Archives for February 2013

Compound lifts plus body part training | the best of both worlds?

I have a short attention span when it comes to fitness. It’s not that I don’t like exercising, it’s that there are just so many fun options out there to choose from!

compound lifts

As much as I understand the benefits of sticking with a specific training program for long enough to see results, I find it hard to resist adding extra exercises to my program and always find myself longing for whatever it is I’m not currently doing.

For the past few years I’ve been combining metabolic workouts with body part training. Two to three days a week, while teaching group fitness classes, I do full body, heart-rate elevating, bootcamp style workouts with plyometrics, body weight exercises and speed and agility training.

The other three days I head to the gym for body part splits; chest and back, shoulders and biceps, triceps and core.

While I’ve managed to get reasonably good results with this approach, for my current muscle-building goals, I know that I really need to be hitting each body part a second time every week AND that I’m missing  ‘leg day’ in my routine…

But how to fit it all in AND avoid overuse injuries?

My solution? Add a ‘big’, compound lift to the beginning of each body part split workout, while I still have lots of energy to lift heavy and with proper form.

compound lift

I aim for 5 sets of 5-6 reps of my compound lift (with 60 s rest between sets) before I move into 3-4 supersets of 8-10 reps of 3 difference exercises for each body part. Confused? Sounds more complicated than it is! (And takes significantly less time than it appears!)

This is the schedule that I’ve been following for the past six weeks;

compound lifts

And is it working????

You bet! I’ve been able to consistently increase the load I’m lifting each and every week; not on every single exercise of every single workout, but on all of my compound lifts as well as my chest, shoulder and tricep exercises during the body part splits. The body part exercises seem to be supporting the strength gains required to keep improving my compound lifts.

If I had just one more day to train I’d start with pull ups (assisted, that is) and finish with legs and glutes.

Unconventional? Perhaps! But sometimes unconventional is what’s needed to remain excited and enthusiastic about exercise!

Do you include compound lifts in your strength training program?

Which of the compound lifts is your favourite?

Why every day is heart health month at my house

February is National Heart Health Month. A month where health care workers and fitness professionals work to educate people about the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Today’s post is my contribution to Blog Your Heart Out Day; a collaboration between the American Heart Association and Fitlosophy Inc. to raise awareness about heart disease in women.

It is a personal post about my family’s experience with heart disease and as such, is rather long. I debated editing more, but found it oddly therapeutic to write. Why every day is heart health month at my house.

heart health month

In my house, we don’t wait until February to think about heart health; every day is heart health month for us. Every six hours we are reminded of the effects of heart disease.

Why?

My 10-year old daughter, Clara has chronic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Four times each and every day, we must stop what we’re doing and administer her medication.

PAH is characterized by having abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It forces the right side of the heart to work harder than normal and typically leads to enlargement of the muscle and damage to the small blood vessels of the lungs over time.

There is no cure for PAH. It is is a life long and life-limiting condition. It affects women more frequently than men.

Causes include autoimmune diseases that damage the lungs (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma), blood clots in the lung (e.g., pulmonary embolism), heart valve disease, HIV infection and lung diseases including COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. It can also be caused by congenital birth defects of the heart.

Clara was born 4 weeks premature. A teeny, tiny thing weighing in at just 5 lbs, 3 oz. However, she passed her Apgar with flying colours and we left the hospital the day after her birth.

heart health month

Always a sleepy baby, Clara would frequently doze while breastfeeding and needed to nurse hourly around the clock. We attributed it to her small size and thought nothing of it. At her one month well-baby check up, the doctor suggested that we start supplementing breast milk with formula. Clara was not growing well (I believe ‘failure to thrive’ was the term he used) and had slipped below the 5th percentile for both height and weight.

We were referred to a paediatrician for assessment and told to increase the concentration of her formula and alternate nursing bouts with bottle feeding (breast feeding is much harder work for babies than feeding from a bottle; Clara needed both the extra calories from the formula and the easier option so as not to exhaust herself while feeding).

