Archive for December, 2008

28
Dec
08

Home For the Holidays – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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FAMILY, The New and The Old (John Stone, Tiffany Stone, Jackie Stone, and Jessica Clark-Stone) 🙂

 

It’s the last week of 2008…  I’m packing up my bags and getting ready to head back to New York. It was great to be with Family for the holidays but I also found it incredibly difficult this year.

There’s so much history with my family… They know everything about me.  They know my accomplishments and my failures.  There’s no hiding and I think that’s why the holidays can be such a stressful time for a lot of people.  The Holidays can be a harsh wake-up call if life isn’t headed in a positive direction. 

Aaannnddd when you throw siblings into the equation there’s always a possible World War III. It gets difficult with the “favorite,” the history, and the unspoken rivalries…

I wanted it to be a peaceful Christmas with the Stone Family, as did Jessica with the Clark Family, however post Holiday Cheer Jessica and I found ourselves on the phone speaking of some not so very Merry “debates.”  This year Jessica and I celebrated the Holidays in different countries.

Why is it that when blood relatives get together there’s always some sort of altercation?  Why don’t we just get along….  I love my Dad so much but I find myself getting so angry with him.  When Jessica is away from her mother she speaks of her like a goddess but when the two get together there are certain topics they just can’t discuss.

I’m so grateful to my parents for the love and support they’ve shown me over the years.  They’ve stood by me when other parents would’ve walked away.  I’m proud of the woman I’ve become and I owe a large part of that to the way I was raised.

Ooohhh FAMILY, there’s said to be a fine line between love and hate… I’ve never come close to using the word hate with family but I do get aggravated beyond belief on occasion. 

Maybe it’s because everyone’s getting older, maybe it’s because the tables are beginning to turn… I’m becoming more of the parent, which is scary to me.  I use to think my Mom and Dad knew everything but as I get older I realize they don’t.  It’s kinda like The Wizard of Oz… I see behind the curtain and a part of all parents never want that.

I believe the bottom line is that most parents do the BEST they know how to do.  It isn’t an easy task to raise another human being, to be in charge of someone else’s life… I know I’m not ready for it!  Parents are doing the best they know how to do,  it can be a selfless job…

As I pack my bags and get ready to head to airport, a part of be is excited to get back to my life BUT another part of me wants to run to my parents… Wants my Mom and Dad to take care of me forever… To save me from adulthood.  Maybe that’s it… Maybe parents want desperately to be a major part of our lives again, they want to make everything better.  As we get older Parents know their words don’t carry as much weight.   Maybe they are hurting inside because they’re getting old and have lost their role in the world.  They miss us…. And we miss them. 

I had to grow-up.  My parents can’t save me from the harsh realities of adulthood.  They can’t cook all my dinners and fix my boo-boos.  They can’t make everything ok anymore.

Parents, Family – It can be a thankless job unless we as children recognize how hard they try.  As I write this I feel sooo much love in my heart for my Mom and Dad.  It’s hard to see eye-to-eye as we all get older but no matter how much we bicker there will always be a common thread that binds us together, love.   

Thank you Mom and Dad, I love you.

 

 

 

21
Dec
08

Do The Right Thing… ???

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I was speaking to one of my clients the other day about my company.  We were trying to come of with a “Lighting BOLT / CATCHY Motto” for what Lacey Stone Fitness stands for… An Elevator type of a pitch for a literary agent/publicist/You/Whoever  🙂

If you notice most Fitness Books tend to have a–  Celebrity Trainer who’s been on TV, Trainer who trains celebrities, a Celebrity themselves, a Quick Catchy Slimming Magical “Trendy” workout, or something MAJORLY Catchy like “Skinny Bitch.”

