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Posts Tagged ‘#ToneItUp’

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Happy Superbowl Sunday! As a football fan, I look forward to watching the Superbowl each year, even when my 49ers aren’t in it.  As a 49ers fan, I hope the Seahawks lose, but I’m not really rooting for the Patriots, either.  Either way, I know it’s going to be a good game, and it will be fun to watch the ads, the halftime show, and some really great football.  Plus, I love hanging out with my parents, who are huge football fans, too.  It should be a great afternoon.

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Weekly Workout Schedule

bilbl_superIt’s been so long since I’ve posted a weekly schedule on the blog, although I have been pretty consistent with weekly workouts.  Every Sunday morning, I log into ToneItUp.com to see what workouts they have planned for the week.  Then I log everything into my iCal so that the workouts are locked in as appointments, eliminating excuses.  With my work schedule, all of my workouts start at 5am.  It used to be so difficult for me to wake up that early, but once I realized that I’m usually way too tired to workout after work, I just made morning workouts a priority.  Some mornings it doesn’t happen, and then I do try my best to fit in an afternoon/evening workout, but on the whole, I really like starting my day with a workout.  It’s invigorating, boosts my energy, and just puts me in a positive mindset for the day.

Here’s this week’s plan.  All workouts are from the TIU Weekly Workout Schedule:

Monday: Love Your Body w/ HIIT + Bikini Abs + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 1
TuesdayCupid Cardio + Bikini Yoga + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 2
Wednesday: +StairMill Workout + Love Your Body Routine + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 3
Thursday: 2 miles of cardio (elliptical) + Love Your Arms & Abs + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 4
Friday: **Jump Your Heart Out Workout + Love Your Total Body 2 + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 5
Saturday: Body Combat (24 Hour Fitness) + Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 6
Sunday: ^Sunday Runday (5K incline treadmill walk) + Bloglilates 30-Day Butt Challenge Day 7

  • **Since I’m not really coordinated with a real jump rope, I’m going to do “virtual jump rope” where I mimic the movements with my arms/legs.
  • + I’ll hit the gym for this workout so that I can use the stair stepper machine.  All the other cardio (unless noted) will be done at home on my elliptical.
  • Saturday’s challenge was to go to a group exercise class.  Since I love the Body Combat class at 24 Hour Fitness, and haven’t gone in so long, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
  • ^I’ve decided that for now, running really isn’t for me.  My knees have been acting up a bit (lots of cracking and a bit of pain here and there), so for the SundayRunday I’m going to walk at an incline at a 4.0 mph pace on the treadmill for 3 miles.

One of my fitness friends on Facebook posted this Blogilates 30-Day Butt Challenge, which I’m really excited to complete this month. I already logged each of the day’s moves into iCal, so I’m all ready to do each of the moves everyday.  In looking at the schedule, I know I’ll be able to do all of the moves, and I like the way it slowly increases the moves as the month progresses.  And who doesn’t love a rounder, firmer butt?!

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As always, I post my workouts everyday on Instagram, so be sure to keep me accountable.

Have a SundayFunday, and I’ll see you in my next blog!!

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December

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  I spent mine meeting with friends, proctoring the SAT,  beginning to decorate for Christmas (I’m going to put up a tree this year), and enjoying Sunday Funday (although the 49ers dismal loss to the Raiders yesterday dashed their playoff hopes, so it wasn’t THAT fun, obviously).

After spending a week following the Fit Girl’s Guide 28-Day Challenge, I realized on Friday afternoon that it just wasn’t realistic for me at this time of year.  You guys probably figured that out when you read my post about it, but it took me a little longer.  I enjoyed the food on the meal plan, but as I mentioned in my meal prep post, I like a little more variety than it offered, especially at dinner.  The plan was very well-balanced and included clean, healthy foods, and I have already decided that the sweet potato street tacos are going into my regular repertoire because there were delicious.  I also loved the supportive community I found on Instagram, whose daily posts offered motivation and inspiration.  And I did lose weight – 1.6 pounds after just 4 days on the plan, which was great.

But when I looked at the reality of this season, and of my life in general right now, I realized that the challenge wasn’t something I wanted to continue.  In general, my life is very social, meeting with friends and going out to eat at least once or twice during the week.  The holidays bring even more social occasions, and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to give up those opportunities. So I’ve decided I’m taking myself out of the challenge.

