MileHigh Run club is awesome!

11 Feb

Hey Squad,

If you live in the NY area and love to run, you have to check out the MileHigh Run club.  The first class is free so you can see if its the kind of class that you like before committing any boutique class dollars.  My daughter Laura (the wind beneath all my running) went to the class via classpass and told me about it.  She had a great experience.

Truthfully, I had heard of the club before and wasnt all that interested in it. Boy was I wrong.  The class was amazing.  I took the Dash class which was about 30 minutes of running and then full body weight work. ( squats, lunges, planks and kettlebell work)

It has been my quiet goal to along with not getting injured, to gain some speed this year.  I know its tougher at my age, but everything I read said its possible.  I asked the coach afterward if my pace goal was attainable and she said YES!

So, I will be back.  I am going to go at least once a week during my spring marathon training that starts on Monday ( EEK!)

Check it out and let them know I sent you.

Cheerfully yours,

 

Phyllis4fitness

 

#TBT- My story in Huffington Post

02 Feb

Hey Squad,

I thought that I would share this article as a throw back Thursday.  It is from June 2013.  I am so thankful for tall I have experienced since this journey began.

Mom Sheds 57 pounds after daughter issues the ultimate challenge.

Like many moms, Phyllis Strand was having a hard time getting rid of the baby weight she put on while carrying her first child. She tried cutting calories and the occasional Jazzercise class, but nothing more than a few pounds ever seemed to budge. It would be frustrating for any new mom, but even more so for Phyllis, since her first born, Chris, was now 28.

“I had two more children after Chris,” Phyllis explained, “Pamela and Laura, and I’d carry them as camouflage, to cover up the rolls. And I became the family photographer. We’d go on trips to the beach and I’d take the pictures, so I didn’t have to be in them.”

And she kept the mirrors in the house to a minimum. It wasn’t that Phyllis didn’t know she had weight to lose, but in her case, no one was making a very big deal of it.

“When my son started dating our daughter-in-law, she began taking the pictures. I remember thinking ‘Oh, Big Mama! For someone who cares so much about her hair, there’s something going on south of there.’”

“I was a size 14,” she continued, “and I was carrying around an extra 50 pounds. There seems to be this middle ground — where if you don’t tip the scale too far, no one says much. I’d go to the doctor and they’d ask if I smoked, if I drank or if I took birth control pills, but they never suggested that maybe I should drop a few.”

And Phyllis’s blood work didn’t appear to reflect any big issues. She took a little something for blood pressure, a little something for cholesterol and a tiny bit of medication for depression.

“They kind of made light of it. They said if it weren’t for pregnant women, they’d put these drugs in the water!”

But it was when she reached her 40s that her weight began to get in her way.

“There was a fullness to my belly,” Phyllis said, “that seemed to come with age. And there’s something weird that happened to my butt. It just suddenly began to sag. Gravity was taking over and that’s when I felt like I needed to figure this out.”

So when a co-worker suggested that they commit to a 90-day exercise plan, she agreed to 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, as long as there was no running involved.

‘If I were being chased,” she laughed, “I wouldn’t run, I’d hide! We are not hunters in my family, we’re gatherers.”

The exception to that rule was Phyllis’ 25-year-old daughter, Laura, who had battled her own weight issues by beginning a running program. When Laura saw that her Mom was beginning to get in the game, she decided to challenge her to take the next step, by secretly signing her up for a 5K run that preceded the New York City Marathon. It was a race that would change Phyllis’s life, but the real turning point would come with two little words. 

It Ain’t Over: Phyllis Strand

“I literally said good-bye to everyone at the office, certain that my brain was going to blow up during the race. I had taken my workout up to an hour a day, so by race day, I was running a 12-minute mile, which really is just above walking, but it was running for me!”

“I took the train from Stamford, Connecticut, into the city and found my daughter and her friends. They were adorable — all dressed alike, in leggings and shorts with their hair up. And there I was, with 7 layers of clothes on, wearing a race day shirt, which they informed me was a faux pas.”