At her 4-month check up, the paediatrician detected a ‘heart murmur’, a little extra heart sound that was most likely ‘innocent’, but worth investigating further. We were referred to a paediatric cardiologist and after two months of waiting, finally arrived at the hospital for a series of tests (echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and blood work).

Immediately upon examining the echo, the cardiologist confirmed that the murmur ‘was not innocent’ and in fact was caused by a congenital heart defect. Clara had both a ventral septal defect (VSD, more commonly known as a ‘hole in the heart’) and a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA; the artery that allows blood to bypass the lungs in utero and automatically closes with baby’s first breath of air remained open). She would need surgery immediately. 

After a quick consultation with her team, our cardiologist called to tell us that they would not be able to close the hole until Clara was significantly bigger. (It was a fairly large hole, in a difficult to reach spot). Instead they would perform a ‘bandaid’ procedure; a surgery to reduce the volume and pressure of blood travelling from the heart to the lungs, in an attempt to prevent damage to the pulmonary artery until the definitive surgery could be performed. We had two weeks to prepare ourselves.

I recall very little about that hospitalization, other than the relief I felt when, after 3 days in ICU, they passed me my baby girl to nurse for the first time post surgery. (I took photos the whole time she was in hospital, much to my husband’s horror, to remind myself and to later, show Clara what had caused the scars on her back and chest. Out of respect for her privacy, I’ve chosen not to share them here).

heart health month

The next year passed without incident. Clara put on weight and met all of her developmental milestones. Despite her healthy outward appearance, we knew that it was only a matter of time before we’d be back, once again at the hospital, this time for a longer and more invasive, open-heart procedure.

Clara’s second surgery was scheduled for mid-July of 2004; exactly 6 weeks after her younger brother was born. Unlike before the first surgery, we met with the hospital social worker and psychologist to prepare us for what was to come; a bigger incision, a higher likelihood of complications and a potentially longer time to recovery and healing.

heart health month

What they didn’t prepare us for was the possibility that the surgery wouldn’t be the end of Clara’s health concerns.

I could write an entire post about the 11 days we spent in hospital (5-6 more than is normal for this surgery). About the difficulty the ICU staff had in getting her off the pain meds and breathing comfortably on her own. About the lack of sleep and the constant driving to and from the hospital. About 16 hour days at the hospital with an infant. About O2 sats and PA pressures and drainage tubes. About the moment we almost lost her. About not seeing her smile or laugh for nearly a month after she came home from the hospital. But I won’t. Dredging up those memories still makes me cry.

In the end, my daughter’s surgery was only a partial success. Sometime between the first and second surgeries, the PA band slipped out of position, resulting in permanent damage to her pulmonary artery. She takes medication daily to reduce her PA pressure, which is still significantly higher than yours or mine. There is no expectation that it will ever be normal and we’re ecstatic every time we see the cardiologist (now only every 6 months…) and hear the words ‘no change‘. No change means that the disease is not progressing. Not progressing is good.

Post-surgery tests revealed that the hole wasn’t entirely closed. There is a small ‘jet’ remaining, which puts her at risk for bacterial endocarditis (a life-threatening infection of the heart muscle). She must take prophylactic antibiotics before she visits the dentist and chest colds cannot be left to linger, lest she end up with pneumonia. Flu shots are mandatory for our entire household.

heart health month

She’ll never be an endurance athlete. Running for more than a few minutes leaves her out of breath.

She may never have children. Women with PAH are discouraged from becoming pregnant.

She may someday require a heart-lung transplant. We never talk about this possibility.

Upon meeting Clara, you would never suspect that she lives with a chronic heart condition. She is smart, funny, energetic, loving, tenacious, caring and empathic.

heart health month

Despite the hole, she has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. I love her with all of my heart and cherish every moment we have together (um, except for maybe the ones in which she’s fighting with her brothers…).

IMG_2772

 

Do you know any one with pulmonary arterial hypertension?

How are YOU taking care of your own heart health?

Strength training tips | the benefits of lifting weights slowly

The thing I love most about teaching group fitness classes is being able to regulate the tempo at which my participants exercise. (Clearly, I’m a bit of a control freak). Not too fast, not too slow, just the right speed to maximize the benefits of weight lifting.

