Normally birthdays are an area of complete trepidation for me. While I love to celebrate and reflect on my year, I just hate the thoughts of being older and not being “where I should be at this age”. Sometimes being successful in life (great job, wonderful family and friends) seems to pale in comparison to the fact that I am single and don’t yet have a family of my own. My mom always told me to appreciate the age I am now because I can never go back. Well some days I wish I could go back and relive being 11 or 13 or 21 just to realize how far I’ve come and how lucky I am! I was joking with her that 31 and single isn’t dreamy and she retorted with “Neither is 60 and married with 2 kids some days! Wanna trade?“.
I’m always someone who has a hard time measuring my own progress. I live in this body, I don’t always see it change because it happens so gradually. Recently a few people in my life made comments about not seeing my progress – or not thinking I looked any different. Well, I present you with a picture from my 29th birthday (January 30th 2011) pulled straight from my blog:
And a picture from today:
I see HUGE differences – but not just in my hair (ditching those bangs was key) or my weight but in my smile. I’m HAPPY. Actually, legitimately happy. And that is priceless my friends! So maybe you’re not seeing me progress fast enough, but trust me – I am exactly where I should be right now (even if I don’t always see it).
I vowed to take more full-body pictures. Here is one from May 29th (posted as part of this post):
And one from today before TFFR (toned, fit, firm and ready):
My legs are finally getting slimmer – woo! I love being pear-shaped but sometimes it is frustrating to see changes everyplace but where you want to see it! I also suck at taking selfies, need to work on that!
Today on my second day of being 31 and loving it, I am going to renew my vows to myself. I will continue to focus on being stronger and slimmer through activities I enjoy like barre n9ne, Zumba etc. I will choose whole, natural foods over processed junk and most importantly I will continue to believe. Believe I can accomplish my goals (like running a 5k!) and believe that everything (including being 31 and single) happens for a reason.
In the end only the promises I make to myself will really matter anyways! Oh and yesterday’s was pretty great too! I am seeking love, fulfillment and happiness. Those things are seeking me too.
My friend Lauren posted this to Facebook yesterday and it just struck a chord with me. At one point in my life (not too long ago) I was doing all of these things. Now I would say my biggest problems are #1, #2 and #4. I have been making progress with #1 thanks to the “Nice Girls Finish Fat” book – but it’s been tougher than I imagined!
What do you need to give up in order to move forward in life? Maybe it’s someone, maybe it’s something, maybe it’s the image of how things were supposed to be. One of my favorite song lines is from Matt Kearney’s “Annie” : “Maybe the hardest things are the dreams that we’ve been given”. I love the line, but I can’t relate personally. My parents didn’t give me dreams – they pushed me to create my own. Now, I need to push myself to execute those dreams. I have been big time procrastinating lately, and it needs to stop.
My pal Jess blogged about not being able to relax – yeaaaa I have the opposite problem. I made a 12-point to do list this weekend and accomplished 1 thing. No lie. ONE! Insane. I need to get my butt in gear! Today is November 13th. I have 48 days until New Years and 78 days until I turn 31! Time is slipping through my hands, while I sit on the couch relaxing. HELLO? Earth to Samantha? Let’s go!
So, in hopes of keeping myself accountable I have made a schedule for the next 3 weeks. Did I mention I have crazy (fun) travel coming up? I am in LA from Dec 3rd until Dec 15th for work visits and an upgrade. I’m excited because I have lots of LA friends to visit, lots of healthy food choices and a barre at my hotel gym! I’m nervous because I know myself and the temptation to drink every night and have dessert will be high. I need to keep up my gusto….which means I need to get my gusto going before I go. Capisce?
Here’s the plan from now until I leave. Color-coded (red = Danvers barre n9ne, purple = Andover bare n9ne, black = Zumba DVD). It might sound crazy but I am supposed to get 10,000 steps a day and Zumba accounts for 6,000. In my average day I get about 4,000 so I do hit my number, just not in the traditional fashion.
Now the challenge of “Can I stick to this?” sets in. I hope so! I do have pager, I do have friends in town but I can’t use those as excuses to fail! Write it down, make it happen!
Oh and Saturday if you’re looking for something fun to do come to Zumbathon hosted by my pal Stefanie Sweeney! She is the only Zumba instructor I like, and teaches one of my favorite barre classes (lean and tone).
You don’t have to be coordinated to have a good time (trust me)!
There we have my new mantras (let go, get moving, stop comparing) and my hopeful schedule. Please help me stick to it will ya?
Sometimes life is so overwhelming that you log in 17 times to blog and all you come up with is:
Yup, that’s it.
I’m crazy right now – with emails and phone calls flying at me from all angles. I have deadlines looming and friends I haven’t called in so long it’s not funny and trips I need to book. But overall, I need to stop for a second and BREATHE.
