21 Day Fix: A First Thoughts Review

Earlier in March I started my first ever Beach Body Program – the 21 Day Fix. I saw a friend of mine from college with some pretty legitimate results and she inspired me to get my butt moving again. Now that I’m back at work, and not walking 7 miles around the mall every other morning with fellow mama pals, I find it tough to stay motivated so I thought this was a great kick off point.

Food: The food is pretty easy. It comes with it’s own tupperware-like containers that dictate portion sizes. You are allocated a certain number of each container each day (i.e. Yellow is carbs, usually 2 per day. Red is protein , 3 per day) it varies depending on your starting weight, but they make it pretty easy and they’re great to use as to go containers for lunches. It encourages real foods – especially veggies and proteins.

Untitled{I should note that hubs did NOT workout with me. He was setting it up.}

Workouts: I LOVE the workouts. They’re short and sweet – I don’t have time for much more than 30-45 minutes, so I like that they’re quick, tough and get the job done. There’s 2 discs each with 4 or so workouts (upper body, lower body, two cardio type workouts, pilates and yoga and a 10 minute ab video).

Untitled

Shakeology: I actually really like Shakeology. I’ve tried a number of different protein/meal replacement shakes and this is by far my favorite. Above is a chocolate, peanut butter & banana shake which is pretty much my go to. I’m a big fan of my shakes for breakfast. I find they’re a great way to start the day and are super quick to make in my compact, often crazy mornings managing getting myself ready for work, getting Ethan ready for daycare and making sure Hubs is on track to be on time also.

Results: TBD. Mostly because I haven’t measured and I know my clothes are fitting better, but the number on the scale hasn’t gone down much but inches lost could be a completely different story so I’ll post those later.

weight start: ~154
weight end: 149.6

Cons

Just a couple of things I didn’t like about the program:

  • Coaches are pretty insistent that you stick to the workout plan. For me this meant forgoing Pure Barre and running because well, I don’t have time for 2 a days like I used to. I like a lot more variety in my workouts than just 30 minute videos. So while I know I’ll use them for round 2, I might be a bit more willing to throw in a Pure Barre class or a run over the next 3 weeks.
  • Variety. Workout videos are cool and such – but if I go for round 3 I really might need to change it up because ish gets old.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t stick to the plan 100% so of course my results aren’t going to be as great as promised. Because well, life. Deadlines, baby, a first birthday party with company in town, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I am down about 5 lbs. So this time I’m going to be better and we’ll see how I do.

So while technically round 2 was supposed to start Monday, I’m pushing it back a week since my birthday is Saturday and I want the flexibility to have a bit of fun (bring on Moms Night Out!). And I really want to get that 10 lbs gone so until the end of the month (minus April 11-12  because hey! My birthday!) I will focus more on my eating, which I did pretty well with for the most part, and I will do better about scheduling workouts and attempt, yet again, to work out in the mornings. Ugh. Not a morning workout-er.

Disclosure: I purchased the 21 Day Fix on my own, all thoughts here are my own, this review is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Beachbody or any of its coaches.

Have you ever tried a beach body program? Have you tried Shakeology? What were your thoughts/experiences like?

signature

Weekly Workouts: 21 Day Fix Week 1 edition

So we’re almost into week 2 of the 21 day fix which I mentioned I was starting last week.

I kind of get a big fat fail for the second half of the week/weekend for eating/drinking and kind of working out. Okay, maybe not a fail but like…a B-.

Monday – went to pure barre (yay!)


Tuesday – ran the St. Patricks Day fun run with the family! Had so much fun. It was really the perfect night for the 3 of us to go out running.
Wednesday – cardio fix.
Thursday – we cleaned our old place..no workout. (FAIL)
Friday – happy hour with coworkers. (FAIL)
Saturday – 3.5 mile run (yay!)
Sunday – pilates fix (YAY!)

So really, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I’m kind of half starting over and recommitting today. It takes 21 days to make a habit and 3 days to completely break it. I didn’t completely break it but I wasn’t happy with how I did. It’s 21 days, and only 21 days…it seems like a lot but it’s not. Let’s be honest. It’s really, really, not.

Soo… This week I’m back on track.

Mondayupper body fix  donezo!
Tuesday – lower body fix
Wednesday – 4 mile run or fix yoga
Thursday – dirty 30 workout
Friday – fix pilates
Saturday – total body cardio
Sunday – 8 mile run* (this NEEDS to get done but we’ll see – we have family coming into town for Ethan’s birthday this weekend (!!!!!!!!!) so we’ll see what my day is like on Sunday)

Eating is better. Ish. I think? We went grocery shopping, I made my lunch for tomorrow, therefore I’m on the right track.

signature

Friday Five: Looking Forward to Edition…

I have half a dozen drafts sitting around that are all half written and woefully out of date. Life has been a bit crazy this week and I’m starting to get back on track. So here’s my Friday Five!

1. Zooma Kick-off! If you’re in Annapolis, I hope you’ll join myself, some of the other amazing ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassadors as we kick off training for the ZOOMA race this May. We’ll be at Charm City Run and stepping off around 8:30a for a 3-5 mile training run. We’ll also have fun treats after the run (mimosas! discounts! what more could you ask for?)

2. Fleet Feet St. Patricks Day Run! Tuesday night at 6:30 at Fleet Feet Annapolis. I ran this a few years ago and it was so fun, last year I was like 36-37 weeks pregnant so no dice, but I’m looking forward to it this year. Did I mention it’s supposed to be 60 degrees Tuesday? Yeah. Come run with me!

3. Getting settled. We moved this week and holy stuff. I’m definitely looking forward to being unpacked and settled in the new place so we can all finally adjust to the new way of life with Ethan in daycare

4. Starting the 21 day fixMy pal Julie is coaching and she’s been raving about this program for WEEKS so I’m excited to be a part of her team and finally get my healthy living goals back on track which have definitely taken a hit the past three weeks since I went back to work and we moved and yeah. Expect to see a lot of meal plans and workouts and race recaps. My colleague is a running junkie like me so that’s probably bad news for my diet.

5. My first indoor triathlonWhich I kind of forgot that I signed up for but you know what, that’s cool. I was supposed to run it with a friend of mine but she bailed for personal reasons but whatevs, rolling with the punches and just going to have a great hour long workout! (10 minute swim, 30 minute bike, 20 minute run).

I know I’ve been on a little hiatus lately as I’ve been adjusting to some major life changes but I promise posting will be more regular in the next week or so once we get settled and I get into a more regular routine. My workouts have been non-existent, my eating has been crap, and I just feel like I need to regroup and writing here more I know will hold me accountable.

signature

Theres Nothing Wrong with Walking

For a while, as a runner, I kind of shunned walkers. Walking wasn’t a workout. Maybe it was for others but definitely not for me. I was a runner.

I associated mall walking with old people and frumpiness. But here’s the thing that I’ve learned over the past few weeks….it’s actually a lot of fun.

It started on a nicer day when a friend of mine and I put in a good four miles on the B&A Trail – it was warmish, and we were both struggling with a lot of feels so we got out to have a chat. Neither of us really have family around, and sometimes you just need to vent and have someone to listen. We’ve been great at that for one another lately – and I hope that continues even after I go to work.

So for me, walking has been entirely social but then, we put in two hours, cover about 5-7 miles depending on length of walk and suddenly whoa legs!

workout while walking

Make it social. For me, while I don’t mind running with friends once in a while, running is more a solo thing. Walking though, is entirely social for me. It’s for catching up, and fitting in a workout when you think you don’t have time for one.

Bring weights. Seriously, you can have a workout with 2-5 lb weights walking 4 mph (15:00/mile) that is similar in intensity to someone running 5. mph (12:00/mi) (source). Granted intensity, weight, metabolism and all that jazz plays in but still, weights add a nice resistance if you’re looking to add a little umph. Me? I push a stroller with 17 lb little boy in it.

Go for time not distance. Usually when we stroll about in the mall, we meet early before the crowds, and go for 1-2 hours and can usually cover a surprising amount of distance – our record is 7 miles and yesterday was our shortest walk in a while capping out at 4.25 miles.

Use it as a backup. Bummed that the sidewalks aren’t plowed? Don’t have cold weather running gear? Go inside. Bring your GPS and walk through the mall for an hour or more and you’d be surprised how quickly the distance adds up.

Change it up. Hate running on the treadmill? So do I! But you can walk at a brisk pace and add some hill work in there and that’ll get your quads and glutes begging for forgiveness in no time. Check out pinterest for some good walking treadmill

Don’t think you’re being a slacker when you just want to walk with some friends and have a long chat. I for one am going to miss my walking workouts once I’m back to the 9-5 grind, but thats what the weekends are for.  Running is running, and I’m all about running and training and racing but sometimes your joints need a break and if you’re just getting on to the fitness scene, then walking a great way to ease into things.

Don’t know the walking workout ’till you’ve tried it.

signature

Weekend Recap: Impromptu #tripnorth Edition

I did pretty good for workouts last week – mostly.

Until I popped up to Vermont unexpectedly (and surprisingly inexpensively!) Saturday morning and returned this afternoon. That’s what you do for family though. I ate like crap and now I’m feeling it. I need to get back into eating clean because ugh, I just feel sluggish based on the crap that I inhaled all weekend into my gullet.

I suppose a Choco Monkey crepe from Skinny Pancake doesn’t help matters. At all.

choco monkey skinny pancake vermont

Last weeks workouts…

I went spinning on Monday, walked 7 miles on Tuesday AM then went to a fab-abs 75 minutes Pure Barre class (Holy Butt Kicking!). Seriously, if you are local to Annapolis and want your abs to be hurting for three days, go to a Fab Abs class with Gabrielle.

pure barre annapolis

Wednesday was a well deserved rest day, and Thursday I went to another Pure Barre class. Then Friday, I managed to get a 5.5 mile walk in before heading north for the weekend.

mall walking with baby

Not too shabby.

Total miles in January: 39.3 – just short of my 40 mile goal. I’ll get into my February goals this week, but let’s just say since it’s a short month, I’m just hoping to ease into training, a full time job and a possible move without dying or completely falling off the bandwagon. It’s going to be a busy month so my expectations are relatively low.

I’m heading up to CT this weekend for a baptism (and because Adam is going to be gone for 3 days for drill) so next week I’ll be starting my Cherry Blossom ten miler training. Then, in early March, I’ll be transitioning into half marathon training for Zooma.

I know, I know I’m all gungho Zooma 10k and I still am. One of the baller perks of being an ambassador is a free race entry so I kind of feel obligated to go big or go home. Stay tuned for my training plans (10 miler next week and half marathon in early March).

Workouts this week…

Monday – travel. No workout.
Tuesday – walk (5-7 miles)
Wednesday – gym (spinning?)
Thursday – Pure Barre and/or walk (5-7 miles)
Friday – travel to CT
Weekend Saturday/Sunday – we’ll be in CT so while I’m not expecting to get any workouts in I’d love to fit in either a run or a yoga class. We’ll see though.

Don’t forget if you’re interested in Zooma, use code ANNAMB3 to get 10% off your registration. Also, save the date for March 8th for the Zooma Kickoff event at Charm City Run in Annapolis. It’ll be a fun day with a 3-5 mile fun run! 

signature

Weekly Workouts & Weekend Recap: Mama got out!

Another week gone, another weekend done.

It was a refreshing weekend for sure with a nice mix of friends and family time. Our Sundays have become predictable but Saturday was mama’s day out. I started the weekend with a 3.5 mile run. It was cold and windy. Could only find one glove, went gloveless. Total cold weather running fail.  Also realized all my tunes are on my old laptop and have not transferred any of them to my new laptop…music fail.

Saturday afternoon, Liz hosted our monthly Beer Club which was fantastic.

naptown pint beer club

We tasted lots of incredible beers and then we found out what horrible people we all are by playing Cards Against Humanity.

cards against humanity beer club

Saturday evening my pal sprung me for a ladies night out. A former coworker of ours is moving to LA so we headed into DC to Boundary Stone Public House in Bloomingdale where her going away party was held. We were there for all of about an hour – it was…not really my scene. Call me old but crowds just aren’t my thang. We had a round, said our hellos, socialized, and decided to head back to Annapolis to grab a night cap in less crowded territory.

moms night out outfit{pants / sweater}

Don’t mind the bare feet, I took this when I got home as proof that I went out and got dressed up! I wore these shoes in leopard print with this outfit though.

So we hit up Factors Row downtown, which is a new favorite of mine since I love me some Boordy wine and they have it by the glass there. Yum.

Factors Row Annapolis

Sunday was the usual. Mass, followed by a nap for Ethan followed by errands. It’s always a nice family day.

Ethan loves Wegmans. I do too…but I do not at all love the parking lot or Route 3. Too much stress. Also. This weekend we picked up this gem with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. Expect smoothie recipes coming soon – I miss green smoothies since our KitchenAid mixer died last year.

This weeks workouts…

So last week was a success with a 10.5 miles ran/walked (3 miles/4 mile walk with a friend/ 3.5 mile run) and 1 spinning class. Four workouts? I consider that a win. This week I’m shooting for a solid 12 miles and for 4 solid workouts. I know I have five down here, but I inevitably will find a day where I can’t find time to make it to the gym or to fit a run in.

This week…

Monday – spinning
Tuesday – 3 mile run – either on the treadmill or outside
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3-4 mile run/walk
Friday – spinning
Saturday – 4-5 mile run
Sunday – rest

Sunday is always my rest day. Since Hubs and I are getting a baby sitter on Saturday night for a pals birthday party, Sunday will most definitely be a rest/recovery day.

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite workout lately? I’m totally on a spin kick lately and wish my gym had more variety of spin classes. 

signature

Finding the Mama Motivation

I’ve been reading a lot of conversations in my moms groups about motivation. Finding the motivation when kiddos are so demanding. How do you motivate yourself when you barely have time to shower let alone make it to the gym or find 30 minutes to go for a run.

It’s not impossible my friends. It’s called priorities.

When Adam was in Texas, he and I both really began to prioritize activity in our life. The summer prior to him going to basic we hiked Old Rag, went on day trips, hiked in Vermont, and realized that we enjoy activities like that. When he got home, we regularly went for bike rides together, or went running together as I trained for the Hopkins Triathlon.

So upon having baby, I knew that I would rather find time to go for a half hour run, or clean my house than nap when Ethan napped. So when I hear mamas in my group struggling, it makes me sad because taking care of yourself is such an integral part of being the best mama you can be.

Five ways to be a motivated mama

1. Make it social. Whether you work out with the hubs, or whether you join a group like Stroller Strides – make it a social event. Go for a walk with another mama pal. Make plans to meet up for a run with the bebes in strollers – if it’s social you’re less likely to find an excuse to back out.

2. Schedule it. I schedule my workouts. Mostly so I’m less likely to bail, but also so I can coordinate with the hubs and know when I need to bring Ethan along and when I can get an hour to myself to go for a run or go to a class.

3. Pick a goal. I have to be working towards something. Whether it’s a weight loss goal or a race, if I set a goal for myself I’m more likely to make the time to work towards it for fear of failing.

4. Start out small. Listen, having babies and being a mama is a lot of work. It’s tough, sometimes thankless and if you’re anything like me, by the end of the day you want to kick up your feet, watch an episode or five of the Good Wife and drink a case of wine (who needs moderation?!). But starting out small – say with Couch 2 5k, is a good way to ease back into it.

5. Pick something you enjoy. For me, working out is enjoyable. Though getting my sneakers on and getting my butt out the door is always a chore, once I do, I never regret it. The high at the end of the workout makes me happy through out the day and nothing feels better than the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout. But if you don’t like running…you’re going to be hard pressed to go out for a four mile run. If you don’t like spinning, you’re not going to go a class. If you’re frightened by yoga? You get my point. Pick what you love. After all this is YOU time. Even when I run with Ethan, he takes it all in and I just feel bad ass for pushing the stroller and getting my butt moving.

Like I said, you need to take care of yourself. Being a good example and prioritizing your health and your mental well being (which I’ll get into soon) will go a lot further than you taking a 20 minute power nap where you drift in and out of sleep because you’re worried about not hearing the baby when he wakes up (I was never the type who napped when Ethan napped. I’ve done it a couple times in the past week but usually for 20 minutes and I end up waking up feeling worse. If I nap, I usually only do it if Hubs or someone else is around).

So figure out your strategy to fit in the time, whether you pick up a used elliptical and go at it for 30 minutes in front of the TV while baby naps or if you get up at early o’clock to go to the gym (I know a lot of moms who get up at 5a to go workout. I try not to see the 5-6a hour unless absolutely necessary. As in, I have to be at the airport for a flight.) figure out what will work best for you and hop to it. I promise you’ll feel a million times better.

What’s your strategy for fitting in your workouts with a baby around? How do you find the time? 

signature

Running in the cold

One of the hardest things to do – at least for me – is running in the cold. I consider winter my hibernation, or extended recovery from the fall racing season. But when Adam was in San Antonio, and I had nothing to do on the weekends but bang out 5-10 miles on the regular on Saturday mornings, I kind of fell in love with winter running. Despite my struggles with it. Still.

When it’s 20 degrees outside, still dark at 7 am, and your bed is warm and cozy – yeah I don’t want to get up to slog through three to five cold, finger numbing miles either. But we all do it. Whether it’s 7 am or 7 pm, those of us dedicated just get to it.

I tend to wear two layers, longer capris or longer brushed tights. I tend to dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it is (I hate overheating so I err on the cold side) when the weather is between 20-45 degrees. We all know that once it hit 40 degrees it’s like a heat wave and everyone busts out the shorts.

But if you’re trying to be more bad-a$$ this winter, then here are a few tips and some gear you may want to acquire before freezing your butt off for the next three months.

