Category: Health + Fitness

Another weekend of DOING ALL THE THINGZ!!!

By , February 19, 2018 12:59 pm

While I was sad my parents had to leave late yesterday morning (I wanted to hang out more!) it was a blessing in disguise because Steven and I were worn the f*ck out from our weekend of doing all the things, and needed a day to be sloths. It felt good to do almost nothing after two and a half busy days!

And I am still feeling lazy so I am going to bullet this shiz up, ha!

On Thursday

  • Mom and Dad arrived at 6:30 pm and we ate homemade vegan alfredo sauce on pasta! And dessert was a vegan apple pie sent from my mom’s mom!

  • After dinner, Steven and Dad went to Menards to get the beam and other wood for the basement project, while Mom and I watched the Olympics, then screwed around in the basement gym for a bit.

On Friday

  • I taught class at 5:00 am, and Dad and I went for a run (me)/bike (him) when I got back.

  • Then Mom, Dad, and I went to the 10:15 showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I laughed so much, and we all liked it. I usually do NOT like Jack Black (except in The Holiday) but his character cracked me the hell up in Jumanji!!!

  • We went to Aldi after that (where we picked up a Kringle for Mom and Dad to try!), the came home and made lunch (salads and couscous). Steven came home from work and ate with us, then he and Dad got to work in the basement.
  • And Mom and I got to work shopping at the outlet mall! I live so close to the outlet mall – it’s less than a ten minute drive, and I even run through there and fill up my water bottle on long runs. We found a few deals, and made sure to send my snister photos of the clothes we were trying on.

Sample photo we sent Christina, ha

I only got two soaps and a new PocketBac at B&BW. Restraint FTW!!!

  • We went to Woodman’s (a grocery store) after to get ingredients so Mom could make a cake she wanted to try vegan for me (and to get some things I needed).
  • Then we went home and made chili and cornbread for dinner (and had pie and Kringle for dessert!). Steven and Dad kept working until we ate, then went back in to the basement to work more, after. I’ll do a separate post about the project, but it was structural, so there were parts of the night we were told not to be in certain parts of the house (on the stair landing or in the kitchen). Mom and I were playing Blokus in the kitchen when we were told we needed to move (they were putting a beam in underneath us, so I understand why!), so we went to the living room, but they had turned the power off, so we played Blokus by candle light. Ha.

On Saturday

  • Dad came to my Indoor Cycling class (then went back home to work in the basement with Steven after)!

  • And Mom came to my Fitness Boxing class!

  • After class, Mom and I went to the Holcomb Hollow grand opening, then ran errands at the mall. I hate going to the mall (and shopping, in general) so it was nice to have Mom with me! I got my rings cleaned, and did an exchange.
  • Then we picked up everyone’s favorite El Famous Burrito for a late lunch! (Seriously, most people who visit us want to go there!)

  • The boys ate a late lunch with us, sampled some of the Holcomb Hollow treats (and had more Kringle) then got back to work. Mom and I went for a swim (we swam for about ten minutes then used the hot tub for forty!). When we came back, I helped her book a hotel for her March trip with her mom to Mount Rushmore.
  • I made a stir fry type dish for dinner, and the boys ate with us, then, you guessed it – got back to work. I helped them clean out one (huge) duct and later, hold some ducts in place. That is basically all I did on that project. <— so helpful (they didn’t care, but I feel a smidge guilty to be entertaining my mom and not helping much)
  • After dinner, mom got to work on the cake she wanted to make. It was called a Hummingbird Cake (recipe here), and the main flavorings were banana and pineapple. She decided to make it in to cupcakes. It turned out AMAZING! We all liked it, and had some close to 11:00 pm. Oops. SO MUCH SUGAR ON THIS VISIT AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  • The boys finished up the project around 10:30/11:00!

On Sunday

  • Dad and I went on a run in the morning, then I finished up this dishcloth real quick for Mom to take with her.