Which doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my goal of losing weight this season.  Far from it.  I know how to plan and cook great meals, and make healthy choices even when eating out.  I also know how important it is to me to workout – the calorie burn is a key to losing weight, but beyond that, I love the way my body feels when I’m active daily.  Even those crazy sore muscles two days after a hard workout. Which means that I can lose weight and enjoy the social fun of the season. If you think about it, that’s the ultimate challenge, isn’t it?  I know I can do it.

So here’s the plan for the remainder of December:

  • Go back to my high-protein food plan.  For me that means my daily protein grams should be 10% of my overall caloric intake.  (If I eat 900 calories, I should have 90g of protein). Some of you may balk at “only” eating 900-1000 calories in a day, but remember, I’m a WLS patient, and even when I eat out I can’t consume the same amount of food that someone with a normal stomach can.  So for the rest of my life, I’ll never really eat more than 1200 calories in a day, if I’m eating healthy. (Obviously those calories can go much higher if I’m eating crap). Back to my food plan – Besides the protein, I like to include veggies at each meal.  Carbs like rice or wraps aren’t completely out of the question, but I’m going to limit them to one meal per day.  So if I have a wrap for lunch, I’ll eat a “lean and green” meal at dinner.  If I have rice with dinner, lunch will be a salad or other protein/veggie combo. I bought the ToneItUp Nutrition Program during their Cyber Monday deals, and I’m looking forward to trying some new, healthy recipes from that guide.
  • Cardio + TIU toning 5-6 days a week.  This one will be a bit of a challenge because I tend to be great at it for 3-4 days, but then the week continues, I get more tired, and my workouts fall to the wayside.  At this point in my weight loss journey, I know that my body responds quickly to workouts.  When I’m consistent I lose weight; when I let them slide, I maintain.  This fact is going to spur me on during those afternoons/evenings when I start getting lazy and want to “negotiate” reasons why it’s ok to skip the day’s workout. No skipping workouts this season!
  • Limit my alcohol intake.  In general, I only have alcohol 1-2 times a week, when I’m out with friends.  I plan to continue this during the holidays.  Someday when I’m in maintenance, I foresee having a daily glass of wine (if I’m so inclined), but while I’m still trying to lose weight, I only want to imbibe when I’m with friends and family in a social setting.  I’ll use baths and working out as a way to unwind from a long day when I’m by myself.
  • Continue being active on social media.  That means logging everything in MyFitnessPal daily.  Checking in on Instagram with my workout pics. And writing/reading blogs.  I love the support and inspiration I get on MFP and Instagram, which is why it’s a daily part of my life.  If you’d like to add me as a friend and/or follow me on IG, please do.  And leave your IG name in the comments, because I’d love to start following you, too. In terms of blogging, I know I’ve gotten less consistent with writing these past 6 months.  I guess because I only like to write when there’s something interesting to say.  And because I am so active on IG, that seems to have replaced the quick daily posts I used to write.  Maybe I’m evolving as a blogger?  I will still blog on here regularly, and read your blogs as often as I can.
  • Enjoy the season. Even though this isn’t necessarily going to help me with my weight loss goals, it will make me happy, which is all part of leading a healthy life.  This year I want to: go ice skating, enjoy the decorations at Christmas in the Park, send Christmas cards, sit by cozy fires, listen to holiday music, light glowing candles, watch my favorite holiday movies, and wrap presents.

Those are my goals for December – completely doable and realistic.  Wish me luck!

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Autumn has (almost officially) arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler, which means that those wonderful fall fashions will keep me motivated. Plus, crisp temperatures mean that it’s never “too hot” to workout. I’m going to relish my nightly cup of steaming hot tea as another way to keep my water intake up. I look forward to all those hearty, satisfying and wls-friendly soups, stews, and crockpot meals that I’ll create for myself. This year, the changing season will mark new milestones that I haven’t seen in 5, 7, 10+ years! Bring on fall 2014 – it’s time to reach new heights! Wednesday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the work week, and will give me a positive outlook for the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Wednesday weight loss updates called WonderFALL Weigh-Ins.

Week 67 was a pretty good one. I made some great meals, got in a few strong workouts, and even took a long walk when I wasn’t feeling that great over the weekend.

So, how’s the scale looking?

