Getting Yourself to Exercise in the Morning

Welcome to the Secret Blogger Club Blog Hop!

Before I get down to business, is anyone else as stoked as me about the two-day event of the Bachelor starting this Sunday? It’s ok if you don’t want to admit it, but I know I’m not alone in this like decade-long obsession. #HopelessRomantic

Anyway, I can’t think of a good segway to what I really wanna talk about so let’s just pretend I said something really clever and we all laugh as I transition…..

I’m a morning person through and through. I’ve never stayed out all night and when the clock chimes 9pm I start winding down. In college that was definitely not the “cool” thing to do, but I survived and am now the envy of all my co-workers.

Be to work before 6am? Sure, can do! But workout at 6am? not my favorite activity……

Morning Exercise

See I’m a Slow morning person. As in I like nice slow mornings and if that means they need to start before the rooster crows than I’m A-ok with it. I like to wake-up, scroll through Instagram, read the paper, relax as I got through 50 outfits. It’s awesome.

But see, I also only have time to exercise in the morning b/c I work until 7-8pm most nights, and w’ve already established I like to be in bed by 10, if not earlier and reading a book. So that leaves me with morning exercise. I’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive list of strategies I use to get up and movin first thing in the morning…..Maybe one or more of them willhelp you out as well.

Self- Pep Talks

– “Think about how great you’ll feel afterwards!” This one can usually do the trick alone. I always do feel great afterwards so I’m not even lying to myself! However, when the snows come a blowin and the 15 minute walk from my car to the gym is a bit too daunting I haveta resort to some dirtier tricks.

– “You wanna fit into that swimsuit?? You know, that swimsuit you never wear anyway b/c you have irrational fear of the water? Yea that one!” I really do hate the water so rarely will you find me in a swimsuit. However that early in the morning my brain forgets this fact and I get out of bed.

Bribery

– “If you go to 2 spin classes this week you go to Dunk’s! Remember how much you love Dunks?” Not the best option since rewarding yourself with food is kinda a no-no, but it’s effective nonetheless. Plus I always treat myself to a vanilla chai tea latte and everyone knows those calories don’t count (big lie)

– “Pizza” SImple, yet highly effective

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

– “Ok self, if you don’t get to spin class this morning you can’t watch the latest episode of the Bachelor!!!!” No lie, this is what got me up Tuesday morning this week. I usually watch it with a friend the night of, but we had to cancel and you can’t let an episode of the Bachelor just sit around unwatched….

[Tweet “Need some help exercising in the morning? Here’s some tips! #fitness #sweatpinnk”]

What about you? What are some ways you get yourself to exercise? (besides you’re an awesome superwoman who needs no motivation in which case we can’t be friends….Wait no! Come back! I need friends!!)

Don’t forget to linkup with the Secret Blogger Club below!

Sig

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Winter Came to Kentucky

Happy Monday Folks, and boy what a Monday it is!

We got snow over the weekend here in Kentucky and I couldn’t be happier 😀

It’s taken me a long time to appreciate the snow. I used to be a Debbie Downer like everyone else when the white flakes started a’comin down. But as I’ve gotten older (and learned to drive in it better) I’ve realized how much I really do love it.

I mean look at that gorgeous sky post snow!

Kentucky Winter

I had to work Saturday morning so I got up extra early to take advantage of the fresh snow sans foot prints, and boy it did Not disappoint!

I haveta preface this next photo however, b/c it looks like I’m endangering everyone on the road and while that’s still a viable argument I realize, the light turned green right as I snapped the photo. God gave me enough brains to know to not have my phone out while actually driving. I even let the man across the street turn in front of me before I gently pressed the gas to accelerate at a safe speed…Good Samaritan status right there….

Kentucky Winter

Major props to the UK grounds crew for keeping the sidewalks salted even on a weekend. Of course there was some big ROTC gun flinging contest involving rival schools so I’m sure that’s the reason and not me working the gym. Either way I thank you.

Kentucky Winter4

Now this next guy was a interesting find…..I’m assuming it represents some sort of tender embrace for incoming students since it’s right by the freshman dorms. However, I’m not too sure how comforting a cold steel hug would be so I’m not entirely sure. On second thought it kinda looks like it’s doing the Macarena!

