Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Journey...My Game...My Passion...

First, I am thrilled to share my story with everyone and thank you to Joan for inviting me to share my story as this is my first post. My running journey started quite a few years ago when I wanted to do something for myself and show people my accomplishment. It started on New Year’s Eve and my resolution to finish a 5k in late March (Cincinnati Heart Mini). I decided to share with people my resolution because I figured if I told people what I was doing, then one I would hopefully have their support and second I have admitted aloud. Next, I signed up for the race because then I was monetarily invested in the race. Needless to say I completed the race and I was thrilled. The following year I decided I wanted to rerun the Cincinnati Heart Mini 5k race and try to beat my time and did I smash my time by 6 minutes!

As my journey continues (a few years later)I lost some of the passion I had for running and did not know why. I realized I did not have a support group and I did not have a goal in mind. At this point I decided to venture out and run a marathon (I have no clue what I was thinking, but I was dreaming big). I signed up for the Chicago Marathon and it was rough! I trained on my own, I was in a city I did not know, and my wife cheered me on from a few locations (which was great)! My whole goal was to finish the race and I did (about 5 hours). When I finished I thought I would never do something that stupid again; however, the following week I wanted to go out and run and work on beating my time. I started to train again (on my own, but I told a lot of people what I was doing, and I read a lot of books about marathon training) for the Cincinnati Flying Pig in May. When race day arrived I wanted to go down to the start and run for me and have a blast. I did! I also beat my time by an hour! I found my passion once again…I loved letting my mind wonder! I was getting into the best shape of my life and I LOVED to run, it was a release of energy and stress! I have continued to run over the years and I just ran this past May the Cincinnati Marathon once again and I am now working on qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which is hard.

I have found I am inspired each and every day by everyone! Each person has a passion for what they are doing on the elliptical, walking, running, spinning, or whatever your game may be! I love it. Without the support and passion from everyone around goals cannot be met! #TEMT has opened a new door of motivation for me as I move into my journey of running…I love it (people all over the world/country inspiring me). I know my goal of qualifying for Boston is different from others, but every goal is important and meeting your goals is an accomplishment from walking a mile to running a marathon or a triathlon. I love the stories and look forward to motivating others as you all motivate me!

~Joe (@jrsteach)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You are Amazing TEMT!

I know, I seem to gush a lot but only when people really inspire and support each other. I am really excited that we are helping each other every day, cheering and giving positive boosts when it's hard to keep up the exercise routine.
This brief video ( because my educator account expired and I only had access to 30 seconds!) is just a little reminder of my appreciation for all of you! ( p.s. if you look away for even a second, you might miss the dolphin jump, so watch closely ;-) )

Create your own video slideshow at

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Over the past couple of months I've been using DailyMile to track my exercise efforts (running, walking).

While the initial look and feel frankly turned me off ("oh no, not another 'Facebookish' social silo...") I found the diarising features very handy. Whether you use it just for your personal tracking or as your full exercise motivational network is of course entirely up to you but I warmly recommend it.

Happy exercising!


Saturday, July 24, 2010



Hi Everyone
I've so enjoyed reading what everyone has posted. Thank you Joan for inspiring us all to get more active this summer and recognize that it's important to take care of our bodies and our minds through exercise.

This is my first time posting. I'm excited because all of you motivate me everyday. I know in my head that exercise is important but I don't think it's a priority and I'm trying to change that, with all of your encouragement. I'm motivated by all of you, everyday. Yesterday, I watched many of you post the workouts or runs you did. I knew I needed to get out and do mine for the day but I also knew that it was a bit of a rest day as well. I've been really good all week about walking and working out on my Wii. The new shoes sure helped. The most I did was walk the dogs (they're dachshunds and don't go very fast). It was more of a stroll because it was hot. I didn't feel really great about what I did but it was something.

I was sure motivated today though. I was up, had my coffee and walked before my Elluminate Share-a-thon. Great ideas & resources were shared. Getting my heart rate up and actually sweating has been wonderful. I've got more energy and I'm wanting to do more. After the Elluminate I did my strength training on the Wii. I've been doing the beginner mode just to ease into again and today I felt like I hadn't done enough so tomorrow and stepping it up a notch. I'll be working on the intermediate level. Yay for me!!! I'm so proud of myself. But I've got to give everyone a be THANK YOU for motivating me with what you all do and post on Twitter.

Thank you #temt.


Isn't it great to be inspired by others...

I have finally taken the time to sit and read through everyone's thoughts! And there are so many things that have caused me to reflect even further... time for a post.

I love how Joan started this Team Blog as a way to reflect on living a healthier life. By reading everyone's posts, it really makes me think about the health of your body, mind and soul and how related those facets really are. That's what this is all about. It was great to read about (and visualize) Anna's run along the gorgeous scenery in Greece and also Kathy's walk with Angels at the cemetery - both very moving places to run and reflect on the goodness of each day.

