Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The key to success

To Be successful, all you have to do are two things: 1) Do the work when you feel like it; and 2) Do the work when you don't feel like it. - Peter Vidmar
I came across this quote today and started to think about it. To be honest, I really have never had a hard time working out and working on my wellness. However, lately it has been so hard. Why? There could be many reasons, but the main one is that I just don't feel like it. I make up excuses and then the day is gone and I tell myself I will do it tomorrow. Finally I got sick of that so I made a goal for myself. It is still hard, but I gotta do the work when I don't feel like it because that is what brings me one step closer to my end goal. So what are you trying to work on?

Challenge: Remember this little advice from Peter Vidmar next time you don't want to work towards your goal.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


This blog post has reference to my religion. I am not trying to force what I believe upon you. I feel that it ties in with Namaste and is a very important subject that applies to mental health.

"I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us"   -- Mahatma Gandi 
Namaste is the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us. In Yoga, we use Namaste to begin meditation and to become unified. However, if you stop and think about it, shouldn't we think of Namaste always? Each day we have multiple opportunities to build friendships, help others, strengthen ourselves, and succeed. We cannot go through life alone. We are here on earth to help and support others. By serving others, we in turn receive. We begin to understand who we are we have purpose. We then have the confidence to achieve our dreams and our goals. It builds trust, it brings love, and it unifies us.

I am a girl, and lets face it, there are forces out there trying to bring us down. Telling us we can't, telling us we aren't pretty enough, telling us we aren't skinny enough, and even telling us who we should be. I feel that it is more prevalent in women than in men, but sometimes we all can become down.

I feel that I have been blessed because of the religion that I have had in my life. When I was a young woman I would stand each week with the other women in my ward and say "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love him..." As I think back, I really didn't understand the power in that phrase. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father. He knows me, he loves me, and I have a divine purpose! So powerful! It gets even better though; it's not just me who is a daughter (or son) of God, it is EVERY person that I meet! EVERY person that I walk by is a child of God, EVERY person I see has a divine purpose, and EVERY person I meet has light and love in them, but do they know that? Do they have the confidence to be themselves and to love life? I am not too sure each person does. It has taken me a while to truly accept who I am and that I don't have to be a stick to be pretty. I don't have to have the latest fashion to fit it. I don't have to be sad when I am alone. I have a purpose. I know I have not even had a glimpse of the potential I have with that purpose, but by helping others, I have found out who I am. I have been assured that I have a divine purpose. I have grown to love others and have peace and be happy!

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all understood Namaste and used it in our everyday dealings? YOU have a purpose. YOU have potential. YOU are beautiful. YOU are here because others need you. Namaste brings peace, love and happiness to you and others around you.

Challenge: Write down one thing that you are good at (don't compare how good at it you are with anyone else!) and share it with someone. Write down how you feel after you help that person so you will remember it. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is designated Breast Cancer Awareness month. Our community has a "Break for Breakfast" each year where women can grab a sack breakfast and get some facts about breast cancer. It's a fun health promotion program that is intended on educating the community about beast cancer. I was sitting here thinking that I am a health science major and as part of that I need to do my job to bring awareness to individuals therefore, another blogpost :) The American Cancer Society has a great website that is user friendly. There they have facts about different kinds of cancer and preventative measures to take with each one. Since this post is about breast cancer, that is where I will be focusing, but you can find more on their website. Here are some breast cancer facts that I found interesting:
  • Most masses are not cancerous
  • Most breast cancers are invasive
  • Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women
  • In 2011, about 2,140 cases of breast cancer were expected to occur among men
  • Approximately 2.6 million US women with a history of breast cancer were alive in January 2008 more than half of whom were diagnosed less than 10 years earlier
  • Breast cancer incidence and death rates generally increase with age
  • Breast caner incidence rates are higher in non-Hispanic white women compared to African American women for most age groups
Preventative measures should be taken starting at age 20. Doing a breast self-exam helps you to know if an abnormal lump appears and you can catch it early. Here you can find out how to perform that.
While you are in your 20's and 30's you should have a clinical breast exam every 3 years. I remember my women's health teacher telling me that if you have a history of breast cancer then you should have one 20 years before that detection. (i.e. if your aunt was diagnosed with cancer at age 39, then you should have one at age 19). It is recommended that women 40 and over have mammograms yearly. 