When I weighed in this morning, I was 172.2, which is a maintain this week, and a loss of 104.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 142.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 22.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I can’t lie, I’m disappointed that I didn’t see a loss on the scale this week, because I’ve been putting in work and eating right.  But when I look at the week, I did skip two weekday workouts and I wasn’t feeling great this weekend, so I didn’t do as much as I normally would have.  I ate a lot more carbs and less protein than I should’ve late last week (in the form of a chicken pesto pizza that lasted for 3 meals). I’m not too upset about this maintain, because I know it’s only temporary.  It also shows me that at this point in my journey, I need to push harder in order to see a loss on the scale.

So far this week (the past two days), I’ve been getting in strong workouts, following the Tone It Up Frisky Fall Challenge.  This morning my legs are really feeling the squats, lunges, and other moves that I’ve been doing.  I love pushing myself with the toning workouts.  I’ve also resumed C25K, and I was pleasantly surprised that I felt strong in my runs even though I’d taken so much time off from running training.  My main workout goal this week is to make sure I get in all my weekday workouts, not allowing myself to skip any because I’m tried, which usually happens around Thursday or Friday.

In terms of food, things are going well. As I mentioned above, toward the end of last week and into the weekend I wasn’t making the best food choices.  I kept my calories under my daily goal, but I wasn’t eating enough protein and veggies.  I know this is a main reason the scale didn’t move this week.  I know better.  I know that in order to lose weight, I need to eat well, not just keep the calories within my limits.  It’s much more important to keep WHAT I’m eating in check.  Eating out several meals in one week doesn’t lead to weight loss.  It would’ve been better for me to eat that chicken pesto pizza for just the one meal and leave the rest.  I need to release myself from the idea of “wasting food,” and continuing to eat a heavy carb and fat with little protein meal several times just so that I don’t feel wasteful.  Indulging for one meal is one fine, but eating that same meal three times because I have leftovers isn’t good for my weight loss goals. From now on if I go out and indulge in a meal that doesn’t really fit in with my plan, I’m going to enjoy that one meal and leave the leftovers at the restaurant because it’s just not worth the damage it does. So far this week, I’ve done a good job with balancing my protein, veggies, and carbs.

If anything, this maintain is going to spur me to push myself harder this week.  I don’t want to see another maintain on the scale next week, and I’m determined to make sure that I see a new loss.  I’m so close to a new weight “decade,” and I’ve love to move into the 160s next week which is completely doable – I’d only need a loss of 2.4 lbs.  I’m going to keep that number in mind and use it to motivate myself in my workout and in my food choices.  Here’s to moving forward!

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Until next Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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As I mentioned yesterday, the Frisky Fall Challenge from the Tone It Up girls begins today! Eight weeks until Halloween.  Eight weeks of workouts to get me closer to my weight loss goals.  Eight weeks of motivation and inspiration.

To join in on all the fun, I made these Frisky Fall Goals:

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  • I’m determined to get a workout in every single weekday, no matter how tired I am or long the day is.
  • On the weekends, I plan to have “active rest days” full of bike rides, walks with Sofi, and early on a swim or two if the weather allows.  I also want to continue to be really social with friends and family, which means girls’ nights, lunches, 49er games, and dinners.  I’m also hoping for a few dates.
  • I’ve never been apple picking before, and there’s a great nearby farm that I can’t wait to go to with my nieces (they’ve been apple picking several times with the Girl Scouts, so they’re experts).
  • Half Moon Bay has lots of pumpkin patches, and it’s right by the beach, so I’m going to go in late September/early October to beat all the Halloween crowds.
  • I always eat healthy, but when the weather cools down, the tendency can be to eat foods that are higher in calories. I can’t wait to make low calorie, healthy crockpot meals, and start incorporating overnight oats into my morning breakfasts.
  • KandisTIU created another great chart, which I’m going to use to track my miles for #150byHalloween (you can go to her FB page to get the chart for yourself):
  • -2 I wasn’t great about posting my progress towards my miles for the Back To School Challenge on the blog, but I did check in daily on IG, and I’ve decided that that’s the best method for me to track my miles for this challenge. I will post the previous week’s miles on my Sunday Workout Schedule posts, too.
  • If you’d like to follow my progress, make sure to watch for my posts on Instagram, or on the sidebar of this blog.

What are you goals this fall?

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Autumn has (almost officially) arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler, which means that those wonderful fall fashions will keep me motivated. Plus, crisp temperatures mean that it’s never “too hot” to workout. I’m going to relish my nightly cup of steaming hot tea as another way to keep my water intake up. I look forward to all those hearty, satisfying and wls-friendly soups, stews, and crockpot meals that I’ll create for myself. This year, the changing season will mark new milestones that I haven’t seen in 5, 7, 10+ years! Bring on fall 2014 – it’s time to reach new heights! Wednesday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the work week, and will give me a positive outlook for the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Wednesday weight loss updates called WonderFALL Weigh-Ins.