What really made me think was Dean's question - What does it take? And the first thing that came to my mind about what it really takes to get me to keep at running is to "not compare myself with others". I've always wanted to be a runner. But I made the mistake of starting out, comparing myself to avid runners, and then giving up because I wasn't "perfect" (gasp!). I started a handful of times, compared my measly run to the 10K of others and then went back to just power-walking and yoga. I did this over and over. Until March. I started running again, but this time, I shared my struggles with a friend who is an avid runner. When I asked him how he can run and not compare himself to others he gave me the best advice. He said, "I run my own race." It made me think about doing what was right for me. So I started again. And I started keeping track of MY running each day. I ignored the people running by me. I didn't look at the runners that I crossed paths with. I learned to shut out the rest of the world when I run. I focus on ME. I taught myself how to run my own race.

Running for me is about my mental health. I feel better when I run. I sleep better when I run. It's about getting lost in my music and emptying my brain of all the nonsense that tries to creep in at times (my brothers call me Analyti-Kel). There was a picture in one of the posts with this quote - "Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between 2 deep breaths." That is so true to me. If you focus on your breathing, I mean REALLY focus, it brings you a step closer to awareness. I've tried to practice that in my runs. I'm not perfect, but I'm learning.

I loved the video that Shelley posted about "Running and Reading" - Will talked about that "voice that talks to you when you are running" - but he referred more to the voice that nags about how tired you are and how you need to defeat that little voice. I like to listen to the other voice that seems to talk to me through my music on my run. The little voice in my head (through my music) gives me inspiration, the voice that says I'm doing my best, the voice that tells me to keep going! When I'm listening to my music, on my run, it truly lifts my soul!

I've decided to print the Star Wordle and put it on my bedroom mirror. I've also decided that it's time I buy that fancy Nike shoe thing to help me keep motivated and track my progress. Those are my goals for now!

Thank you Joan, for bringing us together. I feel that this sharing will be an inspiration to me. I want you guys in #temt to call me on it every day! I look forward to the tweets: "Kelly have you run yet today?" Because I know myself. I need to be pushed.

Attitude or behaviour first?

Hello all. My first words in this fine, collaborative effort. Thank you Joan for inviting me to contribute.

I read the nice post on attitude by Linda and cannot help myself thinking about a common mistake so many people often make (me too, I admit) when trying to change something. Either in our lives, our kids, colleagues ... no matter.

So often we think we need the right attitude BEFORE we see changes in behaviour. You know (coming from an ed-tech field here ...) "people must like computers and digital technology before they will change their ways of doing things" or "my child needs to like art in order to paint" or ... the list is endless! As an extension, we often say "I don't like exercise so I won't go even for a quick jog around the block (but if I DID like exercise I'd be out the door right now)".

The reality in most cases, if I presume horribly here, is quite the other way around. Let's take running for example.

Do we need to get all the great gear, measure up, set short and long term goals, hire a coach, buy $500 worth of motivational books, co-write an exercise motivation blog [ ;-) ] and have 'the right stuff and the right ATTITUDE' towards running before we peel our sorry backsides off the couch to do a mile lap around the block (BEHAVIOUR)?

Or do we simply go out one night in our daggy clothes (excuse Aussie vernacular) for what seems, and often is, a 'plod' (BEHAVIOUR) that sounds and feels like a rusty, badly tuned, early-model piece of farm machinery ... but after which we kinda say: "Huh, I ain't fit but I'm glad I did it..." (ATTITUDE)

Which one do you think works better and longer? Why?

Regards and ... go #temt !

Tomaz Lasic (@lasic)

"Enjoy your body: use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it; it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own."
(M.Schmich, The Sunscreen Song)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

I mentioned in my previous post here that I work out at Curves three times a week. I generally go Monday-Wednesday-Friday. So I wasn't even planning on working out today (Thursday). I came home much later than anticipated after a very trying day, not feeling like doing much of anything. I realized I was just full of frustration and maybe a workout would be helpful. Guess what! It was! When I checked in to CurvesSmart my results indicated that I worked way past my target for the workout, and stayed in "green" even on the machines that usually kick my butt. Seeing the results of my workout on the screen gave me an instant attitude adjustment.

My message for this short post: don't let a bad day be an excuse to not exercise, because it might be just what you need to change your frown upside-down!

Photo by lrargerich on Flickr

Food Confession

Two days ago my wife and I went to buy groceries for the first time since "Suit Sexy." Going down the isles it dawned on me that I have a relationship with food. I am not one of those people who look at food as fuel or something just to get you through the day. No sir! Food for me is like that first kiss - the excitement never goes away. I just wish there were a methadone equivalent to my almost heroine like addiction to chocolate.

Anyway, since I was slapped in the face by my sweet tooth, I decided to go about grocery shopping a different way. I may not be able to dance with the hottie we all know as dark fudge, but I can still lounge and have a conversation with her slightly less attractive friend gluten-free products. In fact, my wife baked a petite-sized pan of gluten-free brownies, and I didn't feel like I was missing out. I couldn't tell the difference...

