Fitness


Back to the Basics Fitness

After being cleared to exercise last Monday, I was so excited to get back to a consistent workout routine! I told my husband that he needed to be ready to watch M when he got home because I was going to the gym. He came home, I got ready to go, hopped onto the treadmill and… walked. I seriously underestimated how hard exercise would be. I ran a little bit but most of my workout was a walk. I did 2 miles in 35 minutes- by far my slowest time ever.

On Thanksgiving, I went to the park to meet up with my running buddy! We hadn’t run together since March. We ran (mostly walked) a 5k and finished in 50 minutes- my slowest 5k to date.

On Sunday, I went back to the gym and ran another 2 miles. I finished in 31 minutes. An improvement from my first run, but still slow.

At first, I was incredibly let down by my times. I ran half marathons! I have a 25 minute 5k PR. The only reason I walk during runs is if I’m cramped. Being slow is uncharacteristic of me. On top of all that, I felt self conscious because of the way I look. I was exercising in a big baggy shirt because all my shirts are either too tight or they don’t conceal the acne that has taken over my shoulders and back (thanks, Post Partum hormones!). I won’t lie, it reminded me of when I first started to get healthy and that made me feel horrible. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m out of shape. It’s frustrating! After throwing myself a pity party, I snapped back to reality. I just had a baby. I had a hard pregnancy. For months, I wasn’t able to be on my feet for more than 10 minutes, much less workout. Of course my body won’t be able to perform the way it did when I was in my best shape! What I needed to do was get back to the basics. I need to rebuild my endurance the same way I did before: one baby step at a time.

b2bworkout

Am I super excited about basically starting over? No. But I know so much more now that I can apply my knowledge to this weight loss “season” and come back in even better shape! There are still times that I feel terrible about how I look and how I feel, but I’m doing my best to make sure to keep that negative self-talk to a minimum. The fact that I’m working on getting back into shape is a win!


What’s Your Excuse? Fitness

During the first half of my pregnancy, I worked out a decent amount. I would go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week for an hour or so. It paled in comparison to my usual 4 to 6 times a week but I was pregnant and exhausted so I let myself take an extra day or so off. I posted pictures and updates fairly often and I remember posting one tweet that said something having to do with feeling sick and being pregnant but still working out. I hashtagged “what’s your excuse?”

Over the past few months, I’ve come to learn that I HATE that phrase.

After being put on bedrest, I wanted to work out but I couldn’t. I physically was unable and forbidden to do more than walk to the bathroom. Seriously, I was told that if I wanted to use the bathroom and shower right after, I would need to sit in the shower. Otherwise, I was told to use the bathroom, go back to bed and lay down, THEN go take a shower. I would log in to Facebook and Instagram and see posts like “35 weeks pregnant and crushing my gym session! What’s your excuse?” or “This guy has one leg/is 90 years old/has been in a wheelchair for 2 years, what’s your excuse?” These posts really hurt my feelings and, frankly, they made me feel like shit. I had an excuse. A damn good one too. But, somehow, I felt like it wasn’t enough of an excuse to not be in the gym. I missed running so much- I still do! As someone who has spent the last 4 years consistently in the gym, it was crushing to not only be unable to exercise, but see others rub my inability to exercise in my face. It really sucked.

Now, I understand the sentiment behind the phrase. It’s supposed to be motivating. A kick in the ass to people who are just lazy, right? And, sure, maybe I was emotional and that led to my feelings being hurt by these posts, but the phrase itself is judgmental. It assumes that you’re just making excuses if you’re not out there beasting a workout every day and that’s not the case. Why not just, “Hey, if I can do it, so can you!” If someone had asked me in person what my excuse was, I wonder how they would react if I’d told them. Well, my blood pressure is so high that I could end up having a seizure which could kill me and my unborn child. Is that a good enough excuse for you? It’s ridiculous.

Moving forward, I’m going to eliminate those types of phrases from my vocabulary. Not everyone has the ability to do what I can do and I don’t have the ability to do what other people do. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s just the way things are and that’s ok!