I do train Celebrities but not ones that want to be involved in a fitness book, I’m not on TV (YET!  🙂 ) , I don’t like being trendy/quick fixy (although…), But I think I could figure out how to make something catchy?  Anyway, it’s all very interesting…  If you have any thoughts I’m all ears?!  🙂

This is something I came up with that’s  Kinda Catchy/Kinda Old School.  This December I’ve been invited to a lot of amazing Holiday Parties… Parties held by people I really love, really love.  And After going to 3 or 4 there’s a part of me that wanted to be done, ya know?  I mean I didn’t’ go to all of them but I went to a good 6 out of 8.  That’s a good percentage for me… I’m usually 3 for 8, OY 🙂 Not sooo HOT.

GETTING TO THE POINT NOW –  In life it can get really hard to make decisions.  Especially decisions involving people’s feelings…. We get caught up in not wanting to look dumb, not hurting someone’s feelings, being too selfish or not selfish enough.  We get so caught up in the external process of making a decision we forget to look internally; do you know what I mean? 

A TRUE decision that will make you feel good about yourself has to come from within.  You can ask people for advice but what’s right for them may not be right for you.  In the end you have to face it.  SOOOO…. This is what’s helped me this holiday season.  Whenever I want to be a baby and stay on the couch instead of going to a Holiday Party I repeated this simple phrase.  This phrase can apply to anything – Relationships, Fitness, Whatevah!

“Do the right thing.”  Just do the right thing… It’s as simple as that, nothing more.  Of course the thing that might be right for another person might not be the right for you… That’s where it gets tricky.  It’s kinda like when Yes means No and No means Yes, HA! 🙂

Here’s a perfect example…   I got invited to Four Parties, literally Four Parties two Saturdays ago.  I went to two, one for work because that’s “the right thing to do” and one for a DEAR friend of mine.  By the time I left the second party it was wwaayyy to late to go to another annndd I had to teach an early fitness class.  Soooo “doing the right thing” for me meant going home to bed.  I went to two wonderful parties and the next day I wrote two lovely emails to the two hosts whose parties I missed.  For them I might not have done the right thing… BUT for me I did.  That’s where it gets confusing for a lot of people.  They think they’re “doing the right thing” BUT they really aren’t. They forget to check in with themselves, ya know?  They make all their friends happy by turning up at all the Holiday Parties BUT they’re not happy… If I’d gone to the two other parties that Saturday night I would’ve been a MESS for class and not a happy camper come Sunday for me or Jessica.  Gotta always check in with number one.

Suprise, Suprise 🙂  This weekend another really good friend had a Holiday party on a Saturday Night… Jessica and I threw a CRAZY Holiday/Movingin/Engagement Party Friday Night until 3am.  Part of me said, “do the right thing” and don’t go to Kristi’s Party – you’re tired BUT the other part of me said… Kristi has supported you in everything you do – you must “Do the right thing” and go.

In the spirit of the Holiday Season Jessica and I went… It was soo nice to see her and support her at your Festive gathering of colorful folks.  The energy of the room and the party was so much FUN I even forgot I was tired? Sooo cool 🙂

I truly believe that only you know what the right thing is for you… And when you do that, when you can figure out every day what your right thing is… You will never feel regret and happiness will almost always be by your side.  If more people in this world could find a way to do the right thing… The “good thing” for themselves and nobody else, this world would feel like a very different place.  

Do you find yourself struggling to figure out “your right thing?”  Here’s a quote I really love      

“At the center of your being you have the answer;  you know who you are and you know what you want.”  

I truly believe the answer is at the center of everyone’s being, if we take the time to listen, we will always know what to do… 

Sooo my catchy motto for today is Do The Right Thing.  It was also a very popular movie by Spike Lee in the early 90’s 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

  

17
Dec
08

“No Gym” Cardio Ideas

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Now as you can probably tell if you read Sweat City regularly, I love the gym. But it wasn’t always that way, in fact when I first decided to get healthy and have the body I wanted/needed without resorting to starvation and stimulants I gained weight while my metabolism recovered.  For a while I was very uncomfortable working out around people (and mirrors).  So I found other ways to get my sweat on.  Some people hate the gym for that reason, some don’t have easy access to one, and others find that it’s just too expensive in this economy (which having just renewed my yearly membership I get! Ouch!!).

