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fitness

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28 Week Bump-Date

Pregnancy is a strange beast. In one moment I'm awestruck by the magnitude of what my body is doing.  How indescribable it is to have a tiny person rolling (punching, kicking) around and growing inside me.  On the other hand, my body doesn't feel like my own (it gets bigger every day), I miss hot yoga and sushi and those workouts that leave you drenched in sweat with your muscles shaking.  I miss sleeping on my stomach and just sleeping in general (hello, 3am potty breaks).

If you've ever had an injury that sidelined you for a few months I'm sure you know the feeling...

wanting to get back to your routine, but knowing that jumping in too soon will just hurt you more than it will help.  With my first pregnancy I didn't change much about my workout routine and was no worse for it, but this time my body said, "NO!" to certain things loud and clear early on.  And I know and respect my body enough to understand that no means no.  It definitely doesn't help that I get a 10 hour workout every day just running after a toddler.  No wonder I can't hang anymore.

So here we are in the third trimester with about 12 weeks left to go (more or less... hopefully just a little less).

28 weeks. I've heard a lot of, "But you're so big!" this week. Maybe (definitely) refrain from ever saying that to any woman ever again.  Please also excuse my dirty mirror. 

I hear third trimester and think, "Hey we're almost there!" and then I see 12 weeks and I think, "Woah that's a long time."

And tomorrow I may start wishing it would all slow down because I'm not so sure I'm ready to have two.  Hormones are crazy things, my friends.

How did you feel towards the end of your pregnancy?  Were you a magical glowing unicorn the whole time? Did you reach a point where you were just DONE with a capital D?  How did you get through to the end?  (Looking for suggestions that don't involve indulging in ice cream... I've got that one covered.)

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"I Love Me" BINGO!

Just because Valentine's Day has come and gone doesn't mean we have to put the lovin' aside... especially the self-love. So what do you think?  Want to play some "I Love Me!" BINGO?

I Love Me BINGO!

Create/Recite an Empowering Mantra Daily “I am capable.” “I know who I am and I am enough.” “I choose to think thoughts that serve me well." “My body is my vehicle in life; I choose to fill it with goodness”

Whatever it is. Find something that fills you with peace, hope, and happiness and repeat it daily. Embrace it whenever it comes to mind or whenever you need it.

Eat Something That Makes You Feel Great. Sure that salad may not taste as good as that decadent chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache for a day, but it will make you feel great from the inside out. Choose something that will fill your body with goodness.

Eat Something That Tastes Amazing. Go eat that amazing chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache just because it tastes amazing. Or better yet… try these vegan dark chocolate truffles! (See! You don’t need anyone to buy you an overpriced box of chocolates shaped like a heart.)

Smile In The Mirror. And mean it.

Write Yourself a Love Letter. You are beautiful, and powerful, and capable, and you do amazing things every day. Don’t forget to tell yourself how great you are.

Do Something New and/or Challenging. If it doesn’t challenge us it doesn’t change us. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. A new recipe, a new workout routine, a new class. Because when you do conquer it, you’re going to feel unstoppable.

Do Something that Makes You Feel Invincible. We all have something that we know we’re good at. Go give yourself a little ego boost and rock it out.

Treat Yo’Self. Even if you just treat yourself to a new pair of cute sweatpants or a box of heart shaped chocolates or the newest Saturday night Hallmark channel movie. Give yourself permission to do something a little indulgent.

So let's finish the month of love with worthy love, the kind that builds us and those around us up... and what better place to start than within!

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A More Traditional #TransformationTuesday

December 8 (left) vs. January 26 (right) It's been 7 weeks since I posted Progress Not Perfection (and it still doesn't look like I've cleaned my mirror ?).

That means this is progress even through the holidays. Christmas, New Years, snow days... And other than committing to a non-negotiable daily yoga practice (some days this is just meditation) I have not done a single thing differently than I was 7 weeks ago.  No crazy diets. Hell, no diet at all! No deprivation. No detoxes. (Though to be honest I probably need a sugar detox... Not for my waistline, but for my insides. I'm feeling sluggish the way I do when my sweet tooth needs to take a back seat for a while.)

But this tells me that this lifestyle works for me!

