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Great for You; Not for Me

I don’t have superstar crushes. Bear with me this is going somewhere…

I never waited in line with hyped up fellow teenage girls to drool over a rock band and I’m way too much of a comfort seeker to sleep outside in the cold or rain to get a ticket.

But I do love strong women.

Not Olympic lifting kind of strong, but strong character. They can be funny or motivating or athletic, but mostly they are just authentic.

You know I’m a book fiend, but I’d gotten away from audiobooks while running because nothing has pulled me like Unbroken (my favorite story) or 10% Happier (made me start meditating). {Here are my top running audiobook recommendations.}

But then I heard Amy’s silly laugh one morning on the tv and looked up to see the cover of her new book Yes, Please.
amyyespleaseDing. Yes, Please…I’d like to read your book of the same title, but I have a nightstand piled high with books…so I will attempt it as an audiobook and to my great relief she’s just as stinking hilarious to listen to on audio.

It’s not rags to riches story or a step by step guide to success, it’s just her. She’s funny. She’s real. She’s relatable, minus the drugs and the staying awake until 5AM, I just can’t do that shit. {Yeah she seems to make me want to cuss more too.}
Have fun and other life lessons from Amy Poehler

LESSONS FROM AMY POEHLER
After days of running with Amy in my ears, along with the tribe of guests she has in the book, I decided these are the lessons that will stick with me:

Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself”

  • Success is a long road
  • Bring snacks and friends for the journey
  • Don’t be afraid to look stupid, smell bad or whatever it takes to make progress
  • Be around people who stretch your limits
  • You are not in control
  • Neither is anyone else (except the producer)
  • Talking about the thing, is not the same as the doing of the thing
  • Know your own tricks (the games you play to get your way)
  • Stop complaining
  • Walk drunk, but never drive. EVER.
  • We all get older
  • Love the weirdest parts of yourself or at least accept them
  • We’ve all got a devil voice saying you aren’t thin, smart, beautiful enough.Fight it.
  • All mothers need a wife << hilariously true point

Great for you, not for me. <<< Possibly the best and most wonderful thing she says!!!! Ladies stop judging each others choices and instead have an open mind.

Thank goodness we don’t all want the same things or have the same talents. Would life be boring and imagine competition. Instead, remember I’m so glad that works for you…but it’s not for me. I learned this one a long time ago and man it’s made so many things easier!!!

I accept that Paleo is fabulous for you, wohooo…but not for me.
I love that the Hanson method makes you fast as heck…but not for me.
I am thrilled you want 6 kids…but not for me.

Just because we don’t want the same things doesn’t mean I can’t support you and have a heck of a lot of fun together. YUP this is my favorite things she shared…stepping down off my high horse which was really just a small Shetland pony, so not actually all that high.

“People are their most beautiful when they are laughing, crying, dancing, playing, telling the truth, and being chased in a fun way.”

This book is filled with hilarity, talk about drugs cause she’s brutally honest, stories of how her career evolved, SNL moments and lots of little life lessons…Yes, Please.

Be prepared for a barrage of book reviews coming up. I’ve been a reading fiend lately and the lessons are just too great not to share. And that friends is another Think Out Loud Thursday! Now I’m off to continue soaking in this great social media conference and to ponder who are my funny friends that I need to spend more time with.

Are you surrounded by enough funny people?

Any authentic women you love?

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What is your why? And why it matters!

This is my final post in the back to basics series as part of Kohl’s #MakeYourMove campaign. Previous posts are linked at the bottom!

Most people who know me now, just understand that running and fitness are part of my life. It’s become so intertwined with my joy and my personality that you can’t tell where one ends and another begins…or maybe that’s because I’m always in work out gear, either way.

It made me realize, it’s been a very long time since someone asked me “WHY?”

Why do you workout?

Why do you eat so many veggies?

But the thing is, sometimes we all need to reflect on the WHY of what we do to ensure that we are truly on the right path or to reignite our enthusiasm.
Always remember your why - Tips for understanding the motivation that will keep you running!!

PROGRESSION OF A WHY
I started playing sports at a young age and never really thought about actually “working out” until I went to college and no longer had that outlet for activity.

It also dawned on me I had some weight to lose though at the time I thought maybe 10 pounds and now I’ve maintained a 35lb loss for over 10 years.

After you’ve lost the weight though…you need a new why, otherwise it’s very easy to quit!

Luckily my why tapped in to some deep seated emotional need to feel good about myself.

Running clears the cobwebs
Do you ever feel like you just need a moment to think? This is my favorite part about taking a long run, I can disconnect from the Internet, the phone and all of my to do lists. I can spend some time thinking through what really matters and I come home feeling more centered.

