Stop Hating Yourself

Flat Stomach

Fat, Thin, Obese, Skinny, Heavy, Lean, Toned, Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Proportioned, Curvy, Ectomorph, Pencil, Ripped, Chubby, Shredded, Overweight, Fluffy, Underweight, Endomorph,

These are all words used to describe the physical body. But words somehow have a magical power to seep beneath the skin they describe and permeate the heart that lies within. These words take over your identity and destroy the bond you are meant to have with your body.

This bond that is lost is forged from shared experiences. Your body has done a lot for you and yet how often is it the bane of your existence or something that is in constant need of fixing or changing?

So you set out to change your body into something you deem worthy of love and appreciation. You reduce the amount of food you eat and restrict what little food you do eat. You force yourself to exercise, whether it be at a gym or watching someone with The Body on a DVD. You drink more water and tell yourself youre not hungry.

The first few days arent so bad. You notice your stomach is a little flatter and the scale may even tell you that the three numbers you define yourself with have gone down ever so slightly. Then comes day five. You miss carbs and you hate the treadmill. But, you believe that this is way to transform your body and fulfill your dream of finally being happy enough with it to bare your arms in a sleeveless shirt.

Your soul begins to mourn your imprisonment and voices fill your head. Cravings surface and your sleep suffers. You cant take the pressure of perfection and so you cheat and have something you shouldnt. You cave. It tastes sooooo good.or does it?

Then, the soul crushing, heart racing, stomach tightening guilt sets in. Why did you fail? Why is it so hard for you? Why are other people thin and doing it? Why cant you stick to _____ program?

You feel so bad that the cycle continues and you bury the feelings of shame with more junk which makes you feel physically sick. You avoid the gym or your trainer for fear that they will condemn you or judge you for your supposed lack of willpower. If only you were stronger.

Now you decide you can finally do it. You feel so bad (and your pants feel so tight) that you decide with this new program you can get back on track! And for a few days you do good. You do all of your workouts and log the miles on the treadmill (even though your body aches from walking on plastic). You treat yourself with a reward of food which triggers the cravings and on the cycle goes.

Friends, this is no way to live. The constant comparison to friends, strangers, co-workers- anyone! The endless feeling of not being good enough, fit enough, lean enough- Not Enough. The inner longing for something that is deeper than what you can see in the mirror or touch with your hands.

A diet will not fulfill you. A program will not save you. A new gym membership will not redeem you.

It must start with loving yourself as your family, friends and those you strive to please. If you are not happy and loving yourself now, you will not love yourself 20 pounds from now. There has to be a change beneath the surface in your tender and precious heart. A healing has to occur. An outpouring of joy. A peace that passes understanding. A new sense of identity. You are not the choices that you make.

You were meant for so much more- have you lost yourself in the fast paced world that surrounds you? Are you going through the motions and avoiding the feelings you are afraid to feel? Are you stuck in a trap of constant fixing and loathing?

If this is you, you need to know there is help. There is a chance to find peace and to celebrate all that is you! If this strikes a chord inside of you and brings a tear to your eye, dont wait! Reach out! Please do not waste another moment longing for what will only destroy you.

I am extending a personal invitation to reach out and get some guidance as to what the next steps look like for you. No hidden agenda. No sales pitch. Just support, ideas and resources.

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What are the best cross training shoes for men?

With the advent of barefoot shoes in the footwear industry, several manufacturers have joined the growing list of minimalist cross training shoes producer. The best cross training shoes for men are yet to get official although numerous bloggers have already compiled their best list. Some of the shoes in the list have already been introduce in the market but others are yet to be formally given birth in the market. What are the factors in consideration for selecting the list of best cross training shoes for men?

Key features of cross-trainers

Of all the types of sports shoes available in the market, cross training footwear are the most versatile. They are usually durable, with low-key midsoles, breathable uppers and adaptable outsoles like Vivobarefoot’s Neo Minimalist cross training shoes. This cross-trainer is one of the best cross training shoes for men. It was introduce late December of last year and has continued to rise up on the most in demand minimalist cross-trainers this year. With a microfiber air mesh upper, removable insole and rubber outsole that is resistant to puncture, it is truly one of the best cross-trainer shoes; you will ever have the privilege to wear.

