Friday Fitness 01.17

This year I have full intentions of focusing on being healthy – inside and out, because to me being healthy is being happy.  And being happy touches every single part of my life, but the part I am most concerned about is my life at home and being happy and content, being the best me.
healthy-2017Being healthy is more than eating right and working out, being healthy is pausing, turning off the noise, taking a few extra deep breaths, a break from ‘reality’ … from the office, it’s focusing time on the important things, the things that makes you whole and happy.

Here are some ways you can achieve healthy too! 

  1. See It – Broken record Bee again; but if you write it down and see it, you will be/do it. Write down those things that are important to you, the things you want to focus on or spend more time doing. Make it colorful, or write it on some nice paper and make it into art, post it in the bathroom or kitchen so you see it every day!
  2. Workout – For me, this is going to be boot camp. This is my workout that challenges me, makes me stronger, pushes me, and gets me into the shape I want to be and keeps me engaged and doesn’t make me bored. Set your workout goals and stick to them – but even before that figure out what works for YOU.
  3. Mental Breaks – Whether it’s the weekend or a 20-minute walk in the middle of the afternoon, take the mental breaks. Know when it’s time to stop and say time-out. Mental breaks could also include time with friends, family or your sig-o, laughing and sharing moments with these important people in life, can just be what the doctor ordered.
  4. Spa Day – This takes that mental break one step further. And helps with a mental and physical break. Taking care of your body inside and out is just as important as anything else on your list.  Be sure to take a break and plan these out so you won’t forget!
  5. Give Back – One thing B and I have talked about doing more of is volunteering and giving back, this is definitely something we are going to work and carve into our regularly scheduled lives – we definitely have a few afternoons to spare and help out those in need. Wanting to give back more? Look for local organizations or a local parish and reach out to see how you might be able to get involved!
  6. Time for Hobbies – This can tie into that mental break category, a great way to give that brain a break is to spend time on things you love to do. For me it’s scrap-booking, DIY-ing and writing. Even if it’s one Sunday a month, make time to spend an afternoon focusing on the things you love to do!
  7. Balance – Work to find your balance this year – whether it’s balancing your burger to salad ratio or life to work, start figuring out those stresses that trigger or conquer these battles in real time. Say no, say yes, or wait to decide. Writing these down and knowing possible feats ahead of time will help conquer them this year!

How will you achieve a healthy 2017?

Fitness Friday no. 5

Happy Friday! How is everyone doing with their 2016 fitness goals?

I’ve been making slow progress. I signed up for Barre3 – which offers a plethora of online videos at a low monthly cost, and right now that’s exactly what I need. I’m enjoying the challenge and core building exercises, and I’m excited to keep it up once I start training for my 10-miler.

So this week I want to focus on the “little” things that are just as important to your health and fitness, as the actual physical work.  What’s that? Maintaining your stress and positive energy.

Fitness Friday 05 - the bee life -

1. Confront It. If something or someone is bothering you, confront the situation. I think the word confront often has a negative connotation – but the way you approach the situation is key and doesn’t have to be negative or defensive. Clear your chest and speak your peace, the rest is out of your hands…

2. Lose Control. Speaking of out of your hands, you can only control yourself, aka you cannot control others. So if you’ve spoken your peace, knowing you’ve tried, work on letting go of the rest.  You’ll thank yourself later!
*Disclaimer: I know it’s easier said than done.

3. Release The Stress. With exercise! Not food! Personally, I often crave some bad eatings when I am stressed or had a bad day at work – I find I have a small window to get motivated to exercise, but when I do pick exercise over the burger and fries I feel 10x better AND not fat!  Challenging your mind to pick fitness over food in those situations is half the battle.

4. Stretch! I’ve mentioned this before; but since I’ve been stretching more I can’t get over how much I can feel it in my muscles and body and how much it helps.  It helps release all those stresses that get stored in our body from long days of sitting at a desk or standing on our feet. Try 10-minutes a day, I bet you’ll feel a difference.

5. Reflect on the Good. It’s easy to fixate on the bad, how we didn’t work out, how we ate bad, the jerk at work… and it’s easy to overlook the good. Try writing down on a post-it at least one good thing that happened during your day and tuck it away in a jar, by the end of the year you’ll have a jar full of happy memories, that hopefully also helped you in the current moment – focus on the good. You can also bring this up with a roommate, spouse, or best friend at the end of the day and both share your “goods” of the day.

Keep focusing on your 30-days there is still time to work towards your goals and build good habits!

Fitness Friday – New Year Edition

Happy New Year!! I usually share with everyone my resolutions or goals for the new year – but I am going to switch it up this year and continue with more focused tips so that we’re all successful with our healthy goals always, but especially as we enter 2016.