Ha, it’s obviously NOT blocked

  • Then they packed up and were off! We took a quick usie since, of course, we got no photos of all four of us throughout the weekend.

We’re extremely grateful my parents visited to help us with this basement project. My dad is so helpful with house projects (or any project). Steven and I were impressed that they got it done in one and a half days of work, and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I was the one helping him with it (because I have way less experience)!

And I appreciate my mom running errands with me and helping me out with other things around the house! And being up for doing anything I suggest, ha.

I really do hope though, on the next visit, all FOUR of us can do something fun, like go to a movie, or bowling, or out for a meal!!! I bet we can make it happen!

My 10 Group Fitness Instructors “Dos”

By , February 13, 2018 6:27 am

When I’m reading the “Dos and Don’ts” for group fitness instructors in the magazines I receive from my personal training organization, I sometimes find myself on the “Don’t” list. Oopsie!

I shouldn’t be:

  • Talking about myself
  • Testing out so much music on my classes
  • Swearing or playing music with swear words
  • Overweight
  • Teasing
  • Giving unclear direction (I have word vomit/get words mixed up or together from time to time)

Like I said, “oopsie!” A lot of the work of being a fitness instructor is being “on,” and it’s hard to hide certain parts of my personality (telling bad stories/jokes, teasing, swearing, etc.). And besides, when else do I have people’s undivided attention to listen to me?! Ha, I kid, I kid… sorta.

could work on all of the things on that list though…

But I am not writing this post to be down on myself! I am writing it to share the list of group fitness instructor “Dos” that I live by:

  1. Plan safe workouts for all planes of motions/incorporate basic moves, and don’t get too crazy trying new stuff/combos
  3. Give adequate breaks
  4. Be encouraging
  5. Start and stop class on time
  6. Stretch before and after we work out
  7. Greet everyone when they arrive and say goodbye when they leave/give people my attention… until I am interrupted, then always follow up later
  8. Ask how people’s bodies are feeling and follow up on injuries
  9. Keep in touch with people after they stop taking my class
  10. MAKE IT FUN!!!

These are all important to me, but especially the last one. Everyone needs to strength train and not many people do it. So why not make it fun when we do?

I’m reusing an old photo because I don’t have many of myself teaching! I’ll have to retake this with my mom this weekend when she takes my fitness boxing class!!!!!

Tempo or familiarity?

By , January 20, 2018 7:06 am

The playlists I create for my weekend* classes are crucial to the success of the class.

I keep fitness boxing songs at a certain tempo and energy, to keep the class moving. And I put the most intense songs at the end of class.

When Mom came to fitness boxing!

My indoor cycling class relies on the playlist to lead the workout. The workout is timed “per song,” and I find appropriate songs for intervals, “hills,” riding out the saddle, sprints, and so on. (It’s quite a bit of work, ha!)

I have favorite songs, but I’m always trying to find new music so things don’t get stale.

So here’s my question! When you’re attending a group fitness class, what’s more important to you – that the song has the right tempo to get you moving, OR that you’re familiar with the song? Or a bit of both?

I am wondering if people work out harder to songs they know, or if a tempo of a song they don’t know can just take over and lead the way. IF that makes sense.

When I took group classes, it was all about tempo and style. I remember taking a few and thinking “I HAVE to find out what that song is!” I didn’t need to be familiar with the song.

It’s different when I run though – I prefer the upbeat, sometimes high tempo songs I know.

Let me know what you think – I am curious how other people operate!

(And I think my students like my playlists. I’ve gotten compliments on them, and two gave me an iTunes gift card for Christmas and said “we love the playlists you make!” Aww.)

*I’ve found it doesn’t matter as much with my weekday strength classes, but I do often put the higher tempo/more intense music at the end of class.


By , December 27, 2017 6:39 am

People are already mentioning their anticipation of “resolutioners” crowding their gyms after the new year.