There are five things that the American Cancer Society want you tell your friends about breast cancer:
  1. All women can get breast cancer--even those who have NO family history of the disease.
  2. The two most important risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.
  3. Women diagnosed with breast cancer early, when the cancer is small and has not spread, have a high chance of surviving it. Getting a mammogram is the best thing you can do to help find breast cancer early. If you notice any breast changes, tell you doctor without delay.
  4. You can help reduce your chances of having breast cancer by doing regular physical activity, keeping healthy weight, and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
  5. Through early detection and improved treatments, more women than ever are surviving breast cancer and celebrating more birthdays.
You can estimate your risk for developing breast cancer here. You can also find a risk assessment tool on the National Cancer Institute's website. 

Early detection is the best protection. My sister is in the Radiology program and she came home the other day and told me that her professor said that 1 in 8 of you will get breast cancer. That is crazy! We do live in a day where quick fixes are what we want. In order to be completely healthy, we can't rely on that. You have to constantly work at it. Even if you are a health freak, you are not exempt from getting cancer or different diseases, it just is a preventative measure. Please do your best to be healthy and educate yourself and others about breast cancer. Here is another website you can use.

Challenge: Do a preventative measure that will help you to detect cancer early. If you are not 20 yet, talk to your family to see if there is a history of breast cancer--or any cancer. Educate those around you so they can live longer lives!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Sorry I have not written lately, I have been busy planning a wedding. Through this process I have not been doing so well with my personal wellness. One area that I have really noticed that I am struggling in is meditation. I have come to realize that I NEED to meditate in order to function properly. I was thinking of a semester that was crazy busy, but I had a goal to meditate 30 minutes each day. That semester was one of the best semesters I have ever had. I didn't even have a headache that semester. I functioned properly and everything seemed to get done.

Meditation is a wonderful stress reliever. Let me tell you, planning a wedding is VERY stressful at times. Stress can take a toll on your health. I was reading about Meditation on the Mayo clinics website. They gave a list of types of meditation. My favorite way to mediate is by doing Yoga. I never thought I would like yoga because it is too slow. I live at a very fast pace and try to shove as much in a day as I possibly can. Yoga was the perfect medicine for me. After I do some yoga exercises, I feel like I can conquer the world. No problem is too big that I can't solve. Here are some of my favorite yoga poses. You can get these poses and more at 

Warrior Pose
Step by Step
Stand in Tadasana [fancy word for stand upright]. With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
Turn your right foot in slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.
Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the left knee by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.
Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don't lean the torso over the left thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the left and look out over the fingers.
Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.

Lord of the Dance Pose

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale, shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee. Press the head of your right thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint, and pull the knee cap up to keep the standing leg straight and strong.
There are two variations you might try here with your arms and hands. In either case, try to keep your torso relatively upright. The first is to reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of your left foot or ankle. To avoid compression in your lower back, actively lift your pubis toward your navel, and at the same time, press your tailbone toward the floor.
Begin to lift your left foot up, away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.
The second option with the hands is to sweep your right hand around behind your back and catch hold of the inner left foot. Then sweep the left hand back and grab the outside of the left foot. This variation will challenge your balance even more. Then raise the thigh as described in step 3. This second variation will increase the lift of your chest and the stretch of your shoulders.
Stay in the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Then release the grasp on the foot, place the left foot back onto the floor, and repeat for the same length of time on the other side.
Full Pose
For the full pose, perform step 1 as described above. Then turn your left arm actively outward (so the palm faces away from the side of the torso), bend the elbow, and grip the outside of the left foot. (You can also grab the big toe with the first two fingers and the thumb.) The fingers will cross the top of the foot, the thumb will press against the sole. Inhale, lift the left leg up, and bring the thigh parallel to the floor. As you do this, rotate the left shoulder in such a way that the bent elbow swings around and up, so that it points toward the ceiling. It requires extreme flexibility to externally rotate and flex the shoulder joint in this way. Reach the right arm straight forward, in front of the torso and parallel to the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the second side for the same length of time.

Cat Pose
Step by Step
Start on your hands and knees in a "tabletop" position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest.
Inhale, coming back to neutral "tabletop" position on your hands and knees.

