. The only answer should be nothing. Unfortunately the comments look similar to above: “increase protein” “cut out all sugar”. I actually saw someone recommend Pinterest as a source of nutrition information.

Ugh it drives me crazy! I’m spending tens of thousands of dollars to get the credentials to give reliable, scientific dietary advice and meanwhile, every other person on Facebook thinks they’re a nutrition expert. Instead of going on a rant, let’s discuss the difference and reliability of those providing nutrition advice; then next time you read advice from some random person on the internet you can check to see if they have any business giving advice.

Registered Dietitian-Considered the gold standard of nutrition experts. RD is a regulated credential meaning the person has completed a standardized list of coursework including science, advanced nutrition, and food service courses, completed an internship, and passed a national exam. Registered dietitians are also required to complete continuing education credits. Of course, not all RD’s are equal but if you see those two letters after someone’s name, generally speaking, you can trust they know what they’re talking about.

Nutritionist-Nutritionist is a mixed bag term. It’s not regulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Sometimes RD’s use the title nutritionist and sometimes nutritionists have advanced degrees in nutrition. These would be reliable sources of information. Unfortunately in other instances, someone took an hour-long webinar on nutrition, fancies themselves a nutrition expert, and starts a website with their  “advice from a nutritionist”. Always, always check credentials.

Health/Wellness Coach-I’ll be honest, I don’t know very much about health and/or wellness coaches. I spent some time doing some research and came across multiple health/wellness coaching blogs and services and a few places to get certified but very little information about what training and education coaches actually receive. It seems most certifications are attainable within a year, nowhere near the education RD’s receive, and some certifications focus more on marketing than nutrition. Similar to nutritionists, some health/wellness coaches seem more reputable than others (ACE certification versus a BeachBody coach). My overall impression is that a health/wellness coach certification could be a valuable certification for an RD or personal trainer to help clients make behavior changes but without any other credentials, health/wellness coaches should only provide behavior advice, not specific nutrition or exercise advice. Unfortunately, this is not what happens with most coaches I’ve seen on social media.

Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor-This can quickly turn into a grey area. The scope of practice for a personal trainer or fitness instructor is very limited when it comes to nutrition. We are taught basic nutrition information in our certification but cannot recommend specific diets nor give specific nutrition advice to clients beyond the National Guidelines. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for fitness professionals to act outside their scope of practice. Some trainers do have additional nutrition certifications, such as a fitness nutrition specialist certification through their certifying agency or Precision Nutrition. I’m not entirely sure what having these certifications entitles the trainer or instructor to do but it does expand their scope of practice. If your personal trainer or fitness instructor tries to give you nutrition advice, ask what certifications they hold and what their course of study involved.

Health living blogs, people you know, etc.-By all means, be inspired by others! Read tips on creating healthier habits, share recipes, support each other. Just remember that every body is different and what worked for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Also remember that not everything you read online is true; take everything with a grain of salt and if something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not.

Be smart when taking nutrition advice. Make sure you’re getting it from a reliable source. Again, I cannot stress the importance enough of checking credentials and then doing a little research of your own to see if those credentials actually mean anything.