So, in the next couple of weeks, I plan on adding more gluten-free sweets and pastas to our grocery list. Who knows, this may be the start of lasting relationship. I am a lot of things, but the thing I am is very monogamous and loyal to my sweet tooth.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Need a Little Boost? Check out Bob Harper's Workout Tips for Motivation

Thanks to @TheHomeworkDog, one of the founding members of team #temt on Twitter, I found Bob's website and Youtube channel today. He actually gets me fired up to reach a bit higher and work a bit longer and harder. Although I am not here to endorse people spending money on fitness dvds, after doing some of his short video challenges and feeling the burn, I plan to buy one of his dvd's. I like the simplicity of his message: you have to work hard to get results but you don't need fancy equipment!  Anyone out there checked him out before? Which dvd do you like? For more information and resources from Bob, check out My trainer Bob.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Instead of excuses NOT to exercise, try these excuses TO exercise...

Aside from the obvious health benefits of regular exercise, there are also some secondary benefits. These 'side effects' of exercise are often overlooked, but just as worthwhile...

In fact, I find that remembering some of the following 'side effects' of exercise helps to motivate me more than just thinking "Well, it's good for my long term health". Perhaps this is because some the 'side effects' of exercise are more immediate and more noticeable than the somewhat ambiguous and intangible long term health benefits of exercise.

As we've seen and heard in previous posts (and no doubt all experienced first hand), we've all got plenty of excuses NOT to exercise. These are my excuses TO exercise:

Exercise Boosts Confidence:

Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers
you cannot be successful or happy.
~Norman Vincent Peale
cc flickr photo from Royal New Zealand Navy

Exercise builds body confidence. Next time you exercise, stop to consider and appreciate just what your body can do!! Marvel at the way it moves! The more we move our bodies and take time to appreciate them, the more confident we become in the strength, beauty, and energy of our bodies!

Exercise also builds overall confidence. Exercising is all about setting goals and meeting them. There is no escape from goal setting when it come to exercise. It is an integral part of exercise, whether your goal is to simply get off the couch and walk around the block 20 minutes, or whether your goal is to beat your last marathon time by 10 minutes.

This mental/emotional aspect of exercise can be very fulfilling. I remember the exhilaration of completing my first 5 km run. Oddly, it was nearly identical to the feeling of completing my first full marathon 4 years later! That feeling was confidence and pride in accomplishing a goal!

Do you take time when you exercise to appreciate what your mind and your body can do?

Exercise Is Relaxing:

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
~Etty Hillesum
cc flickr photo from GrahamKing

Exercise is a known stress reducer--something most of us need in todays fast-paced world. Some exercise releases tension through the exertion of pumping our muscles and increasing our heart rates, while other exercise offers relaxation through the stretching of our muscles with the slowing and the deepening of our breathe. My two favourite stress busters fall on either end of this spectrum.

One of my favourite ways to clear my mind is a really tough trail run. When I'm out on the trails, I am so focused on my footing, my breath, my body, that my mind enters this glorious state of rest!

On the otherhand, pilates is one form of exercise I continuously return to for it's ability to calm me. Pilates allows me some quiet time to get in touch with my breath and my body in a slow, measured, and balanced way. It quiets and relaxes my mind.

Have you found an exercise that relaxes you?

Exercise Helps us to Appreciate Nature:

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
~Albert Einstein
Me and nature... Ahhhhh!

Exercise done outdoors increases our appreciation of nature and makes us more aware of our natural surroundings. Getting 'back to nature' has its own benefits, including stress reduction, a sense of serenity, and a sense of responsibility or stewardship for the earth.

I live in a paradise for outdoor activities. We are close to the ocean, a lake, and a river, near a ski hill, and surrounded by forested trails. My husband and I spend a lot of our time mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding, hiking, and camping.

Being outside helps keep me grounded. Nature reminds us that we are a very small part of the world and so are our problems. Nature reminds us that we have a responsibility to protect our earth.

Have you been outside today?

Exercise Lets us Spend Quality Time with Friends:

"There is no hope of joy except in human relations."
- Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

cc flickr photo from ornoth

Exercise can be a social activity. For me, it is almost always social. In fact, I'm terrible at exercising alone! I love meeting my girlfriends at exercise classes, running with a buddy, and biking with a group.

I'm way more motivated by exercising with others, because being with friends helps make exercise more fun! For those who want more time to hang with your friends, exercise is a great way to get in your social time.

Would an exercise buddy help motivate you?

Exercise Allows us to Eat Chocolate (and other devilish delights!):

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
- Charles M. Schulz
cc flickr photo by elana's pantry

Exercise burns calories. In fact, we need those calories to exercise. And we get calories from the food we eat. What we eat is important to keeping our bodies healthy and strong.

And don't get me wrong, I'm all for eating healthfully and providing my body with essential nutrients. But, I also love my sweets...

And for a girl with a 'dessert compartment' in her tummy, I have personally always been in favour of the "if you burn it, you can eat it" theory. Hence, my favourite excuse TO exercise is that exercising allows me to eat chocolate!

