Are we all getting to be “too busy”?

The other night, RM sent me a super interesting & really great read : The Disease of Being Busy. Please, take a few minutes and read this as I think it’ll cause you to think about your life and put into perspective what we are doing by making ourselves “so busy”.

While the concept of “being busy” is nothing new to me, over the past few years I have strived to refrain from the “I’m so busy” auto-response when people ask me how I am. However, even though I try to be more conscious of how I respond to the “how are you doing” question, I find myself still talking about how busy I am.

“I have so much going on this week”

“Listen to everything I have to do over the weekend”

“My weekend was ok, but it was just too busy”

“I wish I could, but I have X, Y, & Z already scheduled”

… sound familiar?

But the thing is, I AM busy, so when I respond with everything I’ve got going on I’m not doing it for pity or for the satisfaction of “being the busiest”, I’m just saying what I’ve got going on. Between work, teaching, blogging, 2 book clubs, being a wife/friend/daughter/sister/etc., I have a lot of balls that I juggle, which I’m sure many of you can relate to.

The question I ask myself these days, though, is am I TOO busy? Is my busy schedule chock full of jumping from one thing to the next taking away from each particular activity/task/event? Am I gliding through my to-do list, constantly thinking about what I can check off and what I still have to do, rather than focusing on being in the moment in each particular thing on my to-do list? Is it so bad to say NO to plans, activities, subbing, etc. if I really don’t feel like it? Is it better to just suck it up and get things done or should I give myself a break and take a weekend or a week where I say “nope. I’m not saying ‘yes’ to anything”?

For me, personally, I do enjoy being busy with a lot of things going on, but these days I’m feeling a little TOO busy, even for my liking. I’ve been dreading the weekends because they’ve been SO FULL of plans- some of which are my fault in terms of “over-booking”, others are unavoidable (and ultimately fun, but it’s still tiring having non-stop plans). I go into the week feeling like I need to “gear up” for a week full of teaching, social engagements, lots of meetings at work, trying to get back to consistent blogging, etc.

And you know what? It’s exhausting. Like really, really tiring. I feel like I’m “burning the candle from both ends”, as my mom likes to say. Which is why this past weekend was so wonderful. Friday night I came home and then grabbed an Uber to meet RM in the city for a little shopping and dinner. Saturday we planned on going skiing, but for a number of different reasons, ended up turning around halfway there and heading back. This was actually a wonderful thing because we were able to food shop on the way home and still got back early enough to get workouts in, showers taken  and -gasp- relax before making dinner. Sunday we skiied early (and at a closer mountain to avoid so much travel), went to Sunday dinner at my MIL’s and then I meal-prepped, blogged and read/watched tv.

I joked on my Instagram story when posted this picture on Saturday:

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But it was so true at that moment. I was drinking hot lemon water, reading a book, snuggling on the couch with RM & Francesca and at that moment, I realized I need more of that in my life. I need to take more time for ME to do absolutely nothing. To have time scheduled where I have nothing scheduled and I don’t have to think about everything I still need to do. Time to be present. To be in the moment. To not look at the clock. To not be busy.

So, if any of this resonates with any of you, I urge you to try and find time where you can just be. You can do or not do whatever you feel like and whatever makes you feel good, happy and relaxed. Because at the end of the day, relaxing IS so under-rated 😉

Questions for you: Are you too busy? Do you enjoy being busy or do you thrive more off of downtime? How do you prioritize relaxing and practicing self-care? 

Cycle For Survival {Recap}

Good morning and Happy Friday! Did you guys all brave the snow okay yesterday? I woke up slightly disappointed by the lack of snow, but it didn’t take long for it to start and it just got crazier from there, which made me quickly realize I should’ve just embraced the “calm before the storm”.

Today, though, I wanted to share my experience at Cycle for Survival last weekend. I don’t always do full-blown reviews/recaps on the blog anymore, but this event was so amazing it was surely recap-worthy.

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I was invited to participate in the ride as part of New Balance’s team, which is always such an honor. They were huge sponsors of the event so it was great to get to see so many of my favorite NB people throughout the time I was there. Plus, getting suited up in some new #swag wasn’t so bad either- THANK YOU NB!