 

 


The Best At Home Workouts! Fitness

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Sometimes, it’s really hard to get to the gym. Maybe the hours aren’t ideal some days. Maybe you’re a stay at home parents and you’re not sure if you can stay at the gym for an hour. Or maybe the weather gets ridiculous (Northern Winters and Southern Summers, I’m looking at you) and working out outside is nearly impossible.

What do you do on those days? You could pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD or go on YouTube to find workout videos, but those get boring after watching the same video everyday.

Or, you could go to a website that is constantly updating their workouts, has workout challenges and programs, offers advice from trainers, and actually has some great workouts for less than $10 a month.

I’d go with option 2 and, luckily, that website exists! Cosmopolitan magazine has created CosmoBody. It’s like Netflix, but for workouts.

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Before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t endorse things I don’t love. I actually really dislike promoting workout/diet plans because I feel like a lot of them are scams to get you to consistently pay a good amount of money for something like a shake or workout DVD’s that end up sitting on a shelf somewhere. Some people have been very successful on those plans, but I am uncomfortable promoting them. This program, however, is so different. When CosmoBody first contacted me about promoting their website, I was a little hesistant because I didn’t know if it would be one of those “pay money and don’t get your money’s worth” things. I can honestly tell you that it’s not. To be honest, $10 a month is really cheap for the amount of resources they offer. There are a ton of different options for workouts on CosmoBody.

There are cardio videos like:

Cardio Dance (Hip Hop Dance 101 is a great video to get started!)
Kickboxing
Endurance workouts

even a workout that you do on a set of stairs!

Weight workouts/body conditioning workouts like:

10-2-10 Workout: 12 minute workout that works your entire body and leaves you sweaty. It incorporates plyo and some dumbbell work for a full workout. This workout was really tough!

Multiple yoga videos, interval training, and (my favorite part) challenges!

The Challenges are workout programs like:

30 Day Summer Action Plan
21 Day Total Body Makeover
5 Day Maintain Don’t Gain program

 

The workouts range from 5 minutes to over 30 minutes so there is a workout for any situation. One of the best things is that the workouts require minimal equipment. If you dont have any equipment at home, don’t worry! There are plenty of body weight workouts. Only have dumbbells? No problem. You don’t need a full set of weights or any machines for CosmoBody workouts. It truly is the Holy Grail of workout websites.

I am really looking forward to using this post-partum!

CosmoBody is letting you try it for free for 10 days, after that, it’s only $9.95 per month! To me, $10 a month is worth being able to stream workouts wherever you are.

Click here to sign up!

If you do sign up, let me know what you think! I am loving it!

Carrie Signature

 


The Truth Behind a Fit Pregnancy Fitness

Some women have pregnancies that give them energy to workout often, eat healthy, sleep well, and gain minimal weight.

I am learning that I am not one of those women.

How many Pinterest Pins have been pinned about “staying active while pregnant” or “working out with baby?” Probably a zillion. I’ve looked through a lot of those and, honestly, I am having such a hard time dealing with any of them. I am learning that there is a truth behind having a “fit pregnancy” that is not often talked about.

truth behind a fit pregnancy

 

That truth? Having a fit pregnancy is hard. Really hard.

Physically, this pregnancy is really beating me up. My morning sickness went away, then I had some stomach issues, then I caught a cold, and now morning sickness is back. Sure, someone could say, “Carrie, you’re just making excuses.” If you have never been pregnant, you cannot fathom the exhaustion that pregnancy brings. If you felt well enough to exercise during your first trimester then good on you, but that is not my experience. I’ve gone to the gym about twice per week, but that’s about as much as I can muster.

Emotionally, I am tired. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of seeing articles and pins about these perfect, healthy, fit pregnancies because guess what? That’s not always possible!

I am frustrated and I am hungry and I am nauseous and I am tired. And you know what?

That’s ok.

I am growing a human being. I am already superwoman. I don’t need to workout 5 times a week and eat clean to have a fit pregnancy. As long as I am eating healthy when I can and exercising when I can, I am having a fit pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, don’t let social media or so-and-so that you know make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Be honest with yourself and make sure you are doing what is best for you and for your baby.