What is your favourite treat to burn off with some vigorous activity?

cc flickr photo by 'Lorna is'

Of course, the excuses TO exercise are in no way limited to the above. I'm sure many of you have your own 'lists' of positive 'side effects' when it comes to exercise. Try focusing on these 'excuses TO exercise' whenever one of those 'excuses NOT to exercise' starts to niggle at your brain!

Considering the more immediate, tangible benefits of exercise is sometimes that extra little push we need to get off the couch!!!

Go team #temt...

Baby Got Back!

All my life I have loved music! I always have a song in my head. With the advent of #temt I have several songs that come to mind. The line "I'll win the fight!" from the AC/DC's song TNT (close to #temt) goes through my head every time I fight my way up "Butt Kicker Hill" It helps keep me motivated, and knowing I will have to tweet what I did each day holds me accountable to the #temt Team!
There is one song that haunts me to this day! I was a jock in high school and played every sport a girl could play! I was very thin except for one part of my butt! Boys have teased me since I was a little girl about my butt! People still sing this song to me:

I cringe every time I hear this song. Another song, "Baby Got Back", became another anthem for my rather large posterior! Now that I am older, I would love to have the body I had in high school...big butt and all!
I am on a mission to get my buttocks under control. I love the support I receive as an educator everyday from my Twitter Friends! I love the fact that this has now extended into something so crucial as our health. The support I feel from tweets makes me feel like I can do anything! I can finally have the body I want to have! Maybe, just maybe this song will come to mind instead...


When watching this video, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I’ve used so many of these in my life! Why is it we tend to look for excuses all the time? How much time do we waste making them?

I guess we have all used them at least once. The good thing is that we know they are just excuses. So let’s stop making them and start moving!

Hope you enjoy the video. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mind Over Body

I was holding back hoping someone else would post here because I don't want to be the annoying kid in class or staff member in a meeting who never shuts up! At the risk of being that person, I will write anyway since there is so much to say about exercise and motivation that I just can't "shut up."

I must tell you that up until a few weeks ago I was really struggling to get back into working out. I had gotten sick right after school ended and completely lost my energy and "will" to start again. During the school year my efforts were not consistent, for many reasons I will call "excuses" and I knew the summer would be a great time to get back into the routine of exercising at least 3-4 times per week. What I didn't realize was how hard it would be to begin, again. 

When I ran along the beautiful cliff here about a month ago my lungs burned after a few minutes. No,  I don't smoke! I was just way more out of shape than I cared to admit. I began building up my stamina by alternating running with walking and challenged myself to take hills on instead of avoiding them. I began to realize that much of my issue was not my body but my mind. My mind?

My mind is the one who says, "It's okay, you can stop now." My mind is the "excuse maker" the "boredom shouter" and the powerful part of myself  I can use in my favor, especially when I get it involved in the pursuit of my exercise goals. I have recently alternated elliptical workouts with walking/running. When I am on the elliptical, an older, squeaky version that isn't the greatest but does the job, I listen to inspiring talks, often those from TED with my wireless headset. I find that when my mind is engaged in learning, it is less likely to sabotage my body's efforts. When I run/walk I listen to music and have also begun carrying a camera, in case I see something that inspires me. Both the music and the artistic fun and curiosity fuel me forward making me less apt to stop from boredom.

So, the next time you are off to exercise, think about how you will engage your mind. And please share how you occupy your mind to keep your body moving toward its goal of health.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gets me Nowhere!

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This star is a collage of our posts on this blog so far. I love the positive words that pop out when I look at it; it's in the shape of a star to remind all of us who read and share here that we are working to be our best! 

I don't know if I'm the only one, but sometimes I look at exercise as an all or nothing proposition. If I'm not up for the full workout, running or doing my elliptical, then I sometimes do nothing, thinking a walk just isn't "good enough". It's pretty silly, because in all the time I spend wrestling with the decision, mentally beating myself up, I could be walking, grabbing my hand weights for a few curls, doing a few crunches on my stability ball or even squats against the wall.

Am I the only one with this crazy thinking? Do you toss away opportunities to move and feel good because you don't think it's really "working out" or good enough?  For me it's an old pattern that rears its ugly head, usually when I am tired or stressed. It's the same type of dangerous thinking that used to happen when I would eat something that I categorized as "bad" and then proceeded to destroy the day with other "bad food" choices. I have mostly overcome this destructive thought process and learned that the age old mantra of moderation usually is best! If I forbid myself from eating what I want, there is usually a counter attack from my inner child who screams for the yummy treat she wants. I can usually talk someone, usually my husband, into sharing  a couple bites of a very small piece of whatever the sweet fix is. Although I can use this strategy when I have others around, there are still the land mine times when I am not at my strongest and the old thoughts take over.

Although in other areas I strive to remember that truth is rarely a black or white thing, I often lapse into my unproductive bad habits when it comes to food and exercise. 

I'm not the only one who falls into this trap, am I? How do you keep yourself from that "stinkin' thinkin'" that it's "all or nothin'"?
I would love to hear your story if you relate to this in any way.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wordle #temt

Wordle: #temt

Day One....Again!

Hey, that’s okay. Any day is a good day for new beginnings.The important thing is to try, right?