So here are my top tips for burning some calories without being in the gym  🙂

Running the stairs  🙂

This is one of my personal favorites; I’m a big believer in running period BUT this works even if it’s cold and rainy out there because you don’t have to go outside.  Use the stairs in your apt building, in your office…or even the local mall!  You might get a funny look or two but once you’ve got a full on calorie blasting hardcore aerobic workout while toning your butt, thighs and calves you’ll be the one laughing longest and loudest.  There’s a very good reason why a piece of exercise equipment was designed around this workout people!!

Jump Rope

This activity burns more calories per minute than almost any other exercise; 11 calories per minute on average and as many as 20 calories p/m if you really crank up that intensity and go crazy :).  It can be done in the privacy of your own home, your yard, the park; wherever and however, all for a one time price of $10-$20.  I like to have my i-Pod strapped on my arm and blasting some music in my ears while I go until I want to drop.

Volunteer with a youth athletic group.

If you used to play a sport in school then you would be surprised how many youth groups there are that would LOVE to benefit from your skills and expertise.  There’s a double dose of benefits here; you get to get your sweat on for free AND you get that warm and glowing feeling that comes with making a positive contribution to peoples lives. AND it can be super fun as well as giving you a crazy workout. I’m a runner and for a while I volunteered with the Achilles Running Team in NYC and I’m not going to lie; I got my ass kicked regularly 🙂

Borrow a Dog 🙂

Yep, I’m serious. If you hate getting outside and sprint walking or running, there’s nothing that makes it more entertaining than a hugely excited dog having the best time and running several steps faster than you! Studies show people with dogs maintain a higher level of fitness and also successfully keep off weight they have lost for longer than the canine free population.  Now I’m not suggesting that you go out a buy a dog just for that reason BUT there are so many dogs whose owners would be delighted to let you walk/run once or twice a week. OR you can always offer to walk the dogs at the local rescue center once a week. You might just fall in love…I did 🙂  (see photo…and yes, even our dog is ‘eating’ sushi)

Workout DVD/Podcast

Obviously my favorite is Lacey’s downloadable workout series :).  Check her out at http://www.podcastgo.com/Channel.aspx?nid=933e27ca-97c8-41a0-a69d-ae5dcdda752b

Or click on ‘Video Workouts w/Lacey’ to the right of this post 🙂

My other favorite is an oldie but a goodie; if I was to pick a workout DVD that actually did get my heart rate up and got me feeling as though I’m actually getting a workout it would be the Billy Blanks workouts.  Yes, I know I’m old school but that man is in it!  If you’ve got any suggestions of ones that YOU love, drop a comment and let us know 🙂

Other ideas are to walk walk walk, try getting off the subway two stops early, or parking the car as far away as possible and walking the rest of the way.  Try dropping and doing 10-20 push-ups every single time you think about it (but aim for a minimum of 5 times a day), or get a bike (and if you have one already, get on it and go 🙂 )

Do you have any other suggestions/ideas about how to get your cardio in without stepping through the gym doors?

14
Dec
08

New, Fresh, EXCITING!!!

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Take a close look at the above magazine covers.  I circled some things in red that I found disturbing.

There’re soooo many Magazines on the Market today editors will do whatever takes to be HEARD.  It has to be NEW-FRESH-EXICITING.  If it doesn’t sell it doesn’t work…. Covers are KEY!

CELEBRITIES

Look and notice that Celebrities are now almost ALWAYS featured on the cover of top industry magazines. About 5 years ago celebrities wouldn’t even think of doing covers… However with the Reality TV Craze actors have to find new ways to stay relevant.  PUSHING PRODUCTS is the way of the celebrity to stay in the media. Soooo whoever has the seasons next big blockbuster will most likely be featured on all the covers, cross marketing BABY! 🙂

PROPAGANDA!

Look at these covers closely…  The more crazy the articles the more likely they’ll grab a consumers eye.

  1. Success without Stress
  2. Lose your belly in 12 days
  3. More energy INSTANTLY
  4. Get Fit NOW
  5. One Exercise for MAX fat lose

For consumers the Top source of Fitness & Life advice are Magazines.  It’s unfortunate that magazines are struggling right now because of the online BOOM… So they’re pulling out all the stops. It’s a business…  And if you’ve ever worked in a highly competitive job you know that it’s all about the numbers.  YOU create numbers with controversy and quick fixes because it’s easy to digest and people will buy it.  If it’s too complicated no one wants to hear about it. This is exactly what happens to our fitness information… Watered down, easily digestible info that won’t offend too many people.

Clients come to me and say I want this fast… That thought is just a product of the media.  Nothing worth anything happens fast, instantly, now.  True success can only happen over time…. True success can only come from within.  No perfect body and no billion dollars can make everything ok.

“The you can change your life instantly” tag lines gets people to purchase a magazine but please don’t believe it…. Because if you choose to believe that success in life can come instantly you’re buying into more than a magazine.

10
Dec
08

‘Tis the season for feeling OVERWHELMED

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‘Tis the season for feeling overwhelmed.  It does feel as though everything is piling up on top of me as the year begins to wrap up in a flurry of holiday parties, tickets home to be with my family, the still stuttering economy and the fact that almost everybody I know has either been directly affected by layoffs at work, or knows somebody who has.  It’s cold, I’m exhausted and to be perfectly honest, when the alarm goes off at a truly unpleasant hour in the morning I want to sink back under the covers.

I feel as though I’ve been flung headfirst into adulthood this year more than ever, and here’s the thing I notice about that; we don’t treat ourselves very well.  I am not good at asking for help and I’m not that great at admitting that I’m struggling with a packed schedule. I get more and more exhausted and much crankier. I start getting nervous about weight gain over the holiday season, about whether everything will get done in time, or get done perfectly enough, how it’s going to be with all the different family dynamics and how much it is all going to cost. 

It’s not fun and it’s not smart because who does that attitude serve?  Certainly not me 🙂

Years ago in my recovery program I was taught to try and think of myself as my own best friend; or the one that really worked for me, as my own child.  What does this mean?  It means that I would never dream of treating my child the way I think it’s acceptable to treat myself!  It’s the most effective tool I know for shooting down that negative self-talk that swirls around my head the more tired and overwhelmed I get.  “You’re such a loser, you never get anything done right, I shouldn’t think that I can do any of this.”  Is that ok to say to my child, or to my best friend? Exactly, so why allow it to be said to myself?

And if my child was exhausted and cranky and just wanted to take a nap, would I pump him/her full of coffee or Red Bull and tell them to get on with it and stop complaining?  Hell no. I would say “Take a power nap sweetie, just for 15 minutes.” There’s very little that can’t wait for 15 minutes.  It’s more important for me than ever to try to eat good, nutritious food while I’m dashing around trying to get everything done on time and not to skip meals or eat something that will just sap my energy.  Maybe stock up on a good multi-vitamin and keep some yummy seasonal tangerines and pomegranates around for a quick and easy powerful antioxidant punch.

And most of all I need to remember that whether it’s Christmas, or Hanukah, Kwanza, or the Western or Chinese New Year that’s being celebrated; it’s not about everything being PERFECT. It’s about people that we love coming together and acknowledging this year of our lives, 2008.  It doesn’t matter if the tree is tilted just a tiny bit to the right, or if the Hor D’oeuvres for the party aren’t as delectable as they perhaps could have been.  Are people smiling? Having a good time?  Then that’s what is important, not me being a stress head and flapping around them trying to make last minute adjustments to the table settings.  So this holiday season I’m going to say to myself that I did a good job(the best I could) and to relax and enjoy myself before I make myself crazy!!   🙂

 

07
Dec
08

Battling Your DEMONS

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We all have DEMONS; you know what I’m talking about, right? 🙂

Demons come in all shapes and sizes.  The BIG 4  –  JEALOUSY–ABANDONMENT–SHAME–  RAGE– represent a lot of drama in life.  These Demons are emotions/feelings that make us uncomfortable,  they cause us to continually runaway from ourselves.  In fact, some people spend a lifetime running away from the monsters of  their minds.