Week 66 was really good.  I’m getting into the swing of this new schedule, and making it all work with my food prep and workouts.  When I can, I’m working out in the morning; when that’s out, I workout after work.  Add to that lots of fun with family and friends over the Labor Day weekend, and it was a nice week for sure.

So, how’s the scale looking?

When I weighed in this morning, I was 172.2, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 104.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 142.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 22.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this loss because I had a similar loss last week.  It’s nice that I’m back on a losing streak, even with so many changes in my work life.

This week I have been pulling out some old recipes to enjoy, including the Lowfat Curry Chicken and a new stir fry, which had tofu, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and edamame.  It’s nice to make big pot meals that I can eat several times throughout the week.  I can’t wait for the weather to get cooler so I can start making my favorite crockpot meals.  So hearty and easy!

Workouts have been really good this week: spinning, elliptical, biking, walking Sofi, and of course, my Tone It Up routines.  The other day I had a hair appointment, and my stylist asked me what races I have coming up.  I told her that I’d taken the summer off from my C25K training, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run anymore, that it was so hard for me.  And then I stopped myself and said, “you know, that’s not like me at all.  I never give up on something just because it’s hard. I really need to get back with my C25K training and make my goal to fully run a 5K happen.”  And so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving is about 11 1/2 weeks away, which is more than enough time to complete the C25K training and continue afterward so that I can improve my runs before the 5K.  So, starting next week, I’m going to get back to running intervals, working my way up to full 5K runs, and I’m excited!

I watch TrulyJess‘ vlogs on YouTube almost every night (if you’ve never seen her videos, watch them, she’s such an inspiration!), and one of her sayings is that weight loss, training, etc is You vs. You.  In other words, I’m not in competition with anyone else, except myself.  And the 5K training is a perfect example of this philosophy.

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Until next Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Autumn has (almost officially) arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler, which means that those wonderful fall fashions will keep me motivated. Plus, crisp temperatures mean that it’s never “too hot” to workout. I’m going to relish my nightly cup of steaming hot tea as another way to keep my water intake up. I look forward to all those hearty, satisfying and wls-friendly soups, stews, and crockpot meals that I’ll create for myself. This year, the changing season will mark new milestones that I haven’t seen in 5, 7, 10+ years! Bring on fall 2014 – it’s time to reach new heights! Wednesday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the work week, and will give me a positive outlook for the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Wednesday weight loss updates called WonderFALL Weigh-Ins.

Week 65 has been wonderful! I had a great weekend, filled with bike rides, walks with Sofi, spending time with friends, watching my 49ers win, and relaxing after a very busy first week on the new job.  So far this work week has been really productive.  I’m finding my rhythm as I meet with new teachers, gather resources for them, and keep track of all the notes and paperwork. I can already tell I’m going to love this new position, and I’m so glad that I took the chance and went for one of my goals.  Monday I rewarded myself with a shopping spree at Dress Barn, buying tons of new clothes for my fall wardrobe.  The neat thing about this shopping trip was that I think these clothes might last for more than one season.  I’m wearing tops/sweaters in size medium and small (SMALL!!!!!), skirts in medium, and 2 pairs of pants in a size 10! I got a great camel-color water-resistant hooded trench in a medium that I can’t wait to wear because it’s so flattering. 

So, how’s the scale looking?

When I weighed in this morning, I was 173.6, which is a loss of 1.6 pounds this week***, and a loss of 103.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 141.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 23.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. ***The cool thing about this loss is that it only reflects the last two days, because my last weigh-in was on Sunday.  1.6 pounds in two days is phenomenal!  I’m on a losing streak, and I’m loving it! Especially considering how busy my days have suddenly become.

What am I doing differently?  Lately I’ve been concentrating on making sure to get several servings of veggies in with most meals, and I think that’s making a big difference.  I’m still allowing myself the popcorn I love, but only a few times a week.  And of  course, protein is at the heart of every meal I eat. And I’m still getting plenty of exercise and drinking lots of water. Still, I’ve also been having a few glasses of wine on the weekend, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting my weight loss in the least, which is nice.  I love this lifestyle that I’ve created!

