Fitness Friday 05.19

It’s time to talk food, that thing we love to hate – especially when it comes to your fitness success and reaching those goals.  Food has always been a struggle for me, understanding the balance of life, the things I love (that aren’t so great for you) and then also understanding my gastro issues that have been recent within the last 2-years. Because let me tell you, I love cake and cookies and cupcakes and I believe in the beauty of balance – especially when it comes to enjoying the finer things in life.
Fitness Friday 05.19 - the bee life
Within my health and fitness journey, there are a few rules I’ve learned that work for me while being able to have that balance – and when I’ve been very strict with them I see great results – and when I’m a bit more lenient I know exactly what I need to cut to see a change. But one thing is for sure, whether I’m strict or not – I always enjoy those cupcakes.

Little to No Carbs – Fun fact: Carbs are hidden in a lot of different things that appear to be healthy or good for you – this includes a fair amount of fruits and vegetables, like carrots, apples, bananas, and melons (just to name a few).  So really understanding what foods you’re putting in your body and what they contain is half the battle – then you just have to cut them out! Also pasta, just stop eating it.

When in Doubt: Berries – Speaking of knowing what is good for you vs. what is not – when in doubt when it comes to your fruits, berries are the way to go.  These are your besties and easy rule to remember: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries. Yes.

No Dairy – This one isn’t so tough for me, since I’m lactose intolerant I pretty much steer clear, but I am able to enjoy hard cheese – like Extra Sharp Cheddar – so I can get my cheese fix, although I noticed that when I completely cut this out pre-wedding, I felt great and was trimmer. So I think there is some method to the madness of a dairy free diet, whether you have an allergy or not.

Say Bye to Pizza – I will admit, I also indulge in pizza every now and then when we’re home for the night – but again, when we cut out pizza for nearly 4-months pre-wedding the extra weight and temptation went away! We also can’t do cauliflower crust, because my stomach hates me – so it really became all or nothing from a pizza perspective.

Complicated Order – Don’t be afraid to have a complicated order at the restaurant and also just say no to the free sides ahead of time – because as much as you think you won’t eat that side of fries with your burger, let me tell you you’ll probably have at least half if they’re in front of you!  So when it came down to it – I would order a burger with NO bun (yup! cut those carbs) and I would order a side salad in place of the fries (bye, carbs!)

The biggest thing to understand when it comes to food and your health – not everything works for everyone.  Sure, there are a few obvious things that should be avoided, but no one “diet” works for everyone. The second thing to understand that it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle, you truly have to be proactive every single day to make smart food choices.

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10-Miler Recap – 2019

This past weekend was our 10-Miler race weekend, and officially kicked off our 2019 running season! We’ve ran this race for the last 5-years, aka 50-miles, and it’s always challenging in new ways but also always so rewarding once the race is finished. Last year’s race was a huge accomplishment and super significant in my fitness journey and my life journey – it’s funny how races can be like that.  This year my goal was to simply run the whole race without stopping.
10-Miler Recap - the bee life (1)
If you’re an avid runner, especially an average one like me, you know that every race is different, every variable is unpredictable, not matter how much you train or prepare.  For me, during this race I was feeling great until about mile 7, then the side cramps kicked in and the leg soreness started and stayed for the last three miles.  I slowed down a lot, but I also was able to pick up speed and I just didn’t stop, B stayed by my side too which definitely helped, even though we didn’t have the best finish time.

What was super awesome about the 10-Miler race this year was it was my friend K’s first big race! We ran back in October for K’s first 10k and after she kicked that goal’s but her next goal was to run this race –  and she kicked this goal’s butt too. I was so proud of her, she persisted through all the elements, through all the miles and crossed the finish like with pure victory!!
10-Miler Recap - the bee life (2)
Running is just as much of a mental game as it is physical and I’m always reminded of that with each race, but also realize that I’m able to face and conquer new challenges with each one and know that I am capable!

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Latest Obsessions 03.19 – March Roundup

To close out one of my favorite month’s of the year – my latest obsessions are honestly a bit of a roundup of some of this past month’s adventures, happenings and behind the scenes planning. Ironically we’re closing out the month with a fresh coat of snow after having a lovely day in the 50’s just yesterday. #Spring

Our Chicago Trip:  Our weekend getaway to Chicago was just what the doctor ordered and was a much needed escape from reality – not the mention B and I got to explore another city together and do as much city touristy things as possible while also trying to eat as much Chicago food as we could! This little trip as spurred our other 2019 trips into booking mode instead of just planning mode!

