Is changing industries the end of the world?

Happy New Year!!! As we dive into the new year and new decade, I thought it fitting to share some notes I had after watching some YouTube videos on making changes in work and career some time back. This is a time that some of us consider making big changes in our lives. Here are the videos my notes came from:

I started my career as an engineer in the Oil and Gas industry in 2008 and spent seven years building equipment for subsea oil extraction. And then I needed a change and did a full pivot to another industry.

I was still moving things, but instead of fluid, I was concepting machines to move products…from boxes of cereal to large truck tires. But it took me a while to feel like I was in the right place or that I was capable of doing great work.

The three videos above were a result of one of those days of doubt when I wasn’t sure that I had made the right choice, and they had quite a bit of wisdom to offer that helped me see that I was in the right place.

Here’s what I learned.

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Is walking enough to help you improve your health?

When you’re a boss lady who’s got a lot of balls in the air at one time, it’s easy for you to forget to put yourself in the mix. And when you choose to take the time for self-care and start to exercise, your first desire might be to go for the simplest thing you can do starting out – you know like walking. But is exercise as simple as walking enough to improve your health? Well, I’ll answer that, starting with the short answer…walking is a low-intensity full body workout that can help you satisfy your body’s need to move.

In Case You Were Curious…This article was originally a part of my health and fitness website.

The article has modified significantly. If you’re interested in the cliff notes of the original at the end of the article.

Now let’s get into the details

I see walking as the forgotten child of running and strength training when it comes to exercise. And choosing to walk as your primary form of exercise can boost your long-term health.

First, whats walking [nope I’m not kidding]?

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Will Lifting Weights Make You Look Like a Man?

Originally Published: September 5th, 2013; Updated: February 15th, 2020

Short Answer: No! As women we don’t have enough testosterone to get the bulky muscle that men typically have.

In Case You Were Curious…This article was originally a part of my health and fitness website.

The article still holds true to what I believe today and the editing has been minimal (formatting, typos, et al.)

Let’s start with what lifting weights is – it’s a form of resistance training that requires your muscles to do work to lift the load (the weights). Because it’s an activity that’s mostly associated with guys, there’s this idea that you’ll manly if you lift weights. 

So where does the idea of looking manly come from?

The idea that weight training will make you look bulky might have come from what happens when you add resistance training to your exercise program. If you lift loads that are heavier than what your muscles are used to, you’ll gain more muscle.

The muscle gain comes from the repair of muscle tissue that breaks down when you put it under stress by lifting these weights. This repair means that you’re increasing the strength of the muscle tissue in your body.

Normally this repair will lead to an increase in size, but women don’t make enough testosterone for this to translate into a big size change. Instead, it’ll help you get leaner than you would be if you focused exclusively on cardio.

But what about those women in the fitness magazines?

If you’re thinking of the women in bodybuilding magazines, they look like that because they choose to, i.e., with the use of supplements, specially-designed exercise regimens, and super specific diets designed just for that look. Bottom line, the everyday woman lifting weights to stay healthy, look great, and lose weight won’t look like the women on the cover of muscle mags.

You don’t need to worry about looking manly when you lift weights. You don’t need to be afraid of activity that will help accentuate the best parts of your unique body. The only person you’ll look like is your natural self with your natural curves.

Why you do want to lift weights/resistant train to build muscle

So now that we’ve established that lifting weights won’t make you look manly, let’s look at some reasons why lifting weights or resistance training, in general, are an essential part of your training program:

  • If you don’t exercise in a way that at least retains muscle, you’ll lose it as you get older. And this will have a negative impact on your quality of life because you won’t be as strong as you were before to do the things that you love to do
  • At rest, muscle burns more calories than fat, and this translates to more weight loss over time
  • Muscle takes up less space than fat, and this is how it helps reveal your natural curves in your favorite clothes
  • Lifting weights or resistance training will help you build confidence as you get to see what your body is capable of first hand. You get into doing complex movements that are so much more than putting one leg in front of the other on a treadmill or elliptical machine

Here’s how you can get started

You don’t have to start hitting the gym and pumping heavy iron to do resistance training. In fact, you can start with the resistance of your own body.

Body weight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups will help you start resistance training in the comfort of your home. As you get more comfortable, you can decide to add more complex bodyweight exercises or join a gym where you can explore different types of equipment to level up your results.

Two reasons why exercise matters to me

Originally Published: August 13th, 2013; Updated: February 15th, 2020

In Case You Were Curious…This article was originally a part of my health and fitness website.

The article has modified significantly. If you’re interested in the cliff notes of the original at the end of the article.

When I first wrote this article it was from the lens that the primary role of exercise was in service of losing weight. After I had my second child and was burnt out on the idea that I needed to maintain the same body that I had when I was a teenager even though it had grown and delivered two kids, seeing exercise through this lens was no longer an effective motivator.

When weight loss was no longer the primary reason I chose healthy behaviors like exercise, seeing exercise as a calorie burner, muscle toner and all the other things that were related to body manipulation were no longer effective in inspiring me to show up to my workouts as planned.

What I came to discover was that cultivating an exercise habit was a healthy behavior that I wanted to make time for two reasons (none that had anything to do with weight loss).

Continue reading “Two reasons why exercise matters to me”