Thank you Kristi and Samantha for such a well-run, fun, inspiring and very organized challenge. I really enjoyed myself while I was participating and am sort of sad it is over! Thank you for igniting that spark in all of us to be better people overall and giving us the opportunity to start over.

I have implemented many habits into my life that I would not have done without the help of the challenge and everyone involved. I most enjoyed the blog component (could you tell?) and also the ability to speak to my mentor, or to the two of you when I had frustrations or needed further motivation to keep going or ideas on how I can shake things up.

I’m excited to continue on my fitness journey, to get stronger, faster and more in shape and for once in my life I realize it is not a diet or a boot camp that is going to get me there, it is a lifestyle change!


Great job to everyone involved with the CU Healthier Challenge 2014 we kicked butt and have all succeeded, I am so proud to have been part of such an amazing group of women and men 😉


Tara (Golden Girls & CU Healthier Alum)


Summa Time Salad Time!

In light of the salad challenge that will take place today brought to us by the Purple and Red Team, I thought: Why not share a delish sweet citrus fruit salad that I LOVE, it’s extremely simple but the flavours are all like: HELLO SUMMMMER, lets party!!
Just Try it. You’ll like it.

1 Yellow Grapefruit
1 Pink Grapefruit
1 Tangelo (or Navel orange)
1 Blood Orange
Tablespoon or so of Pomegranate seeds

Peel and section the citrus fruit into a bowl (or Tupperware if making for work) sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Eat, and high five me later.

Tara (Yellow)

Long term commitment…

is a scary thing, in all aspects of life!! 

I feel as though the past couple of weeks have been the most difficult, but most positive for me, especially in terms of this challenge.

I feel like I’m finally getting my eating habits on the path I want them to be on and I’ve been exercising more outside with this lovely weather.  I’ve also bitten the (financial) bullet and booked some sessions with Tyler, our trainer.  In the past, when I was losing weight, it was doing some sessions with a trainer that helped me get over the most serious hurdle.  So I knew it would be good for me and give me the push I needed.  But, unless I win the lottery, I can’t do that forever!

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and was ashamed of that big piece of carrot cake I had at Easter dinner.  But, moving on!

Anyhow, the sessions have been very good for me.  Tyler has been reaffirming the things I am doing well, discussing the areas where small changes can make big results and talking to me about my serious challenges and hurdles about becoming healthy and trying to make a plan.  But, most importantly, I think it’s been the biggest push to have someone that I have to show up for and having someone standing over me and making me work out.

I feel like I’m FINALLY (after many years) seeing this as a mission to be healthier, not just a mission to lose weight.  And I have the CU Healthier team and organizers to thank for that.  So thank you all so much.  🙂

I’m trying to continue with the positive thoughts regarding my overall health.  Some other bloggers have inspired me, on here.  So thank you!

5 positive things from this week:

– Bought new summer clothes that were 2 sizes smaller than my summer clothes last year 🙂  Even if I’m not where I wanted to be, that’s something to celebrate!

– Worked on personal relationships in my life

– Sessions with trainer have gone really well and I already feel as though I’m challenging myself in new ways

– Arrived at work 30-60 mins early each day to go for a nice walk around campus.  It set my day off so happy!

– Made a weekly workout plan for myself that has been Tyler approved (ha!)

Bonus positive thing:  Our Salad Challenge plans and participation are coming along great!

Woo hoo, Spring!

See you soon, fellow CU Healthiers!

Meg (Cobras)

Give Muay Thai a Try: Why? I’ve got 7 reasons for you!

Elise and I have both mentioned that we are doing a variety of fitness classes. We both would say our Mauy Thai class at UMTBC is our definite favourite. We have even stepped up our game and are attending 2-3 classes of Mauy Thai a week! We want to continue that into the summer, along with softball and yoga. Sorry, back to the point of this post. You should all really try out a Mauy Thai class. I can only speak to those we’ve attended at UMTBC but the crowd there is eclectic and everyone has a blast as well as one hell of a workout. So here’s 7 reasons why you should give it a try.

 photo 1-3

ONE: Self-Discipline

Beyond obvious physical skills like kicking, punching, and defending, Muay Thai’s main offering is self-discipline.

TWO: Body Tone

When learning the technique of Mauy Thai you focus on muscle control and precision. As you develop your technique you add power to your attack. Mauy Thai balances upper and lower body movements resulting in a full body workout that sculpts all your muscle groups.