Bathroom Finishes & Accessories: With our bathroom remodel project well underway, we’re finally getting to a point where finishes are right around the corner and we have a defined space! … Although this just means my wheels have been spinning a bit more than usual with all the possibilities.  I still have yet to find some towel holders, soap tray, bath towels and other bath accessories that I love (well that aren’t $100 each) … so I think I’ll actually have to shop in a store vs. browsing online.
Latest Obsessions 03.19 - the bee lfie
Getting Back Into My Fitness Routine: I’ve been working to make this more intentional into my day to day and trying to prioritize around all of the other things that are such as life. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had good streaks and I’ve had bad streaks but the most important part is that it’s a priority and change is slowly happening – which is better than none at all!

Inspirational Books: I’ve been reading a lot lately which unfortunately isn’t usual for me! I’m more of a vacation/travel reader – but I’ve found some books lately that have been what I’ve needed, they’re educational, inspirational and motivational. I’m looking forward to sharing a few with you as I finish them up!

March was a bit of a rollercoaster of fun, emotions, change and everything in between so I’m happy to see it go and looking ahead to warm months with lots of possibilities, more obsessions and a whole lot more fun!

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Fitness Friday 01.19

It’s a new year, which mean it’s time to reset on your fitness goals, evaluate wins and losses from the past year and start focusing on the now and make things happen! Because Fitness has and will continue to be a priority for me, I wanted to really focus on specific goals for my health and wellness beyond my other goals for the new year and what better way to kickoff the first Fitness Friday than with clear goals of the year!
fitness friday 01.19 - the bee life
Run More! Running has always been part of my fitness, some years more miles than others – with the goal of still running a handful of races, I want to incorporate running in my routine beyond the training for the races and making it more of constant.

Build My Core Strength. This should have been a priority for the past 13 years – due to  my chronic back pain – which has been flaring up more than lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to moderate this more as I get older.  And one thing that I’ve been told in my years is building my core strength, so by adding in a simple addition of regular planks I hope to build this up!

Less Carbs.  Plain and simple. I’ll begin buckling down on this a bit more, as I’ve been enjoying the finer things in life lately.

Remaining Consistent with Bootcamp. The last two years I’ve gotten into a good groove, seen progress and continued to get stronger.  I like the group fitness class and it’s an easy way to check off 2 or 3 days of workouts in the week!

Although I’m not working towards fitting into a wedding dress – this past year was a good year of maintaining my routine, sticking strong on my diet.  I worked so hard to establish that routine and make the big progress that I did – I don’t want to loose that routine or happiness I gained in myself.  So here’s to another year of becoming and loving your best self!

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Fitness Friday 11.18

It’s that time of the year, the  gatherings, dinners, the holidays are creeping in quick!  If you’re like me and go to THREE different Thanksgivings within a four day period, you can quickly kiss away all your fitness progress, that’s if you decide to indulge in each and every one, not to mention all the booze!
Fitness Friday 11.18 - the bee life
So in order to maintain and not gain this holiday season, here are some easy tips to remember and still enjoy the holiday meals and get togethers.

(1) Get that Workout In! This is one of the most important ones and will help you keep your sanity – the best bet to insure you check this off the list is getting it done early.  Just because you have a few days off doesn’t mean you should forget your normal workout schedule, plus once festivities start and the first mimosas is poured you won’t be too motivated to workout!  If you’re traveling to visit family, hit up your cousin who spins or goes to the gym and go to a drop-in class with them.

(2) Smarter Alcohol Choices. Tis the season for holiday brews… and yes they’re delicious but they’re packed with calories and carbs – one of our local favorite Christmas Ale’s has 200 calories in a 12oz. bottle and 20 carbs! Ah!! Try not to drink your calories and carbs and check out the Keto Alcohol rulesI like to follow, stay away from beer, opt in for those bubbles! Red wine is also a good choice or pure spirits, but be sure to avoid those sugary mixtures.

(3) Don’t Go For Seconds. Don’t do it!! This is where all bets are off, and no good will come of it.  In addition to refusing seconds, limit your portions – when you’re heaping that stuffing onto your plate use the rule of thumb to make sure you see the bottom of your plate!

(4) Stay Hydrated. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, it helps flush out toxins and even can help if you’re planning to indulge in the adult beverages.  This is also easy to forget if you’re traveling and driving to multiple houses throughout the day making the rounds – pack a water bottle ahead of time and keep it in the car!

