Dealing with change

If you’ve been reading my blog, over the past couple of weeks you’ve probably suspected something has been up. First I was talking about being faced with making a big decision and then I was talking about going away parties and having time off. Well, the good news is I haven’t been fired- phew! And the better news is that I was contacted by a former coworker asking if I’d like to come work with her and some others at the company they are at now.

I was by no means looking for a new job and always thought that my next move would be into the health/fitness/wellness area, but sometimes opportunities come your way that you can’t pass up. This was one of those. I won’t get into the specifics, but I will say that it is a promotional move, allowing me the opportunity to manage others as well as projects and I will be making a lot more money.

But with those things also comes something I’m not always good at dealing with: change.

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Change can be good or change can be bad. But the one thing either direction of change shares in common is that you will be dealing with, faced with or doing something different. While some people seemingly thrive and live for change, I tend to be the opposite. I like my routines and schedules and knowing what to expect and change certainly leaves those things up in the air until the newness wears off, right?

Since yesterday was my last day at my former company and I now have a week and a half until I start my new job, I thought it might help me deal with and face the changes that I’ll be experiencing a little better if I wrote them down. And hopefully you guys can help share your “secrets” that help you deal with change better!

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Try not to dwell on the past and stay away from the comparison trap

Sure, there were some great aspects about my job and perks that came with it, but there must have been something that didn’t make me happy and make me want to change jobs. Dwelling on the things I’m going to miss, the location of the job and incredibly flexible work schedule could likely hold me back from giving everything to my new job. Also, whenever I’m faced with a new change I often get caught up comparing the two: we did this here, we didn’t have that opportunity, it might be better if you did it how we used to do it… etc. etc. Comparison traps like that doesn’t do anything for allowing you to move forward and progress, it often just holds you back, so being cognizant of that will hopefully help me stay away from it.

Talk with others

I’ve had a number of friends and former coworkers go through the exact same change I’m going through right now, and you know what? They are all doing juuuuust fine in their new spots. I’m sure many of you have gone through changes- whether it be jobs, relationships, where you live, etc., too, right? Did you find it helpful to talk to others to see how they dealt with the change? Talking to friends about what to expect helped me get excited about the change rather than fear it.

Go with the flow

So my schedule may be off for the first few weeks or months at my new job, but you know what? That’s ok! That’s part of what makes change so exciting. I’m not always good at going with the flow, but in situations like this, I know it is necessary… and I also know I am capable of doing it.

Write down things that excite me about the new change I’m about to face

Talking to people within my new company or hearing about things the company has to offer gets me really excited about the change and the decision I made. Things will surely be different, but that’s part of what makes this next move so fun: being a manager and learning how to manage others, learning new things, working with new people, facing new challenges- all of these things make me EXCITED to start my new job. Just writing that down made me feel really happy, so it’s clear sometimes I just need a little reminder 🙂

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Embrace the change and soak it all in

It won’t be long until the newness wears off, so during the time everything still feels new, I’m going to try and really soak it in an appreciate it. I know there will be times I feel overwhelmed or frustrated because of the change, but those are also the times when I end up learning and remembering the most.

At the end of the day, I weighed my pros and cons and really thought long and hard about the decision I had to make and tried to envision where I saw myself happiest 6 months down the road. Although my move wasn’t into a full time health/fitness/wellness job, for right now, I think it was the right move for me. But, if all else fails, maybe I’ll take this route:

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Thanks for sharing, Alice! 🙂

Questions for you: How do you deal with change? Do you thrive off of change or does it stress you out? Do you have advice to keep me calm? When’s the last time you were faced with a change?

 

 

Wednesday Workout: Taking your workout outside

Hi! How are you today? I have a bunch of workouts that I’ve been meaning to write up for you, but since the weather has been so nice and I’ve, personally, been trying to take my workouts outside as much as possible, I wanted to give YOU some ideas of ways to take YOUR workout outside, too!

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You only think that running and walking are outdoor workouts, but those are just a few of the many other ways to get fit while breathing in fresh air and catching some rays (with sunscreen, of course!). So, if you’re looking for a way to change up your standard walk or run, try some of these workouts!