I typically choose music in the 120-128 bpm range to allow for adequate time to complete each movement in good form and over the desired range of motion.

benefits of lifting weights slowly

Despite my best intentions and cueing, there are always those participants that feel the need to move more quickly than the rest of the class. Perhaps they can’t find the beat or understand my instructions. Perhaps they just don’t understand the benefits of lifting weights slowly.

Do you?

5 Benefits of Lifting Weights Slowly

  1. Greater range of motion. When lifting weights I encourage my clients to aim for the greatest range of motion they’re capable of moving through without sacrificing form. Why? The greater the range of motion, the more muscle fibres you recruit. Recruiting more muscle fibres not only leads to faster strength gains, it also burns more calories. Plus, you’ll only get stronger within the range of motion you work. That’s the ‘specificity of training’ principle, otherwise known as ‘use it or lose it’.
  2. Better neuromuscular control. Lifting slowly requires intense concentration and focus on the muscles doing the work. Studies have shown that just thinking about performing a bicep curl can lead to (modest) improvements in bicep strength. Combine the power of your brain with the power of your body and the sky’s the limit!
  3. Reduced momentum. When you lift weights rapidly, you harness the energy of the movement you’ve just finished and transfer it to the movement you’re about to initiate. This transfer of energy is called ‘momentum’ and it requires substantially less muscular effort to utilize than initiating each movement from a dead stop. Slow down to use muscle, rather than momentum.
  4. Lower risk of injury. Rapid movements with heavy weights increase your risk of strains, sprains and muscle pulls. They also place your fellow gym goers at risk. Have you ever had to dodge a rapidly moving dumbbell in the gym?
  5. Better strength gains. Muscles get bigger and stronger with increasing time under tension. The slower you perform each movement, the more time your muscles will remain contracted and under tension. In particular, slowing down the eccentric (the non-working, or easier part of each movement) phase of an exercise can dramatically improve muscle strength by simply increasing the length of  time the muscle remains under tension.

Just for fun, I like to try and take at least twice as long to return the weight to it’s starting point as it took me to perform the working phase of the exercise. For example, on a bicep curl, I’ll curl up for 2 counts and down for 4 (or 6 or 8!).

Can’t wait to give it a try? Check out my #FatblasterFriday playlist on YouTube for tons of free, real time strength training workouts!

Try it next time you’re in the gym and tell me whether you could feel the benefits of lifting weights slowly!

Do you have any tricks for getting more out of your strength training?

 

Introducing the workout reward jar | get fit and fashionable at the same time

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Sweet Relish, you’ll know that I have a ‘thing’ about shoes.

A love of funky, chunky, fashion-forward, high-heeled leather footwear. Shoes, boots, sandals, I love them all. (Exercise shoes too, of course, but it’s Fluevogs that really get me excited!)

workout reward jar

I’m not alone in this obsession. Many women (particularly women, cough, cough, my age) have a fascination with shoes, handbags and jewellery.

I have a theory about this.

Accessories always fit, regardless of the size of your body.

A killer pair of boots can cheer you up when your favourite skinny jeans won’t zip up. Sparkly bracelets never make your wrist look ‘puffy’. And handbags can divert attention from your body (as well as provide you with something to disguise your belly; remember Elaine’s giant purses when the producers of Seinfeld were trying to hide Julia Louis Dreyfuss’s pregnancy?).

Upon some self-reflection (and a frank look at my own naked profile in the mirror), I realize that the level of my interest in footwear varies inversely with how satisfied I am in my own skin.

When I feel fit and strong and lean, my shopping trips focus on jeans and curve-hugging sweaters.

When I feel not-so-fit and have put on a few extra pounds, my tastes gravitate towards shoes and boots.

I’m in a ‘shoe’ phase right now and I’m doing something about it (something other than just buying shoes, that is).

My solution? Dial in my nutrition (bye bye sugar), kick up my workouts (more intensity and consistency) and reward my hard work with a new pair of shoes.

