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

Hofbrauhaus Half Marathon – Recap

This past weekend marked our 7th half marathon and it’s incredible what a difference a year makes.  We… or I should say, I struggled through out last half marathon, the Mighty Niagara last September, and this year seemed like a breeze, well… mostly.

Let’s rewind a bit – we signed up for this race a little over 2-months ago, I saw the price was about to increase and thought, why not? I easily convinced B and a little while later our registration was secured.  I took a difference approach to half training this year, and it seemed to work out, as I definitely got a few more mid-size runs than I had anticipated.  We ran 10-miles last weekend – so we were feeling as ready as we’d ever be going into the half on Sunday morning.
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The start time for the race was 7am, which was good since it was going to warm up quickly and be pretty toasty by 9am, which would be just about finish time.  We started out at a good pace and keep in sync with each other, slowed down a little around mile 5 but then were cruising and feeling really good after mile 6, moving into miles 9 and 10.  The last three miles, were the longest and of course were straight pavement with the sun beating down on our backs.  Thankfully the first 10-miles were relatively covered, which helped immensely, or we definitely would’ve been screwed! But those last three were giving us flashbacks of last year’s struggle, but we didn’t stop, we kept running and we crossed that finish line together! I finished 12th out of 32 in my age division, (woah!) and we had a respectable time of 2:08:51 – it was a good run.
Hofbrahaus Half - the bee life (2)
We were covered in sweat when we crossed the finish line, and were happy to see the end.  The after party at Hofbrauhaus was a great atmosphere and the definition of a race-after party. In addition to the awesome metal all runners also got a beer and a brat, it was the perfect treat!  Live music was playing in the biergarten and there was a Starbucks truck sharing samples of their new coffee smoothies made with almond milk, yum!  It was an accomplishing start to our Sunday and good to check off another half.  As B said; “First half of 2018 and first one as a married couple. My run or die chick.”  ❤

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Image Source: Finish Line photo from Hermes Road Racing Cleveland

 

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!

 

Mighty Niagara Half Recap

ICYMI (here and here) B and I were training for a half marathon! After 12-weeks of training and knocking off a majority of our long runs together we were feeling good going into the race. In addition we knew the race course was fairly flat, with little surprises, so we were ready to conquer it! Plus, it was a completely new race for us, it was on a Saturday, we were excited! We headed to the area Thursday to grab our race packets and made a quick stop to explore Niagara Falls, after all we were running the Mighty Niagara, so it only made sense to visit the mighty falls.

Fast Forward Race Morning: A race morning wouldn’t be a race morning if you didn’t have to wake up before the sun. With an hour-plus drive we had to leave by 6:30am to have plenty of time to figure out parking and get to the start line! With a start time at 9:15 – the sun was in full force, but luckily the first part of the course was nicely covered, and navigated us through the adorable town of Lewiston, we were off to a good start, and sticking to our pace.
Mighty Niagara Half Recap - the bee life
By the time we hit mile 4/5 we were in straight sun down a lonngg straight road. The mental game set in. By mile 7, I couldn’t handle the heat – I had to stop and take off my tank top and pour some water on my head, this would become the trend for the next 5-water stations.  By mile 8/9, the heat had really gotten to me, and I was in bad shape – but B stuck by my side. The remaining 5 miles were slow, hot and miserable, the mental and physical game was strong.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to finish a race before. I was defeated, mad at myself, mad at our time and overheated, but we finished and we finished together! My parents and Moz were waiting for us at the finish line, so it was good to see them and be done with the race.  And at the end of the day, we accomplished a difficult feat and didn’t give up!

The after race festivities were impressive and the scenery throughout the race was beautiful, running along the Niagara River was stunning! We would definitely run the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon again, but would hope for much cooler weather.  This being the first half in almost 3-years, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but I can’t say I’ve completely hung up my half-running sneaks just yet!

Fitness Friday 08.17

Woah! It’s the last Friday of August <wide-eyed emoji>

With it being the last week of August, that means we are quickly approaching half-marathon month, EEK! We are three-weeks away from breaking our 3-year break from halfs.  I must admit, I am a bit excited to conquer this feat again! Not to mention, a completely new race and course, so it’ll be a fun experience in a different city… and state.

