Thursday, June 25, 2015

Get Your Freak On!

Weekly Workout Recap June 14-20, 2015

Loool, now I know some of you opened this blog for the wrong reasons.  This is a exercise blog and as you read through you will see why I named this week's post so.  Hope you enjoy it lol!


Sunday was epic.  I mentioned that last week that I had met someone else who wants to ride with their little princess. Well, we figured we would take our adventure downtown to Piedmont Park. Did did a nice twirl around the park with the princesses and a splash at the Legacy Foutains.  The girls had a great time together.  As we can never leave the park without going to the playground, Zj and I stayed after our guest left and played and picnicked. It was a great day with seven miles in towing Robin in 97 degree heat.


#MoveItMonday was off with a bang.  I had been having some consistent pain and stiffness in my lower back when I awake in the morning.  It always feels better after some easy slow stretches so I decided to add a 10 minute Sun Salutation routine to my morning mix.  This morning felt amazing.  Hopefully I can keep it up. It is called, A Very Slow, Very Easy Yoga Sun Salutation and I have included it below if you would like to try it out.

After dropping Princess off in the morning I hit the trail for a 18 mile bike trek to Stone Mountain.  I think I may have to start earlier or change my time all together. It was 91 degrees was super hot and humid at 9am. I had to stop often, the trek was slow and steady and I fueled and hydrated well.

Then I topped the evening off with a 2.5 mile walk with my running group. It is always encouraging hanging out with my running family. All in all a very productive day.  My nutrition was on point, I fueled and hydrated well. I am very pleased with today.

Tuesday - Rest Day


The heat has been hovering here around 97 for the past week.  My, BGR Eastside Chapter, run was cancelled due to the heat.  It was still 97 at our 6:30p take off time.  We decided to meet up for an unofficial run at 8p to get our miles in.  It was a mere 6 degrees less at 91 degrees, but was the plus was that the sun was setting.  Overall a very nice time to run. Eastside is a great group and we have a lot of fun.

I shared this post on my fan page for inspiration.  Just another indication that we can do anything we put our mind to. 

Nuff Respect!


I noticed a little after having my daughter, she was breastfed, that I had a continuing issue with dehydration.  I possibly suffered from it previously, but never really noticed I guess.  Now three and a half years on and I still have to be extremely cautious.  No, I'm not still breastfeeding! It is nothing for me to wake up in the morning with my head spinning and exhibiting signs of dehydration.  That is exactly what happened on Thursday morning.

Yesterday I drank a gallon of water over the course of the day.  After my run I drank another 32 oz and figured I was safe.  Nope, I woke up with signs of dehydration.  Headache, dry cracked lips, salty taste on my lips and dizziness.  It eased a bit after my first four cups of water this morning, but I still have a ways to go.  Mind you I look like I've been swimming after a workout which I'm sure is contributing to the problem.  As you can see I was trying to stay hydrated since I am wearing my Camelbak during my workout.

Have you seen the This Girl Can Campaigns? They are so inspiring and the music makes me feel invincible. Take a peek.

Well, I found out they had an app so that you can turn one of your pics into one of their posters.  Here is one of Zj and I.  You can find the app on their page.  Ya like?


I decided that it was time to make the climb up Stone Mountain again.  I haven't been up since last summer when I was climbing on a regular basis.  I turned it into a bike and hike since I'm so into Limey now.  I forgot how rough this trip can be.  Half way up I was wondering if I was going to be able to make it to the top.  It was also clear, I haven't been running as much as last summer.  I was panting and my legs were talking back to me.  At some points my chest was hurting from breathing so heavy.  In the end it was worth the climb as usual. Look at the view.

I sat up there for a good forty five minutes just enjoying the view and catching my breath.  I also met another person who promised to take me out on a backpacking, day trip into the woods.  Obviously I need to get more practice so I think I'm going to start going up this mountain every Friday morning. I'll keep you posted.


Robin and I just hung out around the house and later, after she was in bed, I got in a wonderful session of Restorative Yoga.

So that was how I got my freak on this week. ...and yes, the song is on repeat on my phone during workouts!

How did you get your freak on this week?

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Monday, June 22, 2015

What Is A Body Positive Athlete?
Today I have on the blog someone who has been become a huge inspiration to me in my fitness journey.  I discovered her Facebook group Body Positive Athletes while I was training for my Duathlon and I was blown away with the support, encouragement and kindness she and the other participants of her page share. It was via this group that a whisper sprung up in my mind that I was indeed an athlete.  If you have been following my story you will know that that is a tremendous breakthrough.  Please welcome Leah Gilbert to Mirror Watching!  It is an honor.

MW: Leah, please introduce yourself.

LG: My name is Leah, I'm 36, a mother of two (3 years & 8 weeks), endurance athlete, Body Positive Fitness Advocate and Specialist Fitness Instructor. I live in NSW Australia. I am the founder of Body Positive Athletes, a community of awesome people who believe the term 'athletic' defines a lifestyle and not a body type. I and am a Brand Ambassador for both 2XU Australia and Lola Getts.

