Category Archives: morning

Wednesday Workout!

So remember when I said I was going to try to shake up my workout routine? Well I switched it up this week!

Monday and today, I went to a boot camp at Chicago Fitness Coach, and it kicked my butt!  Monday I thought I was going to die, but today was a tiny bit easier.  The instructor and founder, Tony, is super motivating and really pushes you — but does it all with a laugh and a smile on his face!  On the agenda today?  Treadmill sprints mixed with pushups, tons of squats, lunges, mountain climbers, Spiderman pushups, sumo squats, and LOTS of core work.  I was sweating like crazy (and wiping pink toner onto the towel since I had my hair dyed RED!). It’s all very basic stuff, but honestly, it didn’t matter.  We were moving nonstop and everyone was dying by the end!  Plus, I’m getting my workouts in early since the class is held at 9am! (Ah, the perks of not having a regular 9to5.)

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And remember how I said it was pretty easy to sweat on the cheap?  I got this month-long, 5x/week boot camp on Tippr for $20!  Getting my butt handed to me weekly is even sweeter knowing I’m only paying $1 per class! Can’t beat that!

What have you done to switch up your workouts lately?  Ever tried a boot camp or another super tough class like it?  Scored any awesome deals on fitness stuff lately? Spill!

New Month, New Goals: February

New month, new goals! As I mentioned last month, I decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions, but I did take a page from my friend Rachel’s book and came up with goals for January alone. I want to carry this on throughout the year to see what I can accomplish when I break my big goals down into smaller, more doable steps.
So here are my new goals for February to help me make 2010 my healthiest, happiest year yet!
  1. Get more sleep: OK, repeat goal. While this one wasn’t a complete and utter fail last month, I did not get my seven hours at least five nights per week. I got close with six many nights, but still. I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to. So this month, I’m going to make sleep even more of a priority. But I’m going to lower the bar a teeny bit. I’m going to aim for seven hours at least four nights a week this month. (Give me your tips for getting to bed earlier! I’ll take all the help I can get!)
  2. Incorporate new types of cardio into my routine: Since I started thinking about doing the Chicago Triathlon, I’ve been considering how I can take my workouts up a notch. The other day I made a fun cardio circuit for myself that involved a lot of spinning with some stair and lap running mixed in there . And I have to say, I kind of loved it! So I want to take at least two spinning classes this month, since I’ve tried it before but never really given it a chance. If I want to prep for the Tri (goal for March is to actually SIGN UP), I need to start now – but indoors because there is no way in HELL I’m biking along the lake with a -10 windchill.
  3. Focus on the positive: I’ve always considered myself a pretty upbeat person, but I have also always had a problem with getting into my own head too much and overanalyzing everything (no, really, everything), and then dwelling on the negatives of a given experience. So this month, at least a three times a week, I want to write down the positive things that happen to me during the day. I was going through old texts today, and I came across some I had saved because they were from the really uplifting people in my life. My parents telling me how proud they are of me, an inspiring friend reminding me that I’m capable of anything, my boss encouraging me and letting me know I’m doing “one hell of a job.” I saved those for a reason – because I wanted to remind myself to focus on the positive – so I need to do that everyday! 
  4. Read more than just the back three pages of the Red Eye newspaper: Because scanning the celebrity gossip and doing the crossword puzzle isn’t really helping me become a more well-rounded person.
What about you?  Got any new goals for this month?  How did your January goals go?  And if you did make New Year’s resolutions, are you still going strong?  I want to know!

Pay Attention! (To Your Body, That Is)

Not entirely relevant, but toothpastefordinner.com kills me every time.
So I’ve had a few requests to address emotional eating, but it’s a pretty big (and sometimes loaded) topic, so I want to give it a little more thought before I talk about it. In the meantime, here’s a tip to help you work on eating mindfully.
I recently received an email from first30days.com (really cool site, btw!) with a genius way to make you a little more conscious about your food choices. It seems so obvious, but they way they put it just made the light bulb go off above my head. Instead of thinking of how good something is going to taste or feel right now, think about how you’ll feel and how it will affect you in three hours. When they put it like that, all I could think was, ‘Um, duh.’ A huge meal always makes me feel comatose after 3 hours. And too much sugar never fails to give me a headache and make me nauseous long after the taste is gone.
When I read the email I realized I had been doing just that lately. For a while there I was not tuning in so well to my body and was rushing around grabbing whatever – and some of it wasn’t the most nutritious stuff out there. It wasn’t really messing with my weight or anything, but it certainly didn’t make me feel good. So lately I’ve been thinking about how the things I’m putting into my body will affect my entire body – not only three hours from now, but three days, and even three months from now. Will a heavier meal later at night mess with my sleep or leave me waking up uncomfortable the next morning? If I’m starving when I get home after a 14-hour workday, should I grab whatever or actually take a breath and plate a balanced meal with lots of veggies? Will whole foods most likely satisfy me more and give me more energy in the long run than processed bars and shakes?
Stopping to think for a minute about how I’ll react to what I’m eating has really boosted my energy and my mood – this week especially. I’ve felt more productive, getting up early hasn’t been as much of a struggle, and I’ve had six (yeah, SIX!) pretty kickass workouts this week alone! Even waking up at 7am this morning (I don’t DO early Saturdays) was pretty easy! And I definitely won’t complain about feeling better in my clothes.
I want to know what YOU think of this idea. Are you generally good at eating mindfully? Do you have to work at it? Have you been working on it? How does it make you feel when you make conscious choices regarding your food? And for all of you pros out there, got any tips for those making an effort to eat mindfully?