If you are not pregnant, the same advice applies. Do what works for you.

Carrie Signature


Protein Packed Berry Smoothie Fitness

I don’t know about where you live, but it is starting to warm up quickly here in Savannah! It’s consistently been 80 degrees or warmer which means summer is right around the corner!

It gets VERY hot here during the summer. 90+ degrees with 70%+ humidity. It rains almost every afternoon (rains is an understatement– it torrentially downpours) which increases the humidity even more. It sounds miserable, and it can be sometimes, but it can make for a lot of fun too!

We can drive the 30 minutes to the beach on the weekends or enjoy an evening outside with friends over a grill and a fire pit. Summer brings a lot of fun things with it!

One thing I notice in the summer is that I start drinking a lot more smoothies, especially for breakfast. It’s often too hot to make a hot breakfast or lunch, so it’s easier just to stick a bunch of stuff in a blender and call it a day.

Here’s one of my favorite protein packed smoothies- it has a whopping 19g of protein!

protein smoothie

Protein Packed Berry Smoothie
originally published on A Guiltless Glutton

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice– I used Dole Peach Mango juice
  • 1/2 cup spinach

Directions

  • Put everything into a blender
  • Blend.

 

That’s it! Super easy and really yummy!

What is your favorite smoothie recipe?


18 Weight Loss Truths Fitness

weight loss truths

  1. Incorporating exercise into your routine is HARD at first.
  2. Running feels nearly impossible at the beginning.
  3. Completing a workout is extremely rewarding.
  4. You know how many calories are in pretty much anything.
  5. Calorie “sticker shock” is a real thing.
  6. Shopping for groceries is hard. (I will not buy Oreos. I will not buy Oreos.)
  7. Shopping for clothes is fun…(smaller sizes, YES)
  8. Shopping for clothes can make you cry. (goodbye, bank account)
  9. When people start to notice your weight loss? Win.
  10. You cry. Mostly at the beginning. (It’s hard to work hard and see little or no change!)
  11. You learn what determination is.
  12. You learn how to perservere.
  13. You find out more about who you are.
  14. You grow as a person.
  15. You become more confident.
  16. NSV’s become more important the longer you’re losing weight (weight loss has stalled? Well I still fit into a smaller jean size today!)
  17. Sometimes you get mad that you have to watch what you eat when everyone else seems to be able to eat whatever they want without a problem…
  18. But then you remember that everyone is different and that you are awesome!

 

What are some other weight loss truths you’ve experienced?

Carrie Signature


Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites Fitness

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for our family. Between family coming into town and Mike being out of town a couple of weekends, I haven’t really had the most steady routine which makes things hard for me. Couple that with the fact that I haven’t been feeling good and I am just all kinds of a mess.

Without a routine, it is really easy to fall into bad habits. I was able to stay active this weekend, thanks to a 5k I ran.

5k

It wasn’t my fastest 5k ever, but it felt good to get outside and run. I haven’t run in a few weeks and I really missed it! My running buddy, Gen, had a goal for time so she went on without me and she CRUSHED her goal. I was super proud of her!

Once I finished the 5k, my friend and I went to Waffle House for some breakfast and then I went home and went straight to bed. I was exhausted.

While the 5k kept me active this weekend, part of me really wanted to just sleep and eat junk. It’s really easy to use a race or an active weekend as an excuse to eat poorly. “I ran 5 miles, so I can totally eat this burger, large fries, and large shake, right?!” Wrong. Maybe once in awhile, but out of habit? No way. What you CAN do, however, is find a way to make that junk food healthy.

Enter: Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites.

Frozen buffalo chicken bites used to be huge in our house, but not anymore. They are so horrible for you and who knows what percentage of them is actually chicken. We stopped buying them but, lucky for Mike, I made up a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Bites that was healthy and still delicious. All you need is chicken, panko, some flour, some spices, and your favorite hot sauce. It’s super easy and you (or your kids) will love them!

healthy  buffalo chicken bites

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites
originally posted on A Guiltless Glutton

Servings: 2

Amount per serving: 245 calories—18g carbs—2g fat—40g protein

Ingredients:

**: nutrition information reflects ½ of the amount of the ingredient listed due to excess shaken off or not used during the process.