Running sparks creativity
If I had a dollar for every runner who has told me they’ve come up with game-changing ideas while running, well I’d invest in them and be a millionaire. In fact, when I return home I often find myself dripping sweat all over my keyboard as I try to capture ideas before they dissolve into the business of the day.

Running gives you a community
New runners, long time runners, speedsters and self-proclaimed turtles are all embraced in running circles. We don’t care what your goals are as long as you show up, runners support each other. This is evident in the charities that are supported through races each weekend, but often less recognized in the daily high fives that come from group runs and even virtual friends.

Running makes you strong
There are moments in life that are hard, uncomfortable and downright miserable. Running reminds you that you can face them all by just taking one step at a time and focusing only on the current moment. I can’t run the next mile until I’ve finished this one and I can’t get to the finish line without embracing a little discomfort.
Think about why you started

WHY FIND YOUR WHY?
This is actually something that I respect Jillian Michaels for talking about frequently. She reminds people that getting slim for a wedding might be nice, but you’ll put it all back on later if you don’t have a bigger WHY.

“Outline it, define it; it could be your kids, it could be a beach vacation…write it down, visualize it, and emotionally connect to it.” 

There should be a specific, meaningful motivation behind your workouts—and “because I’m supposed to” is not an acceptable answer. Once you know your “why,” constantly remind yourself of it, whether that’s by doodling it on your hand, making it your cell phone background, or getting it printed on a tank.” -Women’s Health

Great so now what…a few tips to find your lasting why:

  • Get emotional - how do you want to feel?
  • Get honest - are you doing this for you?
  • Reflect - what moments in life did you feel the happiest and proudest?
  • Analyze - what do those moments have in common?
  • Measure - how can you measure ongoing success?

For me my internal why always comes back to feeling proud of myself and that’s what gets me to push through the extra miles or lately to show up for Pilates even though I know it’s going to HURT! I’m starting to tap in to this why to also eliminate the sugar.

In case you’ve missed any previous back to basics posts:
What does basic mean? (Bodyweight workout)
7 habits of highly fit people

Body weight workout
Kitchen essentials (plus slow cooker recipe)
Benefits of a home gym

What is your fitness why?

Do you have something that reminds you of it? 

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This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl's.

Don’t throw out those lucky socks

Running is a mental sport.

We spend most of our time focused on form and pace and distance, but the truth is without the right things happening between our ears the rest of it may never come together.

Years ago I had this great idea for a “mental marathon training” series. But I was still finding my voice and well let’s be honest like 5 people were reading the site at that time which gave me an easy out to not follow through.

Which is why I want to talk about lucky charms. Not the cereal though I do love a good debate on marshmallows first, last or evenly distributed.Race Day Lucky Charms - How and why they might just give you an advantage

LUCKY CHARMS
Football players and fans alike fear changing anything when the team is on a streak: they won't shave or must wear the same pair of socks or sit in the same chair and drink/eat the same things.

The theory is both don't change what's working and maybe that is their lucky charm.

Could it be true?

Yes! Not in the witch craft kind of way, but in the "a thing in motion" kind of way.

Have you ever noticed a good day seems to just get better and better and on a bad day well it seems every conceivable thing goes wrong.

It's all in your head.

You read that right.

If we feel more confident we take more action, we push just a little harder in the race, we believe in our ability to achieve. Having a lucky charm is one of the easiest ways to channel this emotion and regain focus.

The good news is once it doesn't work you can finally wash those nasty compression socks and thus tell yourself you've washed away the bad juju so they are ready to perform again.

CALL IT A RITUAL
Maybe it’s not luck at all, but ritual that makes these items so valuable and if you feel less like a kid hoping for a unicorn by labeling it a ritual, go right ahead…it all works the same.

Running a race can be anxiety provoking. Anything that can make you feel calmer beforehand is a good thing,” said Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D. in an article on Shape.

Of course the key to any great charm is to ensure that you have it with you and if you don’t…remember you’re the one who did the training, not the charm. Then promptly find a new one!luckquote

A few of the fun rituals and charms I’ve found from runners around the interwebs:

Tina of CarrotsNCake: “My superstition is getting an odd number for race day. For some reason, I feel better (even more confident) if I receive an odd number bid.”

Ryan Hall on RW said: "I shave my head, face, and legs a day before a big race. It makes me feel lighter and faster. It gets me excited to race."

Alison on NYTimes said: “I have to wear green underwear. Every race, most trainings. I don’t know if I had a good race when I did it one time and then I stuck with it. That’s my thing. I don’t know why.”

KristenK said: “I have to eat oatmeal before every run or I’m terrified I’ll have stomach issues! That’s probably my biggest superstition. I also have to high five my husband before I line up for the race or I’m a mess!” 

