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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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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My Top 10 Favorite Healthy Summertime Snacks

I loooooove snacks. I always find myself munching on things in order to keep from being hungry between meals. And because I’m always snacking, it’s easy to just grab whatever is around to satisfy my hunger. But over the years, I’ve found that grabbing just anything can backfire on my health and fitness goals. And I always seem to grab the sweet stuff. So, I’ve learned to be prepared as much as possible and try my best to have my favorite snacks in the house or in my purse. Now that summer’s here and swimsuit season is in full effect, I’m snacking a little bit smarter and lighter. Continue reading →

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Personal Challenge: 100 Days of Running

As I’ve mentioned before, running is a form of personally prescribed therapy for me. I’ve been a runner my entire life and sometimes after a run I feel like a completely new person. I feel accomplished and ready to take on the rest of the day. It’s not always like that, but for the most part I enjoy it and find it necessary for my sanity. So, I’ve been thinking for a while now about how I can challenge myself through running. I know… running and training for races is already a challenge, but what I want to do will be a bit more personal and solid. Continue reading →

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Crossfit Kicked My Butt and I Loved It!

I haven’t had a workout really kick my butt and leave me wanting to go home and soak in epsom salt for a very long time. Last month, I got to experience a very intense (to me) 30 minute workout at River North Crossfit here in Chicago. And let me tell you, it was SO awesome! I’ve done Crossfit “type” workouts where the same concepts of functional movement, intervals and basic strength and conditioning are involved. But I’d never been to an actual Crossfit gym (or “box” as they call it) to complete a workout led by Crossfit instructors. I was so eager to learn and sweat, but I had no idea it would kick my butt the way it did. Continue reading →

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The Boston Marathon and the Freedom to Run

When I walked into work yesterday, all of the tv’s on the sales floor were turned to CNN.

My coworkers were gathered around a few of the tv’s looking up in shock and amazement. Their faces spoke to me before I even asked them what happened. “There was an explosion at the Boston Marathon. 2 people are dead. About 23 are injured,” my coworker was able to mutter to me after I asked what was going on. Continue reading →

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