5 Reasons Why I Prefer Working Out At Home

5 Reasons Why I Prefer Working Out at Home

The gym has never been my thing. I’ve always wanted it to be, but I just don’t feel comfortable there.

This “gym fear” of mine, most likely stems back to a bad experience I had back when I was overweight and joined a gym in an attempt to do something about my habits. The classes were filled with fit women who had rhythm and I was the polar opposite, so I never attempted a class. I would go and walk on the treadmill for awhile before going over the machines to try and figure them out.

One day, I was on the treadmill doing my thing and I noticed a few of the ladies looking and me and snickering. I began to feel self conscious and with good reason. I lowered the music playing through my headphones and heard this group of ladies making fun of my weight. I was absolutely mortified and couldn’t wait to get out of there.

You would think the fact that I was at the gym trying to correct my weight would be commended, but that was not the case. Looking back I hate that I let these shallow ladies get to me. I allowed their close mindedness stop me from ever returning to a gym. As a matter of fact, I drove to the grocery store on my way home and bought a container of ice-cream to drown my sorrows in.

However, the silver lining to this story is that I eventually returned to my mission of getting into shape…but this time I did it all at home!

Here are my top 5 reasons why I prefer working out at home:

1. You don’t have to deal with shallow people who will judge you. When you workout at home, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a neon green polka dot sports bra with striped leggings. No one will snicker that your hair looks like a squirrel made a nest in it. Hell, you can wear your pajamas if you want to. All that matters is that you show up and focus on your workout.

outfit woes

2. When you’re done with your workout, you can lie on the floor like someone just shot you and curse all you want. Well…as long as your children aren’t around for that last part. I can’t tell you how many Insanity or leg day workouts I completed and then just collapsed onto the floor and stayed there for awhile. You can’t do that at the gym. You’d be in people’s way, you’d get stepped on and if you cursed like I do during some parts of my workouts, you’d probably get thrown out. 

post workout

3. You don’t have to clean anyone else’s sweat off of the equipment before you use it. Let’s face it, people are rude and don’t always think about the person who will be using a machine after them. Despite complimentary towels and signs everywhere telling people to use them on the machine and to wipe them down when they’re done, most don’t listen. Working out at home means you only have to deal with your own germs….unless you workout with your spouse, but that’s a totally different circumstance, right?

sweat equipment

4. You never have to face the bitter cold early in the morning or get soaked by the rain. I don’t know many people who want to leave their warm bed, get into workout clothes, scrape off their windchill and freeze their ass off in order to go get their sweat on. If you do enjoy that, hats off to you…you’re my new hero. When you workout at home, you can’t use the weather as an excuse. Ever.

ain't nobody got time for this

5. Class schedules don’t dictate YOUR schedule. This is hands down my main reason for working out at home. When you workout at home, your schedule is just that, YOURS. You don’t have to check with the gym to ensure the class you’ve been wanting to do is still on. You don’t have to wake up extra early to do it because it’s only available at a specific time or worse yet, put your workout off all day because the class you love is only offered at night. Let’s not even get started on gym hours. Why do they close early on weekends?! Bonus reason: If you’re a mom, you can fit your workout in around your child’s nap time and not have to worry about gym childcare and what germs may be lurking in there.

gym closed

I know that my gym experience isn’t the case for most people and many love going and feel very comfortable. This is just my experience and as bitter as I may sound about it at times, I’m actually really grateful it happened. It allowed me to try something I always felt skeptical about and completely changed my life.

If it wasn’t for my experience at the gym, I may have never tried P90X or any of the other programs I went on to complete. I may have never lost over 100 pounds and decided to become a personal trainer, as well as an on-line accountability coach. My life took a path I never expected it to take and it may be because of that experience. Who knows! All I know is that everyone has a fate or destiny in life and we are introduced to it in many different ways.

Have you ever wanted to try an at-home fitness program but didn’t know where to start? If so, I would love to speak with you more and help you find one that would be a good fit for your goals.