Add in plyometric exercises, core moves or other boot camp style exercises to your walk or run routine

This is my favorite way to split up a run and make it seem, less… boring. I’ve done it by breaking up the run into time segments or mile segments. I’ve also added in a number of different “mini circuits” or exercises to change it up. Here are some of my favorites:

Run & Strength Workout

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Wednesday Workout: Run/Walk & Park Boot Camp Circuit

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Wednesday Workout: Run/Walk & Superset Workout

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Run for it:

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Even though those are “running” workouts, you can always modify them to be a walking workout if that’s what you’d rather do! And, if running or walking are not your things, here are some other activities that get your heart rate up and let you enjoy the outdoors!

Bootcamps

Whether it’s an organized bootcamp through your town/city/gym or just a group of people that get together to workout outside, bootcamps are a great way to workout! It’s a very team-like environment and doing it outside encourages you to use ordinary things as workout tools. Think: park bench, money bars, logs, etc. Athena used to teach an outdoor bootcamp and it always looked so fun.

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Sports

Warm weather seems to bring everyone together. Be it tennis or basket ball or softball or kickball, there are loads of ways to get outside and be active! There are often various leagues that you can join, too. The BSSC is a big one for that.

November Project

If you’re on social media, you’ve surely seen all sorts of posts about November Project or seen their “grassroots” stamp all over peoples’ workout clothes. I haven’t participated in any of the workouts, but I have a lot of gym friends that do and it seems like an amazing time. Anyone can participate in the workouts and it looks like it is a huge team/family feeling.

Canoeing or Kayaking

If you’re in or around the Boston area, I highly suggest heading over to Charles River Canoe & Kayak. You can rent canoes or kayaks and go out by yourself or with friends. My sister and I did it one summer and it was so fun! Not to mention a terrific upper body workout and a great way to work on your tan 😉

Gardening

Last weekend, my dad came down and we gardened together and let me tell you, it’s not easy! Between lifting and carrying heavy bags of soil, raking, shoveling, etc., I felt like I had a full body workout! Pulling potatoes is also a tough job. A way to get more exercise in? Rather than using a hose, use a watering bucket which requires more trips back to the faucet, which means more walking, which means more calories burned 🙂

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Swimming/Water Aerobics

My mom is a huge water aerobic fan so whenever we are together in a pool during the summer, she’s doing some type of exercise: jogging in place, leg lifts, arm circles, crunches. This is a great way to be outside in the sun and getting a workout in.

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Did I miss any? What’s your favorite way to workout outside? Do you participate in any athletic leagues? Are you a “November Project-er”?

 

Weekending: Gardening, Driving Range, Sunsets and Sheila’s Bridal Shower

You guys. This past weekend was SO FUN! I was, again, surrounded by family and friends and the boy and enjoyed every minute of it.

Friday night, the boy and I headed to Waltham for his home-town friend’s surprise birthday party. It was my first time meeting all of them and they were so friendly and welcoming! We stayed out late- until after 1am, which is unheard of for me. I was the DD, but I still felt off on Saturday morning, which must have been because of the lack of sleep. Totally worth it, though.

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I skipped the gym on Saturday since I knew I’d ben working hard with my dad. He was gracious enough to take the time to come down and build me a garden on my back patio- how lucky am I?! Ever since he retired, he started gardening, which has been really fun to be a part of. My garden is about a fraction of the size of his, but I’m still so excited about it. Between lugging about 25 bags of heavy manure, compost mix, mulch and pete moss, as well as wood, I was pretty beat (and secretly loved it- I love physical labor!). It only took us about 2 hours from start to finish which is pretty impressive. We leveled and measured and screwed and shoveled and raked- in other words, we earned our beers after we were done 😉

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My dad is going to come back down in a few weeks to do the planting for me. I wouldn’t be able to do this without him, so I’m so thankful that he’s helping me!

