What Category Do You Fall Under?

I feel like working out generally falls into 2 categories for most people:

  1. You’ll take any excuse you can to not have to workout
  2. You never miss a workout and often workout even when you’re tired, sick, sore, etc.

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What got me to thinking about this was when I was sick with a cold last week and I “listened to my body” when it was telling me I needed rest. Old me would’ve pushed through and worked out even though I felt like crap and just generally run down.

That said, I’m sure you’re not surprised when I say that I used to only identify with #2 listed above ๐Ÿ˜‰

Luckily, even though I’m still navigating the middle when it comes to listening to my body, I feel like I’ve gotten way better, mostly in that I know when it’s time to take a break AND that I don’t feel guilty about taking a break. I used to hate rest days, even planned ones, because they left me feeling so guilty about not working out. I knew they were necessary and that they were good because that’s when muscle repair and growth happens, but I still didn’t like them.

Fast forward a year or two, and I grew to love my planned rest days… notice the “planned” part. What that means is that when I planned my rest days, I enjoyed them and didn’t feel guilty; however, if there was a reason that caused me to have to take an unplanned rest day, I was back to feeling guilty and not able to embrace it.

These days, while I still don’t enjoy taking long breaks from working out (because I generally love working out, moving my body and my normal routine/schedule), I am able to recognize when it’s necessary and how it will help me going forward. That, and that I also recognize that it will not ruin all of my hard work and progress thus far, and that in a few weeks I probably won’t even remember having to take some extended rest.

I’ll tell ya, it’s such an amazing feeling to have made this mental transition over the years! Last week, I didn’t feel bad or “guilty” about not being able to workout. I realized it was necessary and I realized that I could get back into it as soon as I was feeling better – no big deal, no stress. I’ve also noticed how I am more relaxed about my approach to fitness and workouts in general. Long gone are my hours in the gym – I’d much prefer a quickie 20-30 minute workout, and at home workouts are my jam these days!

As you can see, this wasn’t a quick or easy transition, which I think is the key point to remember if you find yourself identifying with #2 above. But, it has made things so much better for me. I enjoy my workouts more, I have seen positive changes in my body and I have more time to enjoy other things. Being physically fit and active is so important for me, but it’s not the “end all, be all” to being happy and healthy. Just like anything in life, balance is key!

Questions for you: What category do you identify with? Do you feel guilty when you skip a workout or do you look for excuses to skip a workout?

Green City Growers & Whole Foods Market

Last week, I had the really neat opportunity to visit Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield (conveniently located a short 5 minute drive from my office!) and tour their rooftop garden, as well as speakย with Green City Growers regarding how the garden came to life.

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First off, if you’veย never been to this Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield, I suggest trying to get there because it’s a beautiful store! Plus, you can use it as an excuse for shopping and lunch at the MarketStreet Lynnfield shops since they are all in the same spot. It’s one of my favorite WF stores around (that, and the new one in the South End because that’s also gorgeous, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have a rooftop garden!) because not only does it have a huge produce section, but they also sell beer and wine in store ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had heard that there was a rooftop garden at the store, but until getting a chance to actually see it, I had no idea how big it was and how much produce it produced! Here are some stats that we learned from the Green City Growers contact during our visit:

  • Green City Growers is an organic farming company and they work with, businesses, schools and at people’s homes all over New England. Whole Foods in Lynnfield is the largest rootop farm in New England and requires 16-20 hours a week in maintenance
  • The space is 17K square feet, which is huge!
  • A lot of work was done years in advance of the build out of the store in order to create a building structurally sound enough to hold the weight of the garden on it.
  • It’s a green roofing system which has insulation and storm water run off benefits.
  • 324 TONS of soil was crained in to get the rooftop garden started.
  • 4000 pounds of fresh produce is being produced this season, and they are finally (after a few years) figuring out what people want grown and want to buy. There are 20 produce varietals growing right now, making sure to keep their supply unique, but still things people want to buy.
  • 2 tons of produce a year is sold right in the store (SO COOL!)
  • Virtually zero goes to waste- all of the “grade B” produce (things that drop off the plant, stems, etc.) are brought to the prepared foods area or smoothie bar to be used there.
  • There are bees up there, too, which are used to pollinate

Isn’t that so cool?! It’s just one of the many reasons why I love shopping at Whole Foods – there are thousands of organic options right at your fingertips, and locally grown organics is just icing on the cake (or organic veggie ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). While it may cost a little more to buy and eat organically, the benefits of eating this way far outway the costs for us in our home. Granted, we don’t buy everything organic, but for fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, etc. we try to stick to organic, grass fed and local if we can.

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IMG_0547Big thank you to Whole Foods for inviting me in!! Also, a big thanks to the other vendors who participated in the event and provided goodies for us to take home:

Questions for you: What is your favorite grocery store? Do you try to buy organic? If so, what are your primary organic buys? Do you try to buy locally?ย 

Living Life Rather Than Blogging About It

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So, it’s now officially MID July – how, exactly, did that happen?! If you’ve been a long-time reader of B2B, you’ve probably noticed that, over the past few months (June & July in particular), it’s been a little (ok, a lot) quiet over here. In years past, ย I would’ve apologized and given you reasons X, Y & Z as to why I haven’t been publishing, but at this point in my life and blogging “career”, I’m not sorry.