I’d been doing pretty well over the last 3 years. I was feeling fit with some muscle definition I could see for myself, and better yet feel. I had plenty of stamina for teaching an active kindergarten. I enjoyed the feeling of discipline in my health habits. And I think I was a fairly good role model for living a healthy life. This was an important and satisfying time for me and I want to feel good again!

I managed to navigate a number of bumps on the road to good health, including surgery but little did I know some bigger bumps were around the bend. I’ll skip the details but believe me, I missed my workouts and thought I’d be able to get back to my healthy routine in time to save the progress I had made. Nope. It’s been about 5 months since I went to the gym and I want to feel good again!

I happen to have type 2 diabetes and although my numbers are doing well, I know that it’s a dangerous game. A careful balance of low carb diet, plenty of exercise, and oral medication works for me and prevents the dreaded complications diabetes is known for. But now, I’m feeling lazy and unfit. I'm ready to get back on track and I want to feel good again!

How about you? Are you ready to begin again? Maybe you’re ready to take it to the next level, more time, more days, more reps, more weight? I always tell my kindergarten kids when they mess up that it’s time for a fresh new start. One thing they don't mess up on is exercise - every single day our class works out together for 10 minutes of strength and cardio.

And so I begin again with a clean slate and the only way is up! Let’s feel good again!

Thanks to our Twitter Exercise Motivation Team!

Excuses, oh I've Had my Share!

So yes, I live in a beautiful place and there should be absolutely no reason for me not to get out often to enjoy the great outdoors. But during the school year, between working 2 jobs, teaching and tutoring, I often leave for school in the dark, at 6:00 a.m. to commute an hour to work, and get home in the dark, sometimes at 8:00 p.m. It gets cool and foggy here along the coast and the gray windy weather does not call me to run. In fact, it encourages me to get home, eat dinner, wrap up in a blanket and enjoy the sofa with my hubby for about 2 hours before I go to bed each night.

You may be thinking: well, if I lived there I would be out there every day, running, surfing, kayaking, rollerblading, bicycling, and all of those fun activities. But here's the deal: I work a lot so I can afford to live here. I am not complaining, though, because I have made this choice with my eyes wide open.  When the days are short and the weather not so nice, I sometimes forget the amazing beauty surrounding me ( this photo above is taken 2 minutes from my teeny tiny apartment) and lose touch with why I live here.

I am sure that there is either a place that inspires you to move or an activity that you absolutely love but have stopped for one reason or another.  I am here to ask a favor of you, team #temt! Please, if you hear me spouting off any excuse, ANY reason I am not getting out there at least 3-4 times per week, I ask that you call me on it! Right now I am on a roll, getting out there about 5 days per week and challenging myself to reach new goals. But I fear I will lose momentum. Do you fear that as well? What can we do together to ditch those excuses?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Support comes in a variety of places

Tonight I had to go into my office to help facilitate a meeting. This was the second night in a row that I was in my office until after 8 pm. Last night, I was very tired when I got home, had work to do and didn't get to exercise. Tonight I was in the same place, however...

At the end of the online meeting, people started chatting about exercise. I mentioned #temt - in chatting about this, I felt a bit reenergized. Chatting with these teachers made me remember that I need to take care of me. So, I drove past my turn to go home and drove directly to the Coon Rapids Dam and took a nice walk with my dog.

I have a long way to go, but each little action helps:)

A Supportive Team Can Make All The Difference

I have always been an active person; however, there have been several things this year that have gotten in the way of my cardio workouts. I won't go into detail, let's just say I've gotten the ok to begin cardio again.

I quickly found out that is MUCH easier said than done. I feel like a lifetime of staying fit has gone down the drain! I am getting winded in no time. I was so frustrated, I felt like giving up. It was that bad. Then #temt came along. Seeing how supportive and encouraging everyone is of each other is helping me stick to it.

I felt bad for not being more involved, so I told Joan what was going on with me. She encouraged me and told me I should blog about my story. I've never blogged before, but I decided to give it a shot.

I'm going to keep at it, building up a little at a time until I'm in the best shape ever. Thank you #temt for all of the support and friendship!!

Fighting Those Demons

Not many people know this about me but I lost 30 lbs this year. I have 7 more lbs to reach a significant personal goal for me. Losing the weight means I have exercised the demons of depression that made me gain this weight when I moved to Germany three years ago. Soon I will leave Germany and venture to another country. I want to start with the attitude that I am ready to conquer the world. Isn't this how we should start everyday of our lives with a sense of feeling self-confident and powerful?

I think for many people it isn't the weight gain. Instead, it is that we have mistreated ourselves and when we do this we feel a sense of guilt and a lack of self-confidence. I hate this feeling. For me, losing 30 lbs isn't as significant as regaining my self-confidence and realizing I deserve to feel good about myself. I deserve to feel like I can conquer the world. I deserve to feel that I am putting my best self forward throughout the day.

How do we gain self confidence?