Comment below or shoot me a message on Facebook and I’d be more than happy to help you. I host monthly accountability groups to keep you on track and I’ll also guide you through making a meal plan, too!

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The Big Game Workout Challenge

The Big Game Workout Challenge

Big-Game-Healthy TipsAre you ready for some FOOTBALL!?

While my favorite team is not in it to win this year, I will be watching the game along with millions of other people.

Big Game parties are known for chips, dips, wings, pizza and other fried finger foods. Let’s not forget the beer and the fact that we are all just sitting around while enjoying all of these high calorie goodies.

Today I thought I would share some healthier food options that you could serve or bring for the party, as well as some tips and “The Big Game Workout Challenge” which could be a fun way to burn off some of the treats and get you off the couch!

Game Plan:
1. Don’t arrive for kick-off with an empty stomach. Make sure you eat a light meal with lean protein before game time. This would actually be a good time to drink your Shakeology, specially since you could take it on the go with you. Doing his will help curb junk food cravings because you won’t be starving.

2. Don’t sit within arms reach of the snack table or the buffet set up. When you arrive you’ll want to take a look at what your choices are so you can form a mental plan, but you don’t want to sit where it can tempt you. Doing that could end with you mindlessly reaching out and stuffing chip after chip into your face.  No good!

3. Be involved in the game! Make sure you actually watch the game and the commercials! (we all know they tend to the best part when your team isn’t in it). Talk to your friends, cheer, talk smack about the other team…whatever it’ll take in order to move your focus away from the food.

4. As I stated in number 1, there will be beer as well as other drinks. You’ll need to have a plan for how many you’re going to drink before you start. (21 Day Fix people, you can swap a yellow here but it’s not for a 6 pack!) If you plan on having multiple drinks, make sure you drink a bottle of water between each one. It will help to keep you hydrated, reduce your risk of a hangover and it can help to keep you from going over the predetermined number of drinks you’ve set.

5. Participate in “The Big Game Workout Challenge” that I have below! It’ll get people up and moving, which means less time for snacking. It can also be a good way to get people laughing and joking. Parties are about having fun right?!

The Big Game Workout Challenge

*This is not meant to be a full workout. It’s just designed to get you moving and burn a few calories while enjoying the game.

 

Healthy Snack Options:

1. Buffalo Wings: They are a staple item when it come to football. We all love them but they aren’t exactly the healthiest things around. Check out these healthier versions:

2. Dips: This best friend to the chip is typically filled with sour cream, mayo or both mixed together. Not exactly friendly to your waist but oh so easy to go overboard with. Here are some healthier recipes that use greek yogurt as a healthy swap:

Don’t forget homemade salsa, guacamole and hummus are quick and easy to make and allow you to flavor things to your liking. Be sure to offer fresh veggies as a dipping option in addition to chips. 

3. Food: Pizza, sandwiches and chili all tend to be popular at Big Game parties. The first two are easy to hold and eat and chili is just warm, comforting and allows the guys to show just much hot sauce they put in their food without crying, right?! I’m a huge fan of chili and if you need a recipe, I highly recommend this one which I posted a few weeks ago – Turkey Chili.

Here are some ideas for making these items a little bit healthier:

  • Opt for whole-wheat or whole-grain crust pizza. (Many pizzerias offer these now, so if you’re ordering be sure to ask.)
  • Have some veggie topped pizza options for your guests or a Margherita style pizza, which is usually topped with fresh mozzarella (less greasy) and basil. Not everyone wants greasy pepperoni, sausage or supreme!
  • Opt for whole-wheat or whole-grain for your hero or hoagies (depending on where you are from) too! Many people think wraps are healthier but that isn’t always the case. Some wraps pack a bigger calorie punch than bread and can have less nutrients. If preparing them yourself, check your labels!
  • Consider a vegetarian option. Roasted veggie wraps are really delicious. (Just be sure to ask wherever you order from to go easy on the oil.)
  • When ordering wraps or sandwiches, make sure the condiments are on the side. This will reduce calories and leave things up to your guests.