Challenge: Take a few minutes out of your day to meditate. Try different types and see what way works best for you. I know it will help improve your well-being. I am up for this challenge, are you? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eating Intuitively

I started reading this book about weight loss called Intuitive Eating. I am really loving the principles that lay the foundation of this weigh loss program. I do not believe in all the diets that say "Loss up to 10 lbs in one week!" Although you may have lost those 10 lbs, it's most likely water weight instead of fat. 

One thing that sparked my interest and made me want to write was a little section about willpower. I have always been taught that if you want something, it requires a little bit of willpower. Tribole and Resch define willpower as an "attempt to counter natural desires and replace them with proscriptive rules." When one goes on a diet, this is exactly what they are doing. The diet says not to eat carbs, so you are countering your bodies need for energy by replacing your carbs with protein or something else. Willpower is not a part of the Intuitive Eating program. The book explains that listening to your personal signals will reinforce your natural instincts rather than fight them. When you fight them, you are setting yourself up for a backlash--which is also talked about in the book. You may start to rebel against these rules or overeat after you finish the diet. 

Successful weight loss occurs gradually, but remember, the number on the scale doesn't matter; how you feel matters. Hopefully I will be able to write some more insights about this book on the blog, but if not, I am sure you can pick it up at your community library. I have already ordered a copy for myself.

Challenge: Get rid of the scale and start listening to your body and what it is telling you it needs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tasty Treat

I LOVE my sweets! Sometimes it seems like I crave a cookie right when I wake up. It's a terrible thing. However, I have found that if I have fruit around I will eat that when I have a sweet tooth and it takes the craving away. Lately I have been making a smoothie with frozen fruit and orange juice. It makes for a great snack or a healthy breakfast to start your day.

Makes approximately 12 oz
1 1/2 cup frozen fruit (I use a Dole mixed berry blend of strawberries, pineapple, peach, and mango)
3/4 cup orange juice

This 12 oz smoothie is 180 calories. You can try any kind of fruit you want. Today I even put a banana in it. This kind of treat is especially good on a hot summer day :)

Challenge: Try eating a fruit next time you have a craving for something sweet.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A parent's guide to exercise

I found this video on Youtube and thought it was quite humorous, but really these are good tips if you want to help your kids (and even yourself) get in shape. Enjoy!

Challenge: Implement these exercises in your child's life and even in your own life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Courage to start

I saw this on Everyday Health's Facebook page and thought I would share. This is so true. You never know what you can accomplish if you never start. You don't know the lives you can touch, the places you will go, the people that will come into your life, the goals you will accomplish, etc... so if you don't know, why not try and see what will come of it?

Challenge: Have courage to start/change/do something new.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy and Accomplished

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon with one of my good friends, Valerie. It was the Tommy Vaughn's Marathon and More and it was such a fun race! We were trying to run it in 2:10 or under and we were making really great time, until my IT band started to hurt me. I told Val to go ahead of me and I ended up with 2 hours 13 minutes. I wish I could have done better, but considering the circumstances, I am still happy with the results. 

Challenge: Participate in a race whether it be to actually run/walk or just being a volunteer. Both will make you feel happy and accomplished!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Knee pain?

I am a runner. One of the most common injuries for runners is IT (Illiotibial) band pain. I wanted to know more about how to stretch and strengthen it, but first I will tell you a little bit about it. IT band pain is pain that occurs mainly from overuse. It usually occurs in individuals who are over-training or running a certain way. The IT band is rubbing against the knee causing inflammation to occur. The pain is on the outside of your knee. Here is a picture of where the pain is located on a right injured leg.

I found some great exercises. These two stretches have come from the May 2004 issue of Running Times Magazine. There are more exercises if you want to check them out. The pictures below are demonstrating a right IT band injury, so if it's your left leg that is hurting, do the opposite. 

Stretch #1: You pull your food up to the back of your buttocks. Then cross your uninjured leg over the injured leg and push down for 30 seconds.

Stretch #2: You cross your injured leg over the uninjured side and pull the leg as close to your chest as possible. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Challenge: If you have IT band syndrome, incorporate one of these stretches into your workout. If not, let me know about something you would like to stretch and work on.