So work is nuts (but honestly when is it not???). I’ve got a bazillion projects floating around me ~ I need to start implementing the to-do list to keep track of what’s next!
I’ve been rocking my food intake – sticking to my number like glue while still having the occasion amazing treat (currently in the roster: Talenti gelato. OMG a little goes a LONG way and it is DELICIOUS!). Best of all it’s made with real ingredients that you can pronounce!
I’ve been rocking my exercise (hello Zumba, I love you! hello barre, I love you too!). I have a lot of travel coming up and my priority has been finding a hotel with a good gym + finding things I can take with me to spice up my workouts. I’m heading to LA next week and I’m bringing Zumba DVDs and a barre DVD. Nothing competes with a class ~ but doing *something* is better than doing *nothing*.
Sleep? Yeah well, that’s not happening much these days. I need to disconnect. I need to turn my brain off. I need to find my sound machine – that seemed to help last time I wasn’t deprived of Z’s!
Most of all – I need to breathe.
This morning I have this song stuck in my head and I swear it makes me want to Zumba! It was the catchiest freaking song back in 1999! (Sidenote: I was always sad he didn’t say Samantha in his little homage to the ladies!).
So last Monday I went with my friend Layne to Stefanie’s Zumba class and I LOVED it! Holy tomato it was hard!! (thank you Julianna for that cute phrase!). I literally was a WRECK when I left – but it was great! I found out my gym offers Zumba 4 nights a week so I’ve arranged this week’s schedule to add in some of those classes. I needed a cardio I liked doing and I think I FINALLY found it. An hour on the dreadmill is just that, DREADful. An hour of Zumba literally flies by! I had considered this back in my bellydance days and I thought it wouldn’t be up my alley. Now my goals and preferences have changed. I need something sweaty and fast-paced ~ Zumba fulfills that need.
Wanna come Zumba with Stefanie? barre n9ne is hosting a Zumba dance party on September 07, 2012 @ 6:30pm. Register here: http://www.barren9ne.com
So how did my last week go? I was in NYC from Tues-Fri. I was emailing with FitBit tech support Friday because my 67 total blocks (5.3 miles!!) of walking WERE NOT REGISTERED on my device!!! Booo! But, I did it. I wore my old school pedometer and I walked my butt off AND I went to the fancy gym at my hotel to get a little impromptu 55 min circuit in before work one morning. I was proud of my food choices – but disappointed in the number of cocktails I drank. That’s not me. I’m not someone who drinks every night….and I drank Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! Granted I counted those calories (thank you Jess + Jo for calories on wine/shots – I saved that post in my phone). White wine = 150 cals a glass. Tanqueray and tonic w/ lime also = 150 calories. But, I need to remember that just because I’m traveling doesn’t mean I can go off my normal program.
I realized during this trip that I am NOT a city mouse. I like the city….but I am a country mouse at heart. I like trees. I like driving. I like fresh air and open spaces. NYC doesn’t have any of those.
Sunday morning I decided to try barre n9ne cardio w/ my fabulous friend Stasia. Holy TOMTATO ~ it was brutal. I sweat through my clothes + my hair was drenched. I’d call that a success! FitBit (still acting a fool and not displaying correctly unless synced) says I burned 1400 calories and got 4200 steps. SCORE!
This morning I faltered – I set 3 alarms and still managed to sleep until 6:45 – missing barre method. Alas, I had a backup plan. Tonight I will do Zumba @ the gym + a 30 min circuit set with light weights. It’s not the same, but I will still get a good calorie burn. Tomorrow I will do barre fusion in the evening. Wednesday is Zumba + circuits. Thursday is barre method with Jo (and Jess!) and Friday is TFFR and cardio sweat-fest at night. BAM!
I feel like I’m back. I have a plan for the week ~ I have some back-up options built-in just in case….I’m on point. I will kick August’s ass!
You all have heard me talk about the 60 Day Challenge (here and here) at my beloved barre n9ne. Well, I have a confession. I’ve been half-assing it. There are 4 pieces to the challenge and I’ve only been doing 3 consistently. Eating your number (check, sooo doable!), drinking 64 ounces of water a day (cake!), taking 4 barre classes a week (pie! I live at b9 – just ask my family, they’re rerouting my mail as we speak!), and lastly getting 10,000 steps a day. FAIL. Oh sweet EPIC fail of all fails. Most days I average 4,000 at work and an additional 2,000 outside of work. Some days it’s less if work is meetings X 100. Sometimes it’s more if I run around a lot. Either way I have not been meeting my goal of 10,000. <insert sad face>
That is, until 2 weeks ago. I finally adopted the “put up or shut up” mentality in my head. This means JUST DOING IT every day. Or as my pal Rach says: It’s Not Optional!