4. Think outside of the box: Many of you eat healthy on a daily basis. There is no reason why that needs to be tossed out of the window because of a game. Think of the foods you typically opt for and use them:

  • Instead of potato skins loaded with cheese, use sweet potato and top them with nitrate-free turkey bacon and a dollop of greek yogurt.
  • Make your own baked tortillas to go with your dips.
  • Serve fresh fruit with a simple fruit dip: Mix together 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt, 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter and 1 Tbsp honey. Store in the fridge in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Do you have any healthy swaps or recipes that you plan on serving this weekend? I’d love to hear about them!

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Goal Crushing Holidays – Don’t Fall Into The Trap

goal crushing holidays

Halloween is the kick off to the holiday season. It is the start the of the goal crushing holidays and the “treat” temptations that will become a everyday struggle from now until New Years Day.

Right now, many of us have homes full of “fun sized” candy and I’m sure we’ve all dipped into it. Those fun size treats then get us feeling down about ourselves and instead of saying “I can turn this around” we end up making more poor choices, this time with our meals or we’ll skip our workouts because we’re having a sugar crash and lack the energy to due them. Where exactly is the fun in this?

Next we begin to use Thanksgiving as an excuse and say “We’ll, I’m not going to re-start now, I’ll be eating and over indulging on Thanksgiving, so the Monday after will be my start date.” Thanksgiving dinner turns into leftovers the next day, followed by hours of shopping and more poor food choices because you’re on the go. (Do you really know how many calories are in the sugary, blended frappe topped with whip?! It’s scary!) By the time Monday rolls around you’re too tired to workout, so you decide “I’ll just start on January 1st.”

The problem with this is that we let “being busy” stand in the way of our goals. (You do have your goal written down where you can see it, right?! If not, you should read yesterday’s post.) From holiday parties, to cookie swaps, to drinks with friends, and crazy nights of shopping & wrapping, we allow each and every one of these events to become more important than our goals…and that shouldn’t be the case.

Every time you allow everything else to be more important than your goals, or you allow a slip up to get the better of you, it gets easier and easier to slip back into old habits. The same old habits that took you months to change can come back in a weekend if you allow them to. (Crazy right?!) Before you know it, all of the progress you’ve made is gone and it’s even tougher to start over.

This holiday season, I don’t want to see that happen to myself or any of you! Don’t be the average and allow those 7-10 holiday pounds to creep onto you. I know the holidays are hectic, but I also know that we can all carve out 30 minutes a day to get our workout done and we can all make smart food choices 80% of the time (I know you all have time to check Facebook and scroll Instagram so decide what’s more important). These small decisions can be a goal saver during the holidays and they still allow you to have your favorite food and treats during the season…just in moderation.

What I am asking of you right now is for complete and total honesty…not with me, but with YOURSELFWhere do you want to be come January 1st? Restarting and losing the weight you had already lost again, or feeling a sense of confidence and pride because this is the first year you didn’t let the holidays bully you into hating the way you look and feel?

I know this is not an easy time of year and I’m not asking you to do this on your own. As a Health & Fitness Accountability Coach, I can help you find a program that will fit your lifestyle & goals and I can also provide you with a private group of like-minded people to help you stay accountable, share you struggles and celebrate your achievements, as we conquer the holidays together!

My next group will be starting on November 17th and I would love to have you join me. For more information, please comment or message me on Facebook.

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Staying Committed to Your Fitness Goals

Staying Committed to your fitness goalHalloween has passed, Thanksgiving feasts will be served shortly, Christmas is already everywhere you look and before you know it everyone will be shouting Happy New Year! It’s during this whirlwind time of year that people tend to pack on some extra pounds and then make the resolution to get back into fitness on January 1st.

