I Drank Wine On A Random Tuesday

I know some of you are probably shaking your heads going, “ok, Monique. Big deal!”, which is exactly the point of this post! At the start of the summer, I told RM that I wanted to be more spontaneous and plan less and in general, be more easy going and ok with going off schedule. Halfway through the summer, I’ve realized I haven’t really been very successful in accomplishing this. So many nights RM will say “want a glass of wine?” or “I made a pseudo spritzer- want one?” and I politely respond with, “no thank you”.

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I will say that *most* of the time I turn down drinks during the week because I really don’t feel like I need or want one. Most of the time I’m getting home late because of teaching or some other fitness event and by the time I shower and sit down to eat, wine is not even close to being on my mind. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t turn down drinks sometimes because I didn’t want to drink extra calories. Or because I’ll feel guilty having a drink because my weekly goal Monday through Thursday is usually to not drink alcohol in order to give my body a little break (unless there’s a specified event during the week that will likely result in drinks- girls nights, sporting events, traveling, etc.).

But the thing is, what’s the difference between drinking on a Friday than on a Tuesday? Some Friday’s I don’t feel like a glass of wine but have one anyway because it’s Friday (#becauseFRIDAY)! And everyone drinks on Fridays to celebrate the weekend! Right? Maybe, but does it mean I have to? Nope. I shouldn’t feel like I need to conform to societal “rules” or my own rules instead of tuning into myself and listening to how I’m feeling and what I want on that particular day/time.  Which is exactly why on Tuesday night last week, I poured myself a glass of wine after my workout and shower. RM was over, it was HOT and we were grilling. What goes well with all of those things?
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Dealing With Injuries & Modifying My Workouts

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and feel rested and ready for the week.

So, last week I had to deal with something I HATE dealing with: injuries. I know most people probably don’t like them, but I have a really hard time dealing with and accepting them; I often keep pushing myself and ultimately making things worse… when will I ever learn?!

You may remember me mentioning last week that I tweaked my knee while at the driving range, but that after some ibuprofen and taking it “easy” at the gym and in my class, I felt totally fine. Fine enough to move heavy things up and down 2 flights of stairs all weekend, run 3.5 miles and teach kickboxing. On top of that, Monday morning started off early with my Muscle  Mix class, Tuesday night my bootcamp and Wednesday a 30 minute outdoor run before teaching UXF Burn.

I know, I know. You’re probably shaking your heads at me going “you dummy. Of course you got injured. That’s a recipe for disaster and you haven’t taken a rest day in going on 2 weeks!”. And, you’re totally right for thinking that. All of those workouts and moving finally caught up with me and I woke up on Thursday morning with so much pain in the same knee I tweaked the week before.

Luckily, Thursday was a planned rest day for me anyway, and with some ibuprofen and ice, I woke up on Friday feeling better than I did on Thursday. However, I made a pact with myself that I would take it easy all weekend.

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Again, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Wow, Monique. You gave yourself a 4 day break. Whoop-dee-freaking-do”. But guys, taking it down a BIG notch for 4 days is so hard for me. My body is used to moving (actively) every day, so telling it to slow down for 4 consecutive days is a huge challenge for me.

But, I gave myself {multiple} pep talks and worked hard to convince myself that taking a little break wasn’t the end of the world, and certainly didn’t mean I was going to lose all of my strength, cardiovascular health and gain 5lbs (I know, I’m so dramatic).

The craziest part about all this is I’m SO GOOD at giving this advice to others. I’m so good at telling people to rest and listen to their bodies and that we all have muscle memory and we’ll bounce back faster than we think. Why can’t I be SO GOOD at giving-and taking- this advice for myself? Will I ever learn, or will I forget all about this until the next time I am faced with another injury (remember the post I wrote about rest days? I haven’t listened to that much lately…) ? It’s so frustrating that I am so bad at listening to myself and my body and that I am so addicted to the feeling during and after a good workout. Don’t get me wrong- it’s great to have a passion and a healthy passion, but when does it get to the point of being unhealthy. An injury? A different set back? When will I get to the point where I see the signs BEFORE things get too far. Before a healthy thing turns into an unhealthy, injury prone obsession?

exercise addiction
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So, although all of that is hard to admit, it’s true, and injuries are an eye opener for me. I’m happy to say that I did rest for 4 days (with the exception of short walks) and plan on taking it easy with my workouts this week. I don’t need to be beating my body into the ground every day like I generally do. If I want to have a lifetime of physical activity, I need to take care of my body now and not wear it down.

