Friday Things {4.21.17}

Hey there! TGIF! It’s been so long since I’ve done a “Five on Friday” type of post, I barely remember what to do 😉 I have a recap of Kicking It at Fenway & my birthday coming, but for now, I wanted to share a few things of interest with you- enjoy!

  • SpotHero This is a lifesaver parking app! Seriously. It allows you to pre-book a spot in a garage at a discounted rate. This is key for me for Thursdays when I teach at EBF since I’m there for longer than a street spot would allow. You set up your card in the app so that you don’t have to worry about paying later. If you use this link you get $5 off your first time using it.
  • Vegas- We booked a totally last minute trip to Vegas the other night. We leave on Friday the 28th, as in a week from today! SO crazy, but so fun. We are staying at the Wynn- any must try restaurants or must do things to do/shows to see?
  • Sweat, Shop, Snack Round 2 On Wednesday, May 10th at 6:30pm I am hosting my second event at the New Balance Flagship store in Brighton. Tickets are $12 and it includes a 45 minute kickboxing bootcamp class, a live DJ, 20% off the whole store, GoMacro protein bars, Hint Water ANDDDD Bubbly & Purity Organic Belinis! The last one was so much fun I just had to get another one on the books before my schedule fills up with Seaport Sweat classes this summer! Be sure to sign up here if you’re interested.

  • Seaport Sweat– Speaking of… Seaport Sweat starts back up in JUNE!!! and it’s going through the end of September. I’ll be there on Mondays and Tuesdays after work- more details to come, but checkout this for a teaser 🙂

That does it for me, today. This weekend will be a busy one getting ready for our trip and getting a dress and possibly shoes for my SIL’s wedding in two weeks. I’m heading back to Best Dressed- can’t wait to see what their spring selection is!

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you find time to relax, move your body and laugh!

 

When Does “Being Disciplined” Go Too Far?

I’m sure we all know someone who never misses a workout- no matter how tired, busy, sick, hungover, etc.- they will do whatever it takes to get a workout in. Full disclosure: this was me, to a certain extent,  up until just a few years ago.  And while some people may still think that’s me (social media only shows a little part of who I am!), these days I take plenty of rest days, especially if any of the above mentioned things are happening. Now, working out is a GOOD thing. A POSITIVE thing. Not a punishment or something I feel like I HAVE to do.

I got to thinking about this because I’ve heard a lot of people lately talk to me about people in their lives who never miss a workout, and these people tell me this in a way that almost makes it seem like their friend/family member/coworker/significant other is better than them for it: “He/She is so disciplined- never misses a run or a workout.”,  “He/She is always at the gym! I don’t know how he/she finds time for it”,  “He/She works out before work and after work- talk about dedication!”.

This got me to thinking- is this good? Is this something admirable? Is this something we should praise people for? Is this something we should strive for? Or compare ourselves to? When does “being disciplined” go too far, and end up controlling your day to day activities and schedule?

In short, no. I don’t think we should compare ourselves to those who are “so disciplined”. I don’t think we should think we are less than those who are “so disciplined” because we take rest days, skip days, do lighter workouts, etc. At the end of the day, we are all different and we all need/want different things. Our bodies are different and work differently, so what works for some people might not work for you- and that is OK.

But, coming from a recovering exercise addict, I can say it’s not for me, and I am so much happier not being “disciplined”. In fact, I put the word in quotations because I don’t actually believe it’s being disciplined when you never let yourself miss a workout or take some time off. Our bodies need rest. They need time off in order to help us recover, repair and build muscle. When I was working out day after day for 10-14 days in a row (embarrassed to admit that!), I was always tired, I was always sore and I was more prone to injury. Plus, mentally it was awful. If I missed a day I would feel so awful and so guilty. I would feel “good” if I did a class or two or an hour-two hour workout. I would feel “bad/guilty” if I missed a workout or took a rest day. And you know what? For me, that was no way to live.

At this point, some may say I’m not “disciplined”, but that’s ok- I’m healthy and I’m happy and I have a much better relationship with my mind and my body. I workout because it makes me happy and feel good. But I also rest because it makes me happy and feel good. There’s a fine line to find this balance and I’ll be the first to admit that coming from one end or the other of it, this balance likely won’t happen overnight. It’s something that requires work, but I’m so happy that I’ve worked for it because I am much happier and healthier (mentally and physically) because of it.