Training has been going pretty well, I was in a good groove of running and bootcamp every other day, even in the summer heat.  I’ve had a few weeks where I haven’t run at all, except for my long run – and those have surprisingly gone well! I’m not stressing out, but I am also not letting myself slack off.

My favorite run so far was seven miles the weekend of my bridal shower – I was up super early, and my stomach grumbly, I wasn’t really feeling so hot, but it was going to be a long morning on top of a long day.  So I decided to go and give seven a try.  Since it was so early, on a Saturday it was quite and peaceful, and the stomach pains and weakness I was feeling eventually went away – I conquered those 7-miles, only stopping to pet a puppy.  It felt so good.  And since I still had time to kill after, I went to yoga for an hour.

Bootcamp has remained a constant these past 7-months, I’m stronger and I’m pushing myself to pick up the heavier weights – plus my trainer got me to write by fitness goal up on the board with the rest of the members, so now I can see it every day I go! And remember what the end goal is, beyond a healthy me.

Happy Training!

 

Fitness Friday 07.17

Happy Fitness Friday!

So I’m in a funny place with my workout routine, I feel motivated but at the same time am feeling discouraged – which both contradict each other.  Motivate is defined as a stimulate interest in or enthusiasm for doing something and discouraged is defined as having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened.  Complete opposites!
FF 07.17 - the bee life
I was thrown off my normal routine these past two weeks, so I understand that is probably where a lot of the discouraged feeling is coming from.  And I’m motivated knowing that half marathon training is just starting to pick up, and I’ve actually been running! I’ve been making progress with sticking with my workout routine and growing stronger, but admittedly I haven’t seen some of the progress I’d like to see with my weight.

I am also day three into no sweets for 30-days.  It’s going to be tough with a bridal shower and wedding thrown into the mix, but practicing self-control for 30-days is a personal thing I want to challenge myself with, and something I know I can do.  I just need a few extra jumpstarts to accompany the exercise.

How do you push yourself to new limits?  What is standing in the way of your goals?

Fitness Friday 06.17

Woah! We’re half way done with 2017, how have your fitness and health goals been treading so far?  I’ve stuck it out for the last 5-months, and I’m not stopping! It feels so good to have the routine of working out, me time to sweat it out and work on myself, to keep myself accountable.  Not to mention half-marathon training is officially starting next week, eek!
Fitness Friday 06.17 - the bee life
Let’s talk about this half marathon training… it’s been a hot second since I’ve trained for a half marathon, the mental preparation is just as hard as the physical. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it, but I am trying to have a positive outlook and approach to it. I want to do well and stay on top of training, I’m just not feeling very confident about it. My body can’t handle the running like it used too.

But I am also curious and excited, because I have the cross training part nailed down (first time ever in all my half trainings), and I feel like the half training will help me be more accountable for my in between days to get nearly a full week of working out in, #weddingdiet.

Needless to say, there is going to be many runs (especially the hot ones) when I want to stop, not only do I need to train my legs again, but I need to train my brain to get ready for this half!

Happy Training!

Fitness Friday 04.17

Happy Friday!

With this being the end of month three, and although my second assessment didn’t show any progress and was disappointing, I remained consistent to my last check-in.  Knowing all of that, I’m still feeling awesome and finally back into that workout groove that I’ve been working and longing for.  The lack of progress gave me a wake-up call that although consistent, I still have A LOT more work to do to keep reaching my goals.Fitness Friday 04.17 - the bee life
And, I’ve finally realized the sentiment of the above mantra.  It is so easy for us as humans to wish for things; wish for a new job, wish for a better body, wish for people to change, etc. and it’s so just as easy to sit and complain about those things and make excuses.  But it isn’t until you start working towards those things, that you’ll actually receive them.

A lot of the biggest success stories in our history and life are based off of hardwork and determination – that shouldn’t change no matter what you’re working towards, especially if it’s working to being and feeling your best. If we are not our best selves for us, we cannot be our best selves for others.

Here’s to more work!