Never Skip A Monday

Monday Motivation:  Never Skip A Monday

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Monday begins a new week.

              A chance to start over.

A  fresh start.

It’s 4:30am and I am up ready to workout.

Why? 

Because mornings are MY time.   They are only for me.  My dogs are asleep, my husband is asleep and my work day hasn’t blown up in my face yet.   I simply love early mornings.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are when I workout for myself.  I don’t teach classes nor do I attend classes.  It is all about me and what I need for my mind, my body and my health.

This particular Monday is a 30 minute workout compliments of Total Cardio Fix DVD, followed by 45 minutes at the gym for some stair work and weight lifting – all legs, baby.  I have it scheduled in my planner.  Once written down, there is no going back.   BUT, even if it wasn’t written down, chances are 99% positive that I would still be up doing something.

Nothing beats starting the week with a solid workout under your belt, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the challenges that lie ahead.

I particularly ❤ Monday mornings.   They remind me of my goals and bring a sense of new determination and focus.

Get out there.   Get to it.   Make today YOURS.  And if you are reading this at the end of the day and it’s already 10pm – don’t quit.   Get in a solid 20-30 minute HIIT workout followed by a hot bath.  It’ll put you right to sleep.  😉

No excuses.

Never Skip A Monday.

My Weekend Miles

This weekend I hit Zorinsky Lake to log some miles.  It’s been a little while and I was craving the wind in my face and the burn in my lungs.  My time is so limited between my full time, my teaching schedule at the Y and 24 Hour, work travel and a few side projects I have going that it is really hard for me to fit in much more.

So, this weekend, I made it a priority to get some running in.  And it was FABULOUS.

Saturday was COLD and so very windy.   Windy enough that I walked a .20 stretch before starting my run.   There is a tall portion at Zorinsky that has zero tree blockage.  I used that stretch as my warm up walk, but, once off that stretch it was go-time.

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Most of the trail is blocked by trees so the wind wasn’t too bad.   There were definitely spots along the 3.8 path that had some serious cross winds, but I kept a steady-ish pace and kept on pushing, ending with a fairly even pace.

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You can tell where the .20 mile stretch of walking was.  Right there between the green and red dot.  🙂  Holy wind and burning slow legs.  NO need to log that!

I just love running Zorinsky.  I’ve neglected it a lot this year, opting for the Papio/Keystone Trails instead.  Sometimes you just need a change of scenery, but I am definitely going to give a little more love to the lake again in the next few weeks.   Winter will be here too soon.

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Sunday I headed back out for another run.  Apparantly my body loves the 9.16 min per mile pace, because I hit it again.  This time I did brave the wind on the top stretch and logged 4.23 miles.   The wind wasn’t nearly as bad today – thankfully!

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I wore my HRM this time around to keep track of my heart rate and total calories burned.  I originally bought the Polar to track the amount of calories I’d burn while exercising.  Now I also use it to track my heart rate.  Keeping your heart rate up is important, but as a fitness instructor, I use it to make sure I don’t get it too high (don’t think the class wants me passing out) and I also track how long it takes for my heart rate to get back down to the normal range.

From my stats – I’ve got a good healthy ticker that recovers in no time!   Check that off the health charts!

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Side Note:  Monday Motivation

Today is the first day of an online accountability group I am facilitating.  I will be holding a lot of conversations on proper nutrition, hosting fitness challenges, providing motivation, sharing success stories, etc.  I have a group of 19 INCREDIBLE women involved.   Technically, this is Week 0.  I use this week to lay ground rules, do some prep work, and get the group ready to rock and roll.  This is my 7th group I have facilitated over the course of two years and I am excited to be doing it again.   If YOU are interested in joining, it isn’t too late.  Message me via email (harleysandheels@yahoo.com) by 9pm!

 

Cheers!

 

 

Tranformations Take Time – My Two Years

Transformations take on many different shapes and sizes.

  • Physical Transformation
  • Emotional Transformation
  • Psychological Transformation
  • Social Transformation

Two and a half years ago I set out on a physical transformation.   Little did I know that the process would also take me on an emotional and psychological journey as well.

I had never been a ‘fit’ girl.  Growing up, no one would have called me athletic either.   I am not competitive or aggressive in the manner that is required in sports.  I was active, but not overly active.  I was interested in fitness, but never followed through. I became NETA certified and taught aerobics and weight training at my hometown gym in my early twenties, but let it go around the age of 24.

I went through a major life change at 25 that put me in a new city, newly single, no job and away from the only lifestyle I had known.   There was nothing wrong with my “old life”.  In fact, most people would have found it comforting and right on track with a normal life progression.  I was surrounded by good people, family, a nice country home and the start of a good career.