And that wasn’t the only issue. As the race was about to begin, Phyllis found herself at the back of the pack, while Laura and her friends were right up front.

“They place you in the pack,” the apprehensive athlete recalled, “according to your speed. I was like number 2 billion! So I texted my daughter and said, ‘I don’t like it back here.’ And I got two words back. ‘Run faster.‘ That was it. It was on!”

“I couldn’t run fast enough at that point. I’d see people in front of me and think I’ve got to be faster than that person. And I’d make it my goal to get ahead of them. I’d see kids running and thought, ‘If they beat me, this is going to be embarrassing.’ And as I headed towards the finish line, it hit me — I’m going to finish my first race. I’m actually finishing a race!”

Not only did Phyllis finish, she made it past the finish line just five minutes after her daughter. And to top things off, all that training helped her take off 25 pounds.

Laura continued to challenge her Mom, convincing Phyllis — who still had another 25 pounds to go — to try a 10K and then for her birthday, a half marathon.

“I have to admit,” Phyllis said, “I was worried about that half marathon, so my husband and I secretly drove to Philadelphia to sneak one in before I ran with Laura. Chuck told me that every time he saw a stretcher, he’d say, ‘Please don’t let that be Phyllis.’ But I made it — 13.1 miles. I made it!”

So on October 7th, 2012 — the day Phyllis turned 52, she joined her daughter for the Staten Island Half Marathon. And as she reached the 5K mark, she noticed her husband in the crowd. Typically, he would have been holding up a sign the couple brings to all of Laura’s races. But when Phyllis passed by, she noticed Chuck had it by his side. She stopped briefly to ask why — and his answer: Laura hadn’t gotten there yet.

And just at that moment, Phyllis heard a voice from behind her. It was Laura asking, “You’re not ahead of me, are you?”

“That was the best birthday present ever! I was ahead of my 25-year-old daughter at the 5K mark!”

In the end, Laura did beat her mother to the finish line, but she circled back, so they could cross it together. By the time Phyllis finished that race, she was not only an accomplished runner, she was on her way to wearing a size 2. She had lost 57 pounds.

“I owe my life to my daughter,” Phyllis said. “I wish so much that someone in one of those doctor’s offices had just said something years ago. I have so much energy and I’m so happy now. I wish they had told me how much of a difference exercise could make in my life.”

Have a great day.

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

Wrapping up the Whole30

28 Jan

Hey Squad,

Monday marks the end of the Whole30 challenge for me and challenging it was!

Here is what I experienced.

I cook more ( yes myself) and I plan ahead more.  I learned that you never want to be too far away for an approved food choice because temptation is everywhere.

My workout endurance shot thru the roof.  In the past it was very tough to stick to a strength training plan due to fatigue mid week.  I no longer have that.

My sleep is amazing.  I used to wake up in the middle of the night several times. That no longer happens.

Finally my mood has leveled off and I am not experiencing “the blues” as often. This makes sense since serotonin is produced in the gut. You can read all about it in the link I have provided.

What all this means for me is that I do not want to go back to the sleep deprived, fatigued person again.  I am going to stick with this meal plan although I will use a lot more plant protein. I will also add back in paleo (non whey) protein powders and the occasional gluten free breads.

I am ok with saying goodbye to chips. It will be tough to keep that up, but the benefits outweigh the crispy goodness.

Whole30 is something I would recommend if you have an inkling that something is holding you back from your optimal performance.  Its easy enough to stick to it for 30 days and you will know after 20 days what effects it has.  The only way to determine what was causing your symptoms would be to add back things one at a time.  I am not up for that because the detox process was way tough. ( que- Cranky phyllis)

I call this an overall NSV ( non scale victory) since I have not weighed myself.  Its really not about that since I have experienced so many overall benefits.  I feel lighter even if the scale doesn’t reflect that on Monday.

Happy to answer any questions of you have them.

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

 

 

 

NSV- non scale victories

17 Jan

Hey squad,

I learned a new term this month. NSV- non scale victory.  The key part of the Whole30 challenge is that you commit to not weighing yourself for 30 days.  This is so that you do not get encourage if the scale does not move, or due to bloat as your body detoxes you gain. Its all temporary in the process so you should avoid it.