If this is your annual resolution, you know that committing to your health is not easy. There will be times when you won’t want to wake up early to get your workout done, you’ll be sore, you’ll be tired, and that ugly little voice in your head will start telling you that you suck and the workout you’re doing isn’t going to make a difference anyway. (Don’t listen to that voice…it’s just fear speaking.)

There may be times when you wait in line at the coffee shop and feel like ordering that fattening blended coffee drink, even though you know sticking with your unsweetened (preferably black) regular coffee, or you’re driving home and pass a fast food restaurant and think to yourself “One meal from here won’t hurt.”. You may be scared to use a heavier weight than you did last week, because you are afraid you won’t be able to complete your reps. We all struggle with healthy eating. We all get late night cravings (trust me, I’ve written about Pop-tarts calling to me from the cabinet, in the middle of the night), and us woman all crave chocolate and salt simultaneously during a specific week each month. We’re human!

It’s in these moments of weakness, that your commitment to the goals you set are tested. This is why as an accountability coach, I always talk to my clients about why they decided to start a health and fitness program. The stronger the connection they feel to that WHY, the easier it will be to resist the temptations and the feeling of saying “Screw this, I want to sleep in!” When you stick to the commitment you’ve made to yourself, you’ll begin to stand more confidently, feel a renewed sense of pride and you’ll even feel sexier. Staying committed to your goals will help you to discover a true sense of well-being, purpose, and personal worth. You’ll feel even feel energized and happier!

Here are three ways that can help you stay committed to achieving your goals:

1. Post your goals on the mirror.
Posting your goals in a place where you are guaranteed to see them each day will help you to stay focused, motivated, and committed. Your bathroom mirror is the perfect place because you’ll see your goals first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep at night.(We are brushing our teeth twice a day, right?!) Placing them here will also give you a chance to look at your goals and then yourself, which can be a very powerful thing. For maximum results, include why you started your fitness routine (to have more energy to play with your kids, to feel comfortable in your own skin, to feel more confident, to wow people at your class reunion.).

2. Prepare for the unexpected.
Each morning, or better yet, each night before you go to bed, ask yourself if there are any challenges that may interfere with your daily routine for the next day. Examples of this could be: Are there any lunch meetings or special events at work? How will you handle things if your child wants you to play during your scheduled workout time? What if you’re going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a restaurant? For each unexpected event, make a plan to address the challenge, while still staying committed to your fitness and nutrition goals. Of course, there are plenty of uncontrollable circumstances that could happen, but developing a plan to deal with your most common challenges will set you up to succeed with anything that could happen during your day.

3. Keep a daily journal.
There is no doubt that tracking your daily fitness and nutrition effort helps to improve your chance of achieving your goals. However, it is also important to track how much effort you put into each day, as well as how you felt during the that day. When creating your journal entry, ask yourself: “Did I exert every possible ounce of effort to achieving my goals today?” If your answer is yes, great! If your answer is no, write down one thing you can do tomorrow to be better than you were today. Another great question to ask yourself is “How did I feel mentally and physically today?” We all have good days and bad days and you can often see a pattern when you begin to a keep a journal. Spotting the pattern as well as the common denominator can help you to make small changes, which can help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.

Following these three tips can help your level of commitment for fitness and nutrition skyrocket! So as the New Year creeps up and you begin making your resolutions, I want you to really think about incorporating these three tips into your daily routine. They will not only help you to achieve your goals, but they can help you get results that will last!

What are your tips and tricks to staying committed to reaching your goals?

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21 Day Fix – Week 2 Complete!

Talk about a fast moving program…wow! I honestly can’t believe I am in my last week of the 21 Day Fix already.

Coming off of week one, I felt ready when we entered week two. A lot of the guess work was taken out and I figured out how to space my meals and what snacks worked best for me. I used my meal calendar from week one as a guide, set up my menu for week two and prepped as much stuff as I could. There were a few days where I needed to change things up, but I felt confident in doing that since I had a week under my belt already…because one week of doing this makes me a pro, of course.

