Category Archives: Workouts!

A New Relationship with Workouts

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You might recall that back in the spring I decided not to run a marathon or half-marathon this fall.  It’s the first time in about 9 years I decide not to train for a race.  It was a big decision but I felt that it was important to enjoy the process of planning my wedding and getting married.  I knew that there was no way I could manage it all without being stressed out.  I always take my training and races seriously, even when I say it’s just for fun, and felt it was a stress I could eliminate.  I didn’t think that by changing things up in this way I’d learn valuable lessons and re-shape my relationship with my body but I did.

I feel like I’ve taken a stress away from myself and let go of this fear of not working out like crazy.  Part of my drive to train for races was that I had worked out and trained at such a level for so long that I was fearful of how my body may change if I stopped. Now I know that with moderate exercise (2-3 workouts a week) and portion control I can still look good.  I feel empowered knowing that when I’m ready to train for a marathon again my body can handle the demands of a training schedule and more frequent workouts.  And I feel empowered knowing that when we are ready to start a family or take on life changes that require big time commitments I’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight with a few workouts a week and a healthy diet.

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Yoga

To that end, I’ve learned that sometimes working out can be stressful- like when you are training for a race and need to get your miles and workouts in so you are prepared for race day.  And sometimes it’s really just fun and stress free.  I’ve stopped viewing workouts as something I NEED to do and started viewing them as something I WANT to do.  I no longer hear myself saying, “I need to go for a run” instead I hear myself saying, “I want to go for a run tonight”.  It’s a little shift in words but mentally it’s a big shift.  You make time for the things you WANT to do and you do it happily. You’ll make time for the things you NEED to do, but it’s not always happy and sometimes it makes you more stressed.  Wanting to do my workouts or go to barre makes them fun and setting aside or finding the time is that much easier.

Barre N9ne!

Barre

I’ve learned that I don’t need to be a “cardio junkie” to feel and look good.  I’ve always felt that I needed to run or spend time on the elliptical to burn calories, maintain my weight and feel good.  But with no race to train for and my hip pain I’ve been running much, much less.  I’ve been hitting the barre and taking yoga more than running.  To my surprise, I am at my lowest weight in years.  I’ve taken enough trainings and read enough to KNOW that I don’t need that much cardio to maintain my weight but it’s another thing to prove it to myself.  I’ve also proven to myself that I don’t need running alone for mental clarity.  The yoga mat can provide that to me just like running can.  And for that matter, barre can too.  It feels so good and it can be so mind clearing to zone out to the music and tune into my body as we do the exercises.

Love the Sunrise!

Run

Most of all, I’ve learned that when I stop putting so much focus on working out I take the focus away from my own judgements on my body.  When I was running and working out upwards of 5-6 days a week I felt so critical of my body.  I’d always be judging myself- was my butt toned enough, were my abs defined, did my arms look toned.  The list goes on.  These days I find myself catching a glimpse in the mirror and giving myself compliments-my legs look great, my butt looks so toned.  When I tried my wedding gown on for my first dress fitting I couldn’t help but compliment myself on how good my arms and back looked.  The last time I had the gown on was in the store and I remember silently criticizing myself for my arms.  Granted I’ve been taking more barre in an effort to tone up so I’m sure it’s paying off but the point is I know I am less focused on workouts and less focused on their results.  If feel and look good I’m happy.  I feel like I need a workout, I’ll make the effort to fit one in.  Somewhere along the way I took away the pressure of working out and looking good and replaced it with a more accepting relationship of both workouts and my body.

Have you ever changed your workout routine and learned something along the way? Tell me!

Coffee Talk Wednesday August Edition

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Each month I make an effort to catch up with my girlfriends.  We usually chat the evening away over dinner and I love hearing about their life updates, their highs and lows and sharing all that’s happening in my life too.  We may not chat everyday but our monthly catch ups fill in the gaps.  I like doing the same here, especially given that my life is so much more than morning runs, yoga sessions and barre workouts!

So how’ s life been?  In a word, busy. But it’s all good stuff so I really can’t complain. Between new jobs,  summer time, weekends away and our wedding in 3 months we’ve been go, go, go.

I’m just over a month into my new job and so far I’m really liking it.  It’s a big change and culturally very different from my last job.   I don’t have set hours so I can start my day between 8 and 9am and wrap up between 4 and 5pm depending on if I worked through lunch or took a lunch. It’s really nice to have flexibility with my schedule.  My last two jobs both had very rigid schedules so it’s nice to be able to set my hours.  It’s also amazing to have weekends and evenings free!  Another huge change has been the length of my commute.  My last two jobs both had commutes that were an hour or longer so 30 minutes feels like a breeze!  The added free time in my life certainly helps me to feel less rushed and more relaxed.  I have more time to focus on relationships, wedding plan and time to myself.  I also love what I do at work so all around it’s a welcome change!

You may have seen on Instagram that we were in Saratoga a few weekends ago.  We went for the weekend and had a blast.  I was able to celebrate my birthday with my parents and spend time at the race track with Michael and his family.  I love going to the backstretch in the morning to see the horses working out and getting baths!  It’s a relaxing weekend all around.  We also spent time at the beach for my birthday, and hosted a barbecue for our friends.  This weekend is my bachelorette!  I’m so looking forward to celebrating my upcoming nuptials with my girlfriends and family.  We’re keeping it low-key at my request with a beach day followed by dinner at my house. I’m looking forward to hanging out, chatting and having some fun!   We’ll wrap up the summer with one final trip to Saratoga over Labor Day weekend.

Saratoga Mornings!

Saratoga Mornings!

September will be filled with wedding planning, my bridal shower,dress fittings and vendor appointments!  Now that we are at the 3 month mark there are lots of details to work out, favors to be assembled, and much more.  We’ve been loving the process and having a blast together as we create our day.   I’ll definitely be sharing details after the wedding but for now I’m really just trying to enjoy the moment and share the experience with Michael. I do post little snippets of the planning on Instagram and will definitely be posting more as we approach the big day.  So if you are curious you can follow me there!

Tablecloths and Place Settings!  Such fun setting our tables!

Tablecloths and Place Settings! Such fun setting our tables!

I will say though, that I am feeling some pressure to feel and look my best for our big day.  I know I’m putting the pressure on myself but who doesn’t want to look and feel their best on their wedding day?  I’m trying to lose a couple of pounds just to tone up a bit but I must say it is a challenge!  We definitely eat out and indulge more in the summer plus with weekends away, my bachelorette and other fun festivities it’s harder to cut down on portions and stick to healthy choices.  It’s a good learning experience for sure as I don’t usually watch my diet as closely.  I’ve been using My Fitness Pal to track my meals and calories and love how aware it makes me of my portions and the foods I choose.  Mindful eating is the way to go.  I haven’t changed my workouts much as I am really happy with the balance I have right now and the way I feel.  I’m in a happy place with my runs, yoga and barre and really look forward to each workout.  It doesn’t feel like something I should do, or have to do.  I am planning to try to increase my barre workouts from once a week to twice a week after Labor Day.  I love the results I see from those workouts and find them to be really fun and a great stress reliever.  Ultimately I know I’ll look amazing on my wedding day as I’ve yet to see a bride who isn’t glowing and beautiful.  It’s just my own personal goal to look and more importantly feel like my best self.

Barre N9ne!

Barre N9ne!

Ok friends, I’m off to get my Wednesday started!

Tell me, how has your summer been? What has helped you to feel and look your best?