Determining whether cross training footwear is right for you

Before you can choose the best cross training footwear, you need to determine first if it is the right shoes for you. They are the best choice if you are someone who loves to participate in a variety of workouts or sports activities because of their ample supportive base. These shoes are actually an economical way to take pleasure in diverse sports without having to buy separate footwear for each activity. Although cross-trainers are mostly multi-purpose shoes, they are not right for everyone. For those who run frequently or for long distance should not opt for cross-trainer shoes since they are usually bulkier and have lesser cushion, which means they are not good for running. Cross training shoes are great for activities that require you to move from side to side such as in a tennis court. To ascertain if cross-trainers are the best shoes for your needs, you need to ascertain the benefits and drawbacks of wearing such type of footwear.

How to buy cross-training shoes

If you are searching for the best cross-trainer shoes for you, you can narrow down your search by gender. There are separate lines for men and women since both have diverse needs when it comes to footwear. The most recent list of the best cross training shoes for men can also help you find the most suitable pair for you. The list naturally contains the most innovative cross-training shoe in the market today and you can have your pick from the list. Although many in the list are just recently introduce in the market, there are already some reviews written about them. You can peruse these reviews to help you in deciding what to buy. However, before you decide to buy you need to ascertain what type of feet you have in order for you to obtain the right kind of shoe. If you suffer from over-pronation, opting for the right cross-trainer shoes is good. Due to the wide supportive base, cross training shoes are very appropriate for people whose feet roll inwards when running or walking. Ascertaining what are the frequent activities you will engage in will also guide you in finding the best minimalist training shoes for you.

The best cross training shoes for men by brand

New Balance Mens MX20 NB Minimus

New Balance Mens MX20 NB Minimus

ECCO Mens BIOM Lite 1.1 Cross-Training Shoe

ECCO Mens BIOM Lite 1.1 Cross-Training Shoe

Buying footwear from brands who are popular for producing only the best product will help you narrow down your search for the appropriate cross-trainer shoes for yourself. Vibram FiveFingers cross training shoes still make it to the list. With its ultimately thin outsole and zero heel-to-toe drop, it is still one of the perfect cross-trainer today. Merrell’s Trail Glove cross training is still as one of the best cross training shoes for men. It is popular amongst men, whose feet are larger than usual because with a little loosening of its lace, the shoe actually lets you expand your feet, making it breathe easier. ECCO Men’s BIOM Lite 1.1 cross-trainer is another hit. With its yak or camel made upper, it offers a very comfortable fit with its thin PTU sole but low-key midsole. The New Balance Minimus is also included in the list for this year. With its recent redesigning and changes, it has become more comfortable and highly commendable for a variety of sports activities. Of course, we should not forget Vivobarefoot’s Neo Minimalist cross trainer footwear. The best cross training shoes for men list is still open pending the introduction of newer minimalist cross training shoes by other popular brands.

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Seasonal Salads Recipe

Preparation Time: 20 minutes for each salad
Cooking Time: for Sweetcorn and Potato Salad: 25 minutes
Each Dish Serves: 6 to 8

Pineapple and Turkey Salad

Pineapple and Turkey SaladCut a fresh pineapple lengthways but make one part deeper to hold the salad, leave the green leaves on this portion. Cut away the hard core and dice the flesh over a basin so no juice is wasted.


  1. Blend 1 tablespoon olive or salad oil with 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, add 1 teaspoon French mustard, 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Cut approximately 450g cooked turkey into dice, the same size as the pineapple, add to the dressing with a 1 deseeded diced red pepper, 3 tablespoons browned flaked almonds, 3 tablespoons diced cucumber and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.
  3. Add the diced pineapple to the turkey mixture just before serving the salad, spoon into the pineapple case, top with browned almonds.

Chicory Waldorf Salad

Chicory Waldorf Salad

  1. Arrange white chicory and red radicchio leaves around the edge of a flat dish, Blend equal quantities of diced celery, unpeeled dessert apples and deseeded black and white grapes together.
  2. Toss the ingredients in well seasoned yoghourt, add halved pecan nuts or walnuts and spoon into the centre of the chicory and radicchio.

