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The Truth Behind Everyday Heroes
June 17, 2014

This month I decided to do something a bit different than my norm with my newsletter. I was scrolling my FB page a few days ago and came across one of my friend's posts that truly inspired me in a major way. I immediately messaged her and asked her permission to use her post in my newsletter and she humbly agreed. So Without further ado...I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did. She is a true inspiration and a great example of how to overcome difficult odds and still live a healthy, balanced life. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Chris. YOU INSPIRE ME!

Inspiration Comes In Everyday People
Who Succeed Against Difficult Odds!

This post is long, and a long time stick with me.

Last fall the new guidelines for treating high cholesterol were released. Finally, lifestyle factors were considered in prescribing guidelines! For some, this is good, for others, not so much.

I plugged in my pre-medication numbers and found I had less than 1% for 10 year risk of heart disease/stroke. I stopped taking the statin which I was convinced was causing the constant aching in my joints, muscle weakness, numbness in my hands, and overall feeling of yuck. In two weeks I felt better.

I just got my recent labs back from the doctor, who had previously told me I'd have to be on these drugs for the rest of my life due to "hereditarily high LDL". She is 100% aware and supportive of our nutrition choices (primarily paleo/whole foods based, with wine and cake, lol!) and our participation in CrossFit.

Without medication, my total cholesterol numbers remain slightly above the magic number but did go down from last year's pre medication numbers, my LDL(bad) has gone down, triglycerides are down, and HDL (good) has gone up, which is good. My blood pressure hovers around 110/60 consistently, A1C is smack in the middle of the recommended ranges. I've lost 55# from my highest recorded weight sometime in the mid 2000s, 40# since Fall 2011, countless inches, 5 sizes, with 10# more to go to beat that stupid BMI chart.

This is not an easy task in the CrossFit world, and one of the hardest things, mentally, to get past, since women are so programmed for that stupid scale number. Fat is exchanged for muscle and you get smaller, while fluctuating weight, down AND up, for months at a time. I weigh the same as I did last year at this time. I'm determined, with the help of my family, coaches and friends, to adjust my training to get stronger to achieve this last milestone. I just want to be at the top end of 'normal' on that ridiculous chart.

I remain on only one medication to control some 'female' issues. My instructions from my doctor: "I would not change anything at this point. Continue to work on diet/exercise as you have been."

That, my friends, has been something I've been waiting to hear for years, but most specifically, since the Fall of 2011 when I took a good hard look at myself and decided I was making some drastic changes in my life, once and for all. That day, which I remember so vividly, I had no idea the journey I had ahead of me, how it would change me, the people it would bring into our family's lives, or the things I would do.

I had someone (a stranger) recently say how 'lucky' I was to 'not struggle with my weight'. I nearly cried and really didn't know what to say except 'thank you, I try to live an active lifestyle.' What I wanted to say was: I am not special. I am not lucky. And it is a struggle EVERY DAMN DAY. It is hard work mentally and physically, and takes unfaltering will to fight my genetics and societal norms, balance the fun stuff (yummy junk food and drink) in life, and constantly re-evaluate and re-focus goals and DO THE WORK, which often scares the hell out of me.

So much of what I've said is about the numbers, which our society and medical community puts so much emphasis these days. But, the numbers are often the last thing to reflect the work you've put in, the changes you've made, the lifestyle choices you've implemented. It takes time, a long, long time for everything to come together and there is no end point, just milestones along the way. There are no quick fixes, no pills, no shakes, no nothing...nothing but finding that something within yourself that pushes you harder to live outside your comfort zone and get healthy...notice I didn't say 'skinny' or 'thin' or any other term so often thrown around. Healthy. Strong. Inside and out.

Thanks again, Chris! I could not have said it better!

If you are not currently doing some form of strength training, doing some form of cardio, and paying attention to what you eat, you should be. I hope through this month’s newsletter, with the help of my awesome friend, Chris, we have helped open your eyes to the importance of regular exercise and conscientious eating. It is more than weight control that we are talking about. It is our health and the quality of life both now and as we age. Do it because you want to do more than survive. Do it because you want to thrive.

For more tips and info that can help you get better results from your fitness plan, be sure and check out my new eBook So You Joined a Gym...Now What? Part II Essential Workout Tips & Secrets for Beginners: How to Exercise & Train Smart." The information in this book will kick your workouts into overdrive, no matter what your level of fitness. Because it matters HOW YOU WORKOUT! This book will show you how. Go to Smashwords for any other format that isn't covered at Amazon.

Since last month's exercise focused on biceps for great guns, I thought we'd concentrate on triceps this month. Because everyone knows without great triceps your biceps lose their UMPH! It takes both great bi's and tri's to sport great guns!

Lying Triceps Cable Extensions
Primary Muscle Groups Worked:

To see a video of this exercise click here.

Preparation: Lie on a flat bench and grasp the straight bar attachment of a low pulley with a narrow overhand grip as shown in picture and video. Tip: The easiest way to do this is to have someone hand you the bar as you lay down. With your arms extended, position the bar over your torso. Your arms and your torso should create a 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.

Execution: Lower the bar by bending at the elbow while keeping the upper arms stationary and elbows in. Go down until the bar lightly touches your forehead. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Flex the triceps as you lift the bar back to its starting position. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat for as many reps as you can until failure (8-12 reps).

TIPS: 1) Be sure to keep upper arms stationary, bending and straightening only the elbows. 2) Keep wrists straight. 3) You can use a V-bar or rope attachment. My personal fave for this is the V-bar.

HEREIN LIES THE CHALLENGE: Go slow. Do Not Rush This. Pull out as many as you can working to failure. Always choose a weight that makes the last two very challenging yet still doable in good form.

Okay, peeps! You know I usually like to make you think, cry, or laugh with these vids, right? Since my friend, Chris inspired me so much, I thought I'd try to pass that on with a video that focuses on pure stubborn, unbendable passion and will that refuses to stop until your goal is attained! I don't care what your goal may be...if you keep working at will be rewarded! Good luck and keep working out! And to quote Chris, "Lift heavy shit often!" I love it! :) Click here to view.

Be sure and check out my new blog site! Just click here. to head on over and give it a read! I will be posting a new blog in the next few weeks.

Please sign up for my mailing list and subscribe to my blog so that you can be informed when I post a new blog. I am a believer in less is more so don't worry about being inundated with posts telling you every time I had a snack or a new thought. On the other hand, I hope you find the wait between posts worthwhile as I plan to speak directly from my "writing" soul and I look greatly forward to it.


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Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and for reading it and for your support. Our relationship is reciprocal as I live and learn from all that happens in my life, just as you live and learn through yours. We are truly in this together, and I empathize with your challenges as I do my own. I promise to hang in there and learn and grow along with you, and I hope that sharing through my writing maybe helps you a smidge. If it does, that is my payback. It is why I continue to do what I do.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about and Now What? Fitness Blog where they can get all the fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

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