But for me, I needed change.

I was longing for something different outside of my small hometown.   And so, at 25 I set out for the new.   My “new life” provided a few challenges, but it was also the best decision I had ever made for myself.   My new life gave me new freedoms, a new career, a new degree path, new focus, new friends, old friends,  late nights and a lot of parties.

 Life. Was. Good.  

And I was eating it all up.

Literally.

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I was comfortable.  I met my now-husband after moving to the city and we grew our circle of friends together.   We lived the rock star lifestyle, if you will.  He worked weekends at a bar.  I frequented the bar with my girlfriends.   We ate bad food, drank far too much and lived it up.

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Clint loved me regardless of my size, weight and always came back with “you are beautiful” when I would stand in front of my mirror trying on multiple outfits, never happy with what I saw.

I had become so unhappy with how I looked and felt. 

December of 2011 I decided I had enough.   I was tired of hating the way my clothes felt.  I was tired of hiding in the corner when we went out because I hated the way I looked.  I was tired.

January 2012 New Years Resolution –  Kick my exercise habits in gear.

Knowing my lack of follow-through on anything fitness related, I knew I needed something with structure.   I researched quite a few home videos before ordering TurboFire.   I chose Turbo for its fun rhythms, kickboxing undertones and the structured 8 count.   The cheerleader and music teacher in me knew I’d fall in love with this program.   Once I fell in love, I knew I could stick with it.

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I’ll be honest.  The first few weeks were rough.   Finding the TIME was difficult.  Finding the ambition after a long work day was torture.

But, I did it.

I made my ‘basement workouts’ a part of my daily life.

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Once I got the fitness part down, tackling the nutrition came next.   And this was and still is the hardest part for me.   I began to incorporate more protein, limit the carb intake to my early meals, limit the sugar and add in more vegetables.   I also started to incorporate Shakeology in my diet, just like I was told to via TurboFire.

See, sometimes I DO follow orders!  😉

 I have to disclose that I did NOT use this as an entire meal replacement nor did I drink it daily.  Sometimes shakes gross me out!   I used my shakes as either a meal 2 or 4.   Why?   Because of the nutrition content.   Never once did I replace a lunch or dinner.  That game just isn’t for me.

So, what about my Turbo results?  

Down an overall 8 inches and 13 pounds.

I was on a ROLL!

I felt good, I was looking better, my confidence was building, I enjoyed shopping a little more, much to the dismay of my wallet.

And I was LOVING working out.  It had become my addiction.

No, better yet…

my PASSION.

Fast forward to January 2013.   I set a goal to run my first half-marathon.

I kept it a secret from everyone for a long time.

Why?

Fear of Failure

I won’t get in the story of my training, as you can read it here.  What did happen is I followed through, I conquered, I cried, I laughed, I LIVED!

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So, what about this two year transformation?

Physical:  Down an overall 13 inches and 20 pounds.

Psychological: A changed mindset.  I COULD do things I never thought I could before.

Physical, Psychological, Emotional and Personal:  I became a Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor through AFAA and also became certified in TurboFire and Insanity formats.

 

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Who knew in two short years I would gain the confidence to stand in front of a class again and TEACH?   My physical transformation took on a whole new life.

Transformations Take Time

1 year it took me to get hooked on fitness.

1 year it took me to lose and maintain a 13 pound loss.

1.25 years it took me me to run a half-marathon.

1.5 years it took me to gain the confidence and courage to study, test and become AFAA certified to teach group exercise classes

1.5 years it took me to become certified in TurboKick

2 years it took me to lose 20 pounds.

And guess what?

2 months this last summer it took me to add 7 pounds back on.

But, you know what?

That’s ok.  I know where I faltered.  Nutrition.   It’s a tough game to play.   And this Harley chick loves Vodka, Burgers, Fries and Beer.

You know what else?   I have already lost 3 of that 7.

And one more thing…

The scale means NOTHING.

It’s only part of the story.

So, what now?

No, I am still not the media’s definition of physically fit.  I could still stand to drop my body fat %.  I could still gain a lot by adding in weight training consistently.

BUT, physically, I CAN knock out teaching 6 classes a week.  I can still keep up, I can keep the class motivated, I can maintain proper form and crank out those advanced Insanity moves, each and every time.

Psychologically I have my head in the game.  I have a clear focus.  I am determined.  I have goals.

I have one MAJOR goal set to accomplish by December 2014.

Am I going to make it?

Ya, duh!

Am I going to tell you?

Heck NO I’m not.

I still have a fear of failure.  Who doesn’t?

I am still human, I still have flaws, I still make mistakes.