During week 1, while doing Cardio Fix, I noticed the blackboard in the background of workouts that has a motivational quote on it. The quote matched what Autumn was saying to keep us motivated and I thought that was cool. As I entered week 2, I became aware of this board in all of the workouts and how the quote changed in each one. I thought this was a very cool and subtle detail…not to be outdone of course by the Shakeology bar and t-shirts everywhere..haha! (But seriously Shakeology is good stuff…don’t sleep on it!)

21 Day Fix Still

1 Day At A Time…1 Pound At A Time

I ran into a few challenges during week 2, but it was nothing awful. Friday I had my sons end of year party at school, which of course was right smack in the middle of lunch time. That day I opted to workout before having breakfast, which is something I am not usually a fan of. I actually loathe it, but I wasn’t starving and I knew it made sense to have a later breakfast so I wouldn’t be hangry while helping with his class. Thankfully I also thought ahead and blended up some Shakeology to pour it into my shaker cup before heading over to the school. The class mom provided Wendy’s for all of the kids and of course she ordered extra and when the kids didn’t want anymore, she offered it to us. I have only had fast food like that a handful of time in the past few years, which is something I am very proud of. However, if I was hangry I don’t know if I would be able to resist a cheeseburger…this is why planning is so important!

21 Day Fix Motivation

My second challenge was also on Friday. I was invited to a Paint & Sip party (more on that in my next post) so I wasn’t 100% sure as to which containers to keep free to use there. The good thing was the hostess is in my accountability group, so I knew there would be something I could eat…score! The other  issue I faced for this event was whether or not I wanted to give up one of my yellow containers for a beer. I ended up only having a sip of a cocktail that was served and I’m not counting a sip as an entire yellow.

Overall I felt great in week two. The workouts seemed to go smoother, I felt stronger and planning my meals was second nature. I also had my husband on board 100% which was nice, because he was a little resistant to the containers in week one.

My numbers aren’t jaw dropping at all, but that doesn’t bother me because I feel amazing and I’ve managed to get my nutrition under control, which is why I’m doing the program. I lost 1 pound and my measurements all stayed the same. My  husband on the other hand, lost 2 pounds and a total of 7 inches and the ladies in my accountability group are all kicking ass and taking names, which makes me happy!

For week 3 I’ve opted to follow the doubles schedule along with one of my accountability partners. I haven’t decided if I’ll do the 3 Day Quick or not, I think that will be a last minute decision for me.

Have you done the 3 Day Quick Fix? I would love to know if you think it is worth adding or if I should save it for another time.

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The Tale of a Running Slacker

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nikki. She began running in the fall and fell in love with it. She set a goal for herself to run 500 miles in 2013 and while some people thought she was crazy, she was excited.

She ran all winter long, braving the snow, ice and frigid temperatures. She pushed herself to improve her form, avoid side stitches and set new PR’s. She participated in a Further Faster Forever contest and found that she was capable of amazing things… until an evil upper respiratory infection hit and sidelined her for a few weeks.

The evil upper respiratory infection left her with the need for an inhaler and a fear of going out to run. She tried a few times and a combination of anxiety and asthma always got the best of her. Leaving her only halfway to her goal of 500.

Then, the evil heat of summer came along and Nikki was not a fan of it, so she put her running on hold. She ran a few fun runs and logged a few miles on the days it wasn’t sweltering, but she was basically at a stand still.

She attempted to run on the hamster wheel of death, in an air conditioned gym, but it just wasn’t the same.

Part of what Nikki loved about running was the fresh air, changing scenery and the mind clearing effect the two had together. The hamster wheel of death just didn’t offer that, so the frustrated Nikki sulked off and just watched as runners tweeted and instagrammed about their runs.

Finally, one October morning, the air was crisp and the humidity was gone.

Nikki grabbed her running shoes, turned on RunKeeper and hit the trail for the first time in a while. Her head instantly cleared, her legs felt strong and her breathing wasn’t an issue.

