Happy last Friday of February, aka as the shortest and longest month of the year! Did you start the year off with grandiose fitness plans and then just complete fall flat, like me? I’m here to keep myself accountable and be honest with my readers that I have let my physical health continue fall to the wayside – but I’m going to share with you an inside secret that has helped me flip that around and might be able to help you too.
What is it you might ask? Planning!
It may seem pretty obvious — but there is a whole lot of planning that needs to happen in order to make your goals a reality, whether they’re fitness, life or work related! The first step of planning is outlining those goals, but the next step is how are you going to accomplish them? This is where it can include multiple phases of planning and where my planning fell short.
Here is where my planning fell short in accomplishing my fitness goals — I told myself, “I want to workout tomorrow” — but what I didn’t plan was what workout I was going to do. Was it going to be a run? Was the weather good enough for a run? Was it going to be a yoga class? A circuit workout? I quickly realized, I needed to have that actual workout planned and figured out going into my workout day. This allowed me to look for a workout ahead of time that was attainable, whether I had the proper equipment and how long I needed to plan for.
Since I started doing this – which sadly hasn’t been long – I have been 3 for 6 in my workout days, accomplishing workouts and have a lot of sore, achey muscles! But I know continuing to plan, will only help keep me consistent, on track and one step closer to accomplishing my fitness goals.
News flash! There are less than 3-months left of 2020. Mostly that is a good thing, because this year has mostly been a disaster — but if you’ve been working towards any goals, it’s go time, to crank that butt in gear to check off every single one of those goals! I just took a peak at my 2020 goals, and per usual, my fitness goals are always a constant roller coaster – and this year hasn’t been any different. But there is one goal, I am bound and determined to check off this year.
The one fitness goal, I’ve been really focused on is getting six races in — which pre-pandemic was going to be a piece of cake, but all of our races have been postponed, rescheduled or turned virtual. So with a few races, JUST NOW turning virtual — our Q4 of running is quickly becoming jammed packed. As of today, two runs have been completed and two runs are queued up. Which means, I need to still sign-up for two more and just plan for virtual. I was really hoping to have a half-marathon included in my six runs, but our 10-miler will just have to do.
This past month I just finished my second race, which happened to also be our first virtual race! Have you run a virtual race yet? There were a lot of things I liked about running a virtual race, like we could plan and run on our schedule – pick your own location/route – we got the race packet and medal at the same time! Not to mention, this race was benefitting a organization that is near and dear to us, so that made it extra special. Some things I missed from a traditional race, was the crowd and team mentality — you sort of get amped up to run a bit faster than you might if it’s just yourself running through the park. We did make sure that we woke up early to run our race, because what would race day be without an early morning wake up call?
As I mentioned and you may see — our virtual run was a quick 5k, which helped raise money to support Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, which provides financial assistance to City Dogs is the adoption division of Cleveland Animal Care and Control which is an open intake facility – meaning they don’t turn dogs away. This nonprofit steps in and provides additional resources to support medical expenses like HW+, torn AC surgery, general enrichment and training. B and I also happen to volunteer for City Dogs and walk dogs – so we love this organization a little extra – but more on that, another day!
So as I work my way towards finishing 6 races, I encourage you to continue to work towards your fitness goal(s) to make a small part of your year a success!
It’s the first Friday of 2020 and what better way to kickoff the New Year than planning out your 2020 fitness goals. If you read my last Fitness Friday of 2019, you saw I graded my 2019 fitness goals, and how well I did them — or not! I feel like I really bounced back at the end of this past year coming off a big middle hurdle and without a big wedding coming up, or other major motivations, my primary fitness goal is to not only maintain, but just feel good and happy with myself.
I’m going to be a little boring, but a lot of my fitness goals are going to be the same as last year. Why? Because they’re what works for my routine, what my body needs, and also what I enjoy doing. Although I’m going to tweak a few, include a few more specifics and guidelines to help make these more attainable this year!
Build and Maintain My Core Strength. My back injury was definitely a wake up call to how I not only need to build my core strength but I also need to maintain it. I learned so much about how different parts of my body help or overwork themselves to makeup up incompetencies in other areas. So I’m going to start focusing on integrating my PT exercises in 3X a week.
Bootcamp 3X a Week. This works for me. Waking up and getting my workouts in before I head into the office, ensure I get my workouts done and checked off for the week. Even getting all three done within the work week opens Saturday’s up for volunteering, a run, or just social time with friends!
Finish 6 Runs in 2020. Usually B and I are able to get a few runs in each year, this past year we only did one! So I’m putting a number to it, to plan better and have a goal. I’ve already signed up for two races, one is tomorrow, and looking forward to getting a few more in the books throughout the year.
Healthy Food Balance. I generally try to eat less carbs, so that is something that isn’t going to really change. But I want to continue to maintain a healthy balance of less snacking, mixed in intermittent fasting, and those delicious cheat days. Maintaining food balance, while not depriving yourself is key to loving yourself and not sacrificing with fad diets.