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If you’re not familiar with Cycle for Survival, it’s a very large indoor cycling event all over the country benefiting rare cancer (brain, pancreatic, ovarian, and many more) research. 100%  of all donations received go to funding rare cancer studies, clinical trials and research initiatives lead by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I rode on Saturday at 1pm and before we rode, we heard from special guests, MSK doctors and more, as well as all of the motivation from the Equinox instructors leading us through the workout. I was live-streaming on Instagram and Facebook, which some of you may have seen, but here’s a video clip if you missed it:

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Going into the event, I had heard how great it was, but what I heard didn’t even compare to what it was to actually experience it. The music, the energy, the vibe, the passion, the strength- all of those things were so intense and amazing that I couldn’t help but smile, pedal harder and pedal faster… even with tired legs after teaching earlier that morning 😉 By the end we were all dancing and laughing on our bikes, encouraging our neighbors to keep fighting and giving sweaty high-fives as we finished.

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In sum, it was one HELL of an amazing event and I cannot wait until next year. Thank you New Balance, Equinox and Cycle for Survival for letting me be a part of this fundraiser event!

Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight EMOM w/8 Minute Rounds

Good morning! Before I get to the workout, I wanted to remind you that there are a few spots left for my Kickboxing Bootcamp at Janji on Newbury Street tonight at 6:30pm. You can sign up here.

Now, onto the workout! If you’re not familiar with the acronym EMOM, it means “every minute on the minute”. What this means is you have 1 minute to complete the prescribed exercise/reps. However much time is left after you finish the prescribed exercises/reps will be your rest time. If you’re like me, the first minutes will seem like a breeze and you’ll be thinking you don’t need that rest, however, by the last rounds it’ll seem like there isn’t enough rest!

For this particular workout, I give you 8 minutes for each EMOM round. Additionally, I give you 2 exercises per EMOM round which means you’ll do one exercise on the odd minutes and one on the evens:

  • 01= odd
  • 1-2=even
  • 2-3=odd
  • 3-4=even
  • 4-5=odd
  • 5-6=even
  • 6-7=odd
  • 7-8=even

While this workout doesn’t require any equipment, if you find you’re finishing the prescribed exercises/reps with more than 20 seconds to rest, I suggest adding something to intensify the exercise. This can be done by increasing your reps, adding weights, etc.

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15 Burpees/10 HRPU

20 jumping lunges/ 15 leg lowers

20 jump squats/ 10 plank knee tucks

As you can see, if you don’t have weights or simply don’t want to use them, it’s a great workout for that. You can also drop it down to just one or two EMOM rounds if you’re running short on time. I’d love to hear if you try this!

Questions for you: Have you ever done EMOM workouts? 

 

“Long, Lean & Sexy… Not Bulky”… Say, What?!

Last week, I was forced to take some unexpected rest days because I was fighting a cold. What’s a girl like me to do with extra time spent at home on the couch? If you’re thinking: get caught up on blogging, reading, etc., well, yes, that’s what I would’ve liked to have done. But what did I really do? I got sucked into reality TV shows… #guiltyascharged

As I was flipping through the channels, I stumbled upon a “Revenge Body” marathon. This is the show that Khloe Kardashian’s created and although the name and my initial idea of what the show was about (we should make changes for US and because WE want to, not because of or for others) turned me off, I did want to give it a chance.

While I thought there were some positive aspects of the show, there was something that really bothered me when it came to what  one of the trainers was saying as “motivation” to keep her client moving. Before I get to that, let’s set up the tone of the situation that had me crawling in my seat:

The girl wanting revenge grew up as an athlete and due to a lot of really terrible life tragedies, stopped working out and turned to food instead. She had gained a lot of weight and wanted to get back to what she knew she could and wanted to be. She was excited to get back into the gym and a training program: flipping tires, slamming ropes, lifting heavy weights, etc.

In turn, what she was faced with was a dance-focused, high cardio based class format & trainer. I will preface this post by saying there is nothing wrong with this type of training and workout. BUT, only if it’s something you enjoy. After the first session, this girl was not feeling the workout- she wanted to be lifting heavy things rather than just doing cardio.

Long story short, she ended up sticking with this trainer, enjoying the workouts and losing 30 pounds, BUT, I couldn’t get past what the trainer was saying as motivation and as a way to “sell” her on the workout, why it worked and why she should stick with it:

These workouts will help you get long, lean and sexy… and not bulky! These workouts will help you get that long, lean muscle body like a dancer!