Be happy

So I stumbled upon this article and it is quite interesting. Basically it is saying how people have this ideal body image that they are trying to achieve but do not want to put in the work to do so. If you want to change, you have to put in the work and change one thing at a time. It takes baby steps, so it will take time. You just have to keep a positive attitude and love yourself. The article says that most people have this idea that when they lose those 5 pounds that their life will change. Truth is, it will probably be the same. YOU have to be the one who makes your life different. Go out there and be happy with who you are. Take care of yourself. Make sure you are clean and work hard to accomplish the goals that you have. Like I said before, it will take time. Eventually you will get where you want to be and love life as you are getting there. I love this picture. It gives me motivation on those days that I really need it.

Challenge: Be happy while you are working towards your new goal.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I came across this picture today from Ben Davis Chevrolet Buick. I think it is very inspiring. Whatever your goals are, have a positive attitude and it makes it easier to accomplish them!

Challenge: Have a better attitude.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tips for healthy habbits

Came across this article about how to keep your kids habbits healthy and life-long. I thought it can apply to all though.

  • Make chips, ice cream floats or other purchased snacks a treat for a once a week, family movie or game night. Make a special trip to the store to get the treat. If it’s not always in the house you can’t give in to your own (or the kids) weak moments between those special times.

  • Buy the right foods. If all the kids find to eat is an apple and they’re truly hungry they’ll eat an apple. Eating an apple or celery with peanut butter is not a punishment. If you appreciate a fresh, crunchy snack they’ll learn to like it too.

  • If you live outside of town, drop your kids off at a safe place, half a mile or more from their school building. They get a walk and you don’t have to deal with the traffic congestion around the school. Live in town? Don’t even let them get into the car in the morning. (For yourself, do the same. Park in the farthest parking spot away from the building you work in or walk to work).

  • Only let your kids turn on the TV (or other screen) if they’ve played outside for an hour or attended a sports practice in the time between school and dinner. Everyone plays outside, even if they don’t think they like the outdoors. They’ll figure out a way to have fun; they’re kids.

  • Unless your child’s doctor tells you there is a reason for your child to lose weight, focus on a healthy diet and exercise. Unlike adults, if a child is overweight simply maintaining that weight while they grow taller will solve the problem most of the time. (For you, do the same. Focusing on a healthy diet and exercise rather on loosing those extra pounds will improve your results).

  • Challenge: Implement one of these tips into your life and try it for the next month.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Something to think about...

    My professor says this statement as I am sitting in class today:

    "If there were a pill that had all the benefits of exercise in it, it would be the most prescribed drug in the world."

    Isn't that amazing!?! Execise controls your weight, improves your mood, can prevent heart disease, can give you MORE energy, and so much more! This article put out by the Mayo Clinic goes into more detail if you are interested.

    Challenge: Get out and exercise. Even if it is for 20 minutes a day, you will be able to notice a difference, I promise!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Ab exercises

    Ab exercises are so good for you because it helps you keep a strong core, which will help you keep good posture, protect your spine, and just help keep your body healthy and in good working order. I ran across this article today that talks about the 10 most effective ab exercises.  

    The most effective ab exercise is (drum roll please)............ the bicycle!
    Bicycle Exercise for Abs
    1. Lie face up on your mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers.
    2. Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor. Don't pull on your neck!
    3. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg. If you want to make it more difficult, when you straighten your leg, try to keep it about 2 inches off the ground.
    4. Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. This completes one rep.
    5. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
    If you are just starting to work out and only have a few minutes, I would suggest doing 25 reps each morning and then work your way up. You can do it!!

    If you want to know more, here is the website I found the information at. It also has some other good ab exercises you might want to check out.

    Challenge: Incorporate the bicycle into your daily workout routine.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Don't Quit!

    I feel like I have abandoned you all. I'm sorry! Life just gets so crazy busy, but I always think of writing. I have a few ideas that I have written down that I want to share, but first I will write about motivation again. I recently returned from a trip to San Diego. The drive was great, but long, so I had a lot of time to think. One thing that I was thinking about are things that I want to accomplish during the year 2012. I wrote a list of about 20 things. I kept debating whether or not to write this down, but I decided that I am going to do 2 half marathons and 2 triathalons this summer. Each time I thought "naw, I don't think I can do that," this movie clip came to mind. I love this movie! It is so inspirational!

    Challenge: Make a goal for yourself that will push you to your limits. You can do anything you want... DON'T QUIT!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Five Good Minutes....