MW:  Leah, for many people this may be the first time the are hearing the term ‘Body Positive Movement’. What is it and in turn what is a body positive athlete? 

LG:   The 'Body Positive' movement has many 'faces', but to me it means that we represent a belief that it is time we not only viewed our own bodies in a positive manner, but everyone else's bodies positively at the same time. It's a celebration of the diversity of our bodies and no longer feeling obliged to mold our bodies to suit what society has deemed as 'beautiful' or 'acceptable'. 

To me, a 'Body Positive Athlete' is someone who views their body in the context of how it performs for them and not what it looks like. We tend to have 3 core beliefs:
  1. We believe that the term 'athletic' defines a lifestyle and not a body shape. 
  2. We appreciate our bodies for what they do for us and we give credit to the physical activity we undertake in both training and competing in our chosen sport
  3. We believe that a person has the right to pursue their athletic or fitness dreams without a fear of being judged for what they look like doing it.

MW:   You are the publisher of the blog What prompted you to start this blog?

LG:  Funnily enough, I started it out as a page of reference for all of the media appearances and freelance writing I was starting to do. I had no intention to use it as a blog because I didn't really have the time to maintain it - or so I thought! 

One day I felt really compelled to write about something and then it went from there. I'm always humbled by the responses that my blog posts receive. I remember one of my first pieces about Plus Size Athletes was interpreted as promoting obesity.  The post went viral and had over 3,000 shares on Facebook alone. However, I get great satisfaction from readers who comment 'Thank you. I needed to read this today' or the likes.  It is encouraging to know that my post reached someone who really needed it.

"We believe that the term 'athletic' defines a 
lifestyle and not a body shape." tweet this!

MW:  Being a body positive fitness advocate and an athlete, how are you and your message being received? Are you finding any resistance or push-back from the fitness/athletic community as a whole?

LG:  To be honest, the whole 'Body Positive' movement is relatively young in Australia, so much of my audience and support base is from the US, Canada and UK.  Like anything else, when you are advocating something that people are not awakened to, you can get a lot of people that don't really understand the concept or the point of the movement. However, but when I do actually speak to people in person about what I do and the goals I have then they tend to be extremely positive and realize the value of what I do.

Unfortunately, I have found quite a bit of resistance from the Fitness arena.  Particularly when I was approaching them in context of assisting them with relating better to their plus size clientele. I used to get frustrated by it, but now I understand that they simply are not my audience.  Now I focus on the people who do need and want to hear the messages I promote.

On the flip side, of late, there have been some amazing body positive trainers and facilities who put their hands up to have their details feature on the Body Positive Trainer and Facility Directory on the blog. I really enjoy seeing them connecting with the right clients and everyone flourishing as a result. 

Perhaps most positive response I get from the health and fitness sector is from Dieticians and Nutritionists, who I think are tired of competing with the fad diet and Diet Industry in general, and are therefore happy to have some more advocates in their corner.
Photo Credits: Nicole Spears Photography

MW:  You have an amazing presence on Facebook with a private community of like minded individuals. Are you finding that this forum is helping people? What are some of the standout successes you are finding in the community?

LG:  Honestly, I am thankful every day for the amazing spirit of support and friendship our community has. I think it is very rare for a group of people from such diverse locations and backgrounds to have such a sense of unity, mutual respect and positivity. 

Making that subtle shift in thinking and giving more credit to your athletic and fitness endeavours really is a life changing experience for people. I see people training harder, entering 'that' event they have always wanted to, or starting to talk about their activities with a greater confidence. It really is an honor to sit back and watch people flourish. 

I believe everyone has had a standout moment within their own experiences so it's hard to single out people as there are too many! Your journey to your Duathlon would be a great example, though - by training hard, backing yourself and conquering your event you have unleashed an athlete who has realized that anything you have always dreamed of doing is only a good training plan and your determination away Smiling face with smiling eyes

MW:  Leah you are so right!  I remember you saying that to me when you inquired as to how the event went; it was an epiphany moment for me. It put into words to elation of the how if felt to conquer something that once was impossible for me and it provided the strategy of how to achieve it again the next time.  Thank you so much for that! 

Well, Leah this was an awesome interview.  Thank you for agreeing to do it.  Thank you for the concept of Body Positive Athletes by definition.  I hope that it gives as much hope and light to others as it has given to me.  I wish you continued success in every aspect of your life and purpose.

To read Leah's blog please pop over to Body Positive Athletes.  Also join the Facebook group to offer encouragement and be encouraged!

Did you enjoy this interview?  If so, please leave a comment below, noting a standout point for you.

Are you a Body Positive Athlete?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Is The Third Time The Charm?

 Weekly Workout Recap June 7 - 13, 2015

What an exciting, active week I have had.  It has been nothing short of awesome!