I am halfway thru the Whole30 and I won’t lie, its been rough.  I feel like it been such a learning experience.  Its important to celebrate all your NSVs when you start a plan. I think that now that we bring more awareness to things like this, you can stick to it.  One of my lines has been, “do not let any number on the scale or the tag of your clothes, dictate how you feel about yourself. ” Celebrating NSVs helps support that.
Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

Good vibes workout

15 Jan

Hey Squad,

This week I wanted to post a different kind of work out for you.  This week will be a week of change and for some people change  brings up lots of anxiety.  Anxiety produces cortisol in your body and that lands in your mid section as belly fat.

One non cardio way to fight that production of cortisol is to meditate. Studies show that even 5 minutes a day lower your heart rate and improve your respiration.  Also, like HIIT workouts that burn calories even after the workout, meditation has benefits all day long. Lets meditate five minutes a day and send good vibes out to the country.

If you need a great online tool ( and app) to help guide you, I recommend Calm  The ocean sounds have been playing in the background while I was typing this today. It has been lovely.

I leave you with a quote that came up in my twitter feed this week

“If you really want to rebel, practice kindness”… (unknown)  
Cheerfully yours,
Phyllis4fitness

2017 here we come!

02 Jan

Hey Squad,

2017 is underway and so far its off to a great start here at phyllis4fitness.
Today, I launched phyllis4fitness on Facebook.
I was at the point of giving up Facebook all together since there has been so much negative postings showing up on my feed.
I decided to be that beacon of happy, positive thoughts and education to enable my whole squad to be their best selves.
There will be alot more information and lots of laughs on that page for sure.

Here is a ease into the new year workout for you to keep the engines running and warm you up this week.

Monday, Wed, Friday.

20 jumping jacks
20 squats
20 secs marching in place ( extra credit if this reminds you of band camp*)
20 ab crunches
30 sec. plank.

Do these 2-3 times through.

Thursday, Saturday

Run/Walk
30 minutes.

* As a drill team member , I went to band camp once. I learned that you should take 8 steps across a parking spots. I always think of that when marching!

I will post one a week or so. Half marathon training starts Feb.1 so lets do this!

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

Pause to plan

21 Feb

Hey squad,

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with all the to-dos!

Like listening to podcasts, I am a little late to the regular practice of meditation. Luckily there is an app for that.

Calm app
Calm app

It does help slow the chaos down a bit so that I can re prioritize. I plan on getting it all sorted for the week and knocking that list into just a few notes.
So, if you happen to ride metro north and hear someone taking really deep breathes, it me. I promise not to break into “ohm”s.

Cheerfully yours,
Phyllis4fitness

And now a fashion POV

18 Feb

Hey Squad,

I have been intrigued by the rise of ath-lesiure clothing lines lately.  I am not sure who these folks are that can wear an outfit to yoga and then to brunch.  I am a sweaty mess five minutes in.

However, if anyone can make a sport bra that holds me close, hides my headlights, and doesn’t take a magic act to take off, I am a big fan.

This article today really spoke to my whole approach on fashion.

I do like to dress nice for work and on a bit of a trend.  I am not one to invest in one or two good pieces strategy.  I like to hit the look alike pieces at a Ann Taylor or H&M. I always will pick function over fashion when it comes to shoes, so I guess according to this list, I am doing ok.

Here they are in case you don’t want to click on the link.

These, friends, are the truly stylish women from whom we should aim to take our fashion inspiration. To that end, we’ve compiled the 7 habits of highly stylish people to get you started.