  • 12 oz chicken breast (it was about 3 chicken breasts for me)
  • ¼ cup flour**
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion salt
  • ½ cup Franks Red Hot or other buffalo sauce**
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs**
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut up your chicken breast into bite sized pieces.
  3. Mix together flour, garlic powder, and onion salt into a bowl.
  4. Pour the Franks Red Hot in another bowl.
  5. Pour the Panko into another bowl.
  6. Move each piece of chicken from the flour mixture to the buffalo sauce to the Panko then onto a greased (nonstick spray) baking sheet.
  7. Lightly spray the top of the bites and bake for 5 minutes. Flip, respray, and bake for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with a dressing of choice and dig in!

healthy buffalo chicken bites


Couscous and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Fitness

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The weather was amazing here last week! It was in the 80’s pretty much the entire week which, after a month of really cold temperatures, was a big breath of fresh air. We took advantage of the great weather by taking the dogs on a walk around a local park . The dogs loved it and it felt great to just get outside and be together as a family with no distractions.

When the weather gets warmer, it gets harder and harder to want to cook. The summers here are brutal so we end up living off salads since they take little to no cooking and they’re a great, fresh meal. Salads can get kind of repetitive after awhile, so I started mixing different combinations to make some pretty awesome salads. Of course there’s your normal lettuce and veggies salad, but I really like to mix them up!

A few months ago, I created one of my favorite salads so far: a Couscous and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

coucous and chicken salad

It’s topped with warm cous cous, grilled chicken (bonus- you can just use rotisserie chicken), and a homemade lemon vinaigrette. You could top it with some goat cheese or feta cheese and some dried cranberries if you’re feeling fancy, but it really doesn’t need anything else!

 

Couscous and Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
(originally posted on A Guiltless Glutton)

Serving: 1/2 recipe
Amount per serving (with Vinaigrette): 499 calories- 35g carbs- 22g fat- 23g protein

Ingredients:

For Salad

  • 1 cup couscous (or quinoa)
  • 10 oz. cooked chicken, chopped
  • 4 cups kale (or leafy green of your choosing)

For Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white sugar (you could use a substitute, but, honestly, sugar is just going to taste the best and one teaspoon of it is just fine)

Directions:

  1. Cook couscous as directed on package and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients together well.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine vinaigrette and kale and toss well.
  4. Serve on plates, top with couscous and chicken.

 

This is such a simple recipe and it will add happiness and health to your sunny days!


Staying Active on the Weekend Fitness

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever stayed on track with workouts and nutrition during the week and then spent the weekend eating junk and watching Netflix. *raises hand.* 

How miserable is that feeling? Monday morning rolls around and you feel awful because your body is filled with junk and you didn’t move as much as you should have. Those weekends can often roll over into weeks and then months until you wonder what you’re doing with life. Not a fun way to live!

This past week I’ve done so well eating right and exercising. I made some healthy banana chocolate chip muffins to satisfy my sweet tooth, I’ve made healthy choices when going out to eat, and I’ve included healthy meals into this week’s meal plan. I also worked out 4 days this week and I’ll be working out tomorrow too. It has been a very successful week!

All that being said, it’s Friday and, while I would love to just sit and do nothing and relax this weekend, it’s important to stay active! Here are some FUN things you can do to make sure you’re staying active this weekend!

staying active on the weekend

Hiking
The weather has been amazing here lately so it’s perfect for a good hike or walk on the beach. We don’t have mountains close to us, but we do have a lot of good places to walk like Fort Pulaski and Tybee Island.  Going hiking is a great way to get some fresh air, spend time with someone, and get in a good workout.

hiking for fitness

Gym Class
If it’s not quite warm enough for hiking, try going to a class you haven’t tried yet! While classes at the gym are often fewer during the weekends, gyms usually offer the staples like aerobics, spin, and yoga. Check your gyms class schedule and try one you haven’t done before!