Fitness Friday - New Year Edition -
Fitness Friday – New Year Edition –
  1. No More Fad Diets – Why?  Because you won’t last.  Let’s face it, we’ve all been there before.  There is a difference between a lifestyle change and a fad diet, know what is good for you and what works with your eating habits, lifestyle and health.  For example, I need to make a more conscious effort of cutting dairy out since I’m lactose intolerant- lifestyle change, not a fad diet.
  2. Post-It On The Wall (Or Refrigerator); If you see your goals everyday, and what you’re striving to accomplish, you’ll be more likely to have success.  In college I used to have little signs posted on my wall that read, “No eating after 9pm” – “No soda!” – “Work Out!” – “One Sweet a Week” … etc. It really helped me get those notions and habits in my head and I actually followed my own rules.
  3. Focus on 30-Days; This was  a suggestion by the famous Biggest Loser trainer, Bob Harper, and I think it’s so smart and simple.  Instead of having grandiose plans for the entire year, focus on one month at a time. I received fitness classes for Christmas – but instead of using that up, I want to get into a rhythm before, since I’ll only have the fitness classes for 2-months – I want my healthy workout routine to last more than just 2-months out of the entire year!
  4. Cut Out The Sugar; Sugar drinks, coffees, soda, and sweets!  Once we have these sugars in our bodies, we only crave them more – so let’s start cutting them out!  This is going to be one of my 30-day focus items that I plan to in-bark on.

So now what? Pick a date to start your 30-day focus, I am thinking about starting January 4th or 9th. Next, pick out your items you want to focus on for those 30-days, start small if you’re starting from square one. For example; Exercise 2-3 days a week, no sweets during the week, no soda or eating after 9pm. Then, write your items and post them up where you’ll see them EVERY DAY; and begin.  I also found that writing my progress on a calendar helped me see my progress – where I struggled and where I had a really kicked ass. It might help you too!

Here’s to you and a healthy and happy new year!

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday! And I’m happy to introduce the first, Fitness Friday! Coming to you live every other Friday with tips and check-ins on your progress and goals (and mine!) and even some tips to help stay in check especially as the holiday season is right around the corner, literally!  And with those holidays, colder weather and darker nights – not the ideal conditions for motivation.

seasons greetings from the mckenzie's

Here are some easy tips to remember:

  1. Drink Water: If you aren’t drinking water consistently throughout the day you’re going to be paying for it later on.
  2. Dress for the part:  If you have cute workout clothes and new sneaks you’ll want to make your investment worthwhile and get sweaty!
  3. Stay focused, but mix it up:  Know the areas you want to work on and focus on those whether it be your arms, abs, butt, legs or all of the above – but remember your muscles will get used to and immune to the same 5 exercises so mix up the routine and add new workouts to your sets!
  4. Stretch: I recently took a 30-minute yoga class during lunch and I can’t tell you how much my body needed that, it was amazing!  If only I took a little more time (regularly) to stretch, my body and tense muscles would feel 10x better.  I’ve felt the difference the entire week since.
  5. Stay consistent: Getting into a pattern and routine is half the battle, as soon as you get into a groove, you won’t want to miss a beat!  The quicker you can start being consistent, the more likely you’ll be on your way to success.

Happy Friday!

Balancing Life

Work: “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

Life(style): “the way in which a person or group lives.”

Balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”

Work - Life
With no major vacation this year, I am having some serious struggles with my work-life balance, not to mention my workout routine has been nonexistent, and I hate it.

Being able to workout and maintain a healthy lifestyle is something that is important to me, although it mostly annoys me that cost and work get in the way of a large portion of things that make me happy and used to be a huge aspect of my day-to-day routine. Knowing that I am essentially gym-less and on my own to get some motivation (and have to work) I decided to put together a list of items to be more cognizant of starting ASAP at home and at work (because complaining gets you nowhere).


  • Morning workouts & weekend runs: Waking up an hour earlier to do a set of exercises for 30-40 minutes in the morning is more than I am currently doing – taking advantage of free time on the weekends will balance out anything missed during the week
  • Breakfast & Coffee at home: Waking up earlier will allow time to prep a breakfast and make coffee, so that I won’t be tempted by Starbucks which is in the lobby of my office building
  • Walks with Moz: A quick walk at the end of the day allows for the extra motivation and fresh air – maybe even a quick walk in the morning
  • Yoga before bed: I have a 10-minute yoga routine I do occasionally before bed, it needs to happen more often
  • Weekly scrap-booking: It’s something I love to do and don’t do enough up, I have a lot of catching up to do!  Even if it’s 30-minutes a week


  • Afternoon fresh air: A quick walk around the block to break up the afternoon and recharge will take 5-10minutes out of the day but have a lasting effect
  • Packing a lunch & snacks: Will allow for me to save money and not be tempted by a quick sub or the leftovers in the cafe
  • Stay above the crap: It’s so easy to get sucked in or be the hitting board for someone’s bad day – remembering to stay above that and not sweating the small stuff
  • Drinking more water: No explanation needed

I want to start with little items that can be accomplished in order to stay focused and not get overwhelmed, creating good habits is half the battle – so starting small makes sense.  How do you maintain a good balance between life and work?