(5) Eat Breakfast. Make sure you eat a good breakfast and other meals throughout the day before your big meal – I think it’s human nature to try not to eat so much during the day knowing you’ll be indulging later in the evening, but this can lead to going up for seconds and binging.  By eating healthy throughout the day you’ll be more full and less likely to over do it at your holiday meals!

At the end of the day you’ll enjoy the holidays as you want, but after Thanksgiving starts the endless holiday gatherings, pretty soon we’ll be making New Year resolutions – so remember, it’s OK to NOT over indulge in the holidays, just maintain balance, because you don’t want your New Year’s Resolution to be the same as the year before!

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Catch-up on past Fitness Friday’s: Physical vs. Mental Battle | Accountability and Food | Maintaining Balance

Northcoast Harbor 15k – Recap

This past weekend we checked off another race for our 2018 running season – number 3 of 4.  The cool thing about this race was it offered three running distances and was the perfect offering for all types of runners.  We stumbled upon this race when I was helping my friend K look for a 10k to run this year, she set a goal for herself to run and train for one!  So after signing up for the Northcoast Harbor 15k a few months ago, I helped K set-up a training schedule so she could start training and get ready for the race!

What I love about running is that it’s a completely individualized ‘sport’ especially in this arena as adults, it doesn’t matter if you’re a faster runner, someone working towards a PR/qualifying for big race, 60-year-old walking, or running 11:00-minute miles.  And this race was very much about that.  B signed up to run the 15k, K & I were running the 10k and K’s fiance was running the 5k.  We picked races based on our comfort level and what we wanted to accomplish.  For me my goal was to help K reach her goal, so I signed up the 10k and I told her I was in it for the long road or as she would put it “my slow mile times.”

The race got started just as the sun was rising, we had lake views to our left and cities views to our right, it was the perfect mix of what I love about this city and why I love a good downtown race.  We stuck close to the shoreline running in front of the airport, looping back around the Brown’s stadium to finish right where we started at Voinovich Park. Voinovich Park at Northcoast Harbor has always been my favorite views of the city, so it was a great starting and ending spot – plus great for our post-race metal pics.

The sun was shining just as we all crossed the finish line and turned into a pretty nice Saturday morning for late October.  I stuck with K the whole way and we all came out of the race meeting our goals and feeling super accomplished!  We went and celebrated with our new post-race place, a local doughnut shop, Brewnuts for an adult beverage and some tasty treats!

B and I have a 5k coming up in December that we’re doing more as a group/fun activity and less about the running… although we will see how much we can really stick to that!  But we’re excited, as it’s been a race we’ve had on our list for a few years just have never gotten around to doing it! This was a nice accomplishment and another metal to hang up in our home office.

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Fitness Friday 10.18

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I thought I would switch up my typical Fitness Friday and share some helpful information around breast cancer, ways to be screened and other considerations to help prevent your chances of getting cancer.
Fitness Friday 10.18 - bee life blog
Knowing Your History.  This can be the difference of someone being an average risk to a high risk of having cancer.  Know your family history, whether it’s someone who has had invasive breast cancer or BRCA 1/2 gene mutation, especially if they’re a first relative.  If you have a family history your breast cancer screenings can start as early as 26 vs. an average risk person starting at 40.

Make Healthy Choices. These may seem like a big DUH, but how we treat our body and what we put into our body can greatly affect how we run!  All of these things that can prevent cancer may seem a bit obvious, avoiding use of tobacco, increased physical actively, working out regularly,  sun protection, and healthy diet choices are among the few.  Sometimes it seems like cancer will be unavoidable, but we can at least strive to make healthy decisions and actively avoid things we know are obvious cancer causers (tobacco – sun – etc.)

Check Your Body. Being aware of your body is important, whether it’s providing self exams to check your breasts for lumps or abnormalities or being aware of potential sun spots that may have not been there before.  It’s important to know your body so you can listen to your body and know when something might be off.  When in doubt, have it checked out my your physician.

Go to the Doctor. Maintaining your annual visits to your primary care physician and OBGYN can help mediate risks and also keep you on track for clinical breast exams – which should occur every three years starting at the age of 20, until it’s time to start receiving mammograms.