With that, I urge those of you who might compare yourself to others who seemingly “always workout” to stop comparing yourself- you don’t know what might be driving them to push themselves so hard. And for those of you who might still be struggling with taking rest days without feeling guilty, I just want to say it takes time to fully embrace the rest, but it is GOOD to rest and take time off from intense physical activity. I’m not saying you need to sit on the couch and do nothing, but maybe swap out a run or lift session for a long walk or some other “active rest” activity (shopping, stretching, cleaning, etc.).

I plan to do another post with more specific ways to learn how to embrace rest, so I would love to hear your tips, struggles, challenges, successes, etc. I love being able to incorporate your tips, trial and error experiences and things of the like. So- do you tend to align more with the “ultra disciplined” end of the workout spectrum, the middle or do you struggle with motivation to workout? Have you had to work to move from one end of the spectrum to the other? If so, what worked or didn’t work? What was the most helpful?

You Never Know Who You May Be Inspiring

Last week was an interesting week- I worked my normal 40+ hour work week at my day job and taught 4 classes in 3 days (3 of those classes in 1 day). But, I was also able to get to the gym after work to take a class one day and then on another, I was able to come right home after work, which never happens. RM and I were even able to go out for a mid-week drink, which also never happens! It was a good mix of work and play, and even though it was tiring because of long days, there were were so many times when I felt really thankful for what I am able to do on a daily basis.

Blogging, teaching, sharing workouts, organizing workouts, etc., while so rewarding, can also be time consuming and hard “jobs”. It takes a lot of behind the scenes prep work and execution in order to make things go smoothly or to have content to share, and while I get to see people benefit from the work I put into making playlists, planning workouts, trying out new moves, etc., blogging doesn’t always provide me with such clear “rewards”. Often times- especially lately- I wonder if anyone is even reading, enjoying or relating to the posts that I write.

Do people even do the workouts I share? Do people relate to any of the more personal topics I share and talk about? Are the time saving, meal prepping, organization tips valuable or useful to anyone who might be reading this little blog?

I’ll be honest when I say that I probably question these things too much, which is a big reason behind why I haven’t been blogging as much over the past few months (although I am trying to make it more of a priority!)- why bother if no one is reading?

But last week, I had validation from three different people telling me that you guys actually DO read this little blog. You DO try the workouts. You DO relate to stories or situations I share. You DO appreciate the tips I share to make healthy living a little easier.

And while this may not seem like a big deal, it means the world to me to hear these things. To know that I am helping you in one way or another validates all of the time I spend on thinking of topics to write about and then actually writing them.

In the world of fitness, I also had validation that I am motivating and inspiring people, which is both amazing, but also humbling. I put so much time and energy into making myself the best instructor that I can be, to create challenging yet doable workouts, to connect with the members, to lead by example in my own workouts, etc., so to have people tell me that I inspired them to try something new or to get a workout in even when they didn’t want to or that they pushed themselves harder in class because they saw me pushing hard, is crazy, but crazy awesome.

And it just goes to show you that you never know who you might be inspiring by your daily actions. A simple smile, holding the door, offering your help, nailing a presentation, lifting heavy weights, doing burpees, cooking a nice meal, etc. All of those things can impact others around you without you even realizing it.

I want to challenge you this week to tell someone if they inspire or motivate you- whether it’s at work, at the gym, at home or somewhere else. Because, although simple, it could help make someone’s day (or week), and maybe even inspire or motivate them to share the love.

So, I want to thank all of you for your support and for letting me be a bit of inspiration or motivation – you guys are what make it all worth it.

If you want to hear more about why I teach and why I love it so much, check out this video. I’m really proud of how it came out 🙂

 

I love this tip to help you move more

Last week, I posted a blog post that I had a lot of fun writing, as well as reading your responses to it. In case you missed it, check it out here, then come back and read this post: How I Stay Active Working A “9-5” Desk Job

With the permission of Lisa, I wanted to share a really great tip to stay motivated to move more, as well as ways to get the movement in. Here was her response to my post- I’ve bolded the parts that really stood out to me:

I work as a 911 dispatcher overnight. I work a long week of 12 hour shifts (7pm-7am every night except Wednesday night off) then a short week (off every night and only work 4 hours Tuesday night and 12 hours Wednesday night). I also have a one hour commute each way. I’ve gained about 20lbs since going back to this schedule about 7 months ago. When I was working during the day, I was going to OrangeTheory classes in the evening and doing some weights at another gym on my own. When I went back to working nights (by choice), there are literally no OrangeTheory class times that I can go to, other than in my short week. I didn’t feel like paying what I was paying to only be able to to OTF every other week and ended my membership. So, I used excuse after excuse. We are also, literally, tethered to our desks at work with our headsets and can’t just freely get up and go to the bathroom when we want. There has to be a certain number of people answering the phones and working the radios at all times so we have to wait for someone to take our spot when we need to use the restroom – definitely hinders the water drinking.

