Category Archives: Fitness Inspiration

The Tale of a Running Slacker

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nikki. She began running in the fall and fell in love with it. She set a goal for herself to run 500 miles in 2013 and while some people thought she was crazy, she was excited.

She ran all winter long, braving the snow, ice and frigid temperatures. She pushed herself to improve her form, avoid side stitches and set new PR’s. She participated in a Further Faster Forever contest and found that she was capable of amazing things… until an evil upper respiratory infection hit and sidelined her for a few weeks.

The evil upper respiratory infection left her with the need for an inhaler and a fear of going out to run. She tried a few times and a combination of anxiety and asthma always got the best of her. Leaving her only halfway to her goal of 500.

Then, the evil heat of summer came along and Nikki was not a fan of it, so she put her running on hold. She ran a few fun runs and logged a few miles on the days it wasn’t sweltering, but she was basically at a stand still.

She attempted to run on the hamster wheel of death, in an air conditioned gym, but it just wasn’t the same.

Part of what Nikki loved about running was the fresh air, changing scenery and the mind clearing effect the two had together. The hamster wheel of death just didn’t offer that, so the frustrated Nikki sulked off and just watched as runners tweeted and instagrammed about their runs.

Finally, one October morning, the air was crisp and the humidity was gone.

Nikki grabbed her running shoes, turned on RunKeeper and hit the trail for the first time in a while. Her head instantly cleared, her legs felt strong and her breathing wasn’t an issue.

She finally made it to 300 miles and while she knows there isn’t much time left in 2013, she’s going to do her best to reach the goal she set.

After all, the cooler temps, snow and ice never stopped her before.

The End.

Time to Fall in love with running again

blog sig

4 Comments

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Running

Ready. Aim. Focused.

It seems I found my groove so well, that I haven’t had time to sit down and write.

Wow!

The past two weeks have been quite the whirl wind. The kids went back to school, so we started a new routine. I made lots of small changes to my fitness and nutrition, which are yielding big results, and I’ve been working on lots of personal development, which feels amazing.

With the kids back in school, my day starts a lot earlier and it allows me to get my Focus T25 workouts in bright and early. This week I started the Beta phase of the program and I absolutely love it. I’m not sure if it’s because all of the workouts are new for this month, because there are weights involved or if it is because I was doing Alpha for so long, but I’m honestly enjoying the change. My favorite so far is Speed 2.0. I can feel everything engaging, I get a good sweat going and I didn’t clock watch at all when I did that one. I know…it’s a 25 minutes program, but I do catch myself clock watching at times. I find I look for the halfway mark and the 5 minute mark, but I didn’t do that with Speed 2.0, I was actually shocked when it was over.

This week was a rest week for Body Beast with the hybrid Mike is doing, so I just followed my regular T25 schedule. I’m looking forward to new workouts with Body Beast next week, too. I’m sure there will be lots of soreness in my future!

Meal prepping has continued to be a life saver for me. I slacked a little with it this week and it resulted in us ordering pizza last night. We used to order pizza every Friday night… it was tradition, but we hadn’t done it in the past month and I didn’t have anything ready to toss together for dinner so I said why not. I had no idea I would gorge myself as soon as it entered the house. I ended up feeling tired and sluggish after eating it, which is something I never noticed before, but I guess with the nutritional changes I’ve made over the past few weeks, my body rejected the amount I forced it to consume.

MyFitnessPal has also become part of my routine again. We were challenged as part of the accountability group I am in for Focust T25, to track AND post screen captures of our food intake daily. It really made me think twice before I grabbed a cookie, handful of almonds or an extra scoop of rice. For the most part, it just helped me to tweak the types of food I was eating. It also helped me to ensure I was hitting my daily caloric goal, because I didn’t realize I was under most days, before I started tracking. The small task of logging my meals showed not only on the scale the past two weeks, but in my measurements (You all know I feel about the scale by itself.) so if you have been stuck and you’re getting frustrated by a lack of results, make sure you take the time to journal your food!

The other thing I have been spending a lot of time on is Personal Development. It’s one of those things that I’ve been told to do, as a coach, but I allowed everything else to come first and I never had time. Sound familiar? Because that’s the excuse I hear all the time, from people who want my help getting healthier, but haven’t committed yet. Ironic, isn’t it? Well… I realized the irony, I made changes, and I committed. I’ve been reading a minimum of 10 pages per day (my current book of choice is The Compound Effect), I watch or listen to at least 15 minutes of inspiring video or audio a day (so easy to do while running errands in the car or I pop ear buds in while I fold laundry), I’ve made a digital dream board which I plan on printing and hanging where I can see it daily and I’ve set goals for myself.