Sweetcorn and Potato Salad

Sweetcorn and Potato Salad

  1. Cook and dice potatoes; cook frozen sweetcom.
  2. Blend equal amounts of mayonnaise and yoghourt together with a few drops of Tabasco sauce, a very little tomato purée, a little paprika and seasoning.
  3. Add small spring onions or cocktail onions, a generous amount of chopped parsley and chives; stir the potatoes and sweetcorn into the dressing.
  4. Serve well chilled or warm.
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Exercise Bike

Choosing The Best Exercise Bike

If you are the type of person who takes his health seriously then you probably have an exercise routine that you follow on a daily basis. Instead of going to the gym and using their equipment you can now bring the gym to your home. The first piece of equipment could be a bike, meaning a best exercise bike of a good quality so that it would last for many years. The key to selection here is that you want the best value for the amount of money you can afford to spend.

It does not matter if you are using exercise bike for the first time or you have been using one for years at the gym. You will not need to learn anything special about using this type of bike. In fact if you can sit comfortably on the seat and use your feet to pedal then you know how to utilize one. These are actually designed to provide the user with a good cardiovascular workout.

One of the great things about riding the bike is that it will help get you in shape. These are what is considered a low impact exercise regime and will help with weight loss. It will not take the toll on your knees and joints like running or jogging will. Believe it or not when there is a sports injury one of the first things that the person will be told to do is climb on the exercise bike and ride it.

When venturing out to locate your first exercise bike you will notice that there are two different types to pick from. There is the one that is upright and then there is the recumbent model. The difference between these two bikes is rather simple. While an upright model will have you sitting like you were on an actual bike, a recumbent version will have you lying down while pedaling. It is actually up to you with which type you would feel more comfortable using for your workout.

No matter which type you are looking at height adjustments are very important. When purchasing the best exercise bike it will have the height adjustment functions. There is nothing more uncomfortable than being 6 foot tall and trying to use something that will only fit a 5-foot-7-inch person. So make sure the bike can adjust for your height no matter how tall you are. While sitting on the seat make sure that the seat is comfortable and not too hard.

The best exercise bike will actually offer straps for the pedals so you do not have to worry about your foot slipping. Take a minute and look the bike over to make sure that everything is protected. It could be a nightmare if the chain is not covered and your sweat pants get caught up in the chain. Also make sure the bike is rated for your weight. In other words if you weigh 300 pounds you do not want a bike that is recommended for 200 pounds.

Some bikes will offer an adjustable workout. This means as you get used to working out in intensity it is no longer a challenge to your muscles. However, the machine will have a way for you to make the intensity harder so your body will still have a challenge. The best exercise bike will have a heart monitor on it so you can see how you are progressing. Some are even equipped with devices for tracking your distance and the calories burned.

Considering the best exercise bike is not going to be cheap make sure there is a warranty that comes with it. It should be no less than a year but some manufactures will actually offer a lifetime warranty on their bikes. You want the best quality for your money so take your time and look everything over and definitely read any reviews that you can find on the chosen model before making the purchase.

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike

There are lots of people who are looking for quality exercise bikes, and Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike is one model to consider for people who want to have a workout while ensuring that they are getting proper back support and stability at the same time. This Schwinn features a seat that adjusts for ideal lumbar support meaning people will not have to undergo the same stress on their backs as with other models. Comfort and durability are combined in this product to produce results that leave many users content with their purchase,. There are different options for purchasing that can be found online, as well as different third-party articles featuring this Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike. It is best that people do some online searching and see for themselves.

Conventional Exercise Combined With Modern Technology

There are people who are familiar with the conventional outdoor bikes provided by this company, and they work to bring the best of both worlds together by combining their craftsmanship with a computer that can calculate all the relevant information about your workout. There are no weather constraints with quality indoor bikes, and people can enjoy cycling under any conditions if they find a product that meets their needs.

Many people enjoy the convenience of being able to get a quality workout at home without having to compromise on any aspect of the experience. Everything is built into this Schwinn 230, and people can enjoy the comfort of their own home while being able to see how many calories they have burned, their BMI measurements, and other information at the touch of a few buttons.

The Needed Support for Back Injuries and Other Issues

There are many people who have sustained some type of back injury or have another issue that makes it difficult to use conventional bikes as well as some indoor models as well. The recumbent seat on this model helps to remedy this since it is designed ergonomically and can be adjusted to provide the maximum comfort and support while still offering a quality workout that can help with the healing of various issues.
This is something that many companies are now taking into consideration and Schwinn is certainly among the top companies that manufacture bikes of any variety. There are reviews that talk about various aspects of the Schwinn 230, including the comfort of the seat as compared to other models.