Then I saw this on Facebook and I felt like it was no coincidence that STEP was the theme:
If I want to eventually complete a 5K I need to start somewhere. That somewhere is in getting my 10,000 steps a day. Hell even Jessica Simpson does it! Just like when I wanted to get healthy I had to take baby steps away from my bad habits. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But ya know what? It’s been really worth it and suddenly things I never thought I could do seem totally within reason.
Oh you might be thinking “But Samantha – what happened to your walking club at work? Weren’t you doing your steps then?!“. Welllll I was – sorta. So the group that sponsors this challenge counted aerobic exercise as 200 steps a minute and pilates as 100 steps a minute. Therefore my barre classes counted anywhere from 11,4000 steps to 5,700. Cheating, total cheating! Especially since I have been wearing my Fitbit to class (I like seeing how many calories I burn!) and I am only averaging 500 steps in class. Eleven thousand my ass.
So as of last Monday I am officially committed to getting my steps in come hell or high water. This might mean walking in circles around the house – or literally pacing in my living room late at night – but I don’t care. I am sleeping better, my legs literally look thinner (maybe it’s in my head…but that’s OK) and I FEEL better. That alone is enough motivation to keep pushing me. 10,000 a day or bust! (Tanya I can see you shaking your head emphatically and saying YES – sorry I didn’t do this sooner!). I was telling my friend Amanda this yesterday in legs class and she agreed – it’s not always easy but it just feels so good getting it done! BTW look for a post about Amanda soon – that girl is a serious inspiration to me!
Funny story – the other night I accidentally set my Fitbit to some stupid egg timer mode and it stopped counting steps. I knew the last time I had looked I was at 4400 so I busted out my old school pedometer and walked another 5500. BAM! I also started snapping a picture on my phone as proof to myself I did it. I won’t bore you with 14 pictures – but here’s a sample!
Oh and peep my cute new shoes – love me some New Balance! Right now they are indoor only so I can save them cardio class @ b9!
Speaking of I am really excited to take a cardio class- but I keep getting derailed! Last Sunday? Pager. This Wednesday? Dentist. Next Wednesday? Chicago trip. The following Wednesday? NY trip! Boo. I promise, I will get there. Hopefully Sunday August 6th….unless I end up in LA. LOL!
If you’re looking to get healthy take my advice, grab a 10$ pedometer and track your steps. You might be amazed to see how little (or how much!) you walk. My BFF lives in NYC and she cane get 10,000 a day just at her job and nearly another 10,000 walking to and from work!
So, I challenge you dear readers – step it up and join me! Happy Friday!
On my drive to work this morning I was thinking about all the things I thought I couldn’t do.
I couldn’t commit to eating a certain # of calories (since I had such sporadic success on Weight Watchers). Today I am eating my number every day and I fill full. Yes I do have to think more about my choices but I never feel deprived. If I make good choices I stick to it with ease.
I couldn’t POSSIBLY exercise everyday. Guess what? I can and I do! I feel amazing after a sweaty barre class or a kick-ass circuit combo at the gym.
I thought maybe I was destined to be flabby for life. But I’m seeing definition emerge in shoulders, ankles etc. and I realize I CAN have a toned body in time.
Then I realized there is a BIG difference between can’t/couldn’t and won’t/wouldn’t. We make the choice every morning to have a healthy breakfast or have a stack of pancakes and bacon. We choose to go to the gym or watch TV. We choose to push extra hard in the last set of side leg series or to wuss out and just stretch.
Last night I was exhausted from my favorite class (toned, fit, firm and ready) but I came home and knew I needed to get my steps in. I also knew I *wanted* (key word) to unwind. So, I set the DVR to an episode of “Extreme Weight Loss” (mini-rant about that show below) and walked around my living room while I watched. A 90 min show resulted in 6211 steps! BAM, hit my 10,000. So I can do it ~ the choice is up to me.
Today this popped into my Facebook feed and I had to share it, so true!
No one is born strong. Strength (of the mental variety especially) is a choice you make each day.
One of my favorite stories has recently popped up on the interwebz again. So good I have to share:
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story”.
I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
So I today I can and will choose to feed the part of me that wants harmony and happiness. I choose to get as many steps as I can in and go to class tonight and sweat my butt off. I choose to eat fruits and veggies instead of processed junk.
What are you choosing?
Holy mackerel! It’s July 1st!! I don’t know how this month snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking. (Sidenote: I hate that the past tense of sneak is sneaked. It sounds stupid. I’m saying snuck – kindly stop correcting me Firefox).
I always like to come into a new month and think about what I can conquer. In June I vowed to do the following:
Foodie Penpals? CHECK! So much fun.
Cardio kick-up? FAIL. I sucked at this. More on this later.
New barrre classes? CHECK CHECK CHECK! In June I tried TFFR a bunch of times (so in love!), Long, Lean Legs (holy killer). Lean and Tone w/ the lovely Stefanie Sweeney AND Arms and Abs. The only one I didn’t love was A+A. I love doing lower body moves. I found my glutes twitching to work out. LOL.