THREE:  Increased Self-Confidence.

Scientific studies in sports psychology and medicine clearly show a link between physical exercise and self-confidence.

FOUR: Self-Defense Skills.

Nobody wants to be violent, and certainly Muay Thai is mostly about inner strength and self-discipline.   A basic Muay Thai course will give you the necessary self-defence skills to escape difficult situations.

 photo 2-3

FIVE: Sharper Focus.

What differentiates Muay Thai from typical gym workouts and group aerobics classes is the focus you will develop right from the start to achieve your health and overall life goals.   Within a few lessons, you will hunger for better and better technique as to be your best.

SIX: Cardio Endurance

The very nature of Muay Thai training is geared to working all your limbs and improving your overall cardiovascular endurance.  A typical beginners’ Muay Thai class emphasizes the fundamentals:  stance, footwork, basic punches, kicks, knees and elbows and various defense techniques.   Combined with mandatory pre-workout warm-ups and stretching, you will begin to feel different and notice positive change in as little as 3-4 weeks.

SEVEN: Making Friends and Meeting New People.

Muay Thai is great for building camaraderie and mutual respect, because of the effort you exert to achieve your goals.  There’s nothing better than sharing experiences with your fellow combatants after a grueling session.

Now that you know some of Muay Thai’s immense benefits, why not try? If you want to tag along with us we’d be more then happy to have you join!

FYI UMTBC may have donated to the PRIZES for The Great Salad Challenge of 2014!!!

~ Harriet (The Red Hots)

Looking back (Liz, team Blue)

Looking back over the last three months, I’ve gone through quite a lot, and haven’t seen the successes in my goals that I had hoped and planned for.

My goas were:

  1. To be able to take the stairs in the middle of campus without getting winded.
  2. To reduce the occasional pain in my knees
  3. To lessen the effects of my asthma by increasing my cardiovascular endurance
  4. To gain more energy and improve my focus while working

Well, I can say that because of having surgery and not being allowed to exercise (and then not doing a great job of getting back at it after the month of recovery had passed) that I haven’t acheived any of them.

But, that’s not to say I’ve given up; I just have to take a step back, re-evaluate where I stand and make new goals. Those were winter goals, ones that have to be acheived through snow and cold and lack of sun. Now it’s time for summer goals, ones that have the luxury of being set in the sun, when I can run outside everyday, and take my bike to work. Summer goals (for me, anyway) are easier to achieve.

So, my new goal is this:

  1. Get outside for at least 30 minutes everyday. (Bike, run, walk or do yard work)

That one goal will allow me to do all of the things in my original goals: improve my cardiovascular health and get more focus (what my goals really boiled down to).

Small steps are the way, and getting back on my bike and getting outside is the best way to get that done.

It’s not over, it’s just beginning again.

Liz C

Out of the Blue

Healthier Minds

One of my professional goals is to become an expert on Emotional Intelligence in order to train our staff. But one of my personal goals is to be a Emotional Genius. So not only do I want to learn all about it and how to train it but also I want to be it. We all know that health includes our physical, spiritual and mental, so I wanted to share these 9 things that I’m striving incorporate into my life.


1. Don’t Let Anyone Limit Your Joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When you feel good about something that you’ve done, don’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from you. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

2. Don’t Forget

Be quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Be unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, and let them go quickly and be assertive in protecting yourself from future harm.

3. Don’t Die in the Fight

Live to fight another day. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

4. Don’t Prioritize Perfection

Don’t set perfection as your target because you know it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and you end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

5. Don’t Live in the Past

Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve something that isn’t easy. Success lies in your ability to rise in the face of failure, and you can’t do this when they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require you to take some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens, and your past becomes your present, preventing you from moving forward.

6. Don’t Dwell on Problems

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and improves performance. Don’t dwell on problems because you know you’re most effective when you focus on solutions.

7. Don’t Hang Around Negative People

Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid getting drawn in only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix a problem. The complainer will then either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

8. Don’t Hold Grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event involved sends your body into fight-or-flight mode. When a threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when a threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. Learning to let go of a grudge will not only make you feel better now but can also improve your health.

9. Don’t Say Yes Unless You Really Want To

Research shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for most people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, you need to avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

By no means will I say I’ve mastered any of these. However I’ve tried to start and end my day by reading through them, reminding myself of my goals and reframing my day to match.
My body’s on the road to be being strong and flexible.
My mind is on the same journey.

~ Harriet (Red Hots)