There must be something I am missing, likely because I only go to a large gym to swim, and teach at a small studio – the crowding tends not to affect me. (Is that all it is? People using the equipment/machines you want to use?)

But why all the grumbling, and meanness, toward someone who is only trying to get healthier? Someone who could potentially be a new friend? Someone you could potentially help out, and in turn, help them stick to their fitness goals?

Don’t dread the “resolutioners”!

I wrote about this two years ago, and I still feel the same way:

For the entire year, but especially January:

To all the friends/family/acquaintances/strangers you see beginning or restarting their fitness journey – BE ENCOURAGING. BE KIND. BE PATIENT.

People succeed when they’re part of a supportive group of people sharing a similar goal (in this case, becoming healthier). Be part of that group for them. It’s hard enough to be consistent with a fitness routine. Don’t make it more intimidating for beginners.

If you’re working out for the first time, starting up again, or trying to ramp intensity up – BE ENCOURAGING, BE KIND, BE PATIENT – with yourself.

It will be hard at first. Know that with consistency, it becomes easier. Don’t dwell on what you could do in the past. Life is static and we change. How boring would life be if we didn’t have continual hiccups giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience?!

You can see the rest of that post, here!

What’s skincare? (& other stories)

By , November 14, 2017 8:56 pm

I was at the salon getting my eyebrows waxed and sat in the beautician’s chair after so she could show me some eyebrow makeup.

But first:

What kind of foundation do you use?

I don’t use any.

Oh! What kind of moisturizer do you use then?

Uh… none.

Do you use a lotion?

Um, not really.

What do you use to wash your face?

Sometimes soap, in the shower (but not that often).

So yeah, probably not the best audience for that $78 bottle of moisturizer (even though it felt amazing). But I would like to try something new for my brows!

Similar to Monday’s sentiment, there are probably a whole lot of things I could be doing to take better care of myself. Eek!

have been eating healthier. Yay! As a result, I have more energy (duh). But I also have a lot of work to do before some of my clothes fit again, and until I can run faster. I’ll get there. (But will I stay there? Muah ha ha. Ugh.)

Mentioning my diet reminds me of a conversation with a coworker. We were talking on the phone around lunch time and both of us were finishing up our meals. I told her I was having a peanut butter cup. She goes “I bet it’s some healthy, organic peanut butter cup!” It’s hilarious to me that people assume I eat über healthy because I am vegan.

It’s also hilarious to me that this brand of peanut butter cups actually is organic. That’s not something I shop for!

Speaking of work, I had more dreams last night about missing the train, then not being able to figure out the train schedule so that I could get on a later train to work (then somehow I ended up in a wedding dress). Is this better or worse than the dream I woke up to Monday, about a fatality I witnessed at an amusement park?

Ahh, commuting. Today’s train was late, and it was raining a bit. Whenever I commute to the office in rain/snow/bad weather, I think about a coworker who doesn’t come in anymore and how they often contact the people who do come in on days like this to say things like “the weather is so crappy this morning!” and “how was the commute?!” Annoying. And unnecessary.

Another reminder!

By , April 17, 2017 12:19 pm

So soon? Crazy!

I was scrolling through my Instagram recommended feed this weekend and clicked on a picture and was really disappointed by the text, which was that person making fun of another person they saw working out during their workout.


It really bugs me when people on social media* make fun of other people (strangers) they see working out (or doing anything!), and ESPECIALLY if they’ve included a picture of them. I know annoying things happen and it feels good to vent about it and have other people agree, but it’s just NOT COOL.

If what’s happening is a real issue of safety, or someone is heavily violating gym etiquette, get an authoritative figure involved.

Otherwise, I don’t want to read** about someone who does xyz too slow, has bad form, sweats too much, looks stupid in their gym clothes, and so on and so on. Unless it’s about how you’re helping them, focus on you! And support the other people who are out there trying to get healthy, even if they are annoying AF!