1. They don’t surf street style blogs and copy exactly what they see, label for label.
That’s why truly stylish girls will see a look they’re drawn to and seek out lesser-priced pieces that have the same vibe. Plenty of affordable stores and sites offer items that feature similar aspects to designer pieces.
2. They aren’t afraid of any store—and can find something almost anywhere. 
Legitimately stylish women will troll any—and we mean any—store with zero snob factor, yet they manage to stay true to their aesthetic.
For example, she won’t be afraid to pop into a cheesy-seeming teen store at the mall, but that doesn’t mean she’ll leave with the same things her 12-year-old cousin would. Same goes for fast-fashion haunts like Forever 21, dusty old thrift stores, and off-price havens like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Century 21, which are consistently packed with great stuff at non-sucker prices.
3. They know how to style themselves according to their own taste.
Isn’t it always the case that the most stylish girls will say “This blouse? It’s from Goodwill, like, 100 years ago” and actually mean it?
Yeah, the blouse itself is probably pretty cool, but it’s really the way she styled it—maybe she tucked into great-fitting jeans, unbuttoned one extra button, rolled up the sleeves, and added a killer pair of statement earrings—that made everyone comment on it.
4. They always look a littles less “done” than everyone else.
Highly stylish people are often in the habit of always appearing a teeny tiny bit too cool for every scenario they’re in.
This might mean wearing a pair of slip-on sneakers when every other girl is teetering on sky-high heels, wearing a chic skinny pantsuit when every other woman is rocking glittery party dresses, or chopping her hair into a messy bob when everyone else has long beachy waves. Small things that always make them look a little less “done.”
5. They understand labels don’t make them cooler.
It sounds cliché, but the most stylish women—and men, for that matter—in the world are ones who have confidence, and who know they don’t need the $700 sweatshirt or $2,000 handbag to make themselves appear cool.
These folks can step out in a faded gray tee and jeans and still look like the coolest person in the room all because they have confidence (okay fine, and probably a killer haircut, too.)
6. They aren’t slaves to fashion.
Some of the most stylish people are able to have fun with fashion and follow trends without looking like a slave. If you don’t like a trend—even if every blogger under the sun is wearing it—don’t buy into it. It’s that simple.
7. They don’t dress to be considered stylish.
Before blogs, before street style, and before Fashion Week became a three-ring circus that only matters for those who have the most attention-grabbing clothing, young women dressed for themselves, their lifestyle, and what looked good on them.
Believe us: It doesn’t matter if those heels are Alexander Wang—if you can’t walk in them, you won’t be considered stylish. Throw on a pair of comfortable ankle boots with that mini dress, you’ll look much cooler.
Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis4fitness

Everything I need to know in life, I learned by running a marathon

17 Feb

Hey Squad,

As we are all aware ( well maybe not everyone) the lottery for the TCS NYC 2016 marathon closes on Friday.
I have been thinking a lot about my marathon experience and have come up with this very deep observation on life based on the experience.

Everything I need to know in life I learned from running a marathon

  1. Preparation is everything.
  2. No bullshitting your readiness with out consequences i.e injuries and hours of PT
  3. Running is better with a group, but ultimately its you and the road
  4. Showing up is more than half the battle, your heart will lead you to the best outcome
  5. If you don’t love what you are doing you will never be great at it
  6. You are the star in your own show. Give yourself good PR (avoid negative self talk)
  7. Everyone will still love you  employ you, talk to you, etc) if you make time for yourself
  8. Read number 7 again
  9. There are signs along the way that will influence you, challenge you, and make you smile.
  10. Remember to thank the sign holders

And yes, I signed up for the lottery because well…  that would be number 11. I am crazy.

Cheerfully yours,

phyllis4fitness

3 days 26 miles

20 Aug

Hey squad,

This is going to be a big weekend. I will be running a total of 26 miles over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will try to add in a .2 so that is the complete marathon distance.

My NYRR training plan has it out for me.

6 on Friday- I plan to run the West Side highway in NYC.
15 on Saturday- I plan to run my Southport/Fairfield beach, ending up on the sand for the rest of the day.
5 on Sunday- I plan to go to South Norwalk and run my old route that I trained on and then eat HUGE brunch afterwards.

I am a big believer of “burning your boat” in other words putting out into the world what you intend to do in order to keep accountable. So this post is lighting the match.
lit-match-flame-300x270

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you follow me on instagram @phyllis4fitness1 you can track my progress. I will do a blog update on Sunday night.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Cheerfully yours,

Phyllis