I could kick myself for not starting this sooner, but I can’t change the past, so I’ve just been focused on my daily tasks and enjoying the feeling it brings.

obstacles

Lastly, many of you who have been following my blog from the beginning, know that Shakeology has been a staple in my diet for years. Lately, I’ve had a lot of people messaging me on Facebook, asking questions about it as well as the programs I’ve done, so I’ve organized 7 Day Shakeology Challenges over on Facebook. I am so excited by the positive response it has received! If you have ever wanted to try Shakeology, need to jump start healthy habits and gain energy without sugary energy drinks and tons of coffee, stop by my page or comment below for more details! I’ll also be starting some program based challenges soon!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Shakeology Cleanse

Finally Found a Groove

After being wishy washy for a while with my nutrition and fitness, I think I have finally found my groove.

As I mentioned before, I started Focus T25 a few weeks ago. I did three weeks of the program just to check it out and see how I liked it, then restarted it with a challenge group on Facebook. I gotta tell you…I have NEVER sweat as much with any program, like I do with T25. Okay…I sweat my ass with Insanity but this is almost a tie! A TIE…that’s crazy!

This program fits into my schedule like a glove and while I get frustrated at being rhythmically challenged, my two left foot are making progress! I may even develop rhythm, along with cardio endurance, thanks to this workout!

I’ve also made some changes in my diet. I borrowed a few books from the library on Paleo and Whole 30 diets. While I’m not adhering to either 100%, there is tons of amazing information in there and I’ve taken that info into account, when assessing my dietary needs and goals. Two of the books I found most informative are Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC and It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig.

The other change I made was incorporating weight lifting into my routine again.

I LOVE lifting. It makes me feel strong, I can feel my metabolism really kick in and I love the way my arms look when I lift.

Mike just started a Body Beast/Focus T25 Hybrid this week, so I decided to join him at night when he does the Body Beast workouts. It feels great to lift again and I can already feel a difference in my body by adding it! Weight lifting is so important even if you are looking to lose weight. Having more muscle increases your metabolism, even when you are not working out, so your body burns more calories all day long.

Another aspect that has really helped me the past few weeks is meal planning and meal prepping. All of the programs I have done come with amazing Nutrition Guides which are full of recipes, so I started digging through them, the books I mentioned above and of course Pinterest, for meal ideas and tips on meal prepping (I’ll have a separate post on this soon!)

One of the great recipes I’ve used came from the Body Beast guide…this recipe is quick, tasty and can be transformed into many different meals throughout the week. They also freeze really well so you can make double batches and just pull one batch from the freezer midweek and you’re good to go!

Body Beast Sagi's Signature Meatballs

This is another good recipe I tried this week from the Body Beast guide. I didn’t have the seeds on hand so I used some ground flax seed and unsweetened coconut in it’s place. They were missing some crunch without them, so I need to try this again!

Body Beast Power Protein Balls

Finding my groove has been a long time in the making and I’m happy I finally lifted the right rock to locate it. I look forward to sharing more on this new chapter with you as well as recipes, tips and anything else I come to realize along the way.

If you are trying to find your groove, please stop by my Facebook page. There are a few different accountability groups going on as well as info on the programs I have completed on my journey.

blog sig

5 Comments

Filed under Body Beast, Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes

Refocusing

focusMore often than not, I seem to be refocusing. I refocus on workouts, nutrition, cleaning schedules, and priorities in general. Life seems to be a constant juggling act, and more and more items keep getting tossed in. It’s hard not to drop something from time to time.

Running is the item that got dropped a while back and you know what? I miss it.

I set a goal for this year to hit 500 miles and I stalled out at 250 due to illness, frustration and then the heat. Frustration and heat are excuses and I know it. I know that you have to push through frustration and I know that there are ways around the heat. The time has come for me to stop making the excuses and start logging miles again. I’m a happier person when I run and I’m tired of feeling like a quitter.

This past week I started to refocus with Focus T25. The amount of sweat my body produces in 25 minutes with these workouts, is both amazing and gross. I’m hoping to build my cardio back up with this routine, so easing back into running will be a little smoother.

The next part of my refocus plan is an August “Clean Eating” accountability that I will be running over on the Facebook Page. I’ll be posting the basics of clean eating, shopping guides and recipes over there each day. My eating has been pretty good, but it took a nose dive during Mike’s vacation this past week. I’m hoping that as a group, we can stay accountable, help each other find new recipes and form new, healthier habits. I’ve always had success while working in groups and I’m hoping that those participating will too.