She finally made it to 300 miles and while she knows there isn’t much time left in 2013, she’s going to do her best to reach the goal she set.

After all, the cooler temps, snow and ice never stopped her before.

The End.

Time to Fall in love with running again

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Ready. Aim. Focused.

It seems I found my groove so well, that I haven’t had time to sit down and write.

Wow!

The past two weeks have been quite the whirl wind. The kids went back to school, so we started a new routine. I made lots of small changes to my fitness and nutrition, which are yielding big results, and I’ve been working on lots of personal development, which feels amazing.

With the kids back in school, my day starts a lot earlier and it allows me to get my Focus T25 workouts in bright and early. This week I started the Beta phase of the program and I absolutely love it. I’m not sure if it’s because all of the workouts are new for this month, because there are weights involved or if it is because I was doing Alpha for so long, but I’m honestly enjoying the change. My favorite so far is Speed 2.0. I can feel everything engaging, I get a good sweat going and I didn’t clock watch at all when I did that one. I know…it’s a 25 minutes program, but I do catch myself clock watching at times. I find I look for the halfway mark and the 5 minute mark, but I didn’t do that with Speed 2.0, I was actually shocked when it was over.

This week was a rest week for Body Beast with the hybrid Mike is doing, so I just followed my regular T25 schedule. I’m looking forward to new workouts with Body Beast next week, too. I’m sure there will be lots of soreness in my future!

Meal prepping has continued to be a life saver for me. I slacked a little with it this week and it resulted in us ordering pizza last night. We used to order pizza every Friday night… it was tradition, but we hadn’t done it in the past month and I didn’t have anything ready to toss together for dinner so I said why not. I had no idea I would gorge myself as soon as it entered the house. I ended up feeling tired and sluggish after eating it, which is something I never noticed before, but I guess with the nutritional changes I’ve made over the past few weeks, my body rejected the amount I forced it to consume.

MyFitnessPal has also become part of my routine again. We were challenged as part of the accountability group I am in for Focust T25, to track AND post screen captures of our food intake daily. It really made me think twice before I grabbed a cookie, handful of almonds or an extra scoop of rice. For the most part, it just helped me to tweak the types of food I was eating. It also helped me to ensure I was hitting my daily caloric goal, because I didn’t realize I was under most days, before I started tracking. The small task of logging my meals showed not only on the scale the past two weeks, but in my measurements (You all know I feel about the scale by itself.) so if you have been stuck and you’re getting frustrated by a lack of results, make sure you take the time to journal your food!

The other thing I have been spending a lot of time on is Personal Development. It’s one of those things that I’ve been told to do, as a coach, but I allowed everything else to come first and I never had time. Sound familiar? Because that’s the excuse I hear all the time, from people who want my help getting healthier, but haven’t committed yet. Ironic, isn’t it? Well… I realized the irony, I made changes, and I committed. I’ve been reading a minimum of 10 pages per day (my current book of choice is The Compound Effect), I watch or listen to at least 15 minutes of inspiring video or audio a day (so easy to do while running errands in the car or I pop ear buds in while I fold laundry), I’ve made a digital dream board which I plan on printing and hanging where I can see it daily and I’ve set goals for myself.

I could kick myself for not starting this sooner, but I can’t change the past, so I’ve just been focused on my daily tasks and enjoying the feeling it brings.

obstacles

Lastly, many of you who have been following my blog from the beginning, know that Shakeology has been a staple in my diet for years. Lately, I’ve had a lot of people messaging me on Facebook, asking questions about it as well as the programs I’ve done, so I’ve organized 7 Day Shakeology Challenges over on Facebook. I am so excited by the positive response it has received! If you have ever wanted to try Shakeology, need to jump start healthy habits and gain energy without sugary energy drinks and tons of coffee, stop by my page or comment below for more details! I’ll also be starting some program based challenges soon!

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