Combining All the Elements into an Affordable Package

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike has managed to include various important elements into a solid package that seems to surpass lesser models in the minds of many customers. People talk about the ease of setup, noiseless operation of the unit, as well as the affordable price. There are a few issues people report around height restrictions related to the distance of the seat to the pedals, as well as wanting more features on the computer. However the overall scope of this product has left many people feeling satisfied with their purchase.

The overall trend seems to suggest that Schwinn is as proficient at making exercise bikes as with their conventional models. The quality can be transferred into indoor models so that people are able to enjoy their cycling no matter what the conditions.

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Drymax Run Lite-Mesh Mini Crew Socks Rose

Product Review: Drymax Running Socks

Do you ever have that problem where you buy socks in your size and then once you wear them, you realize they were made for Lady Bigfoot or someone with 6 toes and a heel the size of a grapefruit?

Problem solved: Drymax Running Lite-Mesh Socks.

Drymax Run Lite-Mesh Mini Crew SocksNormally I get my socks from stealing them from someone’s clothes’ line or having my grandma knit them Ross, a 6 pack for like $5.  And before I know it, said socks could fit Shaq’s feet.

These Drymax socks are awesome; they will rock your socks off.  Wow, that was quite possibly the lamest thing I’ve said.  today.  They are very thin and very tight especially around your arch.  They don’t do the slip ‘n’ slide like alot of socks do.  Here’s some of the features:

  • Flat toe seam so no bulky bunching up front
  • Breathable mesh so less stank and sweat
  • Vented arch band so less sweat
  • Protective padding on the heel
  • Smooth top of the sock to accentuate those lovely ankles, cankles, tribal ankle tattoo, what have you

Because these are tightly fitted and breathe so easily, you won’t get blisters as much and your feet will stay a lot dryer which means less friction.  Since having them, I’ve only had 1 blood blister.  Given the state of my feet, that’s pretty amazing.  Normally my peds look like a cannibal took a hamburger grinder to them.

I’d recommend these socks to anyone… who has feet.  The one negative is the price; I bought 3 pairs online for about $7 a piece so that’s a little pricey for foot covers, but they’re the only socks I wear for running now.

The only bummer is now I have a drawer full of gorilla-sized socks that are stretched out more than Jack Black in Kate Moss’ skinny jeans.

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Barefoot Shoes

Which Barefoot Shoes to Choose For Fitness and Cross-Training

With the advent of barefoot shoes many people have started wearing them for a variety of physical fitness activities such as running, weight lifting, dancing and walking. Having a good pair of fitness shoes is the most essential aspect of any cardio exercise regimen. You actually need a particular pair of shoes for a specific physical workout, to help prevent any injury and provide you a much greater benefit of a good workout.

With the various designs and brands of barefoot shoes invading the market today, how will you know which shoes to choose for cross training and fitness? Since cross training involves the combination of different forms of exercises to stimulate the different parts of the body, you need to have a pair of barefoot shoes that would be able to give you the comfort and support to withstand the rigors of the different physical activities.

Know your type of feet

To ascertain what barefoot shoes to choose for fitness and cross training, you need to consider the kind of feet you have got. Since barely-there shoes gets you more in contact with the ground compared to traditional shoes, it is very important to determine the condition of your feet to obtain the right fit and shape of shoes. There are feet which are normal; others are pronated while others are supinated. You might not be familiar how to recognize what kind of feet you have thus you should go to a doctor who can observe you how you run or walk. The doctor can tell you what kind of feet you have and you can buy barefoot shoes that will suit your type of feet. You can also opt to visit a specialized store where the staffs are already trained to give you a hand in assessing what kind of feet you have and recommending the most suitable shoes for them.

Ascertain the kind of fitness and sports you engage in

Another factor to consider when selecting your shoes is the type of fitness you will engage in. The best barefoot shoes for fitness and cross training should depend on the kind of activity you will engage in. It is very expensive and quite impractical if you will purchase separate barefoot shoes such as New Balance or Vibram’s for every sports and fitness activity you do. It is highly recommended to get regular cross-trainer shoes for these activities. Cross training shoes can be utilized in almost all fitness activities but you would need a much different shoes for running. For the different cross training activities you need to have shoes that would give you stability, padding and more than adequate support for your feet and legs.