As well as the clean eating accountability, I plan on sharing a daily yoga workout on the Facebook page each day. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my fitness journey, it’s that no matter how badly I suck at yoga, it is important to my routine. I’ll benefit from a stretching/muscle recovery aspect as well as mentally with meditation/stress relief. I always feel better after doing yoga, yet I always manage to skip it…I clearly make no sense and need to fix this.

Ultimately, life happens, and our grand plans don’t always work out as planned. As long as you take a moment to stop, see where things went wrong and refocus, your goals can still be reached.

Are you ready to refocus with me? What aspect of your routine do you need to focus on?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts, Running

{Fitness Friday} Man of Steel Edition

Man of Steel

As I mentioned earlier this week, Mike and I went to see Man of Steel in IMAX. While watching this movie, you can’t help but notice the physique of Henry Cavill  (if you can, you’re blind) so of course we became curious as to what he did to prepare for this role. Mike found this video and passed it along to me, so of course, I’m passing it on you!

I love that they talk about the mental and emotional side of fitness in this clip. With quotes like “He has opened my eyes to seeing past what I thought were my limits.” and “…you come to a point where your mind allows you to break through your physical boundaries, and takes you to places you never thought you could go to.” this clip really hit home for me.

I am 100% in the mental part of fitness right now. I know that my body is capable of things, but my mind holds me back many times. It’s funny because in the beginning, I was scared that my body couldn’t handle what I mentally wanted to do…and now it’s reverse. You would think by this stage of the game I would have it all figured out, but I don’t. I struggle and I fail just like everyone else, but I pick myself up and I keep pushing forward.

If you are interested in seeing the workouts that trainer Mark Twight did with Henry Cavill did to prepare for his role as the Man of Steel, watch the two videos below (they teach you how to get proper form) or go to the Soldier of Steel website where you can print them out in .PDF form.

Soldier of Steel Workouts…

I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did. While the moves in this may not be for you, I hope you at least walk away with the tips on proper form and apply them to whichever workout you decide to do!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts

Brett Hoebel Took My Flywheel Virginity

A few weeks ago when I was at #FitBlogNYC, Brett Hoebel was one of the speakers there. At the end of his lecture, he told us that he would be returning to NYC in early June to teach a Flywheel class, and if we were interested in joining to tweet at him. Of course I tweeted at him despite having no idea what a Flywheel class consisted of. As the days went by, I totally forgot about the class, until I received a tweet from Brett with a link to enter a drawing for the class. I filled out the entry form, said a little prayer that I would be selected and went about my day.

Two days before the class date, I received an e-mail saying that I was selected to attend Brett Hoebel’s inaugural ride at the Flywheel Flatiron location!! I was super excited and then panicked because once again, I was sick. I haven’t had much luck in the health department the past two months, but I was on day three of antibiotics so I responded that I would be there and started looking at which train I would need to catch.

The day of the event, I was very nervous. I had never attended a spin class before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I did a little research on Flywheel the night before so I knew it was stadium seating cycling, I knew that the room is kept dark to help you focus on making the ride your ride and I knew that there would be loud music and that I shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when first setting up my bike. Ok…sounds good to me!

I caught my train into NYC and knew that I would be early so I packed lunch with me and upon arriving in the city, headed over to the Flatiron District. One of the my favorite buildings in NYC is the Flat Iron building so it only made sense to me to walk over there, grab a bench in Madison Square Park and just enjoy the view.

NYC for Flywheel

After lunch, I headed over to the Flywheel Flatiron location and signed in. I was given a special pair of spin shoes, shown where the lockers are and I grabbed a bottle of water and a towel.

On my way to the lockers, I saw Brett in the room we would be using talking to a few other people, so I popped my head in, said hello and snagged a picture of the bike set-up.

NYC Flywheel

After stowing my stuff in a locker, I headed up front, said hello to few fellow bloggers and then it was time for class. I felt my nerves kick in as I selected a bike in the back and I was grateful to the gentleman in front of me who taught me how to snap my fancy spin shoes into the pedal. A girl who worked there came around and helped me adjust my bike, only we didn’t adjust it correctly, and I didn’t find that out until the class was already in full swing. Oops!

After Brett explained the bike display to us and how to adjust the torque, the room went dark. Only the instructor stage and bike’s display screen are illuminated so you can focus on the workout, and not everyone else around you, which I really liked. The class is a mix of fast, sprint intervals and slow climbs, which help to build endurance and muscle while burning a ton of calories. There is even an upper body segment to the class which really gets you sweating!

The music playlists for each class are created by the Flywheel instructor themselves, which I think is awesome. Instructors choreograph their own classes, syncing their rides to the beat of their songs ensuring a new experience every time you take a class. I loved Brett’s music selections since I’m a big fan of BPM on Sirius XM radio.