Phew. how’s that for a heavy Monday post. Thanks for listening, though. It always feels good to get this stuff out- I hope some of you can give me good advice and if you’re dealing with the same thing as me, I’m hoping you can find relief in the fact you’re not alone.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I’m not teaching today so my plan after work is to go to the gym and do some light, steady state cardio (I just want to sweat!!) and some upper body and core work. I’m going to take it easy with squats and lunges this week.
  • Tuesday- It’s the first week of my second bootcamp session and I’m SO excited. A bunch of people from my office have expressed interest, so it could be a decent size crowd!
  • Wednesday- Teaching UXF Burn at 6:30 in Central Square. Before class I may do some steady state cardio or lifting. I’ll see how I feel.
  • Thursday- Not sure! Maybe my own workout, maybe a class, maybe a walk. I’m going to see how I feel.
  • Friday- Probably a rest day.
  • Saturday- I’m supposed to be teaching my cardio kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA, but I was invited to attend #BosFIT, an AWESOME fitness event hosted by Bostinno, so I’m trying to get a sub for my class. Check back here on Wednesday for a chance to attend the event for free!
  • Sunday- After the classes I’m planning to take on Saturday, Sunday will be my second rest day of the week

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? What’s the last injury you’ve had? How do you deal with injuries? Any good advice to share?

Wednesday Workout: Quality versus Quantity {and a 20 min workout blast!}

Hello! I hope you’re all doing well. I’m reallllly enjoying having some time off- it’s amazing to be able to go to the gym during the day and have it be empty, as well as run errands without traffic or masses of people. I could get used to this 😉

Remember how I briefly talked about how I got hung up with focusing on the quantity of workouts over the quality of them? Well, today I wanted to expand upon that a little. I remember Athena talking about going for the quality of a workout over the quantity of a workout in a post she wrote a while ago, and while I agreed with what she said about preferring to have 4 really solid and strong workouts versus 6 “meh” workouts, I found myself ignoring that last week.

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I hate to admit it, but sometimes I get too wrapped up and focused on getting in “X” amount of workouts per week rather than looking at how hard/intense/strong each particular workout is and minding my body if I get up and it feels too sore to workout. With the amount I workout (often 1-2 hours per day), taking 2 rest days a week should be a priority, right? Or, at least having one of those “rest” days be something low-impact like yoga or pilates or something along those lines.

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Stupidly, though, when I know there are days where I likely won’t have time to workout (or, rather, want to MAKE the time to workout), I often force a workout into a day where I usually rest. Since I teach a double on Thursdays and often have a long workout on Wednesdays, by the time Friday morning rolls around, I’m generally very physically tired and sored so it’s a perfect day to rest. Last Friday, though, I tried to force a workout. Sometimes if I workout in the afternoon, I can swing it and be fine since I can rest in the morning and see how I feel, but last Friday had to be a 7am workout, which was just too early. I woke up sore and should have pressed snooze or gotten up and foam rolled instead of trying to force a half-assed workout.

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However, even though I got frustrated with myself for having chosen the quantity of workouts over the quality of workouts (my workouts last week were killer besides Friday!), it was a good lesson and a great reminder for me to take my own advice and focus on listening to my body and knowing when enough is enough and too much is too much. Rest days really are so important and the body gains so much more from a solid rest day than it does from a forced workout on a day that your body is giving you blatant signs that it is tired, sore and over-worked.

So, with that said, I hope that the next time I wake up for a workout and feel tired, I flash back to this post and my workout last Friday and choose sleep, foam rolling or regular ol’ rest instead of pushing my body to a limit it doesn’t want to reach.

Questions for you: Do you choose quality over quantity of workouts or do you focus on getting in “X” amount of workouts in per week regardless of how you feel?

And, for fun (and since I promised)- if you’re looking for a quickie workout today, try this! Remember to warm up and cool down as necessary. While the focus is on completing as many rounds as possible (AMRAP), please remember that good form takes precedence over speed!

20 minute workout blast

 

 

 

Sometimes Workouts Have To Take A Back Seat

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to spend some time today sharing a little bit about what I’ve been dealing with over the past week or so. It’s certainly been a frustrating time for me, but it’s given me time to think about a lot of stuff!