Angela Bizzarri of team Brooks Running: “Ever since high school, when Angela runs a personal best she credits her delicious breakfast of Eggo Waffles for her ability to tear up the track that day.”

Read more:
Benefits of thinking like an elite runner 
Could pain be all in your head?

Your lucky charm could be doing more than you know! Find out why on @runtothefinish #runchat

So embrace your crazy and fret not about the gear you refuse to wash, you aren’t alone and it might just be your ticket to a shiny new PR. And of course remember one of the best ways to have a great race...have fun! Whether that means running with a lucky charm, tracking it on an app or sharing it on Instgram when you finish.

Let’s hear it..
Do you have a lucky charm or race ritual?

Other ways to connect with Amanda

Twitter: @runtothefinishRunning motivation

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No Bake Chocolate Oat Custard Cups (Vegan + Gluten Free)

It’s not exactly rice pudding {I used oats}.

It’s not exactly custard {I used tofu}.

It is another dessert to satisfy my dairy free sweet tooth while keeping it low sugar! I’m a big fan of using tofu for a couple of reasons:

A. I buy it on sale and pop it in the freezer. When I thaw it out it drains perfectly and works great for blending in to recipes.
B. It’s dairy free, but adds that creamy texture to recipes that I miss so much.
C. You can totally control the flavor!

And with that I introduce to you this weeks chocolate satisfier:
No Bake Chocolate Oat Custard Cups - a combination of vegan custard and vegan rice pudding - great healthy dairy free dessertNo bake Chocolate Oat Custard Cups 

Ingredients

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 2 tbsp Pure Canada Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (coco powder works too)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini {optional, but why not?!}

Note: now that Vega has a Mocha protein powder, I’ll make this again with that in place of the cacao and chocolate chips!
No Bake Chocolate Oat Custard Cups - a combination of vegan custard and vegan rice pudding - healthy dairy free dessertDirections

1. Add tofu, oats, syrup, cacao, vanilla and banana to food processor (I used my VitaMix)
2. Blend til mixed through, but don’t over do it
3. Hand stir in chocolate chips and zucchini
4. Pour mixture into ramekins or use glass jars
5. Place in fridge to chill at least an hour

Can’t wait to satisfy my sweet tooth this dairy free custard from @runtothefinish


No bake vegan custard - great way to sneak in veggies and use up extra zucchini
Options: Another amazing way to use this recipe would be to use it as the filling for a raw pie shell!! Just put dates, almonds, maple syrup and walnuts in food processor, blend then press into the cups before filling with custard.

Have you ever tried a dessert with tofu?

Ever imagine sneaking veggies in to your desserts?!

Other ways to connect with Amanda

Twitter: @runtothefinishRunning motivation

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pure Canada Maple Syrup. All drooling and happy sounds of sweet treat delight are my own.

You are cordially invited to Delurk

Last year I did something that was either going to be a success or a big fat flop {take that fear}. Luckily it turned out to be one of my favorite things ever, so 13 months later it's time once again to invite you out of the shadows and in to the light of conversation!

My analytics tell me that thousands of you are visiting each day…I have gotten to know about 10% of you through great comments, challenges and events. 

The technical term for this the rest of you is lurkers…sounds kind of creepy, but the truth is even my dear parents and some long time friends who read NEVER comment though I’m sure they often have opinions.

That's right, all of you who joke about how when you started only your mom commented...my mom, dad and husband never comment! So I NEED YOU.

Urban Dictionary: {delurk} Entering an online discussion after a time spent lurking, esp. if suddenly prompted to do so.

- Maybe you’re an uber busy doctor {why hello there}
- Maybe you’ve just had it with social media {meet my husband}
- Maybe you don’t know you can comment without a blog {hey mom!}
- Maybe you don’t want people to know you’re here?! {this isn’t 50 shades of grey people}

One of the things that makes blogging such a joy is hearing from you and seeing the community it has fostered over the years through the challenges and Clean and Lean ongoing Facebook group.

Today, I ask you to stop being just a spectator and join the RTTF community and conversation…it’s time to delurk.
DelurkDay

How to delurk?
Click on the link that says "comments" or the post title to see a comment box.

Write some text {preferably answers to the below questions} in the box and click submit.

It will ask for some details to prove you are a real person and not spam. You do NOT need to be a blogger to be a commenter, friend, participant and wonderful person.

We’ll get the ball rolling with these questions:
- Where are you from?
- Are you a runner?
- If you could have only peanut butter or chocolate, what would you choose?
- How long have you been reading RTTF?

Have a great site I need to checkout, make sure to leave that in the comments too! This is open to long time readers, new readers and everyone in between - I want to learn about you.

Other ways to connect with Amanda

Twitter: @runtothefinishRunning motivation

Instagram: RunToTheFinish

Facebook: RunToTheFinish


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