All About That Shake

One of the main tenants of barre is about the shake. I happen to shake a whole heck of a lot.

At first I thought that my shaking was related to the fact that I was new to class and was still getting the hang of things. But now, after almost two months of going to barre, I am still shaking, and some days the shaking happens more than others.

I started reading up on what the shake was all about, and according to this interesting article, it happens because the muscle is exhausted. I lead an extremely active lifestyle outside of barre and routinely rack up between 10,000 – 20,000 steps a day. So some days my legs are exhausted heading into barre and thus why they shake earlier on in the movements.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed by the shaking but I know that it means my muscles are growing and getting stronger. I am glad that I stuck with barre and look forward to the benefits that it gives me as I prepare to signup for another race.

Seeing Progress

Lately I have been able to see progress in my arms, and it is the best feeling! All of the barre classes and additional lifting workouts seem to be making a difference and I couldn’t be happier.

I have always wanted toned arms. I used to hate the way that my arms looked in pictures and I always craved that toned look. It has taken a lot of hard work to finally get those muscles to peek out and it makes me feel more confident. It also makes me want to keep working until they look even more toned and stronger.

Progress definitely makes the journey feel easier, but it is still hard to stick to clean eating and a solid workout routine outside of my normal running workouts. I have started running less and attending more barre classes which has given me results and made me feel pretty great too.

I still love running and still incorporate it into my routine since it is such a great release for me, but I don’t let it control my life anymore. This morning I was exhausted when I woke up, and I really didn’t want to get out of bed. If I didn’t have a barre class scheduled, then I guarantee I would have slept in and skipped a workout that morning. Instead I dragged myself out of bed and went to barre and it was a total kick-ass workout. I was drenched at the end and the challenge was a great way to start the day.

I want to keep working towards progress because it makes me feel good, but I also want to focus on loving life and living my life with a health balance of progress and actively living my life. I want my life to be focused on more than just gains and pounds, I want it to be focused on living and loving life.

Back At It

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After a fun vacation filled with overindulging and lots of flight delays, I am back home and happy to be back in my routine. This week I am focusing on eating well after a couple weeks of poor food choices. I want to feel great like I did not too long ago, and I know that good food choices, fitness, and self care is the key to that.

Last night after a long day of traveling, I got home and went to the grocery store so that my fridge would be full of healthy foods this week and I would have no excuses to eat poorly. I got back from the store at 8 p.m. and decided to bust out my pots and pans and get to food prepping.

I prepped all my breakfasts and lunches for the week as well as some dinner options that included roasted zucchini, turkey burger meat sauce, and spaghetti squash. Now I have delicious options locked and loaded for the week, and I have amazing fruits and veggies to snack on.

This morning I got up early and went for a run and then for a quick lift session at the gym. Then I made a big breakfast complete with gluten free toast, two eggs over easy, broccoli, and lots of hot sauce (photo above) and am now headed off to have a great day with my little sister from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Spending time with her always reminds me of what is most important and brings me back to having fun like a kid again!

What are you doing to ensure a great week?

Working Out Works Wonders

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As many of you know, I have been taking barre classes three times a week to switch up my fitness routine and so far I am loving it. They have all been extremely varied and very challenging which I love. I am sore most days and can already feel changes in my arms and legs.

But yesterday I got to get back to my one true love, running. Here in Boston it was a whopping 96 degrees yesterday and extremely humid so I took my run inside to a treadmill at the gym, and much to my surprise I loved it! It felt so good to just focus on running and to not be bothered by any of the cold symptoms that were wrecking my runs last week. A refreshing workout is what I needed to turn my wonky, off-schedule day around and it put me in a great mood to end off Tuesday.

For me, running has always been refreshing. It recharges my heart and my soul. I will admit that the runner’s high has a great deal to do with it, but the way I feel during and after a run makes me feel so strong and resilient and I absolutely love it.

What workouts do you do that make you feel like that? I have tried a lot of different workouts and running is the one that I always go back to. I like that you can start it at anytime and all you really need are a pair of sneakers (preferably a bumping playlist as well).

Today’s Workout: Running while sick

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Hello! I want to start more consistently sharing my workouts with you all so that you can get a better idea of what I do. I will also start sharing more of my meals and eating habits with you as well.

This morning I woke up feeling terrible. I have either a bad cold or some severe allergies and coughing kept me up all night. I had to call out of a work event for my part-time job because I was feeling so poorly.

Even though I wasn’t feeling great, I knew that I needed to get up and sweat since I didn’t get a chance to workout the past two days. I laced up my sneakers and popped outside for a run. The weather today in the Boston area is gorgeous. The sun on my face and the warm wind blowing through my hair felt magnificent and announced summer’s arrive to Boston. On the weekends I usually have more time to run so I often go on longer runs. I was hoping to log five or six today since I was off my schedule the past two days. Unfortunately my cold really held me back.

I had to stop during my run multiple times to blow my nose and my throat was so dry. I am glad that I went out and sweat but I definitely needed to scale back from the mileage I wanted to run. I ended up logging 3.8 miles which I am pleased with and now for the rest of the day I will focus on drinking lots of water and taking care of my sick body.