Say, what?! First off, as many of my friends have talked about in their blog posts, we simply cannot change the length of our muscles. It’s just not possible. On top of that, what’s wrong with being “bulky”, which, by the way, is very subjective. What exactly does that even mean? How does that mean you won’t be lean? Or that you won’t be sexy?

Unfortunately, this type of marketing sells for a lot of people, women in particular. Which is exactly why magazines are covered with “7 ways to lose 7 pounds in a week” or “foods that will flatten your belly” or “2 weeks to a new you”, right? This hooks people in, but, ultimately they’re all false promises. Unless you’re genetics result in you having “long, lean” muscles, all the cardio & small weight lifting in the world won’t get you them. And, just because you may not have those and you may prefer lifting heavier weights, flipping tires, pulling ropes, etc., does not mean you will get “bulky” (but again, what does that even mean?!).

I get so frustrated when I see/hear people use those types of false statements to get people motivated. How about “this workout may not be what you were hoping for, but because of the combination of cardio and plyometric exercises paired with low weight and high repetitions, you will notice a change in how your body reacts. That said, let’s swap out 1-2 days of this with heavier weights if that’s something you prefer.”? Right? At the end of the day, we should do workouts that we enjoy (or at least don’t hate 😉 ), ones that challenge us, but ultimately, ones that make us feel strong- both physically and mentally. Because working out to get “long, lean muscles” or to avoid “getting bulky” are only short term, surface level motivations and likely won’t be enough for you to sustain whatever diet/workout you’re doing.

So, I urge you to think beyond “wanting to lose 10 pounds” or “get a flat stomach” or getting “long & lean” and instead focus on how workouts make you feel. What do you like? Dislike? What makes you feel STRONG and POWERFUL and most importantly, HAPPY? When you dial in to those feelings, I think you’ll find yourself connecting more to your workouts, your body & your mind and ultimately getting the results you want. And the best part is that this all happens while appreciating your body, rather than the alternative which always leaves you feeling like you need to give more or that you aren’t good enough because you still need to lost X pounds or workout for X minutes or do X type of workout.

At the end of the day we have one life and one body and it’s up to us to learn how to treat it with love and compassion and to break away from the stereotypes of “good” (long, lean, not bulky, etc.).

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Questions for you: What’s a workout that makes you happy or that you enjoy?

Five on Friday {2.3.17}

Good morning! I hope you’ve all had a good week. I came down with a cold on Tuesday so I took some unexpected rest this week. In the past this would’ve stressed me out, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come because this week I embraced the forced rest.

  • New Balance RunIQ and PaceIQ Retail Launch- On Wednesday, February 8th from 4-6pm the New Balance Flagship store will  be hosting a launch for their new smartwatch and wireless headphones. I’ve seen these products promoted all over the Internet and everything about both of them seem really cool so I’m looking forward to learning more about them! This event is open to the public so if you’re around you should check it out!
  • Cycle For Survival- Tomorrow I’m riding in another spin fundraising event, this time it’s Cycle for Survival, which I’m so excited about! There is still time to donate, which you can do here. I also wanted to say a huge thanks to New Balance for giving me the opportunity to ride on their team and for providing me with some awesome new swag to wear while doing it! I’ll be live streaming and sharing photos and videos on my Instagram, so be sure to check it out and follow along!

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  • Legacy Place Winterfest Free Fitness- Last weekend’s Free Fitness Sunday at Legacy Place was SO FUN!! Nearly 20 women showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to work so hard and it was the best time! There are more workouts planned with some other fantastic trainers, so be sure to check out the schedule here.

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  • Sick Day Soup- RM whipped up the most delicious Red Lentil soup for me the other night when I wasn’t feeling well and it came out SO delicious! I plan on posting the recipe soon, but had to talk about it now because it was that good. I think he just used some homemade bone broth, carrots, onions, red lentils and red curry paste then used our immersion blender to make it smooth. What a treat!

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  • Skiing at Mount Sunapee- Last weekend, RM and I spent a day up at Mount Sunapee in NH to get our ski/snowboard legs going. We are going to Jackson Hole next month and I have a lot of work to do to get ready, lol. We had such a great time at the mountain and can’t wait to go back! Do any of you have other nearby ski mountains that are good to checkout?

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This weekend is chock full of *mostly* fun things, and I hope yours is, too!

Questions for you: Do you have Super Bowl plans? What are your workouts looking like these days? Have you made any good soups lately? Where do you ski or snowboard?