Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Personally Connecting and a Fitbloggin’ Review Part One

Too often in today’s world, we don’t really, truly connect with the world. We follow bloggers, are inspired by their journeys and comment on their Instagram photos. But, are we REALLY connecting? Our inclination these days is to send a text or an email instead of talking on the phone. A few weeks ago I realized that while I text and chat with a friend of mine who lives on the east coast almost every day, I actually haven’t talked to him on the phone in a year and a half. I called him, almost immediately…and then again the following week. What this world needs more of is personal contact. What I need more of is personal contact. This year, personal, real connections are one my top goals. I make phone calls instead of texts. I send thank you notes in the mail instead of a quick email. I send congratulatory cards instead of congratulatory Facebook messages. I meet friends for drinks instead of Gchatting.  I always feel better after real connections.

So, instead of just commenting on one of my favorite bloggers’ Facebook posts, I decided to go to Fitbloggin’ and meet a community of people just like me striving for and living healthier lifestyles.

This year was my first Fitbloggin’ Conference—one of the many fitness and health conferences hosted each year. I didn’t know a single person in real life and I’m new to blogging but thought, hey why not? Here are my thoughts on Fitbloggin’ and why you should get involved too.

A Real Community

The health, weight loss, and fitness blogging community is incredibly nice and inclusive. I didn’t have a roommate and got an offer from Julie Goes Healthy to room with her, Just One Cupcake and Running Shoes and a Saute Pan. They were all amazing and super accommodating. Big thanks to them for helping a girl out.

The rest of the community was amazing as well. I met more bloggers in the lobby, in the elevator, on my hotel floor and in the sessions. I always had someone to talk to whether it was sitting at a table or tripping over myself at Zumba Fest.

Workout Sessions

I went to Zumba Fest, Posture Fit, and Yoga on the Rooftop.  Zumba is zumba…I can’t dance. I don’t usually try but the community that attends Fitbloggin' doesn’t judge you because you can’t bounce your booty right. They had a variety of instructors leading dances, each with their own style. Some of the instructors were outside my wheelhouse—a little too quick for my two left feet and one instructor could dance like Beyonce. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m not Beyonce. 

As for PostureFit, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a real difference with both my posture and my core. First of all, I have terrible posture. So much so that in the last year during my day job, I started sighing all day. Turns out if you have crappy posture, you can’t breathe right and your body looks for ways to get breath in. Also, my abs hurt for about 3 days after a 15 minute session.

Yoga on the Rooftop was ah-mazing. The view was first rate. Even though it was outside, it was still quiet. I didn’t get there in time to get a yoga mat so I ended up with a towel, which was a little frustrating but I made do.  

Overall, all of the fitness classes I attended were great—I just wish there were more. I would love to see short workouts with the breaks in between sessions. It would give us an opportunity to stretch it out or do a quick HIIT workout.


While I wasn’t planning on attending the Branding session with Emily Ho, I ended up at the session. I’m glad I didn’t miss it because it was one of my favorite! She got our group asking the right questions and talking about ourselves the way we need to be.

The Sweat Pink ladies and Kelly Olexa with of Fitfluential fame were also top sessions for me. What was useful about their sessions is that they got real, they gave numbers, examples, and worked through issues. For someone starting out in blogging or looking to grow their blog, these are the sessions you need to be in.

Some of the sessions overlapped and I wish there were more options but then again I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t engaged during the call for sessions.


I worked out. I met great people. I learned a lot (more on this later this week) and talked to some amazing brands about what they look for in bloggers (more on this too). I’m really happy that I went—and I’m doing it again in 2016.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eating Clean and a Little Bit of Progress

I've done 21 Day Fix before. I was pretty successful for the first round but I felt so constricted by the containers and gained all of the weight back. So, I did some research and figured out the measuring cup equivalents to the containers and am finding a lot more success in eating clean.

I started a new round on Monday, which is the first full day of summer, as a part of a 30 day accountability group. I also thought it would be a great way to kick off Fitbloggin week. I figured all of this momentum and timing has to keep me more motivated to stay on track.

I'm two and a half days in and things are going pretty well. I've already lost three pounds so I think that's good progress. I feel less bloated too, which is another bonus.

I've found through many trial and errors is that I can't just have a cookie (as in one). I can't just have "a little" candy or "a few chips." A little and a few turns into a whole bag, then I have sugar or salt cravings and then I have another little bit. Then, a few more chips and then my pants don't fit.

Some people have self control. I haven't learned this yet when it comes to certain foods.

Part of the benefit of being part of group has been that I have to report to the group what I eat, what I drink and how much I move every single day. The group is small enough that my Beachbody Coach and leader, Linnea, will know when I don't check in. Plus the group is super supportive and you get ideas of what other folks eat.

I am traveling to Fitbloggin' in Denver later this week so I must be on my best behavior while in the airport. I'm sure I'll be able to pick up some healthy snacks from conference sponsors though!

I'm excited to feel better. I'm excited to see progress. Man those sugar cravings can get you though (don't worry, I'm staying strong right now!).

(These are all my opinions and I wasn't paid to say nice things about Linnea...I just like to say nice things about her.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Early Morning Walks

Walking my dog is something that puts me at ease--especially in the morning. The streets are quiet. In the summer, the sun is out or there's daylight. Most people aren't out on the street driving or walking. I don't often see other people out walking their dogs. It is so completely peaceful.

Let's be clear: I'm not a morning person and that's probably why a morning walk does so much for me. I really don't want to talk to people first thing in the morning. In fact, I want to watch a little TV, check my email/news, and figure out what the priorities are for the day.

