Blogging (& life) Updates

Hi there! What day is it? What week is it? When’s the last time I wrote a blog post that wasn’t a workout or a “Five on Friday” post? Haha. Oops! The truth is, I WANT to blog, but it just hasn’t been coming naturally to me as of late. I think part of it is that I’ve been logging in long hours at the office, teaching normal classes, creating and promoting events and generally just having a lot of things on my plate. So, when all is said and done, the last thing I want to do is open up my laptop and try to force a thoughtful blog post. I owe you guys more than that!

I’ve also been feeling a little “blah” about blogging in general and wondering if it’s even worth it, which is really sad because this has always been such a positive hobby for me. When I think about why I feel this way, I think it boils down to the fact that my blogging stats have gone down (likely a result of the fact I don’t blog regularly anymore) so when I take the time to write a thoughtful, detailed post and then don’t see high stats I just wonder, “is it worth it? Do people even read this thing?”.

But, with that said, at the end of the day I’m not only blogging for my readers- I’m also blogging for ME, because it’s something I really do enjoy. I think I’ve just gotten out of the habit of making blogging a priority; I’m always putting something else in front of blogging so by the time I finish everything, I’ve got nothing left in me to give to blogging. And while I understand that blogging won’t always be on my “highest priority” list based on what’s going on in my life at any given moment, if I don’t ever take time to make it a priority then I won’t ever create blog posts with substance, right?! Funny how that works!

So, my goal over the next few months is to get a bit more regular with my posting. I have some blog post topics that I want to write about and I hope to be able to get my writing mojo back to be able to formulate a thoughtful discussion on them! And, since I have lots and lots of workouts to share, I’ll definitely be sharing those regularly, too. Another long-term goal I have is to have pictures to go along with the moves, but I’m not making any promises as to when I’ll get that going ūüėČ

Also, don’t forget- I am much more active on Instagram and try to share thoughtful insights when applicable, news regarding classes & events, meals, restaurants, etc. so be sure to follow me there if you want to stay in the loop!

For those of you who still stick around- THANK YOU! Your support means so much to me- seriously. If you have any suggestions for blog post topics or anything else, I’d love for you to let me know so that I can expand upon them!

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Burpees to Bubbly is 2!

I know I¬†said this on Facebook earlier this week, but I CANNOT believe this little ol’ blog is TWO. Seriously. Whenever starting a new hobby or endeavor, it’s always questionable whether or not it will last or grow, and I can’t said I didn’t have doubts about this journey when first getting into it.

What if I don’t like doing it? What if no one follows me or reads my posts? What if it becomes too stressful?

I’m happy to say that even at 2 years in, I don’t only like doing it- I LOVE it. I genuinely like writing posts and sharing my thoughts, workouts, recipes, happy times and rough times with all of you. I was feeling a little burnt out at the end of the year, but after taking some time off and figuring out some changes I wanted to make, I started this year out with so much motivation and excitement towards my blogging “hobby”. I’ve got so many blog post topics written down, so stay tuned for a fun year ūüôā

As far as being worried about followers or people reading my posts, thanks to all of you lovely people, I have nothing to worry about! Without you, this blog would be nothing; it’s thanks to your support, comments, encouragement and readership that helps keep this blog going. I’m always thinking of new things I can share with you, whether it be workouts, recipes or some type of life thoughts, I just love sharing things with you!

And lastly, although I’ve gotten stressed over not¬†posting new material for you guys as often as I’d like to,¬† I’ve been able to work through it. I’ve also gotten better at prioritizing and giving myself a freaking break if I don’t post five times¬†in a week or I don’t post a “Wednesday Workout” post for you. I’ve learned to accept that life gets in the way or blogging and that’s AWESOME, and shouldn’t be something to stress about!

So, with that said, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past two years:

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Wednesday Workout: NBGNO Event- How to Stay Fit While on the Road

Good morning! If you’ve been following B2B for a while, you know that I am a BIG fan of staying active while on the road. I don’t think I’ve ever gone away without my sneakers and workout clothes packed because it’s really important for me to find time to get in at least a little movement in while I’m away. I love the way it energizes me and helps me¬†“earn my treats”, as I like to say. I’ve given tips to on how to stay healthy while on the road before and I’ve shared multiple hotel room workouts as a way to show you that working out and eating healthy/making healthy choices while traveling CAN happen.

