Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Recap & Winners

For those of you who made it through the entire challenge- nice work!! If there’s one thing I learned throughout this process, it’s that challenges are hard to sustain for 3-4 weeks. I know that I lost a lot of my challenge mojo right around the 2 week mark, so if you can relate- know that you’re not alone! The thing though, is that I don’t care if you did 2 days, 2 weeks or 24 days- I was just happy to see you participating even a little bit! The goal of each challenge was to make you happier, healthier and fitter- whether by food choices, movement choices, good deeds, etc.- I wanted you to move through the craziest month of the year with some purpose and deliberate choices that made you more present in each and every day.

In my 2 week check in, I shared how I went about each challenge, which was a fun way for me to take a look back and in turn, get motivated for the final push. But, I think what I enjoyed most about the challenge was seeing YOUR check-ins. I know it can be challenging to take photos of everything and post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, but seeing your creativity with the challenges and seeing you DO them and participate with me and the others was incredible. You guys pushed me to continue and give it my all, so I thank you for that.

I’m here today to share the “winners”, but I put that word in quotations because everyone who participated was really a winner. You took the time out of your busy schedule to do something to better yourselves or others and that is worth a big pat on the back! Although I asked you to check in and post on social media how you were going about each challenge so that I could see who was participating, even if you were holding yourself accountable with your own tracking sheet that’s totally fine. We are all motivated differently and that’s what is so fun!

But, with that said, I have to give a big shout out to Lauren Hudak and Courtney Iacocca- congrats, ladies! You are the winners of the challenge.

Lauren is my downstairs neighbor and I’m so fortunate that we have been able to become friends over the past year and a half. She has run a number of marathons (super fast, too!) and was afraid that this challenge would interfere with her training. After I explained that it wasn’t a fitness-only challenge, she decided to participate and throughout the 24 days challenge, she did not miss a single day and posted photos each day of her participating in the. What I loved about Lauren’s participating was that she often included co-workers and friends to take the stairs, go for a walk and bring lunch. Her posts and challenge executions (weird word to use, but had a writers block!) were so thoughtful and deliberate and even after long days at work, she would still make it a priority to move and release some stress.

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Courtney and I work together and I had the chance to get to know her when she participated in my bootcamp back in the fall. I remember her emailing me saying she wanted to just try one class and go from there since she wasn’t “good” at working out. Well, the day after our first class, she came into my office and paid for the full 4 weeks saying she loved it and felt so welcomed and able to do everything we were doing. This made me SO happy, so you can only imagine how happy I was when she decided to participate in my challenge. Courtney had to travel for a few days and still got in her workouts and other challenges. She tried a new yoga studio and has made it part of her routine to get there when she can. She tried new recipes and learned to grease the baking sheet better 😉 She paid it forward by giving her tow guy a Starbucks gift card. Courtney’s enthusiasm throughout the challenge was so awesome- congrats, friend!

courtney

To refresh your memory, the prizes are as follows:
New Balance has been gracious enough to donate 2 awesome gym bags! I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER have too many gym bags. This one looks like a great size, too!

new balance bag

**DRINKmaple has also agreed to provide each winner with a 2 pack of their Pure Maple Water drink. I was luck enough to get a chance to try a sample and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big coconut water fan, so this was a great substitute.

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**A caddy of 16 mixed larabar bars. Larabars have been a longtime favorite bar of mine- have you tried them? Most of the flavors are made up of only a few ingredients, which is key for me. When I look at ingredient labels of other bars, I’m always astounded at how many ingredients there are! A 16 pack should keep you happy for a while 😉

larabar

**Lastly- a customized workout and/or workout video from me! The workouts I post on my blog normally may not be what you’re looking for, so with this, you can tell me exactly what you like/don’t like/want to work on and I can go from there! I can even do a real time workout video for you to have and use.

SO, Lauren and Courtney, please email me at burpeestobubbly@gmail.com with your addresses and I will get your information over to the companies so they can ship you your goodies. Also, please include what type of workout you’d like me to create for you: video, HIIT, strength, core, full body, super sets, time workouts, stations, etc. Take a look at my workout page if you need some ideas on what you’re looking for!

Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated. I was so happy to see friends from college and the gym, as well as friends from the blog world participating- you ladies did awesome! And, if you’re interested in another challenge, let me know 🙂

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I’m Back!