Kentucky Snow

Sunday was perhaps even more fun since I didn’t have to work. Some friend and I got together for some yoga. We’ve all been practicing out inversions so that was the task at hand. I finally nailed crow pose but side crow still eludes me. Headstands still scare me but I got into one a few times before I chickened out.

Then b/c we’re girls and taking pictures is life, we headed outside to have some fun. The result was pretty epic….

Snow Yoga

Snow Yoga

Snow Yoga2

How beautiful is my friend Natalie!! She’s clearly better then me as the next photo can attest, but that’s not what yoga is about people. I really love how the reflection from the creek turned out. I felt all artistic and cool taking these photos 😀

Snow Yoga

Balance and flexibility have never been my “thing” which is one reason yoga is so difficult for me. But I love it and even if I do think about my to-do list or what I’m gonna eat for lunch instead of clearing my mind, I still feel a sense of calm and peace. Plus a real badass when I land an awesome pose!

How was your weekend? Any snow for you?

 

Sig

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Linkin up with Weekending & MIMM

5 Things to Know About Spin Class

Happy Hump Day Friends!

I was gonna do another wedding post, but so many people were confused I was the one who quite suddenly got hitched that I decided to space them out by a few days. Now that my brother and his wife are happily married, my brand new sister is on the prowl to make sure I get my turn. That’s what sisters are for right? lol

Now it’s time to make a huge jump back in time though. I had so many wonderful comments of congrats after I bragged about finally hittin my weight goal a month or so ago. But I also got quite a few questions about what i did to finally break through that plateau.

Honest answer? Lots of stuff. But more specifically, I started spinning. With this being right around the time people are making and still planning on sticking to their resolutions all year, I thought I’d make it a bit easier to jump at least one of those hurdles.

Spin

1. Arrive early. Seriously just do it. Not only can scope out the room and claim your perfect bike but this is also the time to ask the instructor to help you adjust your bike. Hint: know where the fans are. Nothing is worse then dying of sweat and receiving zero mercy from the fans because you’re too far away or heaven forbid someone is blocking your salvation.

2. Have the instructor adjust your bike. I know I touched on this above but this is huge. A hour on an ill-fitting bike does not a happy bum make. And if you’re gonna continue to spin, you want a happy bum. Although don’t be discouraged when for the first few times your who-ha gets sore, it goes away.

[Tweet “5 things to know before you go to your first spin class”]

3. Bring a towel and water. You may be one of the lucky ones who only glistens or glitters when they workout, but for the rest of the real world you’re gonna sweat your touche off in this class and a towel will be a welcome companion. Not to mention water, which will willingly sacrifice their whole self to fortify you through some pretty brutal climbs.

4. Wear tights. Again, maybe you have perfectly toned legs with thighs that don’t rub together, but for all you normal people, you’ll want tights to reduce friction. No one wants to start a fire in the middle of class. Also you’re a biker now, and cool bikers where tights (or biker shorts for the truly inclined)

5. Don’t wear white. I’ve only ever been to one spinning studio so this could be an isolated case, but my studio turns the lights down/out and only has a few black-lights illuminating the place. Hence the no white shirt unless you wanna be a blinding beacon of annoyance to everyone around you. This also plays into getting to class early so you don’t get stuck on a bike directly under the black-light.

Hopefully that little intro to spinning is helpful to those who have never been. I truly do credit most of my success to those little stationary, but torturous bikes.

Have any of your tried spin class? What’re your thoughts?

Also does anyone wanna come spin with me? I have no spin friends 😦 Boo…

Also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a hand-knit scarf! You only have a few more days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sig

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A Little Goodbye…..

Today we’re gonna have a bit of a celebration….

Well three celebrations because it is Friday and I actually showed up here twice this week 😀

The second one comes in the form of a very narcissistic expression of my pride in myself and my accomplishment of late. Feel free to cheer right alongside me but I can promise my shouts of joy will be the loudest.

GoodbyeFat

I finally broke through my plateau and hit the 150’s! I haven’t seen that number since high school 😀

I know it’s not all about the numbers and all that jazz, but seriously this is too awesome Not to be excited about. I carry all my extra weight in my booty and while no one else may notice it (I’m kinda tall) I do. I’ve been hoverin right bwtn the 160-70 range for the past little bit since my “no-running” edict was passed down. (admittedly I kept running off and on for another year give or take a bit)

Don’t worry boys (do boys read this?…that’s weird), there’s still plenty of ba-donk back there. It’s just now a less jiggly, more toned ba-donk. If you’re in to that sort of thing…

Anyway, I don’t tell you this to get high fives or any “damn girl you look good’s” though I won’t be rude and turn them down. I  simply wanted to pay homage to this dark passenger of mine (Dexter?), so I wrote my fat a little letter to commemorate the good times we had together.