So. Let’s talk about health… and how much I (and I’m sure some of you can agree) take it for granted on a day to day basis. It’s not uncommon for me to workout at least an hour or two a day for 6 days a week. It’s just become part of my normal daily activity. I love it, I love the endorphins I get during and after a good workout, I love the feeling of sweat dripping from my face (and arms… and legs… and knees… and hair…), I love the feeling of working out with others, I love the feeling of teaching a class full of hard working members… you get the idea. Working out has just become a huge part of my life, so when that is taken away from me- even if it’s only for a few days- it’s really hard on me.

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I’m not worried that I will gain 5 pounds or lose all my muscle definition and cardio endurance I’ve gained over the past X number of years of working out. It’s more than that- it’s my source of stress relief, it’s my “me” time to think or not think, plan or not plan, it’s something I do for myself each day that helps me relax, get centered and appreciate my body and its abilities.

Last week, over a short amount of time, I came down with a weird skin condition (for the sake of privacy, I’m not sharing what I was diagnosed with) that literally made me the most uncomfortable I have ever been. My hands and feet were incredibly painful and so swollen I couldn’t bend my fingers and it hurt to put on sneakers or brush my teeth. My arms/legs were covered with spots as well, and although they weren’t painful, they were itchy as hell. Needless to say, my number one priority and concern during the first part of the week (ok, actually most of the week) was, “what the F*** (pardon me) is going on with my body right now? When will it stop? What is causing this? Who will be able to tell me what it is and how fast it can be healed”. Working out was such a distant thought in my brain, which never happens.

However, as the medication started to have positive effects on me and I started to feel a little better, I was getting antsy. Working from home all week with pretty much no social interaction is such a foreign thing for me, and is not something I enjoy, so when you pair that with having physical limitations inhibiting you from working out, it makes for a cranky Monique. Actually, more than cranky, I was frustrated. Why me? What have I done to make my skin react on me like this? Why do my hands and feet hurt so bad? {Cue the “woe is me” music…}

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After I spent some time (ok, a lot of time) feeling bad for myself, stressing myself out and crying to my parents, I realized I had a choice: I could wallow in self pity and be miserable, OR, I could appreciate the fact that what I had was likely nothing TOO serious, and certainly nothing fatal. Yeah, it’s super uncomfortable and annoying, but it would be so much worse. So, I did my best to keep myself busy with work, blogging and talking on the phone to take up some of my abundance of “free” time (it’s so annoying that when I actually HAVE free time, I never remember all the things I want to do when I’m busy and don’t have time. Anyone else have this issue?).

And, you know what? It wasn’t the most miserable thing. Sure, I got bored and certainly got cabin fever, but I think the fact that I knew, physically, that I couldn’t be as active as I normally am and really couldn’t be in public helped me accept it more…. Until things started to feel a little better. At that point, I was getting restless from lack of movement. Even if I don’t work out on a particular day, I can usually bank on walking at least a few miles in my normal commute. That doesn’t happen when you don’t leave your house for 48 hours… just saying.

Thankfully, I was able to come up with a very modified, no-contact, no impact workout on Wednesday that I did (going to post for you this week!), and then on Thursday, after g-chatting with Athena and asking her for more suggestions for exercises that didn’t require any touching with my hands (planks, push-ups, tricep dips, anything with weights, etc.) or jumping, I got in a really good- and fun- workout on Thursday after work. An hour passed within a blink of an eye and I think I smiled the whole time (my 3 mile walk during the day in 50*, sunshine weather didn’t hurt my mood, either). Granted, it wasn’t high impact, but you know what? It left me sweaty and sore and gave me that boost of endorphins that I was really craving.

So, what’s the point of this long rant, you may ask? Well, I wanted to catch you up with what’s been going on and I wanted to show you that if you want to make something happen, you can. I knew I physically needed to let my body rest for a few days (Sunday- most of Wednesday), which I did, but I also knew that for me, I needed to figure out a way to get some endorphins flowing once things started to clear up. And, you know what? Having to step outside of the box and my “normal” workout regimen was actually kind of fun. I was able to do things I hadn’t done in a super long time and, because of that, I felt the effects of it the next day. Our bodies get used to doing the same things day after day, week after week, so when you throw in “new” moves or variations, it wakes up some muscles that may have been dormant for a bit (Athena wrote up a great Sunday Sweat Talk on this topic on Sunday- couldn’t agree with her more!). Next time you find yourself with injuries or something else that’s limiting you from doing your usual workouts, I challenge you to talk to friends and try to find “new” exercises that you can do- you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results AND probably won’t be bored because it will be new to you.