In terms of exercise, I’ve been really proud of the workouts I’ve been fitting in.  I did wake up early on Monday to get in a before-work sweat session, which left me feeling super energized and positive all day long.  Most days I’ve worked out in the afternoon, and I enjoy those after work sessions as a way to transition from work mode to relax mode.  As long as I’m getting a workout in, I’m ok with whatever time of day it is.  I actually enjoy working out now, so I look forward to moving my body, rather than dreading it as I used to.  I really think one of the reasons is the communities of support that I’m part of on MyFitnessPal and Instagram.  I love snapping post-workout pics and tagging them with with my ToneItUp hashtags, and seeing all my #TIUsisters’ posts, too.  On MFP, every time I workout it posts a status, and the outpouring of love I get from my pals spurs me on and makes me smile.

As much as I’ve absolutely enjoyed this summer, I have to admit I’m really looking forward to the true start of autumn.  The crisp, cool mornings and evenings.  The sunny days that aren’t ever too warm.  The changing colors of the leaves, the decorations, and the outfits.  Not to mention all the fun that comes with football season, pumpkin patches, Halloween, and simply sipping cups of coffee, tea, and maybe even a pumpkin spice latte or two.  This year I think I’d like to go apple picking, because it just sounds like so much fun and I’ve never done it before.  What are some quintessential fall things you love to do at this time of year? Help me create a fall bucket list.

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Until next Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my recent visit to Santa Cruz Boardwalk).

1.  This is my last Friday of summer vacation. 😦  This time next Friday I’ll be at a “Welcome Back” meeting for the start of the new school year for our first teacher workday.  My plan for the day is to spend it the way I’ve spent the entire summer – a combo of fitness and fun.  Fitness: a session on my home elliptical, walking the dogs with my dad, and swimming some laps. Fun: a bit of shopping (just took advantage of Victoria Secret’s most recent email offer), reading poolside, and a possible date later tonight.

2. This week has been a very social one, getting together with lots of friends that I’ve known since high school, which I’ve loved.  That’s one of the huge distinctions between my life now and my life before I lost all the weight.  I was always a social, extroverted person, but I often felt a bit depressed about the way I looked. Not to mention the clothing issue – I always tried to look my best, but nothing ever fit the way it should’ve.  I can’t count the number of times I turned down an invitation or made some excuse just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all of that.  Now, I have tons of clothes in the closet that look great and make me feel fantastic.  Now, I am happy and excited when someone suggests going out.  I’m actually getting teary-eyed thinking about what a huge switch this is.  Just one more thing to be so grateful for about this new life.

3. I’ve been getting into Instagram a lot this summer, as you can tell by my feed on the right.  I post daily check-ins for my workouts and lots of pics of other things that just strike my fancy.  While I’ve been off, it’s been easy and really fun. This month I’m participating in three different photo-a-day contests, and I’m hoping I can keep up with them once school starts. If you haven’t joined a photo-a-day contest, I righly recommend them…maybe not just three in one month.  Still, the contests are a great way for me to stay focused on fitness, get motivated, and inspire myself and others with all the photos.

2014-08-02 08.50.30One is for the TIU community,

2014-08-01 12.17.59 one is hosted by @MoxieFitchick,

photoand the third is the Active Living Challenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane Active.

4. In anticipation of the school year starting in about a week, I spent a good portion of the day yesterday mapping out my school year workout plans in my iCal.  Since I have a morning prep period on my B days (which means I can get to school a bit later than normal) I’m going to fit in early morning fitness classes at the gym several times a week.  The live Insanity class that I tried a few weeks ago is now offered Tuesday mornings at 5:45am, and I’ll be there whenever Tuesday is a B day.  I’m also going to spinning at least once a week at 5:45am.  I’m still undecided about what I’ll do on my A days, when I need to leave my house by 7am.  Towards the end of last year I was waking up at 4:30am to do a morning workout, but that is just SO early.  Although it’s not ideal, I think I may go back to afternoon workouts on A days, because I really did enjoy them and they’re a great way to relieve the stress of the day.

5. 2014-08-07 12.40.49 Kandis, one of the TIUgirls, mentioned a week or two ago that she had started reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles.  Who doesn’t want “subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness” right? The reviews and general internet buzz about the book was so positive that I thought I’d give it a try.  Have you read it?  What are your thoughts?  What book are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.