Introducing my workout reward jar, AKA the ‘Fluevog Jar’!

workout reward jar

Since January 1st, I’ve been tossing a ‘toonie’ (that’s Canadian-speak for our 2 dollar coin) into my workout reward jar every time I complete a workout, with the goal of rewarding my efforts with a new pair of Fluevogs this summer (Fitbloggin’, Portland, June; will you be there?). 

It’s only mid-February and I’ve already saved $70. (Do the math! That’s 35 workouts in 7 weeks). If I keep it up, I may not only be able to buy the shoes I’ve got my eyes on, I may also be able to afford a new pair of jeans; in a smaller size!

Do you reward yourself for making fitness a priority?

How would you spend YOUR workout reward jar money?

The Graston Technique | possible help for your intercostal muscle strain?

Last summer I strained my intercostal muscles. I wrote about the injury and was astounded by the number of people who responded, sharing their intercostal muscle strain stories and lamenting the long, slow road to recovery. (Click through the headline below to read their comments)

intercostal muscle strain

I’ve since updated this post, sharing the exercises that my chiropractor taught me to help re-strengthen my intercostal muscles and overall core strength (you can find a video demonstration of the exercises on my YouTube channel).

But a recent question from a reader (as well as an overzealous core workout that tweaked those muscles yet again…) made me realize that I’d never expanded on the details of the in-office treatment I received. Treatment that I believe helped speed up my recovery time.

The Graston Technique (GT) is a trademarked form of soft tissue manipulation that uses specifically designed stainless steel tools to break up scar tissue and adhesions.

It’s performed by rapidly running the instrument back and forth across the affected area, creating heat and friction and some moderate to severe discomfort. (My treatment left my skin bruised and a bit tender; nothing compared to the pain of the original injury, though).

intercostal muscle strain

How exactly does the Graston Technique work?

Patented stainless steel instruments are used to “comb over” and “catch” on adhesions and scar tissue. Once the area of restriction has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body.

According to the official website of the Graston Technique (www.grastontechnique.com), GT

  • separates and breaks down collagen cross-links
  • separates connective tissue and muscle fibres
  • increases skin temperate
  • facilitates reflex changes in the the chronic muscle holding pattern (i.e., helps release chronic muscle spasms)
  • increases blood flow to and from the affected area
  • increases cellular activity in the region (thereby improving cellular regeneration and healing)

Who can perform the Graston Technique?

GT can only be performed by trained and accredited therapists including (but not limited to), registered massage therapists, physiotherapists and chiropractors.

Any evidence that GT really works?

I could find no clinical trials comparing the efficacy of GT to standard, hands-on soft tissue manipulation. Only case studies of individuals or small groups reporting the beneficial effects of a variety of treatments, including GT, active release therapy (ART), ultrasound and electrical stimulation (sometimes all rolled into a single treatment).

Some critics of the technique cite the placebo effect as a likely explanation for the many anecdotal reports of GT’s success in treating everything from plantar fasciatis to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Bottom line?

For me, GT seems to have been the treatment that set me on the road to recovery. I didn’t start to notice any improvement in my range of mobility or any decrease in my ambient pain until my chiropractor started adding GT to my twice-weekly treatment sessions. One could argue that time was the true healer and that any benefit I attribute to GT was simply due to the placebo effect.

(In my opinion, the placebo effect doesn’t deserve the bad rap that it usually gets. If you had cancer and were assigned to a clinical trial  for a new treatment, would you care whether or not you’d received the ‘sugar pill’ or the real medicine as long as you were cured? The placebo effect is just further proof that we know very little about how the mind affects the health of the body…)

Regardless, if you’re suffering from an intercostal muscle strain and already receiving treatment from a GT certified practitioner, what’s the harm in asking them to include it in your therapy?

Placebo or not, if GT  leads to improved healing and pain reduction, what have you got to lose? (If you’re interested in reading a really interesting article on the evolution and maintenance of the placebo effect, click through to Nicholas Humphrey and John Skoyles’ recent editorial in Current Biology. Fascinating)

Has your health care practitioner ever performed the Graston Technique on you?

