Friday, March 28, 2014

Fit Mama Friday: I Went to a Barre Class...

I decided to do a barre class. And I didn't die! Yay me!
What is barre class? Oh, I'm so glad you asked :) Barre has principles of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. It's a 55-minute, non-stop, core workout. It was SO challenging, but SO fun! It was honestly the hardest workout I've ever attempted.
Now, I did some research on barre before I decided to take the leap and go. Everything I read said it would be hard, but fun. And to be honest, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. I am just SO out of shape.
When I walked into the studio, I was greeted by the instructor. She was very polite and personable. She signed me in and had me sign a waiver. I told her how nervous I was, and she was very reassuring. She did warn me that everyone (no matter how many classes they've done) gets "the shakes" (which I had read about in my research) and to not be alarmed. It just means that your muscles are really getting a workout. She pointed me to the cubbies where I could stow my stuff. She got me a mat, a small ball, a set of hand weights, and two resistance bands.
The workout itself is insanely intense and I had to modify a lot of the exercises and rest quite a bit. And let me tell you, those shakes are no joke! I got them in spades, and by the end of the session, my muscles felt like jello.
Before this barre session, I had never done a class-style workout. I had always just worked out with DVD's. Mostly, I had avoided classes because of intimidation and fear. I've always been afraid of being "the big girl" in the class (which I definitely was in this case!). But eventually, we all have to face our fears if we want to get anywhere. Today, I did just that. All the girls in the class (probably none larger than a size 10) were very nice and encouraging. And the instructor was very helpful, correcting my form and giving me pointers on how to modify. She knew I was struggling, but still wanted me to enjoy the session and get a lot out of it. She was so great!
So what's the verdict? I absolutely LOVED it. I will definitely go back. I just wish the studio was closer to home. It's about an hour away from the house. But, it's only about 15 minutes away from school, so I could definitely see me going on the days that I have class. I don't think I'd make it my only workout, but I would put it with running and pilates for a well-rounded workout routine.
But I will say this: Boy am I going to be sore tomorrow! Where's my Aleve?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fit Mama Friday, Midweek Update

I'm half way through my first week back on track and I've discovered a few things. One, I HAVE GOT to update my playlist. There is nothing like really hitting your stride and having Adele join the party and kill your "run buzz". I still love ya, girl, but you've got no place on my playlist... Except for maybe "Set Fire to the Rain". Two, hydration is HUGE. My last two runs have been hindered by cramps. Getting enough water is something I've always struggled with, but now it's apparent that I must make it a priority if I really want to get the most out of my runs. Three, I seem to have more energy and focus when exercise is one of the first things on my to-do list for the day. The energy thing is a given, since I have two little energy-suckers that I chase around on a daily basis. While I do enjoy running in the evenings to help clear my head and get a lot of thinking done, I have a hard time focusing on my form. And I really have to focus, or I don't breath or step correctly. Four, journaling my fitness and nutrition really helps keep me on track. I know if I have to write it down (or type it, as is the case for me), then I am more apt to choose wisely. I don't want to be reminded of my failures in black and white. Five, I must remember to take a snack for after my run! I had to go by the store on my way home to get Derek some protein powder and get a couple things for me. I am always starving after a run, which explains the caramel blondie tart that somehow ended up in my cart... And in my belly once I was in the car. Small as the little tart was, it's going to hurt to journal that later! I do really good during the day, but after a run, I am always craving carbs/sweets. Maybe a granola bar or 1/2 peanut butter sandwich would fix me up. Six, setting a goal for myself has been a great motivator to get off my keister. At the end of April, I am doing Color Me Rad. This will be the second time I've done it and I can't wait. My goal is to actually run the whole thing (without dying). We'll see... I still have a ways to go. But I think know I can do it!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Introducing Fit Mama Friday!

For over a year, I was a runner. I was not fast, but I was dedicated. I was the healthiest (and happiest) I had ever been in my life. I loved how strong I was becoming -- especially after adding yoga and pilates to my routine -- and what kind of example I was setting for my boys. I was eating healthier, but definitely not dieting. But the weight fell off, almost thirty pounds in four months. I was so proud of myself.
Then, I got injured. I twisted my knee pretty badly and couldn't run for over a month. Then I started school. And Ian started school. And yada, yada, yada. Basically, life (and my excuses) got in the way. So, of course, all the weight I'd lost (and then some) crept back on. Big surprise, right?
Fast forward to now, almost 18 months since getting injured, and I barely recognize myself in the mirror. I am utterly disgusted with myself and how I've mistreated my body for almost 30 years.
That stops TODAY! I am getting healthy once and for all. Not a diet, but a lifestyle. One that I can stick with. One where the goal is not to get skinny, but to get strong and healthy. To be a happier person. Because the old saying really is true, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Because when I'm happy, I can make my family happy.
Thus begins my new journey and I hope by putting this out there for the world to read, I will be able to hold myself more accountable. I know this is not a fitness blog, and I'm certainly no fitness blogger. But I also know that there are a lot of us moms out there who want to be better for ourselves and our families. So I'm going to start a new segment on the blog called "Fit Mama Friday". I will share my fitness wins and losses, and pretty much document my journey to the me I was always meant to be.
I hope Fit Mama Friday will open the door to a real discussion about our struggles as moms to balance our lives. I want it be a place where we can share tips and workouts and recipes.
So let's go!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Has it really been that long?!

Two years. Almost... Yep, I've been "away" for a while. And there have been quite a few changes since I last wrote.

1) Both the boys are potty trained. YAY!!! (Although, for a cloth diaper addict like me, that's kind of a bittersweet thing)
2) I went back to school to pursue an education in a field I absolutely ADORE, photography! I will graduate in the fall (WOOHOO!)
3) I have launched my own small business (in said field), see here:
4) Ian is in Kindergarten and smart as a whip (as if there was ever any doubt!)
5) Hubby has launched his own Youtube channel, about gaming. You can find it here: Gaming Family Man

Okay, so there has been A LOT more than this going on, but I had to cut it off somewhere.

So where does that leave us? Well, I'm still quite the crunchy mom, so I'm sure we'll have tons to discuss about all things green. Also, I may throw some photography and Photoshop tips your way so that you can make your family photos look even better! And now that Pinterest is such a huge success, I will share my favorite findings from that wonderful place (it's a black hole that sucks you in and never lets go, but we all love it!). I may even delve into book and media reviews.

I tell you, it's going to be an information fest up in here! You never know what I'm going to do next! I hope you'll come back and visit again soon. I'll try not to stay gone so long this time. Promise!