The Demons are based in FEAR.  Fear of something that occurred in the past, fear of something we refuse to let go of in the present.  We REFUSE with such vigor that we allow the event of the past to control our future, our right now.  Parents, EXs, Bosses – stay with us forever, effecting our every decision and pushing us in directions we don’t necessarily want to go.  We, allow people that are no longer in our lives, the ghosts of the past, guide our future.  Why do we give them the power…  Is it Fear of the unknown? 

For many people dealing with their Inner Demon is far worse than living a life controlled by it.  I like to feel like “I know what the outcome is going to be.” I’ve had a conversation like this with my inner monster before… Let me know if this sounds familiar to you?

“I know she’s going to cheat on me because she’s acting the same way Sara did right before she left…  I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be faithful?  I think I’m going to end this before it gets ugly.”

Sometimes running away from the demons seems safer than meeting them head on – JEALOUSY–ABANDONMENT–SHAME–RAGE – are buried so deep we don’t even realize we’re running away from them.  A ‘RUNNER’ is our natural defense mechanism for not having to deal with The BIG 4…  But there’s a catch.

 It happens a lot in relationships – The relationship is AMAZING, it’s like walkin on cloud 9, it’s Magical, aaannnddd then reality kicks in…  Problems start to come – Bills, Moving in, Marriage, Babies –  This is the exact point where there’s the choice of facing the Demons OR Running Away?  In this day and age I find that Running away is very trendy.  When we run we never have to put in the work…   We can cover it up by saying… “I fell out of Love.”  I personally feel like the “Falling out of Love Story” is not so much about falling out of love but the point where someone in the relationship HIT their Demon.  They hit their Demon and chose to move on/runaway rather than deal with it.

It’s fine to be a RUNNER, hell I’ve been a Runner, but here’s the problem – The Catch.  When we meet the next “Great” person, when we move to the next “Great” city, when we get the next “Great” job the pattern happens all over again.  There it is smack in our FACES, our Demon.  If we choose not to deal with our monsters they will never go away.  Soooo the running away has little to do with the boyfriend, girlfriend, city, or job AAANNNDDDDDD almost everything to do with our Demons. 

I’ve been cheated on… ABANDONMENT in a relationship is my number one Demon. When times got tough with Jessica in the beginning of our relationship, I would freak out.  The chatter in my head was LOUD, I wanted to runway because I was soooo afraid of what she was going to do.  One day I realized I was a Runner – I had an epiphany.  I realized that all the relationships I had in past seven years fizzled because I was never in them 100%.  I didn’t want to get close to people because I didn’t want to face my Demon.  If I didn’t deal with my Abandonment Issue and continually chose to runaway I could never get hurt.   BUT the catch was that I was hurting all the time.  The ghosts of my past were ruling my present, ruling my now.  I was ssoooo afraid to feel… I thought I was protecting myself from the pain… I thought I was being smart  not getting close to friends or lovers.  I wasn’t being smart. I was “playing it safe,” I wasn’t even living.

Thankfully Jessica, my angel, my knight in shining armor, came mysteriously into my life.  She knocked me back to Reality.  She made me want to feel again.  She made me want to take the risk of losing myself, the risk of being broken hearted-or-living happily ever after.  Before Jessica my heart was frozen, put on a shelf, out of service… Her presence in my life made me want to make big Changes.  I knew if I truly wanted to make our relationship LAST I had to slay the DEMONS, I had to fight to be in control of myself, and my heart. I had to fight to get back to square one, back to a place where I could love again.

The Demons never go away… They’ll always be there.  For Years they will be yelling at us, chattering away in our inner most thoughts, ruling our every decision… and they can rule our entire life if we let them.  Battle your Demons… quite the chatter to a whisper.  You can take back the power in your life if you face The Demon that you run from.

What do you run from?  What scares  you?

03
Dec
08

Beat those Winter Body Blues!