I don't count the days until I'm allowed to eat whatever I want again. Could I "tighten up" my diet to "tighten up" faster? Sure. But it won't work as well in the long run.  Quick fixes usually mean a quick return to whatever weight/shape you were when you go back to "normal."  If you make this your normal you can't lose.  Nothing works as well as consistency.

This IS a lifestyle. THIS is my normal.  And THIS is the result.

P.S.  This is also why I strongly encourage my clients to take pictures!  I wear leggings for a living and my ring is a size 3 3/4 so I don't really notice the change in my clothes or rings very often.  I assumed there wouldn't be any difference in these pictures (I actually thought I would've looked bigger), but sometimes you really can't tell where you were and where you are without the side by side comparison.  

 

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Part II: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays Yesterday I told you that as long as you promised not to make this year’s resolution all or nothing, I would teach you how to set SMART goals and we would talk about the steps to take in order to reach them.

SMART goals are: Specific Measureable Attainable Relevant Time-bound

(Get it… they spell smart!)

The point is to take vague, hard-to-reach ideas (like “I want to be in better shape”) and turn them into realistic objectives (like “I want to be able to squat x-amount and run a mile in under x-minutes).

You may already have a goal in mind.

I want to run a marathon!  

This is going to be the year I get six pack abs! 

But before you set your SMART goal in stone, I want you to ask yourself a simple question:  Why?

WHY do you want to run a marathon? (Is it because you love running or because the runners you see look fit?WHY do you want to lose weight? (Is it because you think leaner = happier? It usually doesn't.)

Determining your "why" can help you nail down what it is you actually want.

{To be clear, both of those goals are perfectly fine, but I want you to set them for the right reasons.  And remember... looking healthy and being healthy aren't always the same thing.}

Ready for a little holiday homework?

Imagine your fabulous, future-self a whole year later getting ready for 2017. How does she feel?  What does the space around her look like?  What are her hobbies?  What kind of relationships does she have?  You get the idea!  Write these things down and determine what it is you want this year. {Hint: these don't have to be fitness related!}

Need some accountability?  Put it out there!  Tell me what you're going after this year in the comments!

Then check back tomorrow for the final part of the Resolution series where we talk about ways to influence outcomes in the most positive way!

 

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Part I: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays With only days left in 2015, I'm sure many of you have started thinking about New Year's resolutions and all the things you hope to accomplish in 2016.

Can I tell you a secret? I kinda wish you wouldn't...

Look, setting goals is important.  Goals give you long-term vision and short-term motivation and those are great things!  The problem with goal setting is that it often puts the destination above the journey and – especially in the health and fitness world – there is no destination. Consistency is the key!

You can eat steamed chicken and broccoli and hit the gym everyday until you have a six-pack, but as soon as you give that up (because let’s face it, that’s not sustainable) then it’s back to square one.

In order to be truly successful in the long run, you have to adopt this as a lifestyle.

But you know the old saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  So make a plan!

That doesn’t mean your plan needs to be "follow a strict diet and schedule."  In fact, when we make plans and forget to build in flexibility, we fail because we weren’t really prepared.  So plan for what you will do when you travel.  Plan for the days when you get stuck working late.  Plan for an injury that would keep you from doing certain exercises.  Plan for any issues you think may get in your way.  Plan on giving yourself some wiggle room when friends or family come to town or you go on vacation.  Know your plan and know how to put it into action when you need it.  That is structure with flexibility.  That is how you make this a lifestyle.

So as long as you promise not to make this year’s resolution all or nothing, tomorrow I’ll teach you how to set SMART goals and the steps to take to reach them.

 

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2015 Fit Friends Gift Guide

Fit Friends Gift Guide We’re already a week into December! Are you still looking for a gift for your favorite fit friend? I’ve compiled a list of some of my can’t-live-without-just-gotta-have gadgets, places, and apps to make your search a little easier!

1) Timex Women’s T5K723 Ironman Road Trainer + Digital HRM

timex

I use this watch every single day. It’s small enough that it doesn’t interfere while training and it even has the option to change settings to give you a more accurate calorie count for when you’re lifting, riding, running, etc. I’ve had to change the battery in the heart rate monitor four times in the two years I’ve had it, but it’s a simple fix and – to be fair – I often use it two to four hours a day.