The right kind of shoe for the right type of feet

If you go for kickboxing you might need to go for cross trainer shoes which will provide you more lateral support. You can find additional information on this subject at this website. You need to have the proper form and balance when you engage in this fitness activity so as not to hurt yourself while involved in this very rigorous workout. For aerobics, you need to obtain barefoot shoes that will provide you more padding for your feet to do the rigors required of it. For running, you would need to buy barefoot shoes that would provide more flexibility for your feet, with enough room for your toe box to let them perform excellently, as feet are expected to perform. You would need a much lighter shoe for running, something which easily bends at the joints to allow your feet free movement, to make it perform better especially when running on more rugged surfaces and rough terrains.

You need to pay close, constant attention to your shoes for fitness and cross training. This is because your shoes will be subjected to wear and tear more than the rate an average shoe will incur. Through time, the shoes will lose their capacity to fully support your legs and feet, which might cause you some serious injury. For runner shoes, you might need to consider changing them often, or after incurring 400 to 600 mileage, especially if you use them almost every day.

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Can You Train for a Marathon with a Bad Back?

I’m depressed. Boston training starts this coming week and I can’t even run. I pulled my back last weekend and it’s apparently going to take 4 – 6 weeks to heal.

Boston Jacket

Boston Jacket

I think I’m still in denial. I somehow think that in a few days, it will feel so much better and it won’t hurt like hell to start pounding out the miles needed to train properly for a marathon…… And it’s not just any marathon.  Of course, it has to be Boston.  Why couldn’t this have happened before Twin Cities instead?

A friend just sent me a photo of this year’s Boston jacket.  How ugly!  Does anyone actually like this?  I would have thought they would have gone all out this year on designing something that people actually like. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

For now, all I can do is low impact cardio.  Why does it have to be swimming that is so good for you when you have any kind of injury?  I hate swimming.  It’s mind numbing swimming lengths back and forth.  I suppose the hot tub afterwards though will be rather nice.  Yes, I’ll look forward to that.

And then there’s pool running.  Apparently it’s all the rage.  I haven’t tried it yet. I hear it’s more mind numbing than swimming.  Fabulous. It’s times like this that I wish there was a way to send thoughts wirelessly to the cloud. That way, I could get things done in my head while working out. I could write blog posts, I could make my shopping list, heck, I could even work. That’s me, always trying to optimize every minute spent.  If I’m bored, I feel like I’m not making the best use of my time (because there’s so little of it available).

Alright then, I have to stop this. I’m starting to feel like Karl Pilkington with all this feeling sorry for myself. I do feel better now that I had a bit of a moan though!

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Vitamix 1782

I Can’t Stop Using My New Blender!

Today is a big day for me, because my Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend just arrived this morning. I’ve had plenty of blenders in the past, but I’m especially excited for this one because it’s my first Vitamix. In case you don’t know a whole lot about countertop blenders, Vitamix probably makes the best blenders on the market. They’re commercial grade, high powered, durable, and long lasting machines that are loaded with neat settings and features. They’re a smoothie enthusiasts dream!

The one and only down side to my Vitamix 1782 is that it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. At $354 dollars, it’s a bit pricy. But it has some of the best blender reviews I’ve seen, and for good reason. This thing is a BEAST. It can hack through anything without so much as a blip.

This afternoon, I decided to put it to the test. I had already made my usual morning protein smoothie, and it performed flawlessly as expected. But I wanted to find out how strong the two speed, two-peak horsepower motor really is. I took some rough ingredients, namely some frozen vegetables, an entire broccoli stock, a carrot, and some other things, and blended them up on high. The 1782 TurboBlend hacked it all up with no problem. It’s advertised to spin at a whopping 240 mph. I’m thinking about taking the motor out and putting it in my Toyota!

Aside from being pretty fun, my experiment proved that my new blender can chop through pretty much any edible substance. I can’t fathom ever needing to blend a rougher combination than what I put in there today. I expect it to hold up over the years too, especially because it comes with a five year warranty.

I didn’t know it before I bought the 1782 and read about some of its features, but excess heat that lower grade blenders can make may damage or kill off some of the enzymes and nutrients in your shake. The 1782 doesn’t produce any excess heat, so it doesn’t have any negative effect on your ingredients.

The container is 64 oz, which is definitely sizable enough for me. It included a cookbook which I thought was a really neat bonus. I haven’t tried any of the recipes out of it yet, but they look good!

So far, I’m definitely super happy with my new blender. I have been using it pretty much nonstop so that should tell you something about how much I love it. If you need to get a new blender at some point, I highly recommend this one. It’s the best blender I’ve ever used!

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