Well hello, there! Remember me? I used to write a blog fairly consistently…. 😉 I have to say, not blogging at all last week was exactly what I needed. It was so nice to detach myself a bit from social media and taking pictures and things like that. And, now I have so many posts I want to write- luckily I’m off from work this week and will hopefully have time to get them drafted.

How were your holidays? Anything fun planned for New Years Eve? Anyone else off all week? I’ve never had a “staycation”, but so far, I’m totally digging it! Let’s recap over the past week- lots of celebrations between RM’s birthday and Christmas!

To celebrate RM’s actual birthday (I threw him his surprise party a few days earlier), I took him to Eastern Standard, which is one of our favorite places. We snagged two seats at the bar and ordered up some drinks. Not only was it his birthday, but it was also the start of my very long “staycation”.

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We had a delicious meal of a pork dish, steak frites, bone marrow and oysters. Finished off with some birthday bread pudding and we pretty much rolled ourselves out of the restaurant 😉

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We woke up on Christmas Eve and both had a bunch of things to do- he was picking up his new car (so funny we both got new cars right around the same time!) and I had to get my new watch fixed and pack for Maine. I listened to Christmas music the whole way and totally got  in the mood- match that with some bubbly and a Christmas apron and I was full on festive!

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Every Christmas Eve we throw a little party- we make homemade pizza’s, dad makes his tourtiere, people bring lots of food and we drink plenty of bubbly. I didn’t take any photos except for food and one of me- classic- but we had a good crowd!

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Christmas morning we awoke to crappy, rainy weather, but we made the best of it.

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My parents got me some fun things like new rain boots, sweaters, hair products, a Veggetti and some other random things. My sister got me a sick Reebok jump rope, Kate Spade earrings and a 3 month Birch Box subscription- have any of you done that? Roberto totally spoiled me and got me a Michael Kors watch, a Fitbit, perfume and slippers- incredibly thoughtful!

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On Friday, I hit up the gym and did Athena’s Chimney Workout followed by some supersets (will post them for you later!) before calling it a day. Athena- LOVED the workout! Post gym, I picked up RM at the train station and we did a few things before heading to my parents. We exchanged gifts (he got an LL Bean flannel! and he got my parents an Olive Tree adoption- more on that later) and had a delicious Cornish hen dinner.

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We headed back to MA on Saturday and RM and I did some returns in the city, lunch at Granary Tavern and a quiet night in with reading and a movie. Our book club book this month is Unbroken- have you heard of it or read it? I’m not a fan of anything army or military related (I know- sounds crazy, but it scares me), but so far, I’m totally hooked on the book!

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I was able to spend all Sunday at my apartment puttering, putting things away, cleaning and relaxing- it was wonderful! After an unseasonably warm run, RM and I went to Santarpios for dinner. He’s starting the Whole 30 diet/detox on January 1, so we are really living it up until then. I’m planning on doing that diet about 80% of the time.. we’ll see how it goes!

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Andddd phew! If you made it, thank you. I had so many pictures to share! I will be announcing the Happy, Healthy, Fit challenge winners tomorrow- thanks to all of you who participated!! Also on the dock this week is a recap of 2014, looking forward to 2015 and maybe even a workout? I’ve got about 3 or 4 workouts lined up for you 🙂

Questions for you: How were your holidays? What was the best part? Have you read Unbroken? Are you on vacation this week? What are your New Years Eve plans?

 

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3 (Final Week!)

Hello, hello! Can you believe we are entering into our LAST week of this challenge?? For me, the past 3 weeks FLEW by… I literally cannot believe Christmas is in just a few days.

In case you’ve missed the other weeks of the challenge, you can find them here:

Happy, Healthy, Fit: Week 1

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 2

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3

Here are the 3 final challenges for the week and series:

Happy, healthy fit week 4

*Monday 12/22: Go to bed 15 minutes early. At this point in December, I’m sure you’ve had plenty of weekend parties and after work get togethers and are generally pretty beat. For this challenge, all I ask is that you go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally do. I am REALLY looking forward to this!

*Tuesday 12/23: Plank challenge. Planks are one of my favorite core exercises because they target so many muscles and increase your general core strength, balance and stability. I posted this plank workout a few weeks ago (Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}), so if you tried it then, it’s time for round 2 today 🙂

4 minute plank workout

Remember that there are always modifications and you can do the planks with your knees on the ground, you can do an elevated plank on a coffee table and if you’re looking for a more advanced option, try lifting a leg!