As a board member on a local organization that helps provide emergency financial assistance to women actively receiving breast cancer treatment who cannot afford life necessities – the risks of breast cancer are prevalent.   With that comes heart wrenching stories of those who lost the fight (like a 38-year old mom of two, who died within a year of being diagnosed), although it also allows for a lot of inspiring stories of those who’ve beat it.  Another sobering moment recently that hit home is my cousin who is my age going through preventative surgery as she has the BRCA gene mutation.  It’s something we can easily forget about, unless we know someone directly affected – so it’s good to stay informed and aware!

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Sources: Susan G. Komen – High Risk & Self Awareness| Mayo Clinic – Preventing Cancer

Fitness Friday 09.18

Can you believe it’s already September? Like the end of September?  Time is seriously flying! And with that we’re almost saying good bye to another year – another year of learning and adapting to work towards our fitness and health goals.  I’m sure not many of you have been reading along for as long as I’ve been writing on the bee life, but trust me it’s been a journey, especially my fitness journey!
Fitness Friday 09.18 - the bee life I look back at old fitness posts and I cringe a little, but I also smile because I’ve finally beat my old ways that were SOO annoying and full of excuses (even though I said they weren’t excuses) and I finally know what I have to do.

I get it – the mental battle is just as much as the physical battle – but it took me a long time to really accept that and finally making the financial investment, time commitment and leaving the excuses at the door.  If you’re like me (stubborn) the mental battle may be winning over your physical one… trust me you’ll reach your breaking point – you’ll reach your complete unhappiness, mine happen to come to being 15+ pounds heavier, not being able to fit into over half my pants and not feeling great about myself.  And even then, I started working out but it still took another switch to click with the food, and having those hard talks with myself to stop lying that I was eating ok enough.

So with all my rambling, what I’m trying to say is the physical challenges will be easy, you’ll be able to grow stronger and master the art of burpees and lifting – but that mental battle will always be something you can cheat yourself out of.  So take a hard look, question your excuses or reasons and overcome that mental battle!

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Catch-up on past Fitness Fridays: Food Accountability | Maintaining Balance | Reaching Your Goals

Fitness Friday 08.18

It’s time to talk food again.  The love-hate we have with sweet, delicious, carby food.  Last Fitness Friday, I was talking a bit about falling off the rails, being a little less strict with my routine – the boundaries started to get looser and I needed to rain it in.  So within the last month or so, I’ve tightened up on my diet and I can see the difference on a daily basis.  Trust me, there are some days where I ask myself, what more could I possibly change? But when I really test the accountability factor – I quickly figure out what needs to go and what can stay, and it usually comes down to FOOD!
Fitness Friday 08.18 - the bee life
Here are five tricks I do when I need to crack down, and honestly after a week or two of being strict, these aren’t as much of a battle as it is at first!  The most important thing to keep in mind – is that these aren’t quick ‘do this for a week’ and you’ll loose 20-pounds, these are lifestyle changes that will help you achieve your fitness goals and love yourself even more!

Smart Snacking.  A great work perk that I have is having snacks around, the decision between a mini bag of Doritos or picking up a banana/handful of nuts is the pass or fail. Don’t want to be tempted at all of picking wrong? Stop snacking and drink water!  It’ll be tough at first, but your body will quickly adapt and you won’t be craving a snack at 3pm.

Less Carbs, More Protein. Especially at dinner, this is a time when B and I have been loading up on meat and skipping out on the extras or scary sides.  We also switch out the buns for lettuce wraps, which is just as tasty and looks fancy for a week night meal at home.

Smaller Portions.  With smarter snacking and eating more filling foods, portions in line get a bit smaller, allowing you to get full faster.  Those after dinner cravings for some sweats are often eliminated after a nice filling and healthy dinner.

Limit Alcohol. Alcohol and beverages in general can be a surprise at how much sugars/carbs are actually jammed into them – so be sure to check the labels before drinking, you’ll thank yourself later.  Alcohol choices can also impact negatively or help, for this I stick to the Keto Alcohol rules, no beer and opt for those bubbles! Red wine is also a good choice or pure spirits, but be sure to avoid those sugary mixtures.

Stop Eating Pizza! Yup, I said it – just stop eating pizza! Try it for a month, try it for two… you won’t miss it, I promise.  Pizza is an easy food to over indulge on and is full of carbs, some people have pizza every Friday night… and then there are probably leftovers for the next day… just cut it out – you’ll see a difference.

The true key to living a healthy lifestyle, making gains, and maintaining your goal weight, all boils down to not only exercise but the supporting cast of FOOD – it’s that balance of both that is the perfect formula.

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