We learn to fight the demons in our heads. Will Smith explains this so well in this video which is so motivating. He talks about his inspiring work ethic and the secrets to a successful life- running and reading. Recently, I began training for a marathon with the suggestion of a friend I met from my PLN! It's a great way to keep the weight off and I find a great way to help me exercise the demons that try to weigh me down!

What has made you stop believing in your self worth? Let's fight those demons and the weight will take care of itself...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Starts

I have found that a good breakfast sets the tone for my day. I used to be a cereal or donut/bagel/treat, etc. type of breakfast eater. But when I made some changes in my breakfast choices, I found that I was not starving by 10:00 and ready to shove anything in my mouth. If you work in schools, you know the food that is around the lounge or offices isn't usually "healthy" fare.

The other thing about my breakfast is it has to be edible in the "dashboard diner" on my commute. I have a cereal/granola bar, some fruit, and some protein in the form of nuts or cheese.

Last year my friend introduced me to Vitatops and I love them. They are very filling, and meet my "dashboard diner" requirement as well. Sign up for their email list for special offers. They have many flavors, including several varieties of chocolate. (I'm not getting anything for this; just sharing with #temt something that works for me.)

Some days I'll change things up and have a soft-cooked egg (at the kitchen table), in lieu of the nuts or cheese, which I make in my Egg Genie. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond with the famous 20% off coupon.

It's not fancy, but it works for me. And it might work for you, too.

Suit Sexy: My Goal and Challenge

A few years ago you couldn’t tell me I didn’t look good in a suit. Joseph and Feiss. Jones New York. Ralph Lauren. I was doing my thing with the spread collar and French cuffs. Fast forward to now and I have become the khaki king. I have gone from downtown fine to a drawstring waistline.

My goal is to lose 75 pounds over the next 12 months. Since I am not a nutritionist or a personal trainer, I am hoping that is a realistic goal. It better be. I do not know how much longer I can rock the khaki and polo look.

My first challenge is to cut out all processed sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup. That is going to be a XXXX for my sweet tooth. Luckily for me, there are whole wheat options for my love affair with pasta. And I have to say goodbye to prepared/prepackaged meat products. No more breaded Tyson chicken or Country Fried Steak patties.

My second challenge is to start walking 3 miles a day, three days a week. Seriously, over the past 2 months, the most exercise I’ve done is to pay the bills in the mall. So, dragging myself to the track is going to be a chore. But, I have no choice. It’s either that or turn into a meatball.

I want to thank Joan for starting this blog and creating a forum for us to support each other in our health and wellness goals. Over the next 12 months, I will be posting my progress and sharing any nutritional and exercise tidbits I come across. And when I lose the weight, I will post a picture of myself in a suit.

W. H. Deyamport, III, MSEd.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting Restarted

Weight, Healthy Eating and Exercise have been a forever struggle for me. My weight seems to go from one extreme to another. When I saw the conversations about #temt happening through twitter, it seemed like a sign it was time to get restarted and take care of myself again.

My goal will change (increase) in time, but for now I am going to concentrate on getting my eating back on track and exercising at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.

Today is the day I restart - I went to the grocery store and restocked my frig with healthy food, trashed some tempting foods and went for a a 30 minute walk with my dog. Baby steps to some, but huge for me. I look forward to supporting and being supported by this great group!

A Time to Grow

Every spring and summer I get inspired by nature and all of its beauty. Everything is green and growing...full of potential. This spring I got caught up in this potential and started looking for ways to challenge myself to grow as a person, and as an educator. My first big change was to sign up for Twitter and begin to put myself out there, making comments, sharing ideas, and listening. In those opportunities I have learned so much, grown, and seen more potential for myself than ever before. The people I have virtually "met" have taught me so much. I know that this journey of growth and potential has just begun.

I have truly been challenged intellectually by my Twitter PLN but I began to realize that I haven't been challenging myself physically. I have put so much of my energy into work and my family that by the end of the day, after some Twittering, I had nothing left for my body. I only had to look at the scale to know this was true. I knew that I had to do something but I also knew that for me exercise has never been fun. In fact I really dislike it and any motivation I have ever had to do it was often short lived. My question, my own personal inquiry, was how can I bring the motivation I have to learn more and push myself intellectually into pushing myself physically?

The possible answer to this question came to me while chatting with my new Twitter friends @flourishingkids and @TheHomeworkDog. We decided to create a little support group around exercise, make a daily goal, and check in with each other to see if we had meet those goals. And now within days our little group has grown into a team. A team of wonderful people who are there to offer the support and motivation I have often longed for. I love that we have a blog to contribute to and be motivated by. I love that we have a hashtag #temt to call home. And most of all I love that we have so many wonderful people, who are willing to share, inspire, and motivate. Thanks everyone for this time to grow and …Go Team!!!!

Getting Started!

Hi there! My name is Greta, I’m an English as a second language teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I joined twitter in 2007, but I've been tweeting for about three months. I’m really amazed by its power. Not only do I have an awesome PLN, but also a motivational team! I can’t ask for more! I’m so thrilled about #temt. It’s exactly what I needed!