Finally, about 6 weeks ago, I decided enough was enough. I started using the treadmill desk at work when I can. I had forgotten we had it – it’s at the other end of the room from where I usually sit when I’m on the call-taking side of my job. I can’t really walk very fast and I have to stop when I’m doing a lot of typing, but it’s better than sitting. We are allowed several breaks during our shifts so I’m utilizing those better as well. I also have myself on a better sleeping schedule during my long week. I don’t really have time to get to the gym before I have to turn around and head back into work, but I have accumulated a stability ball, yoga mat, and a few weights at home and I use those daily. Between those things, and YouTube videos (yoga, dance, barre), I make sure I get in at least some activity every day before I go back into work.

On my short work weeks, I go to the gym as much as possible and either do some cardio on the bike or arc trainer plus some weights.

Between that and getting my eating on track, I’m down about 10lbs. (<– !!!!!B2B insert)

I also tend to lose sight of the “everyday” if that makes sense. I’m constantly looking back and realizing 3 months, 6 months, 1 year…have passed and I could’ve been at my goal like 10 times over. So, I put a yearly calendar up on my wall and I mark an X over every day that I consciously moved – could be a gym workout, could be 10 minutes of abs on the floor while watching Netflix, any kind of activity that got me off my butt. It has helped me tremendously to visually watch the days pass by.

THIS! This right here gives me ALL.THE.FEELS. There are so many amazing things going on in this post: self-reflection, tough-love/being real, breaking things down, taking it one day at a time, embracing doing what you can, when you can & every little bit counts.

But, I think the biggest takeaway that I have after reading this- and the reason why I wanted to share it with you- is the fact that she a. acknowledged the excuses she was making for not being able to workout or simply be more active and b. that she took action. Nothing huge, but I think that’s exactly why she’s been successful in keeping up with her goal of moving more and losing weight.

So often we get caught up with how overwhelming it can be to make a change like this. We know what we want: to make healthier choices, to be more active, to make movement a priority, to lose weight, but when it comes down to taking those first steps towards making these changes, it can be really scary. What Lisa has done, though, to take these first steps is what is so great. She isn’t telling herself that she needs to get up at 3am to get in an intense workout before working a 12 hour day or that she needs to go to the gym after she’s done. She isn’t saying that the only workout that counts is an hour at the gym. She isn’t doing an all or nothing approach- she is doing her best to to make small choices to get more movement in, which add up to so much more in the end:

She started with using a treadmill desk, which she’s lucky enough to have in her office.  She’s also utilizing her breaks- I know I’ve been guilty of just working all day and not breaking, but the days I step out even for a 5 or 10 minute walk I feel so much better! She’s acquired a few pieces of at-home workout equipment to make it easier to fit workouts in. And, my favorite- she has a calendar hanging up and she uses it to mark off the days she moves. I think this is huge! Just the sheer act of being able to see how much movement you’re getting in is so helpful to continue to move. It reminds you to take it one day at a time, rather than getting overwhelmed with the bigger picture of weeks, months and even years. By focusing on each day, you can appreciate what you get in for movement in be happy about that… not to mention, it’s motivation to keep going!

If you find yourself looking for something new or different to help you meet goals or feel less scared about getting back into something, I really suggest this calendar idea. Start small and focus on what you are able to accomplish in each day. And, if you find yourself looking at the calendar and realizing days or weeks have gone by with no “X” marked off, you know it’s time to have a little chat with yourself (or a friend or a health coach!) to try and figure out why this is the case. Are you stressed? Tired? Busy? Once you pinpoint what is going on, you can probably figure out a way to sneak in even 10 minutes of movement (and notice how I say movement, and not workout- start small, remember?).

Again, I would love to hear your thoughts- do you have any tips to share? I’m always looking for new ways to get movement in, and to help share motivation to the B2B community. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing such great tips and for sharing your story- I absolutely love stories like this!

 

The Biggest Ways I Save Time During the Week

We are all busy. We all have a lot of things happening on any specific day or week. Whether it’s work, hobbies, kids, family, social events, getting to the gym, etc., many of us do not have the luxury of having a lot of free time to do things every day such as cook fancy meals, do laundry, clean the house, relax and read, take a bath… you get the idea. But, just because we are busy doesn’t mean that all of our health and wellness goals have to go out the window. All it means is that we have to put a little more planning into these things- sometimes, even when we don’t want to.