2 months in

What’s that saying? Something like…

“It takes 21 days to form a habit and one day to break it”

… Well it’s been nearly 2-months (30 days) since I got back into my workout routine, and although I am still not 100% where I want to be as far as frequency I am gaining traction! With work and my new circuit/interval training classes the availability and class times is something I have been needing to adapt too. I have been making 5:30am classes work, well sort of, it’s been easier when my aunts carpool with me, but when I am driving myself that internal mind-game of just getting out of bed is hard.  The thing is, once I am up and at the class, I am totally fine! It’s just getting my butt out of my warm snuggled self out of bed that is the struggle. It’s such a mind game. I am shooting for 3-days during the work week in the mornings and then a nice Saturday late morning class, still need to get those 3 early mornings down. I get stuck at one or two.

The positive side is that I have been seeing results, not to mention with Lent – I have given up some sweet temptations which are definitely tying into my results. No Starbucks, no beer, no sweets. I’ve surprisingly held to my guns the last 3-weeks, everything is dialed down significantly.  I’ve been eating better all around, smaller portions, trying not to eat out as much, lots of kale salads and fruits, limited, to no coffee and extra water and tea! I also haven’t been buying sweet treats from Starbucks with my morning coffee or a cookie to bring home for after dinner with B.

As soon as you start seeing results, everything becomes addicting. I am already getting that insatiable crave back that I used to have that drives me back every time and pushes me through the long run or the workout harder than the time before, and it’s awesome.

Image taken Monday at 5:30am Boot Camp (I am far left with pink sneaks!)

Here’s to staying motivated!

5:2 First Week Recap

One week on the 5:2 is officially under my belt. I can’t wait to see the long-term benefits, especially once I get more used to the flow, calorie counting, etc. For those of you who are new to the 5:2, in short it’s a “diet” where you fast for 2-days out of the week.  This means that you only consume 500 calories throughout the entire fast day. 500 total calories, not each meal.  The Fast Diet book that I have read and been working from (cookbook too) is found here: The Fast Diet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. Not only are there a lot of long-term health affects to this, on top of loosing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, but you don’t have a radical lifestyle change, it’s only two days of the week and the other five days you can eat responsibly as you please!

Lesson’s Learned:

  1. Plan better with meals, especially dinner and snacks
  2. It’s all mental, knowing you can’t eat just makes you want to eat everything
  3. Need to get a kitchen scale for measuring food!

My Meals:

  • Breakfast
    • 4-egg whites with 10 cherry-tomatoes and basil pieces = 94 calories
  • Optional Snack
    • 8-almonds (96 calories) + 15 blackberries (18.75 calories) = about 115 calories
  • Dinner
    • Night one:
      • Turkey Burgers with Tomato Salsa = 333 calories
    • Night two:
      • Chicken with Tomato’s and Olives + Tablespoon of hummus = 404

Obviously the math is off and I was slightly over by about 50 calories… oops! *smiles*

Have you tried the 5:2 Fast Diet? What have you learned?

I’m Back.

Well my workout hiatus is finally over.  I received fitness classes for Christmas (AWESOME present, btw) so this past Saturday I decided to start! The classes are interval strength/cardio training circuits.  The interval and circuit length’s change from class to class so every exercise is manageable; because the longest  you’ll ever be doing an exercise is 15-60 seconds before you’re on to the next one!

These workouts have kicked my butt. (1) I haven’t worked out “hard” in at least 4-5 months (2) I haven’t weight trained in over a year … so an hour of strength and cardio let me know how out of shape I’ve become.

I really did not want to go to the class last night, I was exhausted, sore, and it was freezing cold, snuggling up with Moz and B sounded much more appealing than going back out into the cold and getting home after 8 o’clock. But I made myself go, the pain was still going to be around today whether I went to the class or not… also I know the pay-off, I’ve seen the results before, so I pushed myself to go. And, I’m happy I went.

“The only workout you’ll regret, is the one that didn’t happen.”

This is only the start, I’m going to keep going to these classes, and it’s only be a matter of time until the snow melts, the sun shines a bit longer and I can start running outside again. It feels good to be back, it was way to long of a break, but that break is definitely over.

New Year, Fresh Start.

I think everyone likes the idea of being able to have a “fresh start” at the beginning of each new year, it’s a time when we can set goals, learn from mistakes, and dream bigger… it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the chatter.

My 2015 goals, are definitely going to be bigger, and after seeing what I accomplished last year, I believe that writing down and setting goals, and seeing them every day really does help you to accomplish and allow them to be in the forefront of your mind.

My 2015 goals:

  1. Get back into a workout routine
  2. Start the 5:2 Diet
  3. Travel outside of the country (Dublin 2015?)
  4. Get a promotion at work
  5. Run a half marathon + at least 3 other races
  6. Read more books
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  8. Live in the moment

A lot of these are similar to my 2014 goals, but I liked them! And I feel that I can always strive to improve on all aspects, whether it’s my personal, work, or health life – and these goals help round all of those out.

Happy New Year! Let this be the year you dream bigger and do better.