I had been wanting to work out with my sisters for sometime now.  It is always fun when family can work out together.  They live in DC so I was really excited to be heading that way for a few days.  I had so many work out scenarios playing in my mind.  Also, I was hoping to take Limey as well.  I wanted to ride around the National Mall.   Hubby vetoed Limey coming because the trip was going to be hectic and he didn't want to be worried about the bike on the back of the car for a 14 hour car drive.  Booo!  Turns out that it rained the entire drive to DC (Limey doesn't do wet) so not taking the bike worked out.  Secondly, I was terribly sick for the first few days there.  Seemingly I can't get my immune system straightened out.  Are you all praying for me?  So at the end of my trip I got a chance to do a little something, something with my sister Bev.  She walks over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, located in the National Harbor, most days, so I figured I would join her on the Sunday.  The walk went well.  We did five miles.  The Captial Wheel and sail boats in the harbor where great entertainment while my sister and I caught up.


I missed Limey so much that when we arrived back in GA at 8 am by 9 am I was back on the trail with Limey.  Reunited and it feels so good! You remember that? Clearly I'm hooked on cycling.

Prior to today I have made two attempts at trying to make the 19 mile trek from Avondale Estates to Stone Mountain.  The first time I was dehydrated and decided I better turn back.  It was pretty rough. The second time I had a good friend with me (who was a newbie) who didn't fair well and we turned back.  Third time must be a charm, right? 

Six miles in and I'm feeling good.  A male rider comes up and starts a friendly conversation.  As he passes me, he mentions that it seems like I'm loosing air out of my tire.  I hear the air escaping and the tire goes flat.  Limey is busted. (It is only when you get a flat do you relize the importence of knowing how to fix a flat and having the tools on board your bike.)  My new friend directs me to a bus stop to wait for him.  He is parked at Stone Mountain and is willing to go, pick up his truck and give me a ride back to my car.  I said ok. Wait, What?!  Clearly I was caught up in the shock of the flat tire and stuck in nowhere.  As I sat in the bus shelter my senses returned.  I could not get in the car with a male stranger. I was doing fine until he came along.  Maybe he sprinkled a little something on the ground.  However unlikely I wasn't taking any chances.  A girl has to be sensible to stay safe, right.  

No money and never having caught the bus in GA I was clueless. I know the bus has a bike rack, but how exactly does that work again?  Hmm.   I called hubby, who never answers his phone, and mentioned the situation.  After having driven for 12 hours from DC, he packed the princess in the car and came to get me. Isn't he precious! When hubby arrived, my new stranger friend was there. Together they got the bike in the car.  Hubby thanked him.  My new friend's response was he was only doing what he hoped someone would do if his wife if she was stranded on the side of the road. 

The third try was not the charm.


Usually Tuesday is a rest day for me, however, I am aware that my body looks better with strength training.  The only issues I have is when.  How do I fit it into my schedule?  Does this mean I have to get up before Princess three days a week.  Which ultimately means going to bed earlier.  Since getting to the gym to lift heavy is not going to happen, I decided to make nice with my 20 lb Kettlebell.  

So on Tuesday I got up early and got to swinging that Kettlebell.  I did a routine by Blender Fitness provides a complete library of workouts online for FREE and they also accept donations.  I totally enjoyed the workout and it was easy to follow along.  Of course Princess got up before it ended, but it was a very productive workout.  You can review the workout below.
As you can see the workout kicked my butt.

A few hours later I was convinced I was dying.  

This day turned into a mandatory rest day looool! I hurt from head to toe and was moving slowly.


The fourth try yielded success.  I cycled strong into Stone Mountain Village.  It turned out that on my first try I was only a mile and a half away.  Oh well.  I was so proud.  

As I was entering the village I noticed a group of ladies heading out.  Once I finished, I turned around as fast as I could to catch up with them.  It took some effort, but I made it about 2.5 miles out.  Turns out we all belonged to the same riding group Black Girls Do Bike: ATLANTA and they invited me to ride with them.  It was a lot of fun and my first time riding in a group. 

Till next time ladies!

As it turns out, one of the ladies has a toddler around the same age as my Princess.  We exchanged contact info to take a ride with our girls together in trailers.

Friday - rest day


Saturday marked the beginning of the  There is something going on everyday for a week.  You name it, it is happening.  Check for their calendar of events here.

I attended an event hosted by Michelle of Aztec Cycles where Stephanie Hudson, League Cycling Instructor, conducted a Womens Bike Basics & Beyond workshop at Arabia Mountain. OMG! It was an awesome class!  It answered so many of my questions, gave me confidence in the areas I had figured out for myself and once again, it gave me the opportunity to meet like minded people. Something I've found to be so important along my lifestyle change. (Sorry no pic)

And lastly for the week I popped over to Haute Cycles where the very generous Leigh gave me a lesson on how to fix a flat. She took something that was so intimidating and made it manageable for me. All while the talkative and curious Princess poked about. Thanks Leigh!

Even with all the amazing workouts I had this week, the highlight of the week was my non-scale victory.  NSV:  Twice this week I was referred to as an athlete.  It came with mixed emotions as I am just beginning to receive myself with that title.  To hear others, recognize my efforts in that category feels very interesting.  Who knew there was an athlete inside of me?!  I am making so many amazing discoveries about myself on this journey.

How was your week?!