For me, planning or prepping for the week includes:

  • grocery shopping
  • planning out my teaching schedule
  • plan out my workout schedule and any classes I want to take
  • meal prep- whether specific meals or just veggies and protein so that I can mix and match throughout the week
  • laundry

Even though I may not WANT to do any of these things throughout the weekend, especially on busy weekends, I know that even if I can just do one of them, or some of a few of them, I will ultimately feel less stressed throughout the week because I don’t have to worry about figuring out how to get it all done. I thought it might be helpful if I share my “pep talk” or “if/then” scenarios with you in case you’re in the need for some motivation to get sh*t done.

  • When I’m feeling sheer dread about doing something (ex: “I realllly don’t want to prep food right now” or “Ugh. I just wish someone would go to the store for me” or “Can we hire someone to clean our apartment please?!”), I try to think about how I’ll feel AFTER I do it. (Side note: this is also something I do when I don’t feel like working out!) I know that later on in the week I will be SO HAPPY to not have to go food shopping or prep food or do laundry or clean the house. And the great thing is, usually once I think about the feeling of finishing something, I’m more likely to dread the activity a little less.
  • Give myself a timeframe. Let’s say I really don’t want to prep food. If I say that I will just do it for 30 minutes or 1 hour, it seems so much less daunting! And while I may not completely finish the process, whatever I can get done in that amount of time helps so much on the back end. Another perk of this? I usually keep going for a little longer because once I get started, it’s not so bad and the feeling of being done is motivation to keep going! (another side note: this is another technique I use when I don’t want to workout!)
  • Asking for help is another thing that works well- team work is dream work, baby! If I’m exhausted on Sunday but know I have a busy week ahead and don’t want the stress of not being prepared to burden me, I ask for help. Often times it will look something like this: I will prep the veggies and RM will cook them the next day while I’m at work or teaching. Or, I will put the laundry in and RM will fold it. Or, we will food prep together. Every little bit counts!
  • Figure out what’s most critical- For me, food shopping and meal prepping is the most important thing as it saves me the most time throughout the week AND is a necessity since I don’t want to have to worry about buying breakfast and lunch and dinner out (#expensiveAF). Even if I just hard boil eggs, roast some veggies or do a stirfry using frozen veggies, this will help me out so much during the week. However, cleaning? I’m not going to kill myself to get that done if I’m tired or if I’d rather spend my time watching tv with RM, meeting up with friends, going for a walk, etc. Blogging can also wait. Laundry can be done easily during the week. It’s all about prioritizing, which likely differs from person to person.

I realize that some of you, perhaps those of you who are not Type A ( 😉 ), may not feel stressed if you don’t get your life “in order”before the week starts. In fact, it may very well cause you a lot MORE stress or anxiety to have a weight hanging over you regarding meal prep, food shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc. However, for those of you who tend to relate to the Type A personality (#raiseshand), you may relate in that you find it MORE stressful to try and be easy going, go with the flow, do things as necessary & as they come up, etc. Trust me, I have tried to forget about everything mentioned in this post and while it may be nice on Sunday, it feels 10 times worse for me on Monday when I realize I have a lot of things on my schedule and nothing prepped to help make the week a little easier on me on a day to day basis.

But, I think the biggest thing I want to mention- as well as the biggest area of growth for myself over the years- is that prep work shouldn’t make you more stressed, no matter whether you’re a planner or not. I used to get so worked up if I didn’t prep all my blog posts, do all my laundry, clean, and spend hours doing meal prep (and coming up with new recipes to blog) on Sundays. Thankfully, over the past few years that’s a distant memory. I do what I can, when I can, knowing that any little bit extra that I can do over the weekend will come in handy as the week progresses.

At the end of the day, it’s all about figuring out what works for you, which is likely different than what works for the bloggers you may follow, your friends or even co-workers. And that is totally OK. I hope you realize that I don’t share these things to make you feel as though you should do exactly what I do, but rather, I like to share in case people are looking for ways to simplify tasks and to make healthy living a little easier for busy schedules. That, and I love hearing your own tips/advice/thoughts/preferences/etc. because I’m always looking for ways to change things up and save time.

With that said, I’d love to hear from you- do you prefer to plan and prep ahead of time so that you week days/nights are easier or do you just go with the flow? What’s one thing you do to motivate yourself to get sh*t done when you really don’t want to? What’s your best time saving tip for meal prep or something else?