2)  Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsDon’t have a lot of room to store equipment? Worried about kids/pets getting hurt around heavy weights? All five of these bands plus the door anchor fit into a small bag and are stackable to create up to 75lbs of resistance. I love that I can easily adjust my workouts to make them more challenging once I become comfortable with one level of resistance and they’re so portable I can take them outside while we’re enjoying 60+ degree days in December.

3) Stability Ball

Stability BallThere are endless uses for a stability ball like this. Just sitting on one of these instead of the couch while watching TV can help improve core strength and help back pain. There are also countless exercises that use the stability ball and this one in particular has a base you can hook your resistance bands up to.

4) TRX Suspension Trainer

TRXLike the resistance bands, this baby fits into a bag smaller than my purse. The TRX uses bodyweight exercises to improve strength, balance, and core stability all at the same time. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of if you’ve never used it before, but they have great tutorials on their site and on YouTube OR you can schedule a session or two with me and we’ll go over how to use your new toy!

5) Headspace Subscription

HeadspaceHeadspace is a personal trainer – for your mind. The free Take 10 Program gently guides users into the world of meditation, but the yearly subscription is where the really great stuff is. There are categories for stress, anxiety, sleep, self-esteem, happiness, balance, and so much more. Happy mind = happy body.

6) Les Mills Weight Set

LM Smart BarIf you’re looking for some serious weights, but don’t exactly have the room or budget for an Olympic weight set this may be a great start. I have the Don Oliver set, but I hear the SmartBars are amazing. Can I lift as heavy as I’d like to with this? Not always. But this has kept my strength up well since I’ve had trouble getting to the gym as often with a baby at home.

7) #fitmom Tank

Fit MomIs your favorite fit-friend a new mommy or mommy-to-be? I love my #fitmom tank from Fresh Apparel! It’s comfortable to workout in, washes well (hello, baby puke), and gets lots of laughs when I wear it out. PLUS you’re supporting another mom’s business when you buy from her!

8) Superfun Yoga Pants

Superfun Yoga PantsIf you live in the Richmond area and you’ve seen a woman walking around in the fly-est leggings you’ve ever seen, there’s a good chance that’s thanks to Superfun Yoga pants. They sell lots of brands and sizing can run differently on all of them so if you can, they recommend you try them on in person. Bring your fit friend to a pop-up or shop online! (They even sell gift certificates if you’re just not sure what size or pattern to choose.)

9) Fancy Gym Bag

Lululemon Duffle I treated myself to a lululemon gym bag before I started teaching and it’s still in amazing shape despite the fact that it comes with me EVERYWHERE. This isn’t the same bag, but it has a lot of the same features. I love that these bags have a place for my yoga mat and for a change of clothes, my cycle shoes, etc.

10) Class Packages

BohoOmOnYogaTurn RVA

Does your friend go to a studio for yoga every Saturday morning? Does she set her alarm two hours early so she can start her day with her favorite instructor (maybe 5:45a Fridays at Boho Cycle Studio *hint hint*)? You can purchase class packages as gifts at most studios. Better yet… get her one and then get yourself one too! I love when friends join me for a workout.

If you’re in the RVA area here are a few of my favorite places to sweat:

Have anything to add to the list?  Comment below!

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Gratitude

what if you woke up today  

Every once in a while this phrase pops up in my social media world and I love it when it does. With a new baby and a new(ish) business, it’s easy to get caught up in the go, go, go of life and forget to pause in gratitude.

According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people not only experienced fewer aches and pains -- but they also reported feeling healthier than others. Gratitude has also been proven to improve sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength: all good things, right?

I’m all for little tricks that make me happier AND healthier and ‘tis the season so without further ado…

4 Things I Am Thankful For {because 5 is just so expected, amirite?}

1. My Body It is not perfect. It wasn’t in high school. It wasn’t pre-baby. It isn’t post-baby. But it. Is. Awesome. It allowed me to teach 20 intense group exercise classes a week when I was first starting out as a new instructor and was the “yes” person. It allowed me to pass BODYPUMP training even though I had neglected to strengthen it properly before hand. It has allowed me to run three half-marathons, two 10ks and countless shorter runs. It has tolerated me treating it like a garbage can. It has rewarded me for treating it like a temple. And – of course – it grew and birthed a human being. An actual human being. A perfect human being. It is strong and soft and I love it.

2. That perfect human being. I hate when people say you don’t know love until you’ve had a child. That’s not true. There are all kinds of love and each is as valuable as the other. But the love I feel for my sweet baby girl is definitely a very different kind of love. She has changed me inside and out. I love her for everything she is and for everything she will be. I am so thankful I get to be her mommy.