So, why am I talking about this topic again? Well, the New Balance Girls Night Out (“NBGNO”) event I went to last week was all about staying healthy while on the road and how Westin Hotels make that so easy. A few years ago, New Balance and Westin teamed up to make workout while on the road very doable. I experienced this while staying at a Westin in Atlanta. I took advantage of their running map/route, as well as the gym.

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Not only does the Westin provide you with a running route, but they also have their “pack light, stay fit” program, which allows you to borrow workout clothes, socks and sneakers when you travel. They wash the clothes and shoe inserts between uses and they let you keep the socks.

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And, don’t worry- you won’t be wearing crappy old gear- look at this stuff! They always have the newest sneaker styles and current clothes.

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Pretty awesome looking stuff if you ask me!

Anyway… back to the event! Caroline and Sherri did a FANTASTIC job hosting the latest- and final- 2014 NBGNO.

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After their introduced themselves and kicked off the event, we had the choice to join the Westin Run Concierge and Caroline for a run around the city or stay with Sherri and Chris, a Westin trainer, for a bootcamp. Since I fell and scraped up my knee pretty badly during the last dark Boston run, I opted for the boot camp.

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I liked how Chris explained what we were doing, why we were doing it, how it was beneficial and right/wrong ways to do it. He was super knowledgeable and I’ve changed my form on some exercises because of his tips. We worked in a 40/20 format where we did an exercise for 40 seconds and rested for 20 seconds. We did 4 different exercises, mostly focusing on core and glutes and holy moly my glutes were sore for 3 days!

After we finished our workouts, we were able to have food, drinks (have I mentioned how much I love events that offer free wine?!) and mingle with other attendees. Shortly thereafter, Caroline and Sherri shared more about Westin’s “pack light, stay fit” program, as well as tips they follow for staying healthy while on the road. I love that they asked the audience what are some tricks we do to make sure we get a workout in. Here are some that were shared:

  • Put your workout clothes, shoes, iPod, headphones, asprin (in case you’ve been out late the night before…), etc. next to your bed so that when you get up, you see it and can get dressed and to the gym before you realize you’re even awake!
  • Workout in the morning so that the day doesn’t get away from you before you realize you haven’t worked out.
  • Bribe yourself- say if you get to the gym for 10 minutes, you can have a glass of wine. Bets are that you’ll stay for 10¬† minutes once you’re there!
  • Workout in your room if you don’t want to pack your sneakers. On top of offering workout gear, Westin also has a partnership with Holly Perkins and you can do one of her workouts on the TV. This way you can workout without even leaving your room.
  • Print out workouts from your favorite fitness blog or write down a workout the night before. If I have a workout planned, I’m more motivated to do it
  • Take advantage of where you are. New city? take your workout outside and go for a run or walk. This serves as not only a workout, but a tour, too!
  • Make it fun by asking friends/coworkers to join you. I’ve even lead a bootcamp on a bachelorette weekend! I threw it out there assuming everyone would laugh at me, but you know what? Everyone participated. I think part of the reason why people don’t workout while on vacation or a work trip is because they think there isn’t time¬†or that there isn’t a gym. Once you show them that there IS time and that you don’t need a gym, they’re always really happy to join you and so happy afterwards!

What do you think? Do you guys follow any of these tips? Do you have any that you can share with us?

Again, big thank you to New Balance for giving me the chance to participate in such a fun event. And thanks for another awesome swag bag!

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Questions for you: Have you heard of Westin’s “Pack light, stay fit” program? How do you stay fit/active/healthy while on the road?

Avoiding Mindless Snacking After Work

I don’t know about you guys, but by the time 4 or 5 o’clock rolls around, I am hungry! I’ve usually had lunch around 1pm, so it makes sense to be ready for a snack at that time. Since I usually work out after work, it’s actually perfect timing because I have a snack after work (usually consisting of almonds, an apple and some crackers or granola) which fuels me for my workout.

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However, I find that when I don’t workout after work, I come home and I snack on EVERYTHING. I call that “mindless snacking”. I feel like I can’t stop munching on everything in my snack cabinet, and it’s not because I am hungry, it’s because I’m around and the snacks are there!