What was the outcome? Did it help or hinder the healing process?

 

Functional, flirty and feminine fit gear | A Tough Girl Skirt review

I work in a gym. That means that 6 days out of 7, I can be found wearing tights. Basic, boring, black tights. Functional, but not very fun.

While I love my job, I AM envious of friends who get to dress up for work. You know, put on a skirt. Look a little more feminine. Have a bit of fun with clothes.

Yes, I know you can buy workout skirts. But way up here in the north, we need something on our legs to keep us warm from September through May.

Imagine my delight when I discovered the Tough Girl Skirt by SkirtSports. Full length, boot cut workout tights topped by a fun, flirty and feminine skirt! And not just in black, but in many colourful solids and prints too!

I immediately ordered the black (baby fashion steps here…).

The first three days after they arrived, I wore nothing else. Around the house. Out for groceries and to the dentist. A quick trip to the mall. Hiking with the family on a cold, windy day.

Tough Girl Skirt review

And of course, to the gym. (I gotta tell you, the girls were all jealous!)

Tough Girl Skirt review

While perfectly functional for weight work, I found the fabric to be too warm for cardiovascular training. Thankfully Skirt Sports also makes a capri length version of these tights (I’ve already added the Lotta Breeze Capris to my Sweet Relish workout wear list!) 

I love the fit. Clingy around the thigh and widening to a moderate boot cut at the toe, the silhouette is flattering and fun.

I love the skirt. Just the right length to cover up your booty when running errands after you leave the gym.

I love the pockets. One on each leg, hidden by the skirt. Perfect for holding your iPod. There’s even a ‘Sonic Music Port’ to thread your headphones through. Brilliant!

I love the fabric. Sleek, only slightly shiny and with enough weight that the skirt doesn’t constantly ride up or cling to the tights.

I love that they keep my legs warm when the weather isn’t.

The only thing I’d change is the length. I’m 5’7″ tall, with fairly long legs, and my medium Tough Girls are still about an inch and a half too long. Thank goodness I know a fabulous tailor!

Wanna see them in another colour? Just so happens that Carla (MizFit) is also reviewing the Tough Girl today  (and yes, we did plan this, just like you used to call your girlfriends up before going out just to ask them what they were wearing…). Click on over and see what she has to say!

Have you ever worn a skirt or dress to work out in?

Which colour or pattern would YOU order?

Disclaimer: SkirtSports generously sent me a Tough Girl Skirt to review (via their Canadian online distributer Prairie2Peak.com). All opinions and statements of adoration are entirely my own!

#FatblasterFriday | shorten your workouts with compound exercises

Most of us have better things to do than spend hours in the gym.

We want to get fit. We want to be healthy. We want to lose weight. But we have jobs and families and volunteer work and other things to do too.

When I ask clients how long they’re willing to commit to a single workout session, most tell me an hour. Including warming up, foam rolling and stretching.

My solution? Ditch the isolation exercises for whole body, compound movements. In my opinion, it’s one of the very best ways to up the intensity of your strength training workout

Not only do compound exercises get you out of the gym more quickly, because they involve more muscle groups, they also tend to be metabolic in nature. That means they’ll elevate your heart rate and burn more calories than single joint isolation exercises.

My favourite compound exercises combine an upper body movement with a squat or lunge. While you won’t be able to use as heavy a weight as you might if you were ONLY squatting or lunging, you’ll still generate a ‘burn’ if you keep the tempo up and resist the urge to take breaks between sets.

Today’s #FatblasterFriday workout consists of 5, whole body compound exercises. The only equipment required is a set or two of moderate to heavy dumbbells (you decide what’s ‘heavy’ for you, but by the end of a set, if you’re not starting to struggle you probably need a bit more weight…).

Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise in circuit style, without rest. Pause at the end of the circuit, then repeat a 2nd and a 3rd time.

compound exercises

Did you like this workout? Then PLEASE

  • WATCH and DO the workouts with me
  • SUBSCRIBE to fitknitchick on YouTube 
  • CHECK OUT the #FatblasterFriday Playlist for more, real time workouts
  • PIN the above WORKOUT PHOTO
  • GIVE me your FEEDBACK on YouTube or in the COMMENTS section below
  • LIKE and SHARE my videos with your friends via email, Facebook and Twitter

More VIEWS, LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES –>> More VIDEOS!

Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

 

Announcing fitknitchick’s DietBet Round 2 | social weight loss games work!

I just finished hosting (and participating in) my first ever DietBet.

social weight loss

Who knew that a social weight loss game could be so much fun?

  • 208 participants collectively lost in excess of  1 429 pounds (that’s about 7 whole people worth of weight!).
  • More than half of them (114) met their monthly weight loss goal (4% of their body weight at the beginning of the challenge) and were rewarded with their share of the pot. (Sadly, I missed my goal by a mere 7-tenths of a pound, but did manage to tame my sugar addiction and undo most of the holiday damage…)
  • About a third of them actively participated in the forum, sharing their daily workouts, meals, challenges and successes and enthusiastically cheering each other on.

social weight loss

social weight loss

social weight loss

social weight loss

DietBet’s slogan is “Lose weight, have fun and make money”

I would like to add another clause.

Lose weight, have fun, make money, and build community!

At the request of many of last month’s participants, I’ve agreed to host a follow up game. Building on the momentum that we’ve created and inviting new friends to join our supportive and engaged community!

Round 2 starts this Friday (February 8th) and registration is already hopping!

social weight loss

Here’s how it works:

  1. Join Fitknitchick’s DietBet Round 2 <<<<—— by clicking on the link.
  2. Set up your profile and ante up ($25)
  3. Submit your starting weight photo a couple of days before the contest starts (photos and weights remain private; nobody will see it but you; you will receive an email 48 before the game starts with instructions!)
  4. Lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks and claim your share of the pot (combined ante less DietBet’s administrative costs)!

The more participants, the bigger the pot and the larger your potential winnings!

In addition to the monetary prize, I’ll also be rewarding the game’s MVP (the person who brings the most friends to the game; check out the ‘invite friends’ tool once you’ve registered) a special ‘fitknitchick’ prize; 2 packages of my favourite weight loss support cereal, Holy Crap! 

And since a big part of weight loss is getting adequate exercise, I’ll be posting free workouts on my Facebook page every Tuesday and Thursday for the duration of the challenge! Make sure you’ve ‘liked’ my page and have added it to your interests list (details on how to do it can be found here).

Have you ever participated in a social weight loss game before?

Are you still on track with your January health and fitness goals?

Disclaimer: DietBet compensates the hosts of all DietBet competitions. The nutrition tips, workouts and encouragement of participants, however, comes directly from me!

Bloggers love positive feedback | blog comment love roundup

Last week I asked my blog readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers to answer a few simple questions to help me figure out who they were, why they read my blog and what they’d like to see more (or less) of. Thanks to all of you who responded!

blog comment love

I also left room for general comments.

While the results of the survey were much appreciated (and will be put to good use over the next month as I make some changes to my site), the best and most validating part of the process was seeing the overwhelmingly positive response of my readers to this blog. Check out the blog comment love!

blog comment love

You like me! (paraphrasing Sally Field…)

Both individually and collectively, that positive feedback filled me with joy and reminded me of the most important reasons that I maintain this site: to share information, to help find solutions to problems and to be of use to as many people as I can.

Now I know that I’m not the only blogger that appreciates a little positive feedback. Blog comment love is the high point in many a blogger’s day. And to that end, I asked some healthy living blogger friends to share their favourite positive comment left by a reader. Comments that made them feel good about themselves and blogging in general.

See a comment that makes you feel all gushy inside? Click through to read the blog that inspired the love!