It’s winter here, and to be honest, it’s the perfect excuse for me to avoid working out. I keep making up excuses such as: I’m too tired, I have to do some planning or grading, the weather is cold… and the list goes on! I don’t want to put on any pounds this winter, so I’d better start working out ASAP!

My goal is to work out for 45 minutes at least 4 times a week. I want to set a realistic goal, by realistic I mean “do-able”, I strongly believe that’s the best way to start. We tend to feel a great sense of achievement when meeting goals, and this will definitely encourage me to go for more. Quoting Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”…

What about you? When are you getting started? How are you planning to do it? I’d love to hear your stories.

Let's Get Physical

After getting into great physical shape in college and then after basic training in the army I discovered a book entitled Aerobics by Dr. Kenneth Cooper. Dr. Cooper first had you find your physical level then he gave you points you should attain each week for your level. He felt the best aerobic or endurance training exercises were running, swimming, cycling, walking, stationary running, handball, basketball and squash. You could use any combination of those exercises to get the points for your level. He was more concerned with the time spent working out rather than the intensity. He later added strength training to the routine. He has different guidelines depending on your age.

The main thing is to get out there and move. Make it a family fun activity. It is good if you can find a buddy to do it with. I find that what helps me is setting goals and keeping a diary of my workouts.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~ JFK

How About Sharing Our Tips and Obstacles?

While print is a great mode of communication, I find it very powerful when I hear others share their stories through voice. So, jump in and share, please! What are you struggling with? What is a tip that you have found helps you stay motivated? I am off to my elliptical now and so excited about returning later and looking at the great input we have going on here! Remember to email if you would like to be a contributor to this team effort. We have lots of spaces for writers and there is no minimum commitment! And if you've never made a comment using Voicethread, it's easy. Just click the big arrow for the Voicethread to take you to its site where you can add a comment by voice or by type.

Find What You Love, and Do It!

A little over a year ago, I joined Curves. When I joined I committed myself to working out three times a week. And other than being sick, I have pretty consistently kept that promise to myself. Yes, I have days when I don't want to go, but I remind myself how good I feel when I'm done, and just get myself there. I chose Curves for several reasons (in no particular order):
  1. location-less than a mile from my house
  2. it's all women
  3. it's only 30 minutes
  4. I had done some weight-training years ago and really liked it.
I could have joined a more "traditional" gym for less money, but how much am I really saving if I don't work out? I really love the workout I get at Curves, and the people there are fun, too. My membership is an investment in me and my health. And what do investment advisors always say? Pay yourself first!

The best way to motivate yourself to work out consistently is to find something you enjoy, because then you will look forward to it. (Well, most of the time, anyway!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

At a loss...

This spring, my staff and I started a running group together. Most of us were not really exercising and were looking for something similar to the #temt group. Motivation and accountability. We started at the very beginning with walk 2 minutes and run 1 minute for 20 minutes total. We worked up to 5 km races! I had actually found a form of exercise that I enjoyed and I was keeping it up at least three times a week!

My running partner in crime and I were doing our third 5km race on May 30th when it happened. About halfway through the race I turned to my running partner and told her that my ankle was starting to hurt. I kept going, thinking that it I should just push through it. Bad choice.

The next day, my ankle was swollen to the size of a softball and I had shooting pain up my entire leg. The picture that I have included in this blog post was taken three weeks after the day that I hurt it. The doctor said 4-6 weeks with no activity. It has been 6 weeks today since the original incident and my ankle still swells sometimes. I have been able to start walking some, but I am still searching for a good cardio activity that won't hurt my ankle. I can't really swim without help of pool noodles...
Maybe you guys can help me with some suggestions of exercises that I can do with this injured ankle of mine... Thanks for reading and helping with this!

What Does It Take?

What does it take to motivate you to exercise? I know over the years I have tried to be consistent with some form of exercise, you name it, I've tried it. Most of the time it didn't last. It was six years ago and I saw a family picture of myself. Here I am in the prime of my life and heading in the wrong direction of health. I knew I needed to change, not only for myself, but for my wife and children. Being a husband and a father is the best thing in this world. This was my motivation.

Step one was to make a new habit of getting up early and walking. I'm not a morning person and this lasted for almost six months. I was on the right track but I had to figure out something different, the morning person was taking over. So then I switched to evening walks with my wife and children. We would walk down our country road and enjoy being together. This was a great experience, being a model for our children and living a healthy lifestyle. When winter/dark came we headed over to the track because we didn't have to worry about getting ran over. It's funny thinking about how many evenings we were all wrapped up to stay warm. We didn't miss many evenings. This habit of family walking lasted four years. During this time we even did 5k walks together. But with all good things it changed.

We moved to a new house eighteen months ago (still located in the country, but in a neighborhood). This neighborhood has tons of children. There went the kids walking with us, at least they were playing. My wife and I continue to walk in the evening, but not everyday as before. Our evenings are taken by baseball, swimming lesson, basketball, school events, and whatever pops up. Now I am at a crossroads again. Then out of no where come this Twitter Exercise Motivation Team. Out of curiosity I asked what is this? After finding out what was behind the idea, I was on board. Now operation #temt is in it's infancy, but the possibilities are endless. Will this be new way to help? Could it be a help to everyone involved? Time will tell, but I have a feeling this could be a great thing.