*Just do it offline! Vent to a friend!
**Ha ha, so don’t read it, right? I don’t – when I see stuff like this, I usually skip it. I just happened to see this on Instagram!

Random Thoughts Thursday 95

By , April 14, 2016 6:25 am
  • On Monday, Steven and I were outside filling up the bird feeders and when we got back to the garage I noticed an animal in the yard. Holy crap, it was Data! We accidentally left the door in to the garage open and he got out and was eating grass. Eek! I am happy he didn’t stray far (or run from me when I went to retrieve him).
  • Data has it rough at the new house, chasing the sun around all day. So much movement!


  • Last year at work, we were given a choice between receiving a monetary bonus or a time off bonus. The worth of each option was equal. I chose time off, since we have a long vacation coming up in June… then found out the next day that our close costs were WAY more than we thought, and that we’d have to pay in a lot on our taxes. Sigh. I felt stupid for making that choice, for a few months, but now? I am happy I did. The money stuff mostly worked out, and now I don’t have to stress about having enough time off for that trip in June, while I take afternoons off here and there.
  • This article (pdf here) about ConBody gym in Manhattan is interesting! Coss Marte is an ex-convict who was having trouble finding work after serving time. After a passer-by asked to join him and his friends in a workout that he developed in prison, he thought to start his own workout studio to teach his “prison-style boot camp,” regain his economic freedom, and employ other ex-cons who are struggling to find work. The studio has been very successful with 300 to 400 people a week taking one of the 40 classes offered. Great story of someone making a comeback and interesting workout idea – whole body movements you can do in a small space!
  • The mention of “boot camp” style workouts got me thinking about how a lot of those are outdoors (although not ConBody), so I guess that means no music? Music is a big tool in the classes I teach – I wonder what it would be like to teach a class without it!
  • This has really been a bit of a sh*t week for me. Stupid stuff going on at work, stupid stuff going on with our contractors, people being stupid… ugh. I hope things turn around.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 94


By , April 12, 2016 6:22 am

Ideally, this is what our fridge and counter will look like in the upcoming weeks before the Wisconsin Half Marathon…



Okay, ideally, they look like this ALL the time.

And actually, ideally, they don’t look quite like this… they look picked over, because I am eating this stuff, instead of other carby snacks!

Ahh, if only I had the same discipline in eating, that I do with working out. Baby steps!

Going for it!

By , March 26, 2016 6:08 am

When we were putting things away in the storage room, I came across my box of one, two and three size too big work pants and jeans and said “Forget it! I am getting rid of these!”


So I did!

And hopefully, I don’t regret it.

Especially with all those peanut butter cups in the house!

(I still need to go through packed up things that still fit and see if there’s anything else to get rid of – I imagine there will be. I think there may be another box or two of things that are too big, as well, that I can donate.)

No More Ms. Yo Yo

By , February 3, 2016 9:40 pm

Please, please, let this stick. 

I’ve lost a decent amount of weight since the fall, and kept it off for a few months. I feel great.

And I want to keep feeling this way.

But I don’t know how.

I’ve yo-yoed in my weight for years. Not from following fad diets – just from going on and off with binge eating.

I’ll be eating well, with daily indulgences and no restrictions, but being careful with seconds and too much snacking then I just… stop… caring… and start binge eating again. I exercise the same amount, but you can’t run your way out of a poor diet. And the weight comes back.

I can’t pinpoint what makes me stop caring to anything.

It’s so frustrating.

I’m determined for that not to happen this time. I am sick of being Ms. Yo Yo.

I know it’s going to be hard. I think it will come down to getting out of the moment and seeing the big picture – which, of course, is something I am not so good at in most facets of life. But I need to get better about making decisions for the future and not necessarily for the moment. And not making such rash decisions. I’ll get there.


Notes like this in my office are my attempt to remember what’s ahead!

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59 ‘queries’.