Resolution Check-in!

Hey all! I know I said I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I did make some year-long objectives which I’m working on via monthly goals. So I thought I’d let everyone know how those goals are going, and you can let me know how your resolutions or monthly goals are coming along too! (Here’s a refresher on my January goals.)

1) Get more sleep: Hmmm… so the goal was to get seven hours at least five nights per week. That hasn’t exactly been happening. However, I’ve been getting better about it! Weekends I’m obviously still getting plenty, and six hours during the week has been a lot more common than the five I was looking at before. I could still improve here, but I must say that I’ve been a lot less tired, my skin has looked better, and I’m pushing a lot harder in workouts. I’m going to start getting myself on a more consistent sleep cycle (especially since I’m getting a LOT more morning clients, so these seven hours are going to be key!)

2) Sit somewhere different on the bus: I wanted to do this so I could change my point of view in more than just a figurative way. This one has actually been harder than any of the others, which seems so silly to me. I don’t know why, but I’m practically drawn to the back of the bus! Maybe it’s because I was never a cool enough kid to sit there in grade school, so I have to live out that dream as a 24-year-old woman. Whatever. Still working on it!

3) Strength train twice per week: Yes! I’ve got this one! I’ve been working out almost everyday with my fitness director at the gym, so that makes it a little easier to get motivated to do it. When the lunch rush dies down and 2pm rolls around, I hear, “You have five minutes to get changed. Let’s go.” Which may sound kind of bossy (well, I guess he is my boss), but I totally need that push sometimes. It’s not like I don’t have a choice, but I kind of feel like I’m back in high school and I’m getting ready for practice, so I really like that. Plus, I’m following his workout plan, so it’s tough! I’m starting to feel like a real athlete again, and it’s making me a bit more ambitious. Like, ‘maybe I should sign up for the Chicago Triathlon’ ambitious.

4) Write and post at least once per week: Mission accomplished! I’ve been taking every opportunity and free moment to write, and I have this renewed passion that I am loving. Expect to see some big changes happening on the blog soon!

Overall, I’d say two (and a half…ish) out of four ain’t bad! Did you make goals for this month or for the year as a whole? How are they going? If not, are you thinking about making some? Let me know!

Early to Rise…

So… I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this, but I am NOT a morning person. The only thing I think when I hear, “The early bird catches the worm,” is What’s so great about worms? I’ll admit that once I get up, I can be really productive, and I’ll start feeling a little self-righteous and say, “OK, FINE, it IS nice to be up and getting shiz done before everyone else.” But for the most part, when life lets me sleep in a little, I’m pretty appreciative. (and The Great Fitness Experiment post here makes me feel just fine about that.) I’m a night person by nature, and I get really inspired, and my energy goes through the roof at about 8pm. I’ll go to work for a 6am client and be dead the whole day, but when nighttime rolls around, my energy spikes back up, especially if you get me talking.

Anyway, this morning I was dragged out of bed at 5am by Beyonce’s “Freakum Dress,” because I had a 6:30am potential-client workout in the pool. The bus shook me awake a little (there is NO need to drive like that at 5:45, Miss #36 bus driver), but I was still barely trudging along when I got into work. Of course, said client didn’t show up, and she was my ONLY client until 1pm, so at first I was a tad annoyed. BUT instead of sitting and pouting in my Speedo or trying to nap in the back room (bad idea when you work with all guys who attack and mess with you when you least expect), I decided to make the best of the situation.

I changed into my running clothes, but because I knew I wouldn’t get an amazing long run in (like I said, I peak later in the day), I decided to just crank out a hard 20 minutes to wake me up. I plan on getting a good long swim in later, but MAN, that felt great. I did a quick, sweaty 2.5 miles, cleaned up, and got myself to Starbucks to do some writing — all before 8:30am. I will admit, as I sit here sipping my coffee, and as everyone else is just starting their day by picking up lattes and venti Americanos to take to work, I am feeling a bit self-righteous. And I’m thinking that maybe every once in a while, I don’t mind being the early bird. Even if I really don’t like worms.
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