Last month, I was sharing a few fears of why I’d been procrastinating getting back into a workout routine and back to my bootcamp classes – my excuse? Fear. And I said in my last post that come September 2nd, I was going to get back in the game. Well, I was two days off – but I was back on September 4th and have been able to slowly and steadily get back into a groove (for the most part) with my workout routine.
Not only was I afraid to get back into a routine because of hurting my back again – but I was also a little afraid at how sore I would be and how much I’d lost since being off for four whole months! But, luckily my first workout back was a good one, and my coach was super helpful and cognizant of workout modifications and making sure I wasn’t doing anything that would put unneeded pressure on my back and compromise it’s health again.
In August I only had three tracked workouts and they were a few runs – and this month so far as of this morning I have seven tracked workouts! Hell yeah! Last week was a bit of a wild card, so I didn’t get in everything I wanted too, but this week I’ve made sure I’ve gotten back on track after, starting my first week strong with three workouts. But, I’ve faced my fears and I’m taking one workout at a time and it feels so good to be back.
I shared how it’s taken a bit of time and understanding that getting back into a routine slowly has been the name of the game in the healing process, while also remembering to continue to strengthen my back and core. Which is something, I need to continue focusing on to help supplement my fitness routine.
It’s been all about listening to my body, understanding that my routine is not going to be perfect while also keeping the eye on the prize and focusing on my fitness goals, and being my best me!
It’s June! Which means it’s our half-way point in the year where we can check in on our fitness goals, reassess if we need too and prioritize our focus.
Normally about this time of the year, B and I are gearing up to start training for a half marathon. Unfortunately for us, we have yet to be registered for our next half. Timing and dates with a few of the races we want to do aren’t lining up with other plans, so we are still on the hunt for a half to run this year! But working out has taken a bit of a halt for me recently…
I’ve been down and out from the workout department that’s why I’ve been focusing more on my food because that is the one thing I can control at this moment. I’ve shared that I was diagnosed with chronic back pain when I was 16 – so I’ve always lived with back pain and restrictions, well right after our 10-miler, I grouted our bathroom shower and effed up my back! Perhaps the worst it’s been ever, the entire month of May I was out for the count, and struggling through painful everyday interactions. Resulting in a doctor visit, and now following up with physical therapy – I am luckily feeling better with time, but reluctant to get back into the workout game.
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.
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.
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.
Being 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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
What you eat is a huge part of your fitness and how successful you are… or aren’t. Maintaining a good, balanced diet will not only help you flourish with your workouts and overall goals but will also come in huge when your workouts aren’t happening as much as you’d like. So while you might not be hitting the pavement or working up a sweat as much as you’d like to be, remember these things;
Always have breakfast – this will help you from snacking or overeating at other meals throughout the day.
Drink water – drinking water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated and is also tied to a number of other benefits including skin health, maintaining calories, and even energizes muscles!
Eat greens – But be careful, overloading your salads with extra goodies and cheese and quickly make this not healthy! Even watch that salad dressing. Eating greens have lasting health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer while fueling your body.
Remember Protein – Fish, Chicken, Avocados, those are the good proteins that contain the good fats for your body, make sure to maintain balance when eating these!
Get to the grocery store – This will help you pick the good foods while also saving you from those last minute pizza orders when the fridge and cupboards are empty! Stock up on frozen foods too; it will save you in the long run.
Limit lunches/dinners out – Hopefully if you’ve grocery shopped your house should be stocked, now just pack a lunch! The less we eat out, the more control we have over how our food is prepared and what we’re knowingly putting in our bodies.
Eating crap tastes good in the moment, but will have bad effects not only overall but on that workout you’re trying to accomplish. It’s good to maintain balance and enjoy the good with the bad, but if you’re not counteracting the bad with exercise and other balanced meals, the cons will ultimately outweigh the pros.
Since I have been killing it at boot camp the last four weeks, I was reminded just how much I love group classes and why it’s easier to have success when you surround yourself with others who have similar goals, work ethic and drive like you do.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be taking a group class in order to maximize your workouts.
Healthy Competition. Whether you’re spinning on a bike or making the rounds in a circuit, that person next to you, whether you know them or not will push you. You don’t want to slack off when the person next to you is killing it. It’s human nature to want to compete and rise to the occasion, even if it’s in your head.
Similar Lifestyles. One thing is for sure, you and your classmates have something in common, you show up to class. Surrounding yourself with like minded people makes you stronger.
Routine. After a few classes you’ll know generally what to expect and who to expect, easing your nerves or hesitation of getting your workout in, and allowing you to focus more on the workout and less about everything else
You’re In It Together. Everyone will be doing the same workout, maybe a few modifications here and there, but everyone is equal and working through the same pain, this builds a level of comradery and trust.
New Friendships. Class after class, and week after week you might find that you’re chatting with the same group of people and make a new friend that you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Maybe you hang out, outside of class, maybe not but at least you have someone to work with and continue to motivate you.
If you’ve ever gone to a group class you know what I am talking about. Surrounding yourself with positive vibes and motivated people, help make you stronger mentally and physically. I didn’t truly realize how much I missed it, until I was back into it.