My favorite song from the workout was “Fade Into Darkness” by Avicii:

 Brett guided our workout, suggesting resistance levels and RPMs, but ultimately it’s your ride, so you decide the pace of things by spinning the knob for more or less resistance on your bike. I had to dial it back a few times due to my seat issues but I still got breathless and had a crazy sweat going on.

Overall, this was one of my best fitness experiences in a group setting. Brett Hoebel is an amazing instructor. He is truly inspirational and it’s like he’s in your head as you’re doing this workout. Every time I felt like dialing back, slowing down or saying “I can’t do this” he would say something to ignite that spark within myself and I found the strength to keep going.

The class lasted about 45 minutes and we did a light stretch at the end of it, which was much needed.

As everyone was headed out of the studio, I snagged a moment with Brett to say hi again and to thank him for giving me such an amazing opportunity.

Brett Hoebel and myself at Flywheel

This was honestly the toughest thing I have done since week one of Insanity…although I didn’t curse at Brett like I did at Shaun T! I will definitely need to keep eye out for Brett’s return to NYC and try to catch another class. He truly is a phenomenal trainer!

After changing into dry clothes and collecting my belongings, I enjoyed another stroll through NYC, to catch my train back New Jersey. As I returned home I was filled a feeling of joy and gratefulness. I’ve been given a lot of amazing opportunities the past few weeks and each one has been an amazing experience.

Have you ever taken a Flywheel class? What did you think of it?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

{Semi Wordless Wednesday} Halfway There

20130611-121325.jpg

 

Yesterday I hit the halfway mark on my journey to 500 miles. It came a month later than I thought, I almost got hit by a falling tree branch on the trail and I apparently didn’t lace up correctly, because I ended up with a killer blister, but I did it!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Running

Celebrating A Milestone

Yesterday was Fitness Friday and I reached a pretty big milestone! For the first time ever I hit double digits on a run/walk! The furthest I had ever walked prior, was 8 miles back in 2010. My furthest run was 7.5 back in early March.

I started out running yesterday and for some reason, I just kept going. Hitting that double digit has been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, but I never really went for it. I started to get tired and struggled for a little while around miles 4 & 5. That little voice of negativity in my head started to beat me up, but I pushed through and decided I was going for it. I shut that little voice up by deciding that my time didn’t matter today, all that mattered was hitting my mileage of choice.

Once I made up my mind, the rest was pretty easy. I slowed down and walked when I needed to and picked up the pace and ran when I felt good. I have to get my legs used to carrying me for longer runs and they’re not quite ready to do that yet. Until they are, there is nothing wrong with slowing down to a light jog or fast paced walk.

20130420-105747.jpg
I know that with determination, time and practice, I will be able to run the full 10 miles. My goal is actually 13.1 with a respectable pace, but I have to remember that it takes time to build up to that. I have to remove the self imposed pressure that I place on myself to perform at great levels. I have to learn how to celebrate my milestones, instead of getting mad that I didn’t reach them at a certain level, or by glancing over them to start working towards the next goal.

Over the past four years, I have skipped many celebrations and I regret that. I regret pushing myself towards the next goal instead of taking some time to reflect on where I came from and what I just achieved.

The beauty of this journey is that I am always learning…and as a result, I will continue to grow as a person.

Yesterday I put the Further in #FurtherFasterForever. Down the road I hope to add the Faster, but I have Forever to work at it and enjoy the celebrations as I go.

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Running

A Little Wisdom…

every accomplishment

blog sig

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

Happy Pi Day {Mini Workout}

Today’s workout had me living the Life of Pi…. no no no….I wasn’t stuck on a boat with a tiger name Richard Parker …I just had to do things with the number 3.14 in mind.

I started off my morning with a 3.14 run on the trail. It was not a pretty run and my head was seriously not present at all. I was pissed off at myself IMG_5202[1]after being so close to beating my PR just a few days ago, but then I switched my mind set and gave myself credit for showing up and getting it done. Good job, Nikki!

After my run, I hit the trainer for a double Pi ride and it felt great. After pushing myself for 25 mile rides last week, 6.28 feels like a walk in the park.

I haven’t pushed myself this hard in a long time and it feels great! I actually like taking an active recovery day instead of a full rest day. It teaches me that I don’t have to go hard all the time, and that it’s nice to just slow down and enjoy the journey sometimes.

To finish off today’s Pi celebration, I didn’t have a slice of pie… instead I did this circuit workout and worked up a great sweat.

A big Thank You to the Billboard Hot 100 on Spotify for keeping my pace high!

A big Thank You to the Billboard Hot 100 on Spotify for keeping my pace high!

 

blog sig

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts, Running