workin’ it

i’d be lying if i said that maintaining the motivation to workout with a newborn has been easy.  honestly there are days i want credit just for putting on my workout clothes.  

before carson i’d easily workout 6-7 times a week, doing both strength training and distance running.  i always felt great but despite those feel good endorphins  and the runner’s high it’s been a struggle getting back in to a consistent routine.  some days are better than others.  since having the baby i’ve creatively found ways to squeeze in a good day’s work that leaves me motivated and feeling ‘the burn’ without all of the time away guilt.  here’s what has worked for me.  if anyone else has suggestions for how their balancing motherhood with other demands and working out i’d love to hear ‘em.

1) do what you can when you can.  forget consistency.  if the baby only sleeps for 20 minutes or you have to pump in 30 then workout until that time.  tone it up has great workouts that vary in length and are easy to fit into any time frame. 

2) expand your workout repertoire.  i used to just run.  then i used to run and strength train.  i had a very regimented schedule and stuck to it.  now i may take a class over lunch at work, distance run on the weekends, fumble through a hiit routine, squeeze in a 5k with the dog during the week and strength train to whatever videos fit into my baby’s sleep/wake schedule.  flexibility has been key.

3) see: YouTube! speaking of tone it up you can find their workout videos and several others on YouTube.  this was definitely a lifesaver over the holidays. 

 4) do more with less.  the days of long morning runs are gone.  unless it’s a weekend my runs are limited to 3 miles of interval and incline pacing.  

5) workout wear.  sometimes a new top, pants or even a good fitting pair of socks can get me motivated to hit the gym.  but unless i’ve added a swipe of mascara and rolled on the de-puffer i’ll still feel frumpy (and look like a 12 year old).  #whateverworks

6) insta-gratification.  my body has allowed me to run a marathon, birth a child, windsurf in jamaica and hike miles uphill in hawaii in 90% humidity.  it’s done incredible things and honestly i’m proud of it.  like any woman though, there are days. thanks to instagram i can post a picture on an off day and get the positive encouragement i need to keep going.

7) bikini season.  call me vain.  honestly i don’t care.  i have every intention of looking good in a swimming suit come summer. 

8) quit with the excuses.  motivation is a like a muscle.  it needs exercised to get stronger.  i could have totally played the ‘new mom’ card several times and skipped a gym sesh but i forced myself to go and EVERY TIME felt more motivated to continue.

tone it up!

if you’ve been following my insta account lately (srsobo) then you’re aware that i have been -obnoxiously- posting with the hashtag ‘tiu.’  after some questions about what the infamous ‘tiu’ tag stands for i thought it was time to let you all in on the ‘tiu’ (aka Tone it Up!) craze.

as far as I’m concerned Tone it Up! is one of the best kept secrets in fitness and health.  Tone it Up! is a lifestyle program that encompasses all things healthy lifestyle: nutrition, workouts, support and motivation. and the best part is it’s completely free! (well kind of.)  now i won’t go so far as to say that Tone it Up! has significantly changed my life; i’ve always been healthy and loved to exercise but, it has helped me to achieve results in a relatively short amount of time.  

what it is
what was once a side gig for two stunning, sun-kissed trainers in 2009, Tone it Up! has ballooned into a booming business empire. (now on Bravo!) not only are the trainers, Katrina and Karena, gorgeous they are positive, motivational, intense, and down to earth.  they’re also tech savvy and use social media to connect with their followers; encouraging beaucoup tweets and picture uploads.  hence the insta uploads.  here’s the skinny ;o) on how to get started.

tiu founders, trainers, motivators – inspirations
how it works
you can choose your level of participation in the Tone it Up! program based on what you’re willing to spend and the time you want to invest.  for me I simply wanted more structure to my workout routine and something that would motivate me to actually do more than my morning run.  after quickly signing up in January i participated in the ‘Love Your Body’ series and was instantly hooked.  ‘Love Your Body’ is just one of several series offered throughout the year and that include fun challenges with playful names like WineNOTWednesday. why wouldn’t you want to participate?!?
anyway after you sign up you’ll be sent a monthly calendar and weekly workout plans that you’ll be encouraged to try.  you’ll also have access to the blog which posts inspirational stories and waistline friendly recipes.  once you’ve got the calendar and workout plan all you have to do is give it a try.  once you’ve finished a workout or tried a new recipe share your experience on your social media account of choice, tag ‘tiu’ and see what happens.  the ‘tiu community’ is thousands strong and is probably the best part of the whole program – hands down.  the followers show love whether your sweaty or not and totally get it if you’re not feeling it on any particular day.  they’ll encourage you regardless and keep you motivated to move in the right direction.  this part of the program is free, free, free!

posts from my insta account
if your interested in getting information on what to eat, when to eat and how to make good clean meals without much thought then I’d suggest purchasing the nutrition plan.  the Tone it Up! plan is customizable and for the one-time fee ($150) it provides more recipes and workouts than what’s available on the blog but, if you’re eating right and proportionate 5-6 times a day it’s probably not worth the spend.  i’ve gone the free route for now but, maybe Iill pony up the cash at some point to give the nutrition plan a whirl.  it gets rave reviews on the community and the recipes look delish!  
bottom line: Tone it Up! is the perfect companion for a positive lifestyle change and highly recommended if you’re looking to get fit for an upcoming event for bikini season!

holiday detox: 4 for 30

it’s time to get serious!  i’ve been eating like crap for far too long and the last month of indulgent, rich holiday goodies didn’t help my situation.  in fact since I ran the marathon last October i’ve been eating without abandon – ravishing my cupboards at night and saying ‘yes’ to office treats and afternoon latte breaks.  sure all those sugary drinks, pizza slices and oreos were tasty but after the high wears off i’m left feeling bloated and tired.  sexy. not!!!! 

i need to get back on track and a diet mt. dew is NOT the answer.  i need to do something that will inspire and motivate me.  i need accountability and whatever i do has to be realistic.  i do not do spinach or kale!  so here’s the plan:

1) commit to 30 days of visual accountability.  for the next 30 days i’ll chronicle my healthy choices and progress through pictures on my insta account (srsobo) to keep me accountable and motivated. it’ll be a visual reminder that it’s possible to make fit happen on the daily.  

2) (more often than not) make the healthy choice in spite of temptation.  whole wheat english muffin & peanut butter vs. cereal; apple vs. kit kat; sleep vs. the bachelor; water vs. pop; workout vs. online shopping – you get the idea.

3) do what works.  for me, flexibility works.  self-control works.  eating from a strict paleo diet or following a rigid workout regimen isn’t realistic for my lifestyle but that doesn’t mean i can’t commit to eating cleaner more frequently or staying active on a daily basis.  it’s about accommodating life so that whatever you do is sustainable long term.

4) change my mind.  if i’ve learned anything in my 29 years of life it’s that your mindset can make or break your resolve.   for the next 30 days i’d rather not waste energy bitching.  i’ll (try to) stay positive although there may be days…

hopefully at the end of this 30 day experiment i’ll have made healthy a habit again. 

simplicity is bliss – i love this 4 for 30 below: