Fitness Friday 06.18

Happy Friday! We’re halfway through the year… what?!  And I’m going to ask that annoying question that you may have been avoiding… how are you doing meeting your personal healthy and fitness goals so far?

I did some reflecting on my FF post from last June – and it started about the same way as this one, and too my surprise the rest of it was going to follow suit. I was just about to get ready to gear up for a half marathon.  And ironically, B and I just signed up for a half in a little less than 2-months – just spur of the moment decision on a Friday night.
Fitness Friday 06.18 - the bee life
The half we ran in September was really rough for me, but yet here we are again, giving it another shot. So I’d be a fool if I said this half was going to be a walk in the park, I’ve run enough races to know that all the training in the world isn’t going to help you kill a race, but also no training doesn’t help you either!  So my plan of attack for this half is simple:

  1. Continue my cross training classes
  2. Get in at least one 3-4 mile run each week until the race
  3. Go on 3-longer runs (6, 8, 10-miles)
  4. Don’t stress about it

I’m not out to beat any PRs, I just like the mental challenge as much as the physical challenge… and that feeling once you’ve accomplished both of those things after crossing the finish line is true euphoria.  Signing up for these longer races as always kept B and I motivated and also running – it was the one thing that first connected us and that we’ve always enjoyed doing together!

Happy Training!

 

Catch up on past Fitness Friday’s;  March | April | May 

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Fitness Friday 05.18

Since my workout routine consists of bootcamp classes with circuit, interval training any given day I do anywhere from 6 to 12 different exercises – so there is a lot of variety, but I admittedly have my favorites… and my not so favorites *smiles* so that is why I want to share with you my favorite exercises, how I learned to love them and why.
Fitness Friday 05.18 - the bee life
So let’s get down to it, here are the exercises I never get sick of and always look forward to seeing in my fitness routine.

Squats.  The reason I love squats is because they build muscle throughout your entire leg hitting the hamstrings, quads and calves.  Not to mention they help with your upper body strength as well.  If you want some added cardio for squats try a pop squat or jump squat.

Bicep Curls.  These are an easy exercise, if you’re starting with a lighter weight or building up with a higher LB.  Plus your arms, no matter how strong you are, always look super ripped when your working this move!

Burpees.  These are a full body workout and sure to get your heart rate up.  It’s important to do burpees with good form, starting with wide feet and jumping back narrow then up wide again.  I used to hate burpees, but since I’ve been doing them more I learned to love the challenge and now they aren’t so tough anymore.

Sit-up Fighter. This exercise primarly works your abs and core, but it also is an arm exercise as well.  I like this ab workout because it eases on the strain of my lower back, as a person with chronic back pain, I have to be super sensitive of all the movements and adjusting appropriately.

Pull Ups. The real kind!  Since I’ve built my upper body strength, I’ve been able to do some real pull ups, using a larger bands I am able to help support myself and actually work on building more muscle.

What I really love about these exercises is they hit each of the main body parts.  It’s important to work all parts, even the ones that we might not be self conscious of, because we can always tone and build muscle.  Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite exercises are, and why!

TGIF!

 

10-Miler Recap – 2018

This past weekend we only really had one thing to do, and it was to run 10-miles at the annual race we partake in!  Last year’s run was a struggle for me, so I was looking forward to seeing how all the progress I’ve made this past year would improve this run for me (not to mention being down 15+ pounds).
10-Miler Recap - 2018 - the bee life
I started the race, as I often now do with my races… with no expectations. It was raining pretty decently when we woke up in the morning with a forecast of rain for the first hour or so of the race.  Walking up to the start line along the lake with the rain and chilly breeze wasn’t really inspiring me to run! But, we got started at good pace and kept it up throughout.

It wasn’t until we I saw the mile 6 sign that I started to get emotional, as I started to realize I’ve been able to run this entire time and I was still feeling good – last year I broke at mile 5. I pulled it together reminding myself the last few miles are always the toughest. But mile 8 came along and I felt those tears again.  It was that realization at how much I’ve accomplished this past year.  Going into the race last year I wasn’t in a great space physically and I was just getting out of a super stressful and toxic work environment (which I had let affect me physically – the weight gain, not being able to get out of bed, unhappy, stressed with constant added anxiety). Now a year at my new job, it’s a worlds difference how all that has shifted for the better – which started me with making some major changes.

Needless to say, this race was bitter sweet for me, it was a full circle of how far I’ve come, compared to where I was at this time last year and how much stronger and happier I am. B and I finished the race together and it felt so good to cross that finish line!

Fitness Friday 04.18

Happy Fitness Friday! Last month I was talking ALL about accountability, especially when it comes to your fitness routine and diet.  One of the biggest things that helped me get to some significant LB loss was changing the way I ate – and not by doing a fad diet, or being super super strict, but being healthy and aware.  Before this, I thought that getting back into a rigorous workout routine would cure my weight gain, but it didn’t.  So, I gave in and cut back on carbs, made better choices, portioned my meals better and said no to some things I would’ve said yes too.  But I still ate cheetos and had a few sweets now and then, but I said bye to pizza, bagels, rice, and french fries.
Fitness Friday 04.18 - the bee lifeFast-forward to today. I am not as strict… but I am still very aware – so aware in fact, I noticed that my new ‘strict’ was becoming less and less sometimes and I quickly had to adjust myself.  Yes, a few weeks ago I felt like I was falling off the rails and I wasn’t happy about it, especially since my workout routine has maintained (finally!) … it’s the damn food. I was feeling bummed about it, but also made a decision right then and there to do something about it and jump back on the wagon, continue to have balance but switching out and making healthy alternates and better portions.

My point in all of this is, as I’ve said many times before it’s all part of the journey, falling a bit to become stronger.  My goals have changed a bit from last year, but that doesn’t mean I can throw all the progress away.  Follow your heart always, but in these instances you must follow your head and go to the gym!

 

Fitness Friday 03.18

Happy Friday!  Today’s FF is hopefully going to help inspire and push you further towards accomplishing your goals and setting yourself up for success. So what’s next after you’ve determined your goals and the path to accomplishing them? I’ll tell you.
Fitness Friday 03.18 - the bee life
It’s keeping yourself ACCOUNTABLE! Being responsible for your actions, good and bad. And it’s one of the most important things in accomplishing your goals. It’s having those tough conversations with yourself, a friend, or support buddy that keep you honest and on track.  Here are some ways I keep myself accountable that you might be able to adapt for yourself.

Buddy System or Trainer. If you’ve got a workout partner or a friend that goes to the same gym, this is a great way to keep each other accountable – my trainer always asks; “Em, what’d you have for breakfast yesterday?” or  “Em, how’s your nutrition going?” and it’s really hard to lie to him!

Steaks the App. I’ve been using this app for awhile and it’s become part of my daily routine.  You can set-up weekly or daily goals for just about anything i.e. mine is set-up for Workouts to be Mon./Wed./Fri./Sat. – it reminds me every day if I haven’t completed and when you hold your task down to complete it’s super satisfying to have the circle filled in! Plus it keeps track at your streaks, so when you miss a day it’s a nice big X. Go download it!

Leave Yourself a Note. This is a way you can talk candidly to yourself with a note on the mirror for the morning or calendar reminder in your phone i.e.  “GET YOUR ASS TO THE GYM” or “no sweets today” all day you’ll have this voice inside your head reminding you of your goal for the day.

Remember. Remember the feeling and why you started this journey – remember how you felt not fitting into your jeans, or how good you feel after a workout when you’re thinking about skipping one. Remember you control you, and that is the first step in all of this.  Remember it’s OK to cheat with some food, but remember you better get your butt to the gym the next day. Remember what you’re comfortable with and what makes you feel good/bad.

Share It. Do you hate those people that post what they eat or the fact they’re up at 6AM working out while you slept in 10x past your snooze? Well, it might be their way of keeping themselves accountable – sharing their journey, or telling people they’re going to the gym or cutting out carbs. I do it, I tell friends/co-workers/family, “can’t stay out late, I need to workout in the morning” – sure you get snarky comments, but that’s the way I like to keep myself accountable, because if you go home early and they ask you if you went to the gym in the morning are you going to say ‘YES’ confidently or ‘No’ with shame?

This is a journey, it will have it’s ups and it’s downs – you’ll learn more about yourself as you continue to push yourself, as you see progress, as you fall out of progress, it’s all part of the journey. Embrace it, change it, push it. Keep yourself accountable towards your goals, towards feeling the best you!

Fitness Friday 02.18

As I reach my one-year anniversary this month of being back in the fitness game, I continue to feel more and more vested and determined to not only maintain all of my progress, but to continue to set new goals and reach them!  One aspect of our health and wellness that can often get overlooked is preventive care for our immune systems.  It unfortunately is the season of sick, and it’s important we not only stay fit and active but take care of ourselves to stay healthy!
Fitness Friday 02.18 - the bee life
Here are some ways that I like to keep a tap on my immune system, stay-in tune with my body and also work preventatively against getting sick!

Sleep: One of the most important ways to stay healthy is making sure you get enough rest. I’ve become more attuned to my body when it’s asking for this and have learned not to fight it anymore.  When the body needs sleep – give it sleep, it’s helping you store-up and fight off anything brewing within.

Daily Echinacea: This is a herbal natural supplement* that supports immune health and helps fight off illnesses.  I take echinacea daily for preventative, and multiple times a day (based off the label) when I am starting to feel not well. It has helped in many instances were I feel I’m coming down with something and I swear by it.*

Vitamin C: This is another supplement that I have in my daily routine on top of echinacea to help build up that immune system as preventative care.  When I’m starting to feel a tinge of something come on, I double up on Vitamin C.  Emergency-C packets are a great thing to have around the house in those situations to give an extra boost.*

Exercise. Yup! Regular exercise promotes general good health which in turn benefits your immune system health as well. On the flip side, just like sleep, I’ve learned to listen to my body when I need to take a break on exercise (for rest!) but I’ve also gauge when I can push myself and still exercise to release the toxins.  Maintaining this into your routine helps promote that healthy lifestyle.

There are many other factors that can affect your immune and general health like stress, your diet and eating the proper nutrient foods, and even alcohol intake. When working to maintain a healthy lifestyle and work towards fitness goals, it’s important to maintain your best self to reach those! This includes actively working towards your immune health daily and not just when you’re starting to feel sick.  Remember that if you’re sick all the time you won’t be hitting the gym or reaching any of those goals!

 

*DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and never will claim to be one, so please consult with yours on what would work best for you to help support your immune health on a daily basis. 

Fitness Friday 01.18

Happy first Fitness Friday of 2018!

If you’re new to a Bee Life Fitness Friday, welcome! I like to share these FF posts every month to check-in, provide motivation or tips to any of you working towards goals, share my struggles and triumphs, and new ways I’m achieving my goals. One of my goals for 2018 is to maintain all of the awesome progress I finally made this past year!
Fitness Friday 01.18 - the bee life
It can often be overwhelming to have goals that seem impossible – but let me tell you, nothing is impossible.  The key in achieving your goals is to have a plan, but also know you can be flexible with your plan.  Are you going to follow a running training program? Going to join a cycle studio for classes? Or other fitness classes?  Have an exercise plan, make the commitment, and have a goal of number of days you plan to go and plan your week around those classes, runs, or workout sessions.

The next step in making sure your plan is set-up for success is having a nutritional game plan. And this does not mean an extreme diet or something that isn’t achievable with your lifestyle.  Meal prep, switching out soda for water, adding in more veggies to your diet, eating a salad twice a week  – taking smaller steps to work towards progress is the best way to start.  Trying to completely change the way you eat on day one will only be harder, everything in moderation!

It’s matching these two pieces – exercise and nutrition and continuing to refine, and push yourself that will truly allow you to reach your fitness goals and become the best version of yourself!

Fitness Friday 12.17

Wow! I can’t believe it’s December and the last month of 2017. It’s been a life changing year, both physically and personally. I wanted to reflect on this year’s fitness journey and reading posts from each month’s Fitness Friday. I wasn’t in a good place physically or mentally at the start of the year, I wasn’t happy with my job and that was bleeding into my personal life, and how I took care of myself.  And I knew it was a problem, and I continued to make strides, get a new job and started taking care of myself. This time last year I was living in yoga pants and tights because my jeans wouldn’t fit – and now my jeans are loose!
Fitness Friday 12.17 - the bee life
Here is what I learned about myself this past year;

  • Don’t give up. I worked hard for 7-8 months with seeing limited results in inches and BMI, I still was the same number on the scale, but I was feeling better and I was determined even in the moments doubt.
  • Diet is just as important. As your workout routine, it wasn’t until I finally cut down – with the many thanks and help to B, on all the carbs and crap that the pounds flew off.  Beyond that, portions were limited and breakfast options were much improved and burgers were ordered without buns, subbing fries for side salad.  B and I made smarter choices, and held each other accountable and sometimes I did eat a cookie!
  • I am strong. And I can push myself. I started with only being able to do 10 or 15lbs weights depending on the exercise and now I am up to 20-25 in hand weights and 35lbs in kettle bells. I can do boy push-ups, and I can endure more than I thought, I’ve grown.
  • Don’t go back. This is the most important, and the easiest one to erase, because I was here and I went back – and I came out again.  And I don’t ever want to go back.
  • Make the investment. I got over the monetary cost it takes to help me achieve my goals, give me a place to challenge and push myself, and have my time to focus on me.
  • It’s a journey. Eleven months of a journey, and it doesn’t stop here. Just because I’m at my goal weight doesn’t mean I can stop or will. Life changes, schedules change and it’s constantly adjusting and continuing the journey to success.

I feel good. I am happy. I am focused. I achieved my goals, but I also need to maintain my goals, and I will. I’ve learned the balance and effort that needs to be made to be my best me, and that has been the best part of it all.

Cheers to a healthy 2017!

Fitness Friday 11.17

It’s that time of the month to check in and reflect on our fitness goals, our journey to a healthy 2017. Have you been sticking in there? Have you been reaching your goals?

I’m writing today, a bit stunned, yet so proud of all I’ve been able to accomplish. The last few years have been such a constant roller coaster to try and get on track with a healthy routine and consistent exercise. And finally, finally after nearly over a year I am seeing amazing results and I’m actually meeting my goals – goals I wanted so bad but wasn’t confident in achieving. Why? Because for 7-months I got stronger and made progress, but small progress and never saw the number move at all.
Fitness Friday 11.17 - the bee lifeThis past week I had another health assessment with my trainer, and from where I started to where I am now… and what I even accomplished in the last 2-months, I finally made it over the hump! So much so that I was even named the October Client of the Month, a secret goal of wanting to see my name on the board these last 9-months.

So moral of the story. Don’t give up. Keep pushing strong. Work to see progress and track it. Relish in your new strengths. Challenge yourself. Kick ass.