In fact, I’m quite the opposite- It feels SO DAMN GOOD to not have the pressure (self imposed, mind you) of getting 3-5 blog posts written and published each week. When I first started blogging, I would cause myself so much stress trying to get blog posts up. And now looking back, I don’t know why. Half of the posts were just “filler” posts telling you what my workouts were (boring), sharing recipes with terrible photos (#newbie) or sharing every minute of my weekend with you (sometimes worthy of a post, but oftentimes it wasn’t).

Do ย I regret those posts? Of course not! I started blogging at a time in my life when I was trying to get into more of a health and fitness network and to share my passion of those things with whoever was willing to read about them. But life was a lot different back then- I was younger, single and work was less draining. I also wasn’t teaching as many classes as I do these days, so it was nice to have another way to spend my time.

That said, these days, rather than carving out the time to blog, I’d rather be living in the “now” and following life’s adventures. I’d rather be going for a bike ride with RM. I’d rather be grabbing drinks with friends or family. I’d rather be catching up on House of Cards or Southern Charm. I’d rather be going to the beach or reading a book.

…. You get the point. In fact, I even notice that I take less pictures. Instead of doing things for an Instagram-worth post, I’m trying to focus on the people I’m with, places I go and activities I’m doing. I don’t need to share every morsel of my day to day with my Instagram followers just because that’s what everyone else is doing.ย There’s nothing wrong with that, but right now, it’s not the direction I want to be taking when it comes to my social media accounts.

But, I do realize that in order to continue growing the fitness aspect of my career, I need to have a presence on social media. What this means is that I try to focus on sharing clips of my workouts, my class schedule, my subbing schedule, classes I’m going to & clips of classes I’m teaching. Of course there are plenty of wine photos, cat photos & RM photos because those are huge parts of my life, too ๐Ÿ˜‰ , I just try to not share ALL of that.

I guess all I’m saying, is that life is too short to focus ย how many “likes” you get and how many followers you have. It’s too short to spend your time with your face buried in your phone keeping your followers up to date on every little detail of your day/life. If you’re out to dinner with friends or your significant other, put your phone away and immerse yourself in the conversation. If you’re at a concert, just jump and sing to the music – no need to share it all via your Insta story. If you’re traveling, pick and choose a few things to share, but otherwise try and focus on where you are, what you’re doing and soaking up the memories that come along with it.

I know I still have a lot of work to do in this area because there are times when I do all of these things, but as I work at it, I realize how freeing it is to just be and to just live and enjoy.

Questions for you: Do you find yourself constantly attached to your phone? Do you tend to focus on taking pictures rather than just soaking in the scenery or activity?ย 

 

Wednesday Workout – Dumbbell Countdown Full Body Workout

Good morning! If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, then you already have a sneak peek into what today’s workout is ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had a rare weekend where I was actually home in Boston and had the time/desire to do a Sunday workout. I had rested on Thursday and Friday due to a weird cold, so by the weekend I was itching for movement. I went to a BagsXBeats class at EBF on Saturday morning, but knew I’d be short on time on Sunday morning before heading up to Newburyport for a bridal shower so I opted to workout at home. Plus, these days if I’m not teaching or taking a class, I really prefer to workout at home because it saves so much time since I don’t have to factor in commuting time!

Oh yeah, and it was a beautiful day on Sunday so I wanted to be outside as much as possible. I could’ve gone for a run, but I really wanted to lift weights so I grabbed my weights, a resistance band and my speaker and went out to the patio to get my workout on. The way it worked was I started with 10 reps of an exercise and then on the second round I did 8 reps, then 6, then 4 and then 2. I would’ve gone back up the ladder, but I ran out on time (and I was beat!!). In between each exercise I did 15 dumbbell swings and that number stayed consistent throughout each round.

Confused? Looked like this: Single arm clean, squat & press X10 reps right & left then 15 DB swings, then 10 push-ups, then 15 swings, then 15 biceps curls to a shoulder press, then 15 DB swings… get it? All those swings really got my heart rate up and kept it up throughout the workout!

If you’re unclear on anything, check out these YouTube videos:

I REALLY liked this workout – both with regards to the format AND the exercises I chose. I was sweating and huffing and puffing, and on Monday (and part of Tuesday) I was pretty sore in the leggies! While this does require equipment, it’s really quite minimal considering it’s doable with a set of dumbbells and a resistance band!

Questions for you: When you’re working out on your own, do you prefer a gym or doing it in your home?

Wednesday Workout: 15 Minute Bodyweight Cardio Blast

Short workouts have been my jam lately. With a busy work schedule, training a coworker during lunch, and teaching, finding time to get in a long workout for myself just hasn’t been in the cards. I’ve also been cutting back on running because my hip has been bothering me, although now I’m not sure it’s actually a result from running or something else (going to see a PT soon). That said, last Friday I was working from home and wanted to get in a quick workout at the end of the day before we went out to dinner. I didn’t have a lot of time and it was pouring out so I was forced to do another at-home workout. Luckily I love working out at home and have most of the basics necessary in order to get a decent workout in.

I was craving cardio because I was sore from strength workouts during the week, but I didn’t want to do steady state cardio in the form of riding my spin bike so I put together a quickie bodyweight cardio blast using some of my favorite heart-pumping exercises.

These are all fairly common moves that are on B2B, but since I did share them on my Insta story, I thought I’d upload to YouTube so you could watch if you wanted a refresher.

If you find yourself traveling this summer, or just short on time, consider knocking this workout out! It doesn’t take long, but you’ll find yourself sweaty and tired by the end!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite cardio exercise? What gives you the most bang for your buck?