That’s my Friday Five – I’m off to enjoy some pool time.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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As you guys know, I’ve been loving the ToneItUp‘s workouts since mid-January.  I’ve done them 5 days a week, every week since I began, only missing while I was on vacation in Hawaii.  (If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend you do.  It’s completely free, and they have a fun community, full of supportive, motivating people who cheer on every workout you post about).

They’re about to launch their new #bikiniseries this coming Monday, which will run for 8 weeks, until the official start of summer.  Karena and Katrina put so much into the daily workouts they design, and the best part is, the whole thing is free.  All you need to do is sign up for the #bikiniseries and you’ll get reminder emails, weekly workouts, fun giveaways, yummy recipes, contests, etc.

I like the approach that Tone It Up takes toward living a healthy lifestyle.  Not only do they include workouts and nutrition, but they also concentrate on mindset.  Take yesterday’s challenge, for example:

The challenge asked participants to create their own summer must-do list.  Beyond workouts and eating right, what were things that we wanted to make sure to fit in this summer? I loved this! Any time I can make a list and get creative with my summer plans, I’m all for it!  As a teacher, lots of people ask me, what do you do all summer long?  My answer is always the same – anything I want to!  🙂  This summer, I really want to concentrate on enjoying each and every day.  I didn’t include all of my plans on my list, but I did include most of the things I’m hoping to do:

 

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The photo I used is one that was taken for me by a Danish tourist while I was riding my bike at Kailua Beach on Oahu.  She worried that I would be upset that so much of it was in the shadows, but I assured her that I actually liked the way it turned out.  It was the perfect photo to use for this assignment because it has an artsy feel right off the bat.  I like the way I’m in silhouette with the bike, but the ocean and the beach are in the bright sun in the background.

I thought I’d elaborate a bit on each of these summer plans…

Mid-morning swims: One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to swim at the pool at my parents’ townhouse complex.  More often than not, if I get there by 10:30 or 11, I have the entire place to myself, and I’m free to swim laps to my heart’s content.  Sometimes my dad and I meet there and swim together, and it’s a nice way for us to connect with each other as we update each other on the latest family happenings while we’re drying off in the sun.  It’s also a great time for me to be alone with my thoughts and just let go of all worries and stress.  Swimming really soothes me, and I can’t wait to start my almost-daily swims.

Daily doses of laughter: Whether it’s retelling a funny story, joking with my nieces, or watching Sofi do something goofy, I want to appreciate all the little moments of laughter that are part of my daily life this summer.  Laughter is good for the soul and the spirit, and I want to make sure I’m enjoying it all the time.

Hawaii-themed party: Since I had such a fun time in Hawaii, I figured it would be fun to have a party with a Hawaiian theme.  I’m still deciding if I’ll combine it with a Silpada party that I’m planning to have, or if it will be more of a traditional party.  Either way, I have plenty of fun outfits to choose from.

Coffee chats: I live really close to Starbucks (doesn’t everyone?!), so close in fact, that I can walk there with ease.  It’s become a habit with three or four of my friends that we meet up there and catch up about all that’s going on in our lives.  It’s the perfect place to get together because I can get a calorie-free passion iced tea, or a caffeine kick with an iced cinnamon dolce misto.  As far as I’m concerned, coffee is the perfect drink any time of day, so it fits well with a more carefree summer schedule.

SF (and SJ) Giants games: I love supporting my Giants, and plan to go to as many games as I can afford to this summer.  One that I know I’ll go to is the Italian Night at the Giants, where a really large group of family and friends all get together.  It’s so much fun!  The tickets at AT&T Park are expensive, so lately my friends and I have been opting to go to the SJ Giants games.  Not only are they ridiculously inexpensive (less than $10 per game), but they’re a lot of fun.  Very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to participate in between innings.  My friend Di and I are even signing up to do the Giant 5K, which gets us into the game the evening of the race.  I’m actually going to an SJ Giants game this Friday with my sister and nieces, which will be tons of fun.  Bring on the baseball!!