A Walk with Angels

Joan's blog about first's (sorry I don't know how to link it here yet) provided the motivation to add to the #temt blog. Blogging is very new to me and I'm excited to start on this learning adventure!

Today's walk was with ANGELS. There is a cemetery close to my house. On my usual walk I go right past the cemetery but have always stayed on the busy avenue. The cemetery has looked peaceful and inviting, but I've never ventured past the gates. Today I did. Within a few steps I was away from the speeding cars & honking horns and walking along beautiful tree lined paths. My walk barely even touch all of the grounds. As I walked I read the name's on tombstones. Many names conjured memories of friends, family and coworkers. I doubt there is any relationship to the deceased and my memories. The name "Larsen" reminded me a long time friend. We've know each other for nearly 40 years. The name "Evans" brought back memories of one of my favorite teachers. This list could go on and on.

Walking in this cemetery was a first for me. I've longed to find a path near my home that wasn't on busy streets. A wonderful spot was there all along. Today "two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." (R. Frost)

This Twitter group has made all the difference for me right now. I've struggled with my weight and lack of motivation to exercise for a long time. Recent life-events have added to my stress. This group as well as just finding "Twitter" and developing a PLN/PLE (I'm new to all the terms and formalities) is just what I needed! THANK YOU!!!

(I'd like to include one other picture ... but I'm not sure how! Maybe I can in a post to this entry?) Remember ... this is a first for me. Learning is Growing (the name of my soon to be ... someday in the future ... BLOG.)

(Just figured out how to add 2nd picture!)

Hello from Greece

Sometimes we make a decision and a random event comes to confirm it somehow and then we call this serendipity or luck or the universe trying to help us. Yesterday I was thinking that now that my salary has been reduced and my expenses, due to oil being more expensive, have gone up I should try to do more things that cost nothing or next to nothing. Running is one of those! But I have made this promise to myself many times before and then I become lazy again and I prefer to do other things like reading or checking my twitter account! Anyway, twitter has already changed my life in some ways so let’s see if it can change it in another one.

My name is Anna Varna, I am a teacher of English in Greece, and the photo below is where I usually go for running and walking. It is the park near the river in the city I live, Larisa, which is in central Greece. I promise to go running at least three times a week। What about you people?

A Little Inspiration, Motivation, Perspiration

Hey team temt!! I am so thrilled that we are growing contributors and followers by the hour! Oops I think that's too many exclamation points, but it's hard to control my excitement about this journey we are undertaking together.
I don't know about you, but when I sit in meetings or conferences and look around I wonder how well we are taking care of ourselves. Educators and other helping professionals do SO much for others, it's no wonder that when we get home at the end of the day we have lots of potential obstacles keeping us from our fitness goals.
Here's a little video to inspire you all to smile today and think about how lucky we all are.

p.s. In case you're wondering, posts by TEMT are by Joan Young, @flourishingkids who started this blog. :-)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Motivation.. Strength in numbers...

Together we stand, Divided we fall... that famous quote we all have heard at one time or another throughout our lives...but it does ring true when trying to achieve or reach a goal. Surrounding ourselves with positive, supportive people, will definitely only help us reach ours.(ahh, the power of social networking) This is such a great idea, knowing that we will have the support of many "like minded people", ready to give us encouragement and support. I am so excited to be a part of this, and hopefully , by sharing some of my experiences, contribute in some small way to our success. Thanks for having me aboard!

Announcing: TEMT!

Earlier this week I was tweeting with some relatively new Twitter friends, @Saskateach and @TheHomeworkDog on Twitter about our mutual desires to start or get back on a consistent exercise plan. We started making daily goals for exercise and decided to check in each evening to help each other stay committed and be accountable. As we discussed our plans through tweets, @Saskateach came up with the hashtag #emt, exercise motivation team and we all decided to use that for our tweets. Unfortunately, it was discovered by an incoming new member @KMP444 that #emt was taken by medical tech folks so @TheHomeworkDog came up with #temt: Twitter Exercise Motivation Team. So far our members include @koolkat222 @Thehomeworkdog @KMP444 @flourishingkids @jneman @kelalford @thenewtag @vickyloras and I suspect as we start tweeting and blogging, others will join in! There is no requirement for joining except a desire to share your commitment to living a healthier life through exercise.
SO, here's the part where you can join in! @KMP444 is working on a google doc of some sort for us to contribute our goals and progress and you can also paste a sticky here, if you would like a visual reminder of your daily or weekly goal. And here is the best part of all: this is a community blog, so all of us can write and share our experiences. Please email me at or DM me on Twitter if you would like to write for this blog. We can add up to 100 contributors so please, join in :-) There is no pressure to write ( you can join and contribute one post if you like) but as we all share our stories of successes, hurdles, hardships, we can encourage and inspire each other to be the best, healthiest selves we can be!
Thanks to all of you for the inspiration. I am off to change my clothes for a run right now.