Summer - that time of year where we tend to wear a bit less clothing and even break out swimsuits - officially starts on Monday, June 20th, and if you've been blowing your diet or workout routine lately, there's only one thing you can do right about now:
Only kidding... But that feeling is pretty common. And we usually make it worse by following some extreme program in a futile effort to quickly right a wrong - even if that wrong has been months or years in the making.
Truth is, those extra pounds and that extra pudge didn't come from having an occasional donut. It came from consistently eating donuts (or following some other less than optimal behavior patterns) over a long period of time.
So, how do we break that cycle and improve how we look and feel? Easy. Go back to the basics. Make things simple. Put your time, effort and energy into these four key components of good health - those simple things we often overlook and discard but that give us the most overall benefit.
Hydrate - About 60 percent of our total bodyweight is comprised of water, and if you're dehydrated and not getting enough you will not feel or perform well, and neither will your body. Having your fluid balance off by just half a percent increases strain on the heart (since it decreases overall blood volume). Add in the blazing heat and humidity that comes with just living in south Texas, and you can see how easy it is to be behind the curve before you even get started. Active or not, get your fluid balance in check, and you'll feel and perform better almost immediately.
Sleep - Want to age quickly? Make your hormone levels go crazy? Maintain belly fat, increase cravings for junk food and even perform worse on cognitive tasks? Great! All you have to do is be really bad at sleeping. But don't just take my word for it, click here and here to read all about it. Of course, you could always just make an effort to improve sleep patterns, which will make you look, feel and perform better, along with decreasing your risks of several health maladies, but who the heck wants that?
Eat Food - Actual food, that is. And a good variety of it to shore up any nutrient deficiencies. You're looking for mostly plant based items, lean proteins and healthy fats - namely things that exist in nature as is, as opposed to overly processed or packaged items, or things created in a lab of factory. Actual foods contain a host of nutrients vital to good health, and most are calorically light, meaning you can eat a fair volume of a given item without having to worry so much about the caloric load. If you can't name five fruits or vegetables you've eaten today, then this is an area you can definitely improve on.
Walk - If you've been sedentary, or are looking to add more activity and movement into your routine, you don't have to hit a spin class, Crossfit session, or even step foot in a gym. Keep it simple by going for a daily walk. Doing so will decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. You'll burn a few extra calories in the process, and acquire a new habit that you can actually maintain for a lifetime. Want about one hundred more reasons to add a daily walk to your schedule? Just go here and watch this.
By concentrating on these primary elements, you dramatically improve baseline health markers, incorporate positive behavior patterns, and lay a solid foundation for future body composition or fitness goals. It may not give you the beach body you want right now, but it will certainly provide a solid foundation for one in the future. And that's not a bad way to start the summer!
I ran a 5K on Sunday, it was all hills. The race was put on by Mind Body Soul Fitness; check out the flyer for the race below.
For me it was a rude awakening for sure. The night before the race my body felt achy, I knew I was catching a cold. I went to bed early and hoped I would feel better by the morning so I could run. Instead I woke up feeling yucky. My throat hurt and I didn’t want to get up. I dragged myself out of bed and somehow got dressed, ate a banana, drank some water and got into my car. When I got to the race it was drizzling and overcast, not the kind of weather I would ever want to run in, but I made a commitment to run.
I watched a fit couple get out of their car, they immediately started running. They were dressed like runners and were very bouncy and chipper. A little too perky if you ask me. I was grumpy. I wanted to climb back into my warm bed, pull the covers over my head and wait for my husband to make pancakes. I reluctantly got out of my car, walked over to the registration table and picked up my race chip. I wasn’t that exited to pick it up, I didn’t want anyone to know my time. I tied it on my running shoes and headed to the starting line.
I quickly switched to walking when I got to the infamous big hill. There I am in front of that runner who is about to lap me.