Going on dates!: I’m actually really looking forward to this one.  Assuming of  course there are men to go on dates with.  I was only on Match.com for about 2 months back in November/December, and I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed.  I got lots of winks, emails, and nudges, but when it came time for the guys to just make the move and ask for my number so we could move it to the next level of texting/talking on the phone and then hopefully soon afterward meeting up, they never pulled the trigger.  Even when I directly said, “here’s my number, I’d love to figure out a time for us to meet up for coffee or something.”  They disappeared quick.  I’m not one to go into a long and drawn out relationship online via email, or text, for that matter.  If you’re interested, you think I’m cute, you want to get to know me better, then let’s do that – let’s meet up and see if we hit it off.  Because we can have all the chemistry in the world online, we won’t know if we’re really going to be attracted to each other until we meet up.  I’m hoping that this time of year will be easier to connect than it was around the holidays.  One of the major takeaways I had from my trip to Hawaii was that I’m really ready to be in a relationship, even a more casual one.  Hopefully I have a bit of romance in store this summer.

Leash-free beach trips: Last summer I had a blast taking Sofi to a lesser-known beach where she could run off leash.  We have the best time when we go – she loves running along the shore, but is afraid to get too close to the water, so I don’t have to worry much about the waves taking her.  We both get in a great walk, we get some sunshine, and I get to read and relax.  What could be better?  Besides just that particular dog-friendly beach, I also hope to hit the other local beaches often this summer.

Long walks w/ Sofi: I take Sofi on walks almost every single day, but in the summer it’s so nice to be able to wake up and take a nice, long walk before the temperature heats up too much.  I love exploring all the different streets around my neighborhood with Sofi.  She loves when I find new places for our walks, so that’s definitely on my to-do summer list.

Reading: I’m not off to the best start so far this year in terms of my reading goal on Goodreads, but I did get quite a bit of reading time in when I was on vacation in Hawaii.  My goal for the summer is to fit in at least an hour a day of reading time.  I enjoy reading so much, and I want to make it a priority during the time of year when I have so few responsibilities pulling my focus from the things I enjoy.

Riding roller coasters: This is a huge one for me! It will definitely be its own blog post when it happens because it will be a major NSV.  I love going on roller coasters – the wilder and faster the better.  I haven’t been on one in I can’t even remember how long because of the time that I got on one and almost had to get off because the safety bar wasn’t going to close.  I pleaded with the kid running the ride to let me stay on it, and he did.  After that I only got bigger and knew that roller coaster were way out of reach.  I didn’t ever want to risk the embarrassment of being asked to get off before I was able to ride the ride.  So, this summer I plan on going to Great America and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to ride as many roller coasters as I can.  Can’t wait!!

Family BBQs: I love grilling any day of the week, but getting together with my family and friends and sharing a meal as easy as BBQing is something really look forward to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing my meat over to their house for an impromptu BBQ; other times it’s a more planned affair, like for Father’s Day or 4th of July.  Either way, I can’t wait to fire up the grill and get cooking!

Cocktails: Summertime is a great time to relax and let go a bit.  While I usually only drink on special occasions because the alcohol has empty calories, there is something to be said for enjoying a nice glass of white wine or a Swirl (local peeps will know what time talking about) with friends. Any afternoon or evening becomes more of a celebration when you add a cocktail.

Bike rides: I love riding my cruiser around, and now that more of my friends have bikes, too, I hope to get out and go on rides all summer long.  Half Moon Bay, Morgan Hill, and everywhere in between.  I love the freedom I feel when I’m riding my bike, the sun shining on my face, the wind in my hair.  There’s nothing in the world like it.

Backyard lounging: I have this great Adirondack chair that I bought a few years ago that’s nicely weathered now.  I adore sitting in it and enjoying the peace and serenity of my backyard.  Looking at the garden and seeing the flowers and trees.  Watching Sofi cavorting in the grass.  Reading, listening to music, or just trying to keep cool on a warm night.  Sounds perfect to me.

There are a lot more things I could add to my list, but I’ll save those up until I have enough to create an entirely new one.  This was such a fun exercise, and I’m really glad the Tone It Up girls gave this assignment.  It put me in a great mood and gave me some inspiration to get through these last weeks of my school year.

Now that you’ve read my list of how I’m going to create my summer, I’d like to challenge you to write your own list.  Either in the comments or by joining the TIU challenge.  Post a pic on Instagram with your list.  Tweet about it.  Write your own blog post.  It was a fun activity that really put me in the mindset to enjoy myself this summer, and I can’t wait to read about your plans.