“The best book review I’ve read in quite some time. I actually want to buy this book based on your honest assessment and how strong your emotional response was to this book. I love your moderate approach to what this publication offers. Thank you!” ~~ Alison from Racing Tales

“I really need you to write a book on your life because you’re such an inspirational muse and an architect of excellence.”  ~~ Andre from Better Body Expert

“I know this is totally random and we haven’t talked since high school, but I just wanted to contact you and say thank you! Thank you for what? For helping me change my outlook on life.I just wanted to drop a note and say thank you for helping me get back on the right track. I still to do this day suffer and get mad about what I eat, how many calories I just consumed, and want to go back to how I used to look but every time I sign on to my googlereader and see how many inspirational people are there that can steer me into the right direction again.”  ~~ Clare from Fitting It All In

“Dear Sarah, I was browsing the web for goodlife fitness and somehow stumbled upon your blog. I Started off reading some older enteries and I got to tell you, you are amazing! In recent years, I have read a ton of books but honestly I found your blog to be one of the best things I have read. It’s full of positivity, passion, struggle, care, love, discipline, inspiration, education. I love how clear and easy to understand you write. In the past several years, I have been a bit lost and quite honestly had forgotten how to live but reading your blog has given my a new hope and perspective to follow. I understand now that I had forgotten to appreciate the small things in life and should pay more attention to them. I thank you very much. Oh yeah, the reason I wanted to make this comment is to tell you that your boss was right about you. 1.You are mature for your age. 2. You are a detailed oriented person. 3. You are committed. 4. You are hard working. 5. You are an excellent writer. 6. You are passionate. 7. You are a pleasure to be around with. I can go on and on for a long time but you got my point. I think you will do excellent in whatever you do so don’t doubt yourself. I know you want to take one step at a time but you should have high goals and I know you will get there.” ~~ Sarah from My Mostly Healthy Life

blog comment love

“Thanks so much for these words of wisdom! I am a terrible runner but a very goal-oriented woman, so keeping logs of my runs and walks has really helped me see progress, even if it is just a tenth (yes, a tenth) of a mile at a time. Thanks for this post, Laura, and for all of the suggestions and encouragement to newbies!” ~~ Laura from Mommy Run Fast

“I have to tell you that I really enjoy your blog and I enjoy it for several reasons. You are real. You don’t sugar coat, you don’t pretend. I especially love the pictures of your workouts that you share. You aren’t made up or glamorous. You’re just you.” ~~ Tenecia from Boobs, Barbells and Broccoli

I love how you always make me think.” —” I applaud your honesty!!!” — “Your post is so important.” — “I LOVE this post! You are such a motivator!” — “You know you serve as a huge inspiration to me to get out and make it happen – no matter what. You have given so many words of advice and inspiration since we became friends, and I am thankful to have met you through our blogs. I love how you always make me think.” ~~ Elle from Eat, Run, Sail and We Can Begin to Feed (she has so many comments because she writes two blogs!)

“I just wanted to send you an email because I really enjoy your blog. I came across it through a link from PB runner to your video post about moving forward after your breakup. Thank you so much for posting that video. I went through a breakup over a year ago (and we weren’t even living together), and have not been able to move forward. Your video was so inspiring and motivated me to take action and go on with my life.” ~~ Erica from EricaDHouse.com

blog comment love

“I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and have been trying very hard to like quinoa without much success, UNTIL now! I found your recipe on Pinterest and figured I’d give it a try … I had seconds and my hubby had thirds! Absolutely delicious and I will be making this again and again … I even think it’s party-worthy! THANK YOU!!!! Most importantly-you are SUCH an inspiration and reviewing all your healthy and yummy recipes, you have gotten our family eating much healthier and we seem HAPPIER too. Thanks Moni. Your passion shines and is helping many others too!” ~~ Monica from Moni Meals

“You are so inspiring. Legit. Keep being amazing and don’t ever let the world tell you what should be done.” ~~ Heather from Just a Colorado Girl

Now, I’ve visited each and every one of these blogs on many occasions and couldn’t agree more with the positive reader comments. Go! Have a look for yourself! And remember, sometimes a little blog comment love is all a blogger needs to stay inspired and motivated to keep on blogging!

Are you a blogger? If so, share your favourite blog comment love below!

Have you ever left a comment on a blog telling them of the impact their post had on you and your life?