    So as I was wandering in the library last night I came upon this book...

    I haven't read a lot of it but I find it interesting. One thing that the author pointed out is that your body is always with you, wherever you are, you can't get away from it. So the relationship you have with your body is important. Wellness helps you have a positive outlook about yourself, others, and life. I will probably post some other things that I find intriguing later, but I just wanted to get you thinking; what kind of relationship do you have with yourself?

    Challenge: Answer the question above. Is it a positive one or does it cause you to be upset? Figure out the answer and stay posted for some ways to improve your mindset!

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Life is precious

    I have been reading my friends blog lately. Long story short, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and they have been at the Huntsman Institute getting treatment for a while now. At the end of her last blog post she wrote, "Life is precious. Everyday is a gift." It really hit me hard. It is a gift. I hope you realize that too. We really don't know what is going to happen to us. We may get another day to live and become better, or we may not.

    I have been studying Gerontology (the study of aging) in school and 70% of diseases we get are because of our lifestyle. 70 percent!! If you think about it, I would say we have a pretty good chance of how we want our lives to end up. I mean, there is always genetics that play a big part, too, but I just want to encourage you to be better. Live each day as if it were your last.

    What are you going to change? Think of your goals...

    Do you want to climb to the top of the world?

    Do you want to run a race?

    Do you want to play with your grandchildren?

    What are you going to do? I would love to hear from you!

    Challenge: Make a change for the better!

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Nutrient Density

    Have you ever seen the movie Nacho Libre? Well there is a line in the movie where Nacho says that the eagle eggs didn't give him any nutrients. This reminded me of something I learned a while ago and relearned today... Nutrient Density! This means that you are measuring the nutrients provided in a food per kcalorie of that food, or in other words, how much nutritional value you are getting from the food you are eating.

    1/2 cup of cooked broccoli is considered to have a high nutrient density because it is high in nutrients relative to its caloric value. In comparison a chocolate cupcake with frosting has many more calories and few nutrients making it a low nutrient density. These foods are sometimes referred to as empty calorie foods because they aren't providing you with the nutrients that you need.

    Fruits and Veggies are going to have a high nutrient density whereas fast food and candy will have a low nutrient density. You can choose what you want to eat. I am not saying never to eat "junk food" again--I actually just put a dove dark chocolate in my mouth :)--I am just hoping that you become aware of what you put in your body.

    Challenge: Write down everything that you eat for one day and go to and see how many empty calories you ate that day. Then figure out what you can improve on. Good luck!

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    The Principle of Summation

    What you hear the word summation, what do you think of? If you go back to the basic math that you learned in Elementary, you'll remember that it is the sum of something. Try to guess how this plays into our wellness.

    Let's say you are walking down the street and see a bright, shiney penny. Do you pick it up? I do! Why? Because if I pick up 100 of them, I have myself a dollar! :)

    This is called the principle of summation. It can be good or bad. First let's loog at a good example:
    If you want to increase the calories you burn, just increase the amount of work you do. You can do various things throughout the day to do so--walk briskly to class or down the hallway, park far away from the front doors of the store, use the stairs instead of the elevator.

    Now to the bad example. Think about those crunchy, crisp triscuts. I personally like the Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil ones, but for this example I will stick with the original. 5 crackers equal 80 calories. If you do the math, each cracker comes out to be 16 calories.

    Let's say that you are on a 2000 calorie diet and you aren't doing any exercise. Everyday you eat your 2000 calories but decide you want just one triscuit. This puts you at 2016 calories that day. You may think it's not that big of a deal, but it will be...

    Since you are not exercising, you don't burn off that extra 16 calories. If you continue this for 10 years--eating an extra 16 calories a day and not exercising-- you will gain nearly 17 pounds! So those extra calories really do add up:

    1 pound of fat=3500 calories
    (16 extra calories x 365 days x 10 years)/3500 calories per pound= 16.7 pounds

    I don't want to scare you, I just want you to be aware of this principle. And remember, the principle of summation works both ways!

    Challenge: Each day think about how much you are doing. Make a list of the good and bad ways of how the Principle of Summation may be affecting your life. Hopefully it will open your eye and you can make goals on what you want to improve on! Good luck!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012


    Another inspirational movie to motivate you to accomplish your goals. It has some of the same speeches as the clip before, but new ones, too!