After my parents left (my mom went and hung out with my sister in Southie), the boy and I went to Quincy to drive some balls at the Granite Links Golf Course and Driving Range. We planned it perfectly because we finished our bucket of balls just in time to get a cocktail and watch the sun set. Have you guys ever been there? It’s the most beautiful place- it’s up high and everywhere you look it’s gorgeous. They also have an outdoor bar and had live music. We each got a margarita to watch the sunset and agreed it felt like we were on vacation!

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By the time we realized it, it was 8pm so we scratched all plans of making dinner and went to the tavern at the course and had dinner there at the bar. Based on the wait and how busy it was, clearly we were not the only ones with that idea. Thankfully I’ve got eyes like a hawk when it comes to nabbing seats at the bar so we were seated in no time. I got the fish tacos which were amazing!
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Sunday was a day all about my friend Sheila. She’s getting married in September and her mom had planned a surprise bridal shower for her at the Venezia. It may have been terribly hard to find, but boy was it worth it! The location was right on the water with beautiful views of the city. Being around my girlfriends, drinking cocktails and celebrating is probably one of my favorite things to do.

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Everything about this shower was perfect- the location, the decorations, the food… you could clearly tell there was a lot of time and energy spent on making it the most perfect celebration for Sheila. No detail was missed! The food was also fantastic. I went with the Scallops and Lobster and Asparagus Risotto and it did not disappoint. My favorite part, though? The ice cream sundae bar!!! Best idea ever.

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All in all, it was such a wonderful afternoon. At this point in our lives, we are all so busy so it’s nice when we have an excuse and an event that brings us together. Jessi and Kelly were missing- we missed you girls!

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Can’t wait until the bachelorette party… shenanigans will ensue 😉

And, there you have it. Monday morning clearly came way too fast 😦

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you spend any time outside? Do you like to go to the driving range? What’s your “vacation” drink of choice?

This Week: Workouts, increase in running mileage and things I’m looking forward to

Good morning! What a gorgeous weekend we had, right?! It’s amazing what a good dose of Vitamin D, warm weather and outdoor cocktails can do for your (my) mood. Another thing good weather is for? Running outside. This past week, I amped up my running for some odd reason. I’m not one for running more than a couple of days in a week, but it felt good this week so I ended up running 4 days! It’s definitely not my favorite way to workout, but sometimes my regular workouts get boring and I need to change things up.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I taught my 6am Muscle Work class and then did 30 minutes on the elliptical after.
  • Tuesday- I ran 5 miles after work!!! I’ve been capping my runs at 4 miles lately and decided it was time to amp it up a bit. It wasn’t my fastest mile times, but it felt pretty good.

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  • Wednesday- I ran 3 miles along the Charles before teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED (which left me SO sore) and then Cardio Kickboxing. I almost had a meltdown because I realized I forgot my socks and teaching for 2 hours sans socks would’ve been a really miserable experience. Luckily, a random (seemingly normal and hygienic) lady in the locker room volunteered an extra pair of clean socks to the cause- I was so thankful! She forgot her sports bra, but unfortunately I didn’t have anything to give her there.
  •  Friday- Friday’s are usually my rest days but since I wasn’t teaching on Saturday and was going to a surprise birthday party that night, I decided to workout. My plan was just to run 2 miles then do yoga, but I ended up running 3 miles and then doing about 20 minutes of yoga and my standing ab workout. I was sore before I worked out and even more sore after. Whoops!
  • Saturday- I did A LOT of manual work with my dad. He came down to start my garden for me and I lugged so many heavy bags of soil mixes and wood and shoveled so much- phew!

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  • Sunday- I went for another run- 4 miles this time- with and average of 8 min/mile, which is pretty fast for me. I also did some core work.

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- My plan is to do a strength workout during my lunch break since I won’t have access to the gym for much longer (more on that later!). I’m not going to do cardio today since last week was cardio heavy.
  • Tuesday- I have plans after work (going away party for work- again, more on that later!) so I’ll get up in the morning and probably run and do core work.
  • Wednesday- Running and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and then cardio kickboxing.
  • Friday- Likely a rest day or yoga day. I don’t think I’ll have to work so that means I have plenty of time for something.
  • Saturday- I’ll finally be back at the Oak Square YMCA for my cardio kickboxing class- I missed you guys last week!
  • Sunday- Probably nothing. I think I’ll be in NH Saturday night and then heading to Maine on Sunday for Memorial Day weekend.