This is totally a braggy photo.... #noshame

This is totally a braggy photo…. #noshame

Farewell Fat,

It’s been a long road. Your 5 or so years may have been cut short and while no one will shed a single tear for you, you’ve been a faithful companion. We spent many a night together, watching Netflix, indulging in sweet treats, and being single (though I will admit this wasn’t entirely your fault). Despite your warming capabilities and milkshake bringing abilities, I say goodbye…..

You’ve been with me through thick, but it’s time for a little thin. Please don’t haunt me (or anyone for that matter, just be gone jeez) but I promise to remember you. I’ll think of you fondly as I decimate your friends and family. I do this out of love……for myself, but you get the picture….

So be safe Fat and take care. Mostly take care to never come back.

RIP

Obviously life is a grand journey of ups and downs, but today I’m celebrating an Up! I’ll clue y’all in to how I finally achieved my goals in a later post. Because if you thought I could actually be serious for more then one post you’ve come to the wrong place…

Who wants to celebrate the small victories with me today?

What’s one of your most recent victories?

[Tweet “Do you have a small victory to celebrate? Come share it and be proud 😀 http://buff.ly/1sIsZU2”]Sig

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Linkin up with Little Friday

Fourth of July Recipe Round-up

Happy Wednesday Lovelies!

I’m having a bout of indecisiveness….My Momma taught me never to show up to a party empty-handed (a rule JB is always trying to get me to break). But alas, I can’t decide what to bring this weekend…

This is where Pinterest usually steps in and saves the day. All it’s done this time is suck me into it’s deep vortex of time-wasting and food porn photos…le sigh, my life is so hard… Here are a few of the things I’m debating between. You’ll notice a distinct pattern of super easy mostly non-time intensive easy as pie (but not a real pie) kind of options. Now I just need y’all to pick one for me to actually put together, please and thank you…Aaaaaand go!

4thJulyRecipes

>>This Red, white, and blue fruit salad (b/c fruit) from Winning Without Gluten

>>These Rice Krispie Treats (b/c duh) from Lil’ Luna

>>Patriotic Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bark (b/c cookie dough) from Crazy for Crust

>>Red, white, and blue fruit skewers (b/c minimal work) from Gina’s Skinny Recipes

>>Firecracker Sugar Cookies (b/c cookies) from Momdot

>>American Flag Toast (b/c I’m givin up) from Taste and Tell

Time to cast your votes or share your own recipe! As you can see my criteria for wanting to make something is pretty minimal so really the sky is the limit…Just not the actual sky. Let’s shoot more for the tallest-building-in-a-rural-farming-town-in-the-midwest kind of height. Aka low, my abilities are probably even lower then that 😉

I hope everyone has some rockin plans to celebrate this weekend. Or at the very least has the day off. Also that you’re planning on joining me, Suzan, and (officially) Kristen for the Secret Blogger Club on Monday! Need a reminder? Send me your email and I’ll add you to the reminder list.

Blonder Side of Life

Sig

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Linkin up with Liz

Why I’ll Never Eat Another Quest Bar

Happy Confession Day everyone.

I’ve debated for about almost a week now if I should publish this post. I’m all about honesty here and would never dream of steering y’all wrong but as with anything that goes against the grain it can be a bit scary to actually put a differing view out there. I hope I’m wrong, so let’s get right to it….

I feel as though a disclaimer is needed however. I am NOT telling you what to do. I’m giving MY OPINION and telling you what I’m going to do. I want you to make up your own mind and not just jump on a band wagon without really knowing where that wagon may be leading you…

QuestBarsDontEat

So Quest Bars. They’re all the rage right now in the fitness/weight loss/healthy eating sphere right now. Can I point something out though? They’re all the rage with regular ppl, not actual professionals in these fields. If that doesn’t throw up a red flag for you right off then go ahead and stop reading this right now b/c you’re only gonna get angrier with me….

……………….