Last week, during my two consecutive days of rest from the gym, I thought about ways to avoid going right home after work and facing the inevitable “mindless snacking”. It’s not that I wanted to stop myself from snacking (please. I am a professional¬†snacker¬†and believe in fueling myself consistently throughout the day to keep my metabolism going and to avoid binging at the next¬†meal), but I wanted to stop myself from eating an unnecessary amount of snacks. What I love about working out after work is it takes up those “dead hours” (between 4 and 7 for me. I never know what to do during those hours if I’m not at¬†work or the gym)¬†and stops the mindless snacking (I brought this up with my friends and they actually said that the only way to avoid after work mindless snacking is by going to the gym… I guess I’m not the only one who thinks this way!). But when I don’t work out after work and don’t have¬†after work plans with friends, here’s what I do!

Work Late (or later than normal)

If I know I have a wide open afternoon, I’ll usually take a longer lunch and stay late at work catching up on things I usually don’t do because I’m rushing out to get to the gym to workout or teach a class. It’s nice to not be on a time crunch and rushing out of the office¬†sometimes.

Call my family or friends

I usually call everyone in my family and make them talk to me when I have an afternoon with no plans. A lot of times it’s when I am walking home, but I’ve also talked to my mom as I’ve cooked dinner. It’s a good excuse to catch up with everyone and it keeps me occupied so I don’t snack!

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Go shopping!

Ok, if you’re on a spending freeze, this isn’t a good idea, but you can always window shop! Last Tuesday, I headed over to Faneuil Hall and shopped at The Loft, Banana Republic and The Gap. Most of what I did was just browse around¬†the store, but I did end up getting a great pair of blue work pants on sale for $22! I’m usually in a rush when I’m shopping (moreso¬†because I don’t do well with puttering around stores. I like to go in, get what I’m looking for and leave), but since I was trying to waste time to avoid mindless snacking, I puttered and looked at everything!

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Take the long way home (usually I am walking, so this is also getting a little active rest/light exercise in)

I walk a decent amount every day anyway since the T is a .5 mile walk from my apartment and the walk from the Aquarium to my office is about .75 miles, but on rest days, I try to get a little extra in. After sitting for most of the day, it feels good to walk around and loosen up, especially if I am sore!

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Tackle that project you’ve had on your “to-do” list

Not long ago, I finally went through all of the exercises I ripped out from magazines over the years and organized them; I threw out ones I didn’t need and wrote down the ones I wanted so that I could have a consolidated list. It was one of those things I had wanted to do for a while, but never got around to it. I also organized all of my UXF Burn, SHRED and Kickboxing workouts into separate packets so that I could easily refer to past workouts when creating new ones. Other projects I work on with free time are blogging ones and closet organization (I always start with organized closets, but somehow they always get disorganized in no time at all).

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Read a Book

As I was talking about this topic with my friends over the weekend, Jessi said she tries to read a book to avoid snacking. I couldn’t agree more! Especially if it’s a good book and you get wrapped up in it. A few months ago, I went to the park on a Sunday afternoon and read my book for 2 hours (and I napped!), which is something I don’t do often enough.

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Did I miss any? What do you do to avoid “mindless snacking”? When you shop, do you putter or are you usually on a mission and try to get in and out of the store as fast as possible? What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Beef Burgundy: Sometimes I crave red meat

Whenever I’m scheduled to go home, my mom always asks me to think about what I would like her to make me for a special meal (I know, I’m spoiled!). Well, as soon as she asked me this question a few weeks ago, I immediately responded with: Beef Burgundy. Sort of a strange request, right? I don’t know why I was craving it, but I was totally in the mood for red meat and hadn’t had beef burgundy in a while so I thought it was a great idea.

Lucky for me, my parents always have every type of meat imaginable in their freezer, so this wasn’t a problem at all! And, for once, I sat back and let my mom do all the cooking. I drank bubbly and blogged, while chatting with her and keeping her company in the kitchen.

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I forget the name of the cookbook that she used for the recipe, but I did take a picture of the recipe and instructions since I thought it was good enough to share.

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Instead of using egg noodles, I requested that we use potatoes from my dad’s garden and make garlic mashed potatoes (my fav!). We also baked broccoli and had steamed carrots and parsnips.

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This meal was absolutely delicious and I’d love to say it was easy, but I have no idea how easy or hard it was to make since mom did everything ūüėČ Sometimes there’s just nothing better than having wine and a nice meal on a Sunday night, especially when you know you aren’t going into the office the next day ūüôā

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Thanks for making such a nice meal for me, mom! B2B readers-¬†if you’re looking for a change up to your normal meal rotation, I highly suggest adding this!

Questions for you: If someone offers to make you dinner, what do you usually request? What’s your idea of a perfect dinner? Red meat- fan or not?