*Wednesday, 12/24: List 5 things you’re thankful for. I’m really looking forward to this challenge and to see what you’re thankful for. This time of the year is full of so many crazy things that can cause us to be stressed and overwhelmed and to lose sight on things that make us happy, that we are thankful for and that we couldn’t live without. So, I ask you to share 5 of those things with me!

Have fun- finish the challenge strong with me 🙂

 

Happy, Healthy, Fit: 2 week check-in & prize announcements

Good morning! I wanted to pop in quickly to see how the Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge was going for those of you who are participating. I know I tend to lose some steam after the initial “newness” of a challenge wears off, so in case anyone else is like me, hopefully we’ll all get amped up again to finish off the challenge with a bang! The biggest motivation thus far has been seeing YOUR check-ins, posts, pictures, emails, etc. The fact that I’ve got so many of you participating along with me is sometimes just what I need to check off a challenge for the day. Let’s recap!

Week 1

  • Push-up challenge– You guys. No matter how many push-ups I do, they never seem to get easier! With that said, this was tough!

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  • Take the stairs– I may only be on the second floor, but I made a lot of trips up and down as I forced myself to use the bathroom on the first floor.

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  • No Equipment Workout- I did this body weight workout and loved it!! Looks simple enough, but it kicked my butt!

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  • Give a compliment- I complimented one of my associates on her sweater and complimented my downstairs neighbor for her involvement with charities and a Christmas toy drive.
  • Pay it forward- Ha! I was so nervous for this challenge. I’ve always thought it was cool to buy someone a coffee or a drink or pay their toll, but I had never done it… at least for a stranger! My first experience was a little rocky, as there were misunderstandings, but I was able to pay for the person behind me so it all worked out.

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  • Full body workout- I went to the baby gym at the Exeter Inn and completed some running, walking and weight lifting.
  • Go through your clothes & donate- Well, the clothes may still be sitting in the back of my car, but I did go through my draws and closet on the day of the challenge! It always feels good to weed through some clothes and remove what I don’t wear anymore.

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Week 2

  • Burpee challenge- Love this one, of course 😉 Rocked them out in the 6am hour after a run
  • Lower Body Workout– I did this booty burner workout. Gets me every time!
  • Bring your lunch to work- I packed it, although I ended up finishing at my client site early so I ate it at home. That counts, right?

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  • Morning yoga/stretching/foam rolling– This was such a nice way to start the day! I really should try to do it more often because not only is it great for my body, but my mind, too!

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  • Donate– I kept thinking I would see a Salvation Army stand or get asked at a store, but sadly, it never happened. We did, though, donate from the back of a ketchup bottle, which was to support Veterans.
  • Try a new recipe– I didn’t get a chance to try a new recipe from a book, but I DID make these beauties- interested in me putting together a recipe?

Ok, SO! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, who wants to know what the prizes are for the top 2 participants?? Here’s what goes into picking those people:

  • Active engagement on Social Media! It’s easiest for me to see you participating when you do this and it also creates a group atmosphere. You can do this by posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Remember to tag me (@Burpeestobubbly) and use the hashtag #happyhealthyfit !
  • If social media isn’t your thing, feel free to email me or comment on any post letting me know you’ve participated.
  • How many challenges you’ve completed- I have a tracking sheet that I’m updating based on check-ins, so, again, if I don’t know you’re participating, you won’t get proper recognition and credit 😦

And for the prizes….
New Balance has been gracious enough to donate 2 awesome gym bags! I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER have too many gym bags. This one looks like a great size, too!

new balance bag

**DRINKmaple has also agreed to provide each winner with a 2 pack of their Pure Maple Water drink. I was luck enough to get a chance to try a sample and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big coconut water fan, so this was a great substitute.

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**A caddy of 16 mixed larabar bars. Larabars have been a longtime favorite bar of mine- have you tried them? Most of the flavors are made up of only a few ingredients, which is key for me. When I look at ingredient labels of other bars, I’m always astounded at how many ingredients there are! A 16 pack should keep you happy for a while 😉

larabar

**Lastly- a customized workout and/or workout video from me! The workouts I post on my blog normally may not be what you’re looking for, so with this, you can tell me exactly what you like/don’t like/want to work on and I can go from there! I can even do a real time workout video for you to have and use.