Increase in Running Mileage- how much is too much?

Last week I ran 15 miles, which is more than I’ve run in a long time. I get a little nervous about doing that much running in a week because I’m afraid of getting injured (and since I’m still teaching my regular fitness classes). I’m by no means a “runner” and have developed injuries in the past when I’ve run too much, but lately I’ve really been enjoying it. I think part of the reason is because I’ve had a lot on my mind and running is a good way to zone out and think about things. It’s also been fun to see how my speed changes depending on whether I run at night or in the morning and I’ve been pleased that, for the most part, my speed keeps increasing. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep at it, but for now I’m just soaking it all in.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Phew. Lots of stuff this week! I’m looking forward to having some time off at the end of the week and celebrating with work people after work on Tuesday. I’m also looking forward to Memorial Day weekend. The boy and I are going to his Uncle’s birthday party/pig roast on Saturday and then we will head up to Maine on Sunday for a BBQ at my parents house (I think!). It will be nice to be around friends and family and really kick off the summer. I just hope the warm, sunny weather is here to stay 🙂

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you a “runner”? What’s your advice for increasing mileage and/or speed in a way that avoids getting injured and not overworking yourself? What are you looking forward to this week?

How to host a low-stress party or get-together

Over the weekend, I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch for my family. Rather than going up to Maine again, I thought it would be fun to have them come down here and let me (and my sister- she was a big help!) do the brunch get-together. My parents are notorious for bringing down ample amounts of food, drinks (ie: wine) and presents and even though I told them not to do that this time, what did they do? Bring down lots of food and drinks and presents. They are too good to us!

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Since the brunch was super easy to put together, I thought I’d share what I did in hopes it might help you host your next get-together stress free!

Plan out your menu in advance

In addition to planning out the menu, write down what ingredients each dish requires so you can be prepared to shop for what you need.

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Shop in advance

I never like to leave my food shopping trip for the day of or even the night before because I’m always afraid they won’t have what I need, especially if it’s something that the stores tend to run light on (kale, for instance). It’s also less stressful shopping in advance because you know that even if you don’t get everything in that one trip, you have plenty of time to go to another store to get what you need.

Prep what you can in advance

There are lots of “prep” things that need to get done when hosting a get-together, but the great thing is that not everything needs to be done the day of. I made my muffins the day before because I knew they would keep fine for the next day. I also cut up all the veggies and fruit early in the morning so that I was ready to put everything together when my parents got here.

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Keep it simple

It may sound like a great idea to put together a fancy dish or meal that you’ve seen on Pinterest or from Martha Stewart, but trust me- it’s always going to be more work than you think it will be. I wanted to do a crepe bar, but decided to skip that because it was going to require a lot of ingredients and a lot of prep work. By picking a few main items for the brunch, it allows those to shine. I skipped out on apps, too, because I wanted them to eat the brunch and not fill up ahead of time with crackers and cheese or something like that.

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Ask for help

I know I’m guilty of always wanting to do everything on my own and not ask for help, but I’ve learned that’s like an open door for unwelcomed stress to come in. You don’t have to ask for a lot of help, but if someone offers to bring wine or a side dish or to come early and help you prep the food, graciously say “ok, that would be great. Thanks!”. My sister came over an hour before my parents were due here and it was so nice to have another set of hands.

Don’t expect everything to turn out perfectly

Things happen. Things get forgotten. Things don’t turn out as well as you hoped. And you know what? That’s ok! No one will even notice… especially if you keep their glasses full 😉

Enjoy yourself

Pour yourself a cocktail before everyone gets there and be excited to be hosting a gathering! If they see you relaxed and happy, they will fall in line, too. No one likes to see a stressed host!

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 Questions for you: Do you like to play hostess and host various gatherings? Do you tend to go fancy or keep it simple? What’s something you do to stay stress-free?