Your turn to talk! When’s the last time you changed up your workouts? How do you deal with being cooped up at home for an extended amount of time? Who do you go to when you need fitness advice, ideas or motivation?

So… what about those rest days?

Rest days. Hmm. What a concept, right? If you’ve been reading B2B for a while, I’m sure it’s no shocker that I’m not always very good at rest days. Since I teach so much, on my off days I like to try new workouts and gyms and classes, and sometimes those get in the way of my rest days. And, bottom line, I like to workout! I like to sweat once a day. I like that time where it’s just me and my music or my classes. I like being disconnected from my phone or my computer. It’s just such a big part of my life and daily routine that it feels more weird to NOT plan for a workout than it does to plan for one. BUT! Rest is SO important and since I can often use a reminder to rest, I decided to write this post in case any of you can relate.

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However, since I’ve started teaching, I do honor my body more and rest at least once a week, as well as vary my workout types and intensities throughout the other days of the week. Our bodies can only go at full speed/intensity for so long before we hit a wall. Realizing this and abiding by this is so important for me now because if I get injured or suffer from overuse, then I potentially won’t be able to teach or be as good and as involved in my classes if I can still teach. So, at this time, here’s a general overview of my workouts each week

  • Mondays- Low impact cardio (spinning, cardio machine, etc.) and core
  • Tuesdays- Only strength training (no cardio)
  • Wednesdays- Cardio (usually running) and then teaching UXF Burn where I do about 75-85% of the workout (or less, depending on what I do beforehand and/or how sore I am from the day before)
  • Thursdays- SHRED and then kickboxing, which is a lot!
  • Fridays- Rest because I’m usually beat after my double from Thursday
  • Saturdays- Either cardio (kickboxing) or strength (BodyPump)
  • Sundays- Lately my Sunday’s have been “fun” workouts: yoga, Barre, Core Fusion, etc. which is great because not only is it something new for me, it’s generally lower impact which is always a welcome change for my joints.

So, although it’s a lot (I like to move!), I really try to vary what I’m doing from day to day. There’s absolutely room for improvement, though, because sometimes I feel like I just need a break. Last week, as I mentioned, was one of those weeks. I lost my workout “mojo”, and I can only attribute that to being burned out. Unfortunately, even though I can notice this and understand this about myself, I’m still not very good at CHANGING things. Sure, I can take a rest day after I feel like this and then say I’m going to take it easy, but I just have a really hard time doing that. Once I get going at the gym, I get excited and forget that I should be taking it easy and resting.

…. maybe I should just avoid the gym during those times where I tell myself that I’m going to take it easy… what a thought!

I tried thinking about why I am like this. Why I don’t like going too long without a workout. Why I plan my day around a workout more often than not. Why I have a hard time listening to my body and giving it adequate rest when it needs it.

While I haven’t figure this out entirely, I have come to the conclusion that I’m not afraid missing a workout will make me gain 5lbs. It won’t. I’m not afraid that I will lose all my strength and muscle definition. I won’t. I’m not afraid that my cardio endurance levels will decrease. They won’t. Muscle memory (your heart is a muscle, too!) lasts for much longer than we think it does.

So, what could it be? That’s what I am trying to find out… and it’s not easy! The benefits of rest are so important for us, that it seems like no-brainer to take a rest day or a few rest days, right?

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As the image above so clearly states, rest allows our muscles have a chance to repair themselves from the previous day’s workout, it’s a chance for your muscles to get stronger, it helps eliminate burn-out and over-use and is time for you to have an over all “recharged” battery. One of my favorite bloggers, Gina wrote a “Focus On” post on the importance of rest days and I often go back to that post whenever I need a little reminder about WHY I need to rest.

Someday I’ll get better at it and I’ll be able to rest as much as this little bugger.

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But, I also need help from you and want to hear from you! Does anyone else suffer with giving their body enough rest like I do? How often do you rest? Do you plan it out? Any tips to help me get better at resting? Any ideas for things to do on a rest day during my normal workout time?