3. My Soul Mate. Some people don’t believe in soul mates. Honestly, I’m not even sure I do. But I can tell you {and some of you can attest to the fact} that the day after I met mine I told anyone who would listen that I met the man I was going to marry. I wasn’t even sure if I loved him yet. I couldn’t possibly have known that after a day, but thankfully – somewhere deep in my soul – I knew I found him. We have endured heartaches and deaths. We have celebrated joy and new life. He makes my heart race and puts my mind at ease.

4. My Coworkers + Mentors Bravo has created an entire network around TV shows full of women tearing each other down. I have known many of these women in my life. We all have. We hope it’s a middle school thing. A high school thing. A college thing. And then they show up in the professional world. But I am a lucky one because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong, self-assured, wonderful women who have not only been helpful and kind to me, but who have also shown me how to be strong, self-assured and wonderful to others. Please don’t misunderstand – of course there is competition and jealousy in my profession. It has been directed at me. It has sadly even come from me. But I try to make short work of those feelings, because they have no place in my heart or my mind. I am a lucky one, indeed.

What are you thankful for?

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Workout Wednesday: Veterans Day

thank you In between the posts about red Starbucks cups and bragging about having the day off to sleep in (or being angry that you don't have the day off), I hope you'll take a minute to not only thank current and former military members for their service, but to think about what they have to do just to serve.

Few of us can say that being in peak physical condition is a job requirement, but it is for these men and women.  Could you imagine having to run 3 miles in less than 30 minutes to keep your job?  I'm a fitness professional and that's not even a requirement for me!

Here's a look at the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Requirements for the Marines:

Pull-ups (males only):  Score is determined by how many pull-ups you can complete before dropping off the bar.

Flexed-Arm Hang (females only): Score is based on how long you can hang maintaining elbow flexion.

Abdominal Crunches:  Score is determined by the number of crunches you can do in the 2-minute time limit.

3-Mile Run:  Score is determined by how long it takes to complete the run.

Source: MARINE CORPS ORDER 6100.13 W/CH 1

My challenge for you on this special Workout Wednesday is to take a "walk" in their boots and give this a try!

Could you pass?

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Try-Day Friday: BODYFLOW

Try-Day Friday is back already, ladies & gents! I had a hard time getting into the gym for my own workouts last week. Our family schedule was packed and I just couldn’t find the time to leave the house for a long enough stretch. Sound familiar? I hear you… I really, really do.

So instead of saying, “Oh well!” and throwing in the towel, I signed up for a free trial of Les Mills on Demand and took a brand new-to-me class in my own living room.

I had never taken a BODYFLOW® class before and now I can’t believe I waited so long to try it! If you don’t know anything about BODYFLOW®, it’s a yoga-based class that incorporates elements of Tai Chi and Pilates to help students “improve mind, body and life.”

One of the most important aspects of yoga – and one that I struggle with the most – is linking breath to the movement. BODYFLOW® is a game changer for me here! In a quiet studio or practicing to ambient music I have a tendency to focus more on the moves and less on the breath. But the choreography in this class flows perfectly with the music, making it easier to remember to inhale and exhale on the beat.

I can’t wait to get to an actual class soon!

flow

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Try-Day Friday: SURF FIT

I. Had. THE. Most fun workout at Turn - Cardio Jam Studio this week! It’s a little bit of a tease getting on a surfboard in mid SURF FIT poseOctober, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Surf F.I.T. starts after Dance Trance Tuesday nights at Turn so the second you walk in the door you walk into the end of a dance party. Seriously… dark room, colored flashing light, the whole sh’bang. And if that doesn’t get your amped up to ride some imaginary waves I don’t know what will.

Fortunately, the lights come back on for Surf F.I.T. because I could hardly balance without the flashing lights at first. 

The F.I.T. in Surf F.I.T. stands for Fun Interval Training and that is exactly what this class was. We did squat presses, lunges, planks, mountain climbers, bicycle crunches, rows and more all while trying to keep our balance on the constantly moving board. I was laughing so hard I didn’t even realize how sweaty I was until my palms got so slippery I almost face planted.

Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a vet looking for something to get you excited about working out, this is definitely a class you want to try!SURF FIT

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