The course was a mile loop that had a huge hill that you had to run up three times. It was killer. I looked around as I walked and everyone and I mean everyone was in fantastic shape. You could tell these people ran all the time and couldn’t wait to tackle the big hill three times. Me I just wanted to get through it, preferably without passing out. I have never ran a race before where everyone was so fit and muscular; it was like I wasn’t in San Antonio. I don’t know what they do over at MBS Fitness, but clearly it works. I decided I needed to change my attitude, so I forced myself out of my grumpy mood. Instead of being intimidated by all of the athletic people I was surrounded by, I looked to them for inspiration.
I thought about Michael Jordan and how he often played his best games when he was sick, I stuck it out and kept going. There was no other choice; I knew I had to finish. Although my body wasn’t at its best my mind took control and I pushed forward. It’s always amazing to me what the human body is capable of doing once our mind and body work together. I didn’t exactly Michael Jordan it, but I got the job done. I was proud of myself for finishing the race and turning my mood around.
Running/walking this race was a great push that I really needed. I was becoming bored with my workout routine, it was getting to be too easy. I was ready for a challenge. The nice thing about signing up for a race is that you are committing yourself to doing it. You always have the option of walking but not finishing is really not an option. Being around athletic fit people who take care of their bodies just makes me want to take care of mine even more. I have always cared about what I put inside my body but I have been a little lax with my workout routine lately. Now I’m inspired to run more races.
There are two in particular that I am going to do. The Aveda Walk For Water on May 6th at The Pearl, which is raising money for clean water globally. I’m also excited about Free-da’s run for the arts. I saw a picture of the race shirts and they are so cool. Free-da’s run takes place on July 7th at the University of the Incarnate Word. The run goes along the River and through some back trails behind UIW, It will be beautiful. To read more about the organizer and artist Cecilia Iniguez check out her website. She is a very interesting and talented person.
Now I don’t recommend running when you are not feeling well, I walked most of the race and made sure I was very hydrated. Listen to your body and always take good care of it, it’s the only one you have. I hope you all have a fantastic day and that you will get outside and move your body today. Thank you very much Mind Body Soul Fitness for letting me use all of these pictures I really appreciate it. Be sure to check out their website and Viva Fiesta!
I was nineteen years old when we learned that my mother had skin cancer. Her health was failing quickly, and I remember feeling helpless. There was so much I wanted to do and say, but it was all happening too fast. I wanted to tell her what I was thinking and feeling, but I put on a brave face and tried not to lose hope.
As her fate soon became clear, I decided to put everything I needed to thank her for into an early Mother’s Day card, knowing that if I waited, I might not get the chance. She read it quietly, and we cried together. I apologized for being a bratty teenager and making her life harder than it had to be. She stopped me and said that having kids was the best thing she ever did in her life. She told me she wanted me to be happy and not let this hold me back. As much as I have tried to honor her last request, the loss of my mom has deeply affected me, as it has my family and those who loved her.
I had just begun college and my personal training career before she passed away. Within a couple of years of her death, I realized that helping moms stay healthy is what I am meant to do with my life. Since then I wake up each morning fueled by a mission to help moms stay active, eat well, and get in tune with their bodies.
“Mommy Fitness” has nothing to do with vanity, and everything to do with keeping families together.
If I can help just one mother see her child get married, if one kid has her mom at college graduation, or a new baby gets to be held by his grandmother because she took care of her health as a result of Total Mommy Fitness, then I will have achieved success.
It’s been fourteen years since my mother’s untimely death. I know her better now than I ever did when she was alive. Many things I did not understand about her in my youth have become clear in recent years. I know her now as an enduring woman who overcame unbearable hardships to create a better life for herself and her family.
Though far from perfect, my respect for her has grown deeper as the layers of her life have been peeled back to reveal one of the most fascinating and complicated people I have ever known.
Janilee Rebelle was born in small town Iowa in 1949. Her family moved to California as a young girl, and then to Arizona where she became a mother and wife by the age of 18 — eventually a single mom to three children, a son and two daughters.
My mother was a woman of conviction, and a force to be reckoned with. Her charm and charisma could light up a room. She had striking beauty with a brilliant mind to match. Her passion and enthusiasm were magnetic, and she lived her life loudly. Whether you loved her or hated her, you could not ignore her.