Pickup Games
Have some friends and a Frisbee? Find a park and start a game of Ultimate Frisbee! If you can find a basketball court, volleyball net, or soccer field, get some people together and make a day out of being active together. Go to the beach and throw around a football! Some of my favorite summer memories are going to a friend’s house, having dinner and a beer, then walking over to a neighborhood park and playing a pickup game of soccer with some small nets our friend has. It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy the spring and summer weather while it lasts!

staying active

Shop
This may sound stupid, but shopping is a good way to get off your butt. Yeah, you’re not exerting a ton of energy but if you go to the mall for a couple of hours, that’s a couple of hours you’ve spent walking on your feet and not sitting watching a movie. Imagine how many FitBit steps that would be!

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do something to keep you moving this weekend. Your body will thank you for it!

What is your favorite weekend activity?

Carrie Signature


5 Things Losing Weight Has Taught Me Fitness

When you go through challenging things, you tend to learn a lot about your life. I have had my fair share of challenging times and I have learned so much about myself through each of them that some of them don’t seem so bad. Learning and growing from those experiences is a silver lining to the bad things.

Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have done. Not just 5-pounds-for-spring-break weight loss, but a “I’m a pre-diabetic which high cholesterol at 19 year old” type weight loss. It was medically necessary and it was hard. There were definitely times that I wanted to just give up because it was hard, I was working my ass off, and I wasn’t seeing any results. Spoiler alert: I didn’t give up and I learned a lot along the way.

  weight loss lessons

  1. Willpower can get you through anything.
    There’s a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s hilarious and you should watch it, but that’s besides the point. There’s an episode where Kimmy says that you can get through anything for 10 seconds. I think Tina Fey read my mind when writing the script for that show because I lived by that motto throughout my weight loss journey. I would tell myself I could do anything for 15 minutes and then say it again 15 minutes later. It got me through workouts, cravings, anything. I knew I could do what I needed to do for 15 minutes.As long as you can really push yourself and hold yourself accountable, your willpower can get you through anything.
  2. Fast progress isn’t always the best progress
    While it feels amazing to see weight fly off, it’s often not the best thing. At the beginning, my weight came off like crazy. I also had a lot of weight to lose. As I lost weight, it came off slower and slower until I plateaued- which is normal. What I should have done, however, is not attempted such a fast loss in the first place. While websites will tell you you can lose 2 pounds a week safely, it is much safer and more long-term if you stick to half and pound to a pound loss per week. Losing too quickly will throw your body out of whack and lead to faster plateaus. You also may gain back that weight. I did and it was so discouraging. When I regained the weight, it came back differently so I don’t look as heavy as I did when I weighed what I weigh before, but the weight came back and it can be frustrating.Learn from my mistake: slow loss is better!
  3. Negativity breeds negativity.
    When you’re going through a major life change, it’s important to evaluate your surroundings and prioritize what is important to you. On the top of that list should be getting rid of negativity in your life. You will realize that there may be people in your life that cause more stress, drama, or negativity than positivity and it’s important to minimize your interaction with them. Sometimes it can be hard because they may be family or old friends, but it’s important to realize that you deserve to have positive energy around you. You are a person, not an emotional punching bag. If you notice someone is complaining to you about their life more than they are being uplifting, have a conversation with them. You are bettering yourself and you need positivity in your life.Which brings me to my next point…
  4. A positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure
    Staying positive will always give you the push you need to finish a workout or choosing a healthy meal. Removing negative self-talk will help you view yourself in a positive way which will lead to a much more happy and healthy journey.
  5. How you look on the outside doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
    Out of all the things I learned, this was the most important. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way, but it’s important to separate looks and self-worth. You are so much more than your weight or your pant size or the number of abs that you have visible. The scale doesn’t show how strong you are or how fast you can run or how kind you are. Don’t let the scale have an impact on those things because it doesn’t indicate anything other than how much force is being exerted on your body due to gravity. You are much more than that.

If you have gone through weight loss, what kinds of things did you learn?

Carrie Signature

 



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