I've been in a funk with my mornings lately, which have turned into a grumpy attitude and not being as productive as I could be. So, with the break in the rain for a few hours a couple of days ago, I started walking the dogs again. Feeling better, I decided to get up and go early.

I forgot how much walking in the morning clears out the sleepy fog and gets my brain really churning. I know part of the mood boost is the fact that it is exercise and according to Elle Woods, endorphins make you happy. Early morning walks also seem to be a time to reflect.  While I can't sit still enough to be successful at meditation yet, maybe my morning works are a good way to transition to it.

I'm definitely going to put the morning walk back into my routine. Now, if it could only stop raining every day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Almost Time for My First Fitbloggin Conference

I took the plunge and am attending the Fitbloggin' 15 Conference in 22 short days. I'm not regularly posting yet--its a challenge as is focusing on getting healthy and losing weight. However, I know from experience spending a few days with other people with the same mindset, attending a conference sessions, and working out will be super inspirational.

So, with three weeks to go to Fitbloggin, I'm doubling down on my efforts to get healthier. I'm currently on day two of a five day clean eating challenge. It certainly is a challenge to cut out all of the crap I like to snack on but its a great way to kick off the month.  I'm on day two and have stuck to it about 85% of the time. If I can eat clean  80-90% of the time, that's certainly progress. We all know eating right is 80% of the game. So, if I can get that down, then I'm cruising along to a healthier lifestyle.

At the beginning of each month, I set goals and make a list of the things I want to accomplish during the month--everything from life and career to fitness and health. I thought it would be fun to share my top three health and fitness goals for the month on the blog!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What Not To Do When You Are On a Sugar Detox

As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a sugar detox. I’ve been great at it. No cheats…for the first 7 days. Then, I cheated. In fact, I cheated big and had ice cream.

So, what do you not what to do if you are sugar detoxing?


It was bad. My stomach was upset within about 10 minutes. I bloated immediately. And, my stomach hurt for the rest of the night. The next day I still wasn’t right. It was almost like a sugar hangover. I didn’t start feeling right until 4pm…THE NEXT DAY.

But hey, I learned my lesson, didn’t I? Don’t cheat with something full of sugar when you haven’t had any for a week. Or maybe the bigger lesson is that sugar is making me sick (and overweight, duh!). Let’s just say, I haven’t cheated since and I don’t plan on it.

Other than the cheating incident, I have some other news. Turns out that if you cut out sugar, eat healthy and at least be a bit active, you are going to lose weight. I lost 6lbs and 5 inches off my body after one week of detoxing and staying within in my calorie range!!

If this is the first post you are reading about my sugar detox journey, I want to make it clear—I’m not doing a wacky diet (although I’ve done plenty over my lifetime) or doing the sugar detox to lose weight (although that’s a great side effect). I realized I had a sugar/sweets habit that I needed to break and I went cold turkey. Also, I still eat fruit.

Overall, I’m really happy with the direction that I’m going and the commitment to eating healthier!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Pains of Sugar Detoxing and the Start of a Squat Challenge

I'm in the middle of day 5 of a sugar detox. This is some hard stuff.

Truth be told, I like candy. I like pastries and donuts and cupcakes. I've cut out sweets before but never cold turkey--and my habits crept back and so did a couple pounds. So last weekend, it became apparent that I don't have any self control and it was time to cut out sugar and sweets cold turkey.

I customized the detox for me because eating fruit isn't the problem--and fruit is healthy. Sugar is everywhere though. The cravings have been rough but if I crack, I know I'm going down the Candyland Lane for a vacation. I just keep saying no. I look at it and say no. I walk by it, stop, contemplate, and say no.

Yesterday (Day 4) was the first day I didn't want to say screw it, I'm getting some gummy bears and a donut. I'm finding that the cravings are getting lighter and less frequent. I'm closing in on the first full week of no sugar (its a small milestone that I set for myself) and I am beginning to think I can make it to 30 days.

And, the great thing is that (along with watching what I eat and moving my butt) I've lost 3lbs since Monday! That certainly gives me more motivation to keep going.

If I didn't give up time and time again, I would have been at my goal weight. But, I have the opportunity to really focus on myself for the first time in YEARS so I'm planning to take advantage of it.

Since today also marks May 1st, I wanted to create an additional challenge to up my shape up for the coming pool and beach time.

I'm already done with half of the May 1 squats and I'm also 15 miles in on my miles challenge too! Progress is truly one step at a time, and well, one squat at a time too.

Here's the squat challenge I created if you want to join me and are looking to shape up your bottom half as we head into summer!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

200 Miles Until Summer Challenge (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Lots of changes have happened in 2015 and I've lost about 10lbs. It's progress but not exactly where I want to be. So, I've put together a little challenge for myself to motivate me to increase my miles and get healthier as we count down to summer. Truth be told, I've got my eye on a pair of Lilly Pulitzer shorts but my legs need to be in much better shape to look good in them.

200 miles is completely reasonable over the next 60 days. That's only about 3 and a half miles a day between now and June 21st. Not too bad right?

Now I'm not a runner or anything so many of these miles will be done walking for me. The great thing about challenges is that you can do the challenge where you are today. If you are a runner, run those miles. Since, I don't love running but know I should be doing it, 2/3 of the miles will be walking but I'm also going to push myself to run some. If I don't push myself, then who will?

The graphic above is for online content but if you want to print the check list for free of course, click here!

I'll be periodically checking in with my progress as the days progress and the miles add up. Happy mileage!