She worked as a waitress, a secretary, a pet sitter, and other odd jobs — sometimes all on the same day. I have memories of standing with her in the unemployment line when times were tough. There are also many memories of driving by a homeless man sitting on a park bench reading a book, and stopping to give him a 20-dollar bill. Seeing surprise and joy on someone’s face gave my mom deep gratification.
She’d help families and animals in need by taking up collections of blankets, clothes, food, and supplies so big that they filled the bed of her pickup truck.
In our home, we had air conditioning, but no heating. We had two bathrooms, but only one that worked. She was someone who was content just having enough, and sharing the rest with those who had less.
My siblings and I were raised to believe that everything deserves compassion and a fair chance at life, no matter how small. One night my mom came home with a water pitcher full of tiny goldfish that had been used as centerpieces on the tables she was serving. The fish were going to be flushed down the toilet — instead, they lived for ten years in a 50-gallon tank. Another night she came home with mice that she had rescued from a glue trap — nothing was too insignificant to be saved. We rarely sought out an animal, but it was widely known that we wouldn’t turn one away. So, it was not unusual to find an iguana on our doorstep, a sick puppy or a litter of kittens in our driveway.
For many years, we were actively involved in an animal rights group. A longtime friend of our family and founder of that group recalled how she met my mom and the lasting impression of their interaction, “I had a booth set up at the Tempe Arts Festival. I’ll never forget when your mother and you girls approached my table. The first thing your mom commented on was the poster at my booth. The graphic image had her both outraged and sad. She then asked about the handmade sweatshirt for sale for $20. She pulled out her checkbook and handed me a check for $100. My heart dropped. I was so moved.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I came to your house to see how you lived very sparingly. Money was obviously tight with her being a single mom raising you both and caring for a house of misfit animals. But somehow she made it, and she never complained to me about it. I think she would have given the shirt off her back to someone if they needed it. In the years, I knew her she was always my biggest donor. She probably had the least to spare and yet she gave the most. She was a hero in my book and always will be.”
The reason my mom could give so much was in part because she was extremely diligent and disciplined with her finances. I have never seen anyone with the ability to stretch a dollar as far as she could. “A penny saved is a penny earned,” was a phrase we heard often.
She kept a daily ledger and spent Sunday afternoons clipping coupons from the newspaper — my mother invented “extreme couponing.” Walking to the car from the grocery store she’d comb through the receipt calculating and beaming about how much she had saved. There were times when her strategic couponing even resulted in a negative price — the store actually owed her for purchasing the product!
She was very creative in finding ways to spend time as a family on a tight budget. There were many afternoon bike rides to sporting events where we’d enter the stadium in the second half of the game after they’d stopped checking for tickets.
We spent summer days escaping the Arizona heat at the library. She was an avid reader and could devour a book. Nights were spent reading autobiographies into the early morning hours — only hardcover books because she thought paperbacks carried more germs.
She saved for our family road trips to Disneyland each summer by emptying the daily change from her purse into a 5-gallon glass jar at her bedside, which she’d eventually sort and roll by hand each year to buy our park tickets.
As much as she loved visiting California and spoke of wanting to live near the beach, she struggled to enjoy our summer vacations because she thought “the big one” (a giant earthquake sending California into the ocean) could hit at any moment. She’d predictably say, “I hope the big one doesn’t hit,” as we boarded Space Mountain.
Instead of expensive summer camps or childcare, my mom sent me to volunteer and work in environments where I was helping others. As a kid, I worked in a bicycle shop where stolen bikes were repaired and given to kids who couldn’t afford one of their own. At the end of that summer, I had worked enough to earn a BMX bike for myself as well as a beach cruiser for my mom to replace her old rusty one that had seen thousands of miles. Another summer vacation was spent working with a bird rescue organization. After that, we had many breeding seasons with baby birds living in our bathroom.
We regularly attended parades, free festivals, and countless concerts. Music was an important part of our family. A big stereo and her old record collection were a focal point of our home décor with framed ticket stubs from an Elvis Presley show that she attended. Where “normal” families would typically have a piece of art or family portrait hanging in the living room, we had a large framed picture of her with Robert Plant — she was his biggest fan.