But, I am emotionally there.  Physically there.  Psychologically there.

 

I can’t be stopped now.

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Monday Motivation – Keeping the Momentum

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Remember when last week I made the statement that I was taking back my life and creating an equal work/life balance?

Well, I did it.

The gym and I have made amends.   It kicked my ass – I was sore – and it was great.

That gym and I?  We are becoming BFF’s again.

If you remember, Monday morning I got my butt up before 5am and ran to the gym, lifted and ran back home.

The rest of my week in fitness looked a little like this:

Tuesday

4:23am – Alarm

5:00am – Upper weights before class

5:30am – Taught the new Round 60 TurboKick

4:45pm – Taught again!  TurboKick Round 60

Wednesday

4:35am – Alarm

4:55am – 1.25 mile run to the Gym – Lower Weights – 1.25 Mile run back home

Thursday

4:23am – Alarm

5am – Lunges, Situps

5:30am – Taught Insanity

4:45pm – Taught a second Insanity

Friday

4:45am – Alarm

5am – Slow run 1.25 mile run to the gym – That hill kicked my bootay.   Upper weights – 1.25 mile run home.

Saturday

8am – Subbed for a gal at the Y.  Offered Insanity to a class of 14!

 

My nutrition was slightly better last week.  Sugar is still a huge deal for me.  And Diet Soda.  They are a real life struggle.  It’s a deep love the three of us have.

The weekend didn’t go so well in the nutrition area.  A lot of booze, pizza, burgers, cookies… you get the picture.   It’s summer.  I have a lot of fun.  One step at a time.

 

Goals This Week:

Fitness

  • Make the gym every morning M-F
  • Add an early Saturday morning distance run of at least 5 miles. (which is a LOFTY goal considering Friday is my B-day and we have plans that involve liquor that evening)

Nutrition –

  • Add in a few more glasses of water each day
  • Cut back on the sugar Monday – Thursday.   What about Friday, you ask?

It’s my birthday!

I eat frosting on my birthday.

It is straight up ILLEGAL not to.

 

Cheers to staying on track, keeping the momentum going and accomplishing new goals.

 

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Motivation Monday – Taking Back Control

My life for the last two weeks has been basically just about work.   Take the fact that it is high traffic time at my place of employment –  plus add in the part that I am going through it as a newbie having only been in this position for 6 months – creates a recipe for some crazy hours. There were nights when I was still sitting at my desk at 10pm.   Most nights 8pm.   Add in the fact that I start my work day at 7:30am and you can imagine the attitude problem I had.

I TRIED to keep a positive outlook – but when you are the only one still at work after the offices close at 6 – you become bitter.  The only workouts I had been getting were Tuesday and Thursday’s, thanks to the classes I teach at the YMCA, so that was adding to my anger.  Exercising is my release.   My stress reducer.   I NEED it.

I was running an accountability group with some pretty special ladies – and that got thrown out the window.  I failed them.  Miserably.    That didn’t help my stress levels knowing I let them down.  I couldn’t even hold myself accountable.  How the hell was I going to help them?

Needless to say… the work / life balance was non-existent.

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People would tell me to just leave.

 “Your work day is over – go home”

 “Get done what you can, don’t worry about the rest, come back to it tomorrow”  

 

That simply was/is not an option.  Putting it off just creates more.

So, work, I did.

But this week?  I am claiming my life back.

Starting this morning.

I set my alarm for 4:50am, brushed my teeth, put on my running shoes and ran the 1.25 miles UP hill to my gym.   It felt awesome.   (Hey, Red Lipstick and Sneakers — I ran right by your apartment.  Want to join me on Wednesday morning?)

 

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My hill.  It’s blurry, I get it.  I was running, folks!

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Once at the gym I got in a quick 25 minute upper body workout with some weights.   Hell yes.   I felt my strength, focus and determination coming back with each passing rep.

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After my weight session, I plugged my ear-buds back in and ran the mostly downhill path back to my house.

It. Was. Awesome

I felt rejuvenated.  Alive.  Ready to conquer the day.

Once home I even did some quick meal prep.

  1. Threw in some frozen salmon fillets in the oven
  2. Started a pot of water to make hard boiled eggs
  3. Warmed up the skillet to make some egg whites for breakfast
  4. Put together a salad to go along with my salmon for lunch.

 

I am taking back my personal time.   I can feel it.  It’s mine.  

I will see to it this week.

 

Here’s to Work / Life Balance.

 

 

Cheers!

 

Edited to add:   My work day ends at 4:30.   Today, I left at 6pm.  So… I didn’t get out of there on time – BUT this is the earliest in weeks.  I call this a success. 🙂