Fitness Friday 02.19

Guys! Confession: I’ve been totally slacking from a fitness perspective – after working through and fighting the urge to rest with prolonged chronic back pain (almost 4-months) – my routine has been completely shot, because I all of a sudden haven’t been resisting the urge to rest as much! #FailedRoutine
Fitness Friday 02.19 - the bee life
I’ve been slowly working through the back, getting back my strength and working to be back to the place I want to be with my routine.  I’ve also been itching to get running again, I’ve actually been dreaming about running – but I’m an outside runner and the winter doesn’t really jive well with that. But, enough with the excuses – time for plans on how to get back into the groove for 2019, for real this time!

First things first, stop making excuses.  I haven’t been getting up out of bed for my early morning workouts, and I easily bow out of the evenings blaming the commute or being tired.  It’s time to start waking up and working out!

Seriously, cut those damn carbs. Again, lazy is easy and carbs are a lazy way to eat.  Better planning for meals and proactively cutting out those carbs will help balance the inconsistent workout routine.

Establish a running routine. As I mentioned in my 2019 fitness goals and above, I want to incorporate running as a more prominent staple into my fitness routine this year. We are already signed up for a race in April, but I want to sign up for half marathon… or two *grins* this way I’ll have a training schedule to help me stick to this goal.

Are you struggling with your fitness goals? How do you overcome them?

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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

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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Miss a Fitness Friday? Catch-up!  May | June | July

Fitness Friday 07.18

I’m not sure about you guys, but the 4th of July holiday really whooped my butt! With it being on a Wednesday, I regrettably didn’t take any time off directly before or after – I figured a holiday in the middle of the week would be no biggie, if anything a nice way to break up the week.  Well it definitely broke up the week and then derailed it completely – day drinking on a warm summer day, leading to a Thursday night happy hour with family, only to still have one day of work to wrap up.  The food, fun, friends and family continued through what seemed like a 5-day weekend (with some work thrown in) and I was not only exhausted, but feeling super unhealthy after over indulging on delicious cocktails and tasty eats the entire time!! Ick!!
Fitness Friday 07.18 - the bee life
This past week was a rough start, but also a time to reset, recharged and get back into a healthy routine of balance.  I told B, Sunday afternoon we were going to be ‘detoxing’ this week – and I think my version of detoxing is probably different than many others and I’ll tell you how.  My detox isn’t a juice cleanse, it isn’t eating celery sticks for 4-straight days, it’s simply cutting out the crap and getting back on track.  No sweets, no alcohol, no chips/snacks, no candy and low-to-no carbs.  My detox is making healthy choices, picking veggies over chips, salads over cookies, and no bagels/bread/rice/heavy carbs.

For me, when I know the balance has been lost, it’s better for me to be a bit tougher on myself, keeping myself accountable than letting a few more things slip through the cracks.  I maintain plenty of that balance – but it’s getting back into the mental state of making those smart choices and saying ‘no’ to the ones we often want to say ‘yes’ too.

I fought many temptations at the office this week and stuck to my guns when it came back to getting back into my balance, waking up and running or getting to the gym and then maintaining those healthy food choices (cheated with some bubbles one night!) throughout the day of what I put in my body.  How do you get back on track? Have questions, or need help – leave a comment below!

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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!

 

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 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!