For those still with me, I’ve got several friends that are Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians so I ask them all my food related questions when they arise. For some reason Quest Bars never made the list though. It wasn’t until I actually got my first box of Quest Bars that one such friend ironically posted about them to her business Facebook Page (Real Nutrition LLC). It’s no surprise she wasn’t a fan…She also linked to this article which anyone who eats or has been thinking of eating Quest bars needs to read….

The thing I really want to point out is where they get their protein from. A main ingredient in all the bars is isisomalto-oligosaccharides…I can’t even say that. Can you? Remember that rule that foods good for you contain only ingredients you can pronounce? I’m no protein expert but this food rule has never steered me wrong, it seems to be conveniently forgotten by Quest Bar enthusiasts though. (yes I know it can be found naturally in fermented foods, but the Quest folks get theirs by manufacturing them in a factory..not naturally)

Now let’s get down to my personal experience. Not one to blindly follow anyone (and you shouldn’t either), I still wanted to see what all the rage was, so I tried a few of the more popular flavors……Um, first of all, these don’t even look, feel, or Taste like real food (sounds like uber processing was involved to me). It was like eating silly putty (granted much better flavored putty but you get my drift.) Yuck. Even if these bars really were the manna from fitness heaven that many claim, I wouldn’t eat them.

Now I know I’ll be labeled a “hater” as soon as I click publish on this baby, so if you remember just One thing from this post it’s the following…..

 DO NOT blindly follow ANY fitness or nutrition trend!

Do your research on whatever it may be and then make you decision whichever way that may be.  I’m not telling you to eat or not eat these bars. I won’t eat them every again, but I mainly urge y’all to do your research as well as be aware as to who is actually pushing something on you.

Lastly, b/c I am a fitness (and future health and wellness) professional, I don’t think people even need a protein bar to lose weight or stay fit. The less wrappers on your food the better.

Y’all ever seen this graphic?

FoodGoodFoodBad

In case you’re wondering, Quest bars would be in the second category with candy, soda, and chips….just sayin….

***Steps off soap-box***

Bring on the hate…but seriously I’d like to hear your opinion. I feel like I’m the only one to hate these bars.

Sig

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Linkin up with Kathy

Back to Basics: Strength Training

Welcome to Monday all you weekenders! I just redid my About page if y’all could go take a peek and let me know what ya think.

I had a great Father’s Day weekend, even though I didn’t get to see my Padre. You can read about how cool he is here though.

Now, as y’all know my favorite form of exercise is runnin. It’s also no secret that I’ve had to scale back my running (aka take a break for awhile on Dr’s orders) these past few months post Bluegrass Half. Don’t worry I’ll still be out there hitting the trails hiking and walking when I have time, BUT I can’t be letting my exercise routine slack just b/c I’m not running anymore. That’s why I’m going back to the basics in a new series I’ll be writing for y’all. (bout time I put my degree to use on here right)

back to backs strength training

I might make other people work out for a living but that doesn’t mean I love it myself. I’ve talked before that I’d much rather be outside than indoors at the gym. The thing I’ve found that works for me though, is following other people’s workout plans. Of course I can design my own (and I’ll be writing some for y’all), but when it comes to my own workouts I like to zone out on someone else’s hard work for a change. Go to my happy place and let them do all the thinking.

Thanks to my Girl at B Loved Boston, I found the Bikini Series videos. They might only be 10-12 min long but you’ll be feeling it trust me. I did the arms workout after B posted it, then proceeded to find their abs, inner/outer thighs, and booty videos…I was drenched in sweat by the end (also having no AC probably aided in that as well).

Above is the inner and outer thigh video. Since my second knee surgery and my new run/walk style cardio, my legs have lost a lot of tone b/c I can no longer lunge or deep squat. No excuses though, it’s just a matter of getting creative. Even in the video when they’re doing plie squats with a leg raise, I just don’t go as deep as the video to maintain a pain-free workout. Simple!

you get stronger

I still feel the burn. Who cares what the muscle-head at the gym says, it’s not cheating (so there 😛 ). And that goes for anyone! No matter your exercise routine for the day, it’s ok to ease up a bit when it gets too much or stop if it’s painful. (keep in mind there IS a difference between hard painful and something’s wrong painful. I suggest pushing through the first one) Do your best and keep your mind right and you can’t go wrong!

So keep your eyes peeled for my new series Back to Basics. I’ll be writing some easy at home workout plans to target certain muscle groups for y’all.

Oh did I mention I get bored easily? Anyone else have some good strength training videos they use?

Sig

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