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Winter is definitively here again, at least in NYC and once again I am somehow surprised by the fact that I am craving heaps of carb-loaded comfort food.  Every year it catches me unaware; my jeans start to get just a little tight and I am forced to realize that I am unconsciously using the weather to justify moving less and eating more!  I walk our dog a lot faster and for less distance than during the rest of the year.  I’m tempted by the idea of hot chocolate because somehow I try to tell myself that it’s a drink, rather than several melted down candy bars!!  And now that the festive season is officially underway, I have to fight the urge to write off the entire 5 weeks between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.  It’s not a good situation 😦

So here are my own personal body maintenance tips for surviving Jack Frost without completely busting out of my skinny jeans!

Soup, soup and more soup!  It’s got to be the ultimate cold weather friend; done right it fills me up and warms me from the tip of my toes to the tip of my Rudolph red nose 🙂  And by “done right” I mean no “cream of” type soups.  Yes they might have vegetables in their names but they pack a right-hook full of calories without us really noticing.  Much better are any and all tomato or stock based soups; I just had a yummy carrot and artichoke one 🙂  Also wining major points for that warm and cozy feeling without breaking the calorie bank are the Thai soups such as Tom Yum, or the Japanese Miso soup bases.  Just avoid the coconut milk that some Thai soups are laden with…as delicious as it is, it’s basically like adding heavy cream to our food.  I eat some kind of soup at least once a day in the winter….either as an accompaniment to my meal (which really fills me up fast), or as my meal itself if it’s a lovely thick, chunky soup with loads of vegetables and beans in it.

When I’m craving a hot afternoon pick me up from Starbucks (or whichever coffee shop is available) I could give in to one of those scrumptious sounding concoctions which contain more calories, sugar and fat than you really want to think about.  Like the aforementioned hot chocolate, eggnog, or a pumpkin spice something or other, each and everyone rocking a cute little hat of whipped cream.  Now I’m not saying NEVER but EVERYDAY is going to do some damage to my goals. So instead I try and sample all the different herbal teas that are available; some of which are so sweet that I have to double check to make sure there hasn’t been sugar snuck in there; any of the fruit teas and especially those containing berries or passion fruit. They really take the edge off my sugar cravings and warm me up at the same time.  Another favorite trick of mine is to just order a large extra hot steamed soymilk: warm, cozy, a nice dose of good protein and virtually no sugar. That’s what I’m talking about! 🙂

I don’t like to weigh myself; partly as a hangover from my days of body obsession, and partly because I don’t think it gives me the most sense of how my body’s doing.  I workout hard and consistently and I have a lot more lean muscle on my body than anyone ever thinks! So I weigh more than I think 🙂  So instead of getting upset because my ‘number’ isn’t what I read about what some celebrity weighs in some magazine I have this pair of jeans with absolutely ZERO stretch in them.  I don’t even wear them out so they never get baggy, they just sit in my drawer and from time to time I get them out and try them on.  If they’re on the snug side I know I’ve got to shake my booty more in the gym; run with my dog more, and get honest about whether I’ve been lazy about my eating. This works SO much better for me than the scale; muscle WEIGHS a lot more than fat, but it takes up much LESS room on the body. So you can get heavier but your size can get smaller as you replace fat with lean muscle!  It’s fun 🙂

The other thing I notice about winter and my body is that it’s a LOT easier to ignore what my body’s doing when its covered from head to toe with lots of warm layers of clothes all day every day.  So if I ever find myself all comfortable on the couch under a blanket and telling myself that I don’t really need to go to the gym because ….”it’s just sooooo cold” guess what I do?

I get myself up and I put on my bikini and I stand in front of the mirror.  This never fails to work as a last ditch attempt; if I think I look good I want to KEEP looking good. And if those work holiday parties and Hors D’oeuvres are starting to catch up with me; and my body then nothing tells me the truth faster. I get a visualization of the warmer months ahead and how I want to feel good then and I GET TO THE GYM!

Silly as it seems it never fails for me 🙂

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions that you have found to work for you in surviving the long cold days of winter?

 




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