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bilbl_superThis week, I was determined to start strength training, no matter what.  I’m not going to lie, I was really intimidated by the thought of working out at the gym using the machines or the free weights.  And did I really need to do that type of training, anyway?  The more I’ve been reading on the different fitness blogs, the more I see that the trend that seems to work well for the goals I have in mind is using my own body weight resistance along with dumbbells and kettlebells.  After looking at so many great, free sites, I settled on Tone It Up because I remember reading their fitness tips in Self Magazine in the past. When I researched their website, I really liked the fitness community that Karena and Katrina have built. Plus, I saw their new show, Toned Up, on Bravo and thought they had cute, quirky personalities.  And I mean, look at them – they’re gorgeous!

be-you-tiful-love-your-body-series-toneitup-toned-up-bravo-tiu

Right now Tone It Up has a series they’re calling #LoveYourBody, which I think is so empowering.  When I signed up for the newsletter, which gives me free access to the #TIU community, daily workout routines, inspirational quotes, and some recipes, I loved their message about what I could do with the 4 weeks until Valentine’s Day:

Remember there are 4 FULL WEEKS left of the Love Your Body Series~ just in time for Valentine’s Day.  You have a HOT DATE with yourself!  Take a look at your calendar- commit to yourself and your goals.  In 4 weeks anything is possible…

♥ If you run/jog or walk 2 miles a day… that’s 2 MARATHONS you’ll complete by Valentine’s Day 

♥ Is weight loss your goal?  With the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, you could lose 8-10 pounds in a healthy way

♥ Is toning your goal too?  You will see a major difference in muscle tone with the workouts below

♥ If you compliment 1 woman a day from now until Valentine’s Day… that’s 26 women who won’t forget how you made them feel beautiful.

♥ Connect with a new team member in the community each day… that’s 26 new TIU girlfriends 🙂

♥ 4 weeks doesn’t seem like much… but you can achieve a lot between now until then! ” ~ToneItUp

I was totally inspired by this!  I really like that they take a whole body/mind approach – not just working out and eating clean, but connecting with other people, too.  I feel like supporting each other is so important.

So when I got the weekly schedule in my inbox on Sunday, I new I was going to start on Monday after work.  I love that the schedule has video links, pdf downloads, and a Pinterest-ready photo of each workout, as well.  I also REALLY love that the whole thing is themed – each of the workouts are named with Valentine’s Day in mind.  So cute!

  • Monday: My mom and I had taken a quick-paced mid-morning walk as my “cupid cardio” and then I came home and did the #LoveYourAbs workout 3 times, which took me about 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday: I went to the gym and did the run/walk intervals on the treadmill for cardio and I did #LoveYourBodywithKettlebells for my toning.  This workout was killer, and even though it was only 19 minutes (I only did one set) I’m still feeling it!
  • Wednesday: rest day. I was starting to feel sick, and since I’d worked all day, I decided to take a break today.
  • Thursday: Despite having a pretty bad cold, woke up and did 18 minutes on the stationary bike followed by 1 round of #LoveYourArms&Abs (15 minutes).  If I wasn’t feeling sick, I definitely would’ve done the recommended 2 rounds.
  • Friday: I took another sick day, but still woke up and did 18 minutes on the recumbent bike, followed by 3 rounds of #LoveYourBooty, and I know I’ll be feeling that workout for a few days.
  • Saturday: I’m going to rest on the cardio, but I’ll complete the week’s plan by doing two sets of #LoveYourWholeBody2 (35 minutes).

I have really liked these workouts because they don’t require a lot of equipment.  I have everything I need – a kettlebell, some hand weights, and a yoga mat.  It doesn’t get simpler than that.  I can feel the workouts working by how sore my muscles are each day, but the thing I’m enjoying about these workouts is that I can do them.  Some of the moves (like the side plank) are out of reach for me, but I can find easy ways to modify them.  I feel so good when I’m finished with each round of toning, and I really like that none of the workouts take that much time.  I can easily fit in 30 minutes a day.  I like checking in on FB and Twitter, and getting support from the @ToneItUp girls every time I use the #TIU hashtag.

Another fun thing about these workouts is that Sofi really gets into them.  She thinks it’s playtime every time I hit the mat to do crunches, booty bridges, etc.  It’s impossible not to start laughing every time she licks my face when I’m trying to do leg lifts or is right underneath me as I’m doing kettlebell swings.  So, we’ve made a deal – she get get a few kisses and licks in and then she has to let me get my toning in, and afterward we’ll fit in a play session on the ground.  How can I resist – how cute is this?

2014-01-24 12.14.22A huge thank you to Karena and Katrina for making such a fun, easy-to-follow, FREE program.  I know I can keep this up!  I can’t wait to see how my body changes in the next four weeks!!

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