Her college best friend told me, “She was a woman I looked up to, admired and had more fun with than you can imagine. She was wild and crazy but in the most positive way! She was unique and amazing. She was who she was and didn’t care what anyone thought. I loved that about her!”
My mother lived a life of compassion, service and principle. She was unapologetically herself and taught me to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. She showed me that it was possible to be deeply flawed and beautiful at the same time. I have no doubt that the world is a better place because she was here.
This Mother’s Day I pay tribute to not just my mother, but all moms who selflessly sacrifice and give their best to ensure their kids are happy and healthy — the women who too often put their families’ needs before their own. As we celebrate all that you do this May, please soak in all of the love and pampering, and remember to care for yourself in the same way. There is only one you and the best gift that you can give your children is a happy, healthy mother for many years to come.
Happy Mother’s Day.
by: Tatum Rebelle
Tatum is the founder of Total Mommy Fitness, and has been helping mothers stay fit for over 10 years. She holds pre/postnatal fitness certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Her personal training certifications are from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Tatum holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Performance Psychology.
As a Mother's Day gift she is offering a free 30 minute session to San Antonio moms. Email email@example.com before the end of May to schedule.
First of all let's be clear: I love breakfast. I mean love breakfast. That goofy, tail-wagging dance your oversized Labrador does in the morning just before the kibble hits the bowl? That's pretty much me.
I think about it all night, and make sure to get up early enough in the morning to prepare and fully enjoy it without having to rush out the door. And all that makes a huge difference, and often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Bottom line: a solid, tasty, nutrient rich breakfast makes me happy, and gives me everything I need for my extra-early, super-busy mornings.
That's not to say you have to eat breakfast. You can skip it entirely and still meet all your caloric, nutritional, and body composition goals. It's really a preference thing, as this recent article pointed out.
That aside, if you love morning eats and have a busy day ahead, then I've got an awesome recipe for you. I've actually got several, but this is one of my current faves which I tend to rotate in several times a week. It's simple, sweet, savory, filling, and so nutrient rich it will make you and your body happy.
So, grab a medium bowl, and throw in the following in the order listed below:
So, why is this such a potent breakfast (or snack)? Because aside from just looking good, nearly every ingredient serves a purpose and packs a punch. And several of the ingredients are straight up superfoods in their own right!
Strawberries (and most berries in general) are high in vitamin C, low in sugar, nutrient dense while calorically light, and among the top 20 foods in antioxidant capacity. In fact, you can eat two full pounds of strawberries for less than 300 calories. Seriously! Think about that next time you're actually hungry and reach for one of those tiny little food bars.
Cacao nibs (the raw, potent, unprocessed origins of chocolate) are pretty much the superfood of the year, high in fiber and magnesium with more antioxidants and flavonoids than you can shake a stick at. They also naturally contain a bit of caffeine and theobromine - both of which are stimulants - so they can give you a bit of a kick if you need it in the morning. They're nutty, crunch texture is also a nice plus.
Pistachios (and most nuts in general) pack in a hearty dose of positive fats, along with some fiber. Pistachios also pack in B vitamins, trace elements of minerals like copper and manganese, and are also higher in protein than most other nuts. They're striking green color also adds a nice visual touch to anything you put them in.
The cinnamon and toasted coconut chips add in a little flavor, color and texture without corrupting the recipe. And the cheeses sticks are an excellent protein source - you'll get 14 grams of the stuff for only 100 calories - and add a nice, savory touch to compliment the berries.
Even better, you can toss this recipe together in just a few minutes, and easily pack it in your own little bento box to take to work and enjoy later.
So, if you're having trouble getting your day started right, give this powerful recipe a try. It will leave you fueled up, satisfied, and fired up for whatever lies ahead!