I refueled with two eggs over easy and brussel sprouts which I food prepped last week by roasting them in the over. Absolutely delicious and nutritious too!

A few facts about me as a runner:

  1. A 3-6 mile run is my sweet spot. That length is my favorite and allows me to enjoy my runs.
  2. I run between a 7:58 and 8:15 mile depending on the day. Some days it is closer to 8:30 or 8:45.
  3. I prefer running in the morning but try to squeeze in a run whenever I can if I am short on time.

Share your running stats and favorites in the comments!

Three Reasons to Try a New Fitness Class

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It seems that for once I have taken my own advice and jumped head first into trying out new workouts.

Yesterday morning I tried a boot camp workout at my gym. I belong to the Boston Sports Club in Medford, MA, and while I often find the gym overcrowded, the staff not very friendly, and the overall experience not great, I have belonged for two years. After trying a barre class recently (see my post Get me to the barre!) I decided to give the classes at my gym a try. Perhaps these classes were the secret to improving my less-than-impressive gym experience.

In December of last year, before I turned 23, I decided to try some fitness classes at my gym, and for the most part I liked it. I tried a few spinning classes and a kickboxing class. I enjoyed the spinning but I was not nearly coordinated enough to be caught dead in a kickboxing class. In fact, I spent most of the class laughing at myself as did the woman next to me.

Even with these experiences behind me, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the boot camp class. I did a little research the night before and found that the class was likely to be an intense, military-style workout. I love intensity but I had really enjoyed the relaxed experience of barre class, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this class.

I woke up bright and early, ate a quick slice of toast with peanut butter and headed to class. My first reaction was that the class was extremely crowded and that the instructor was not super helpful. I thought it was a good workout and that the people in the class were very friendly and helpful, but I’m not sure if I would go regularly. I think I could have designed that workout myself and done it in a park near my house.

However, for me, at this stage in my fit journey, trying new things is essential. My body is so used to running that it will never change or improve unless I try new things. Running is my constant, my comfort, my happy place, but it will not provide me with the toned arms I crave, or with a more fit look. Breaking out of my comfort zone is the only way I will be able to get the look, feel, and overall health that I am searching for.

Here are three reasons why you should try a new class:

  1. Get out of your current workout rut – If you are feeling bored with your workouts, then switch it up!
  2. You have plateaued – Have your fitness or weight loss goals plateaued? Your body might be so used to your workout that it needs a change to start heading towards those goals again.
  3. Meet new, like-minded people – Finding fit friends will help you stick with workouts and make working out more enjoyable.

If you feel stuck in a rut, or feel like your progress has stalled, then checkout a new fitness class. Many studios offer your first class for free, which is a great way to try out new things and shake-up your fitness routine. Today I am feeling a little sore and a lot happy that I tried something new. I am also endlessly grateful to the kind folks in the class who showed me what to do and made me feel relaxed instead of anxious.

Get me to the Barre!

 

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This morning I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and attended a barre class. I found a studio that was just a short walk from my house and dove in after finding out that I could try a class for free.

I was very nervous. I don’t really like to foray outside of running because for one, I like running and I am good at it. I don’t like to do things I am not good at (I know how bad that is, it is not my best quality by far), and because in group classes I often compare myself to others. Comparing myself to others has led to a lot of disappointment, sadness, and anger towards myself in the past so I try to steer clear of those situations. But I wanted to try something new and face my fear head on, really push myself out of my comfort zone so I booked the class last night and got up bright and early to go.

The class took place at The Energy Barre in Medford, MA. The studio is inside of a spa and the calming scents of essential oils really helped my nerves as I walked in. When I entered the class I was nervous, but excited to try something new.

I did compare myself to the girls in the class. They were extremely fit, muscular, and they all looked gorgeous at six a.m., I cannot say the same for myself. I had bedhead and I sweat like a pig during any workout so I knew I was in for a treat. I also made the mistake of being in the front of the class because I didn’t know the front from the back. But it was actually really helpful because I was able to look right at the instructor and get a better sense of what I should be doing.

Long story short, the class was hard, but super fun! I enjoyed the exercises, the environment, and the instructor. Barre was unlike anything I’d ever done before and I really loved it. It put me in a great mood for the day and I felt so recharged and happy at the end of the class.

My muscles were shivering and quaking throughout the class, but I enjoyed the challenge. It was a great strength workout that had me sweating, breathing heavy, and begging for the sets to end but during my walk home I realized that I couldn’t wait to go back.

I really encourage you to go out and try new things. I was nervous about trying barre because of the perception of the people who do it. I am not long and lean. I have a big booty, a belly, and curves that won’t quit. It made me feel good to get in the studio and change my habits and push away the nagging fears I get during group classes that I am not good enough. I have wanted to take a barre class for ages and I resisted because I was afraid. Don’t let fear or insecurities hold you back, just go out and live!

*The pic at the top is a sweaty me after an amazing class! It doesn’t look like it but I had fun.