Do lay out your clothes the night before. Having to rummage around for twenty minutes to find a pair of socks is not only going to waste time, but it’ll kill your will to go out as well regardless of whether you’re a morning or evening runner. Last night we went for a run and ended up cutting it short because it took us an extra half hour to get out of the house because nothing was prepared.

Don’t  say you’ll wait till it warms up a bit. No you won’t. You’ll start your day, and then suddenly, whoops! No time for a run! I’m guilty of this often, but even when I was commuting from DC, I’d go for a run at 8p when I got home from work. Just go – either when you wake up, or when you get home from work. Pick a time and commit to it.

Do dress for the weather. Seriously, nothing kills a workout faster than frostbite. Wear gloves, a hat or headband (which I am perpetually bad at doing). Get some good socks and protect yourself from the wind. Everyone has a different idea for warmth – but at the very least keep your feet dry, your head, hands and core warm.

Do be safe. Run on sidewalks and where it’s well lit. Don’t blast your music so you can’t hear what’s going on around you.

Don’t linger around the house in your sweaty clothes. Because your core temperature will drop once you stop running, it’s imperative to warm up quickly. Whether you warm up with hot coffee or hot cocoa before heading home, or whether a hot shower is your forte, make sure to warm up once you stop running and get out of your wet clothes sooner rather than later.

What are YOUR winter running tips? Any musts that I missed here? 

signature

Weekly Workouts & Weekend Recap

What a blah weekend my friends.

I mean, aside from the outstanding news on Friday, a Saturday AM spin class (that left me with a pain in my bum as spin classes are wont to do), some shopping for my pal’s hospital bag (the most glamorous shopping EVER) hitting up Babies R Us (which had some EPIC sales), Target and Barnes & Nobel/Old Navy for just us. The weekend ended with nice visit with another friend for Sunday AM brunch, then some mommy son time at the mall where we visited the giant fish tank while Adam got some schoolwork done for a couple hours.

I didn’t take many pictures because I just don’t think of these but Sunday night as we were finishing up dinner, about to head into bath time Ethan produced this gem:

He’s apparently a fan of Chinese food. Chicken and Broccoli to be exact. He discovered it in his bib pocket as I was getting ready to bring him into the bath – thus his foot kicked up. Homeboy “walks” around like he owns the joint.

Anyhow last week…I went to body pump, barre, zumba and spin. Four workouts (solid) but no running but with the polar vortex of death it just wasn’t in the cards. Not to mention Friday and Saturday were rainy and blah – at least I made it to the gym?

This week…

I’ll be starting up training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in the next couple weeks so I’ll be ramping up my running days and really trying to embrace the cold suck and make my running work around hubs’s schedule. I’m not a treadmill girl but I might throw in one or two days of dreadmilling to get in some speed work.

Monday – Run 3 (I was going to go to spin but have a phone interview)
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – Run 3
Thursday – Body Pump
Friday – spin
Saturday – spin or run (pending weather)

So while my mileage is still 4/1000 for the year…meaning I have about 80 miles left to do this month to hit the average of 84 miles/month to hit the goal or 20 miles/week which will be easy to hit this spring when I’m in training…but I’m not hopeful about January. I’m still hopeful.

signature

2013 By the numbers

I should have posted this yesterday, but blogging has been tough the past couple weeks. With traveling, the holidays, a family stomach flu, you know the ish that holidays are made of. All in all, 2013 was a very good year with ups and downs. We are truly blessed.

Here’s 2013 by the numbers:

Nine months since Ethan was born. Nine months of growth, laughter, love and tears. Nine months since our lives were forever changed. Pretty incredible how time flies.

Eight races ran. Zooma 10k, Womens 5k, Travis Manion 5k (baby’s first race!), Army 10 miler, Ripley 5k, Junior League 5k, and the Girls on the Run 5k.

Seven Trips North to visit family in CT and Vermont. Two trips to Vermont, five to CT including a baby shower, a pseudo-babymoon, a baptism, visiting friends from over seas and two holidays celebrated with family.

Six months of nursing. Wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be but we made it six months which is a massive accomplishment.

Five days before my due date, was Ethan’s scheduled date.

Four different jobs between the two of us. It’s been a tough year employment wise – my part time job position was eliminated right before Christmas so now I’m debating between ramping up my freelancing versus going back to work full time or part time. Tough call. Thankfully, despite Adam’s position being eliminated at the end of October, he’s starting a new gig next week that we’re thrilled about.

Three years since we moved to Annapolis – don’t regret it. Love this town and the friends we’ve made. We are very blessed.

Two steady freelance writing gigs for two publications in town.

One happy family. We are so blessed with Ethan and he has been the highlight of the year by far.

signature