There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the act of giving birth to my daughter. Regardless of the time spent constantly reading information about pregnancy, continuing my exercise through dancing, attending baby showers, and surrounding myself with the love of my dear friends, I still found myself in a completely unknown and vulnerable situation. Any story I had heard, especially of the glowing mother archetype who has an almost painless delivery, was unimaginable. After 13 hours of labor I was so exhausted I had to ask the nurse to take my daughter out of my limp useless arms for fear dropping her. I knew that I was on a new plane of existence–one which I could not control. Being a dancer I was spoiled, able to command my body to do whatever I wanted to do, either immediately or after continual practice. After I had my child, this was not the case.
Things that had been so easy were suddenly difficult and came with extreme back pain. There were the obvious physical changes, too: weight fluctuations, stretch marks, breast milk flowing when it wanted to and not when I wanted it to–always new reminders that I was not in control. I was constantly comparing myself to my pre-pregnancy body, trying to “get back” to where I was before giving birth. This manner of thinking, the place of intention that I was coming from, was harmful and self-defeating. As dance and movement theorist Sondra Horton Fraleigh says, “My body is made other to me when I take account of its appearance to others. Thus I may become other to myself; my body may become set over against me or seem other to me.” I was at war with myself, my mind against my body.
At my first postpartum checkup, I complained of extreme lower back pain and was told something to the effect of, “You had a natural and long delivery … of course your back hurts.” I knew something was wrong but I disregarded it based on what I was being told at the time. For the next couple of years pain became normal. My lower back hurt when I sat, when I danced, or if I simply stood longer than 30 minutes. I was an MFA student in dance and choreography, teaching three course loads at the University of Iowa, so I had to be active about my healing or I would have to reconsider my graduation plan.
The pain finally became so severe I went to see a chiropractor. During the first session he touched the tip of my tailbone and when he did, electric shocks of fire began charging through my veins. He believed that my tailbone had been broken during the delivery but ordered an X-ray so we could know for sure. We discovered that not only did I break my tailbone, but prior to the fracture, it had been pointing in the wrong direction. My tailbone was in my child’s way during her exit and it broke into three pieces to allow her to pass. The root of my pain was those three broken pieces fusing back together incorrectly. If I was to ever dance, or even sit, again without pain, I would have to find a restorative therapy or practice.
This is how my journey with Pilates began. Initially, I was intently focused on adjusting the alignment of my tailbone, but very rarely in my study was this focus brought up by my teacher. Pilates is not a target-area based exercise. As Joseph Pilates, the creator of the work, would say, “Every piece is for the whole body.” Any piece that I was working on was in fact working on the alignment of my tailbone. This whole-body approach that Pilates takes was a tremendous help to me physically. It completely took away my lower back pain and it also helped to liberate me from the self-defeating thoughts I was having about my body after the delivery of my daughter. So moved and impressed with the gifts that Pilates gave me, I decided to intensify my study. I’m now in my tenth year of teaching it.
It is a choice to identify yourself by what you can do rather than by what you cannot do. I can choose to be what Fraleigh calls a “lived body.” As she so perfectly writes in what has become an eternal proverb for me: “Still, my body is not determined by my limitations. Rather, I create my body through my choices and my actions, in this I also create myself. My entire lived experience determines my body; my choice to be athletic or sedentary, my habits of walking, talking, eating, and even dreaming, result in what I may call at any moment–for that time–my body. My body is mutable, changeable, living substance. It is continuous with my mind, which is no less subject to temporal change, mutability, growth and decay, and no less a product of my exercise of choice and free will.”
By: Britt Lorraine
Pilates movement and dance teacher Britt Lorraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solo Yoga Instruction
60 Minutes $80
45 Minutes $60
30 Minutes $40
Duo & Triplet Instruction
60 Minutes $50
45 Minutes $40
30 Minutes $30
*Group Classes are available solely at the MBS Fitness King William Location
Join us on Friday, October 1, as we officially open the doors to our new MBS
Life retail space in King William. We'll have food, drinks and music to help
you enjoy the evening. Stop by from 6 to 9 p.m. to meet our instructors,
tour the facility, and mix and mingle with friends. Our new space is located
at 1115 South Alamo in the St. Benedict's building, next to the new Liberty
Bar. See you there.