All I need you to do now, is comment below or in some other form (twitter, instagram, facebook, email), telling me how many challenges you’ve completed up to this point- I’ll check back in at the end 🙂 Stay strong for the remainder of the challenge- we’ve only got a handful of days left!!

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 3

Good morning! How did you do with Week 2 challenges? I’ve been enjoying the small, daily “task” or challenge as it helps me stay more present and gives each day a purpose. I want to recap my challenges thus far, so hopefully I can do that later this week. For now, let’s talk week 3!

Happy, healthy fit week 3

*Monday 12/15: Give up sugar for the day. Ugh. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and while I may have enough self restraint to not eat 4 cookies at once, it’s still an issue. Today, I challenge to you remove all sugar from your diet. This is probably going to be the hardest challenge for me, because although I try watch and limit my sugar intake, it still creeps up on me. Read your labels, make food yourself and make sure you’re not adding any sugar in your coffee or tea. I know this is a tough challenge for all you fellow sweet-toothers, but we can do it!

*Tuesday 12/16: Try a new workout class. There are so many amazing fitness studios in and around the Boston area (and I’m sure there are just as many in other states/cities, too!) just begging for you to try one of their classes. The beauty about almost all fitness studios, is they offer a free first class, or at least a discounted one. Also, if you chat with them and explain what you’re interested in and how much you’ve been wanting to try a class, you may even be able to get a free one! If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a new class to try, I list a bunch of great studios in this post. My plan is to take a morning class at The Club as I’ve never taken a full class there. Maybe some gym friends would like to join?!

*Wednesday 12/17: Meditate. Remember how I added 10 minutes of meditation/quiet time time during Lent? Well, it was great throughout those 40 days, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ve done it once since then. It’s always something I’m telling myself I need to do, but, like yoga, it just doesn’t happen enough. Today I challenge you to take 10 minutes for yourself to meditate or just sit quietly and breathe. Try not to focus on your thoughts- let them come in and go right back out. RM gave me a few meditation apps to suggest to you guys. He does this almost daily and enjoys all of these- search for them in the App store: Simply Being, Yoga Nidra, Power of Mind. There are dozens of other free ones, too. Let me know what you do!

*Thursday 12/18: Walk during lunch- This is something I try to do every day, but sometimes (and more often than not recently) work just gets the best of me and I don’t make the time to sneak away for a short walk. Today though, I’m challenging us to step away from our desks and get outside for some mid-day movement. It’s a littler harder when the weather is cold, but I always feel so much better after!

*Friday 12/19: Upper Body Workout– I LOVE working my upper body, and have found that short upper body workouts are a great finisher after a run or other leg-based cardio. Here are some to choose from, but if you don’t like any of those, try this: 60 seconds each, 3 rounds: bicep curls, alternating shoulder presses, upright row, tricep dips, push-ups. Otherwise, here are some I’ve posted on the blog in the past:
Wednesday Workout: 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Body Weight Upper Body Blast
Wednesday Workout: Upper Body Tabata Workout
Wednesday Workout: 30 Minute Upper Body & Core Super Sets Workout

*Saturday 12/20: Treat yourself! I think I was most looking forward to this challenge 😉 Today is all about treating yourself. What’s something you’re currently lusting over? New workout top, new mittens, a massage, manicure… you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be anything big (it is holiday season, afterall, so I’m sure extra money is being spent on gifts), but it’s about getting yourself a little something that puts some extra pep in your step. I’m thinking a Fitbit is something I’ve been lusting over… hmmm…

*Sunday 12/21: Core workout. Sunday’s tend to be lazy, lounge around the house days, right? The beauty of this workout is it can be done in your pajamas in front of the TV 🙂

4 minute plank workout

If you don’t like this workout, feel free to choose from one of these:
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: Warm Up Your Core!
V-Sits and Leg Lifts and Planks, Oh My!
Wednesday Workout: No weights? No problem! {Cardio & Core workout}
Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}

There you have it! Have fun with the challenges this week and remember- we’re almost through the 24 days, so don’t give up now 🙂

Questions for you: What was your favorite day of the challenge last week? What will be the most challenging thing for you this week?