Overall I’d give myself a B in June. I did not conquer cardio – but I do go outside my comfort zone!
Now what will July bring?
Incorporate fruits or veggies into every meal. It’s summer ~ there is NO reason not to. Snack? Fresh salsa. Dinner? Grilled zucchini w/chicken. Dessert? Throw some berries in that bowl!
Get 10,000 steps in EVERY DAY. Not 8,000, not 6500 and 2 classes – 10,000. I’m slacking on this and I know I can do better. I have done better!
Try barre n9ne cardio. OMG I might die. This class petrifies me. Maybe because Tanya teaches it? Maybe because people come out dripping in sweat? Either way ~ just thinking about it has me shaking in my flip-flops. LOL.
OK those are the challenges this month. Hopefully I’m able to rock them. I also have my weigh-in/measurements coming soon for 60 day challenge. I hope I’m proud of my results. I find July and August better for eating (no one wants big meals and everyone is drinking water by the ton!) but I find i tougher for exercise. So hard to go outside when it’s a bajillion degrees ~ even if you are going to an air-conditioned classroom!
How do you modify your routines in the heat? Runners – do you come indoors or tough out the humidity?
Happy Fourth of July! Happy Birthday America! Celebrate responsibly and please remember why we’re celebrating.
I read something last week (and I swear when I remember where it was I will credit my source!) about emptying your gas tank. Giving your workout EVERYTHING ~ rather than holding out and bringing some energy home with you. What are you saving it for? You’re there to work out – GIVE IT YOUR ALL!
So, I come into barre n9ne last night with this mentality. It was my first “lean and tone” class and my first class with Stefanie. Well, it was a kickass amazingly experience. Stef is sweet, funny and very TOUGH! I was sweating, I was shaking and I was NOT giving up. I left completed depleted – in a good way. It was 7pm, what did I need to save energy for?!
This morning I got up at 5am (begrudgingly) and headed to meet Stasia for b9 fusion – one of my favorite classes ever. It’s all ball/band/mat based and usually it’s tough but not deadly. Today, Julianna was deadly. We did jumping jacks, we did planks of doom, we did 42 arms moves until I thought my limbs would fall off! I stopped a lot, but I still felt SUPER sore when I left.
Side note: Anyone else feel like during plank?
OK good, I’m not alone.
So I “emptied my gas tank” this morning too. I didn’t hold back, I didn’t “go easy” on myself. I stopped when I needed to – and I pushed harder when I could.
It’s going to be hot as Hades here in Boston today and tomorrow. I don’t plan on being outside unless I absolutely have to – so that means I will be getting all my steps in during walks around work / visits to the dreadmill.
How are you guys getting your workouts in when the weather is off the charts? Are you giving 100% every time you go to the gym/class? If not – think about what you’re saving energy for!
Super busy week. I have an awesome post – but it’s not quite ready yet.
In the meantime, let’s chat about the new class I took today that nearly killed me shall we? Member I said I needed to challenge myself more? Well today I did that by taking Long, Lean Legs with Miss Tanya Croteau herself. Now, the class itself was bound to be killer – it’s all legs and glutes! But, imagine for a second that you’re driving to class – almost there and the phone rings. Everyone canceled. Yup, all SEVEN PEOPLE registered canceled! What do you do? Well if you’re as insane as I am – you take the offer of a 1 on 1 with Tanya! So, we do plies – OK I can do these (I used to hate them, now I sorta like them). Then we do a crazy side-leg series of doom, followed by another side leg series of dooms, then glutes, then more leg lifts, then legs with the band….OMFG I want to DIE. No word of a lie. I am 42 shades of red, I am sweating buckets and my legs are SHAKING. I check my phone – surely it’s almost time to go right? WRONG. It’s been 32 mins. 28 left. TWENTY EIGHT? I can’t do that much longer, I will pass out.
I consider faking a seizure. I decide against it – my acting is terrible and with my luck Tanya knows some crazy CPR for seizures. I plug on.
More glutes – with the gray ball of doom. Pain is radiating through my lower body. My abs are laughing. I want to cry. More legs – this time sitting down and lifting the legs (Amanda I heard you love these). LOL. Terrible! Finally after what seems like 900 more reps….we’re done. We stretch. I think “I did it!! I survived a SOLO legs class!!”.
Then I stand. Immediately I want to fall on the floor, curl into a ball and cry. OMG SO SORE!
I manage to walk down the stairs (though I cannot lie – I seriously considered sitting on my butt and scooting down like I did as a child). I walk to my car and somehow by the grace of God I manage to climb in without dying.
I’m in agony. I can’t wait until I wake up tomorrow and can barely open my eyes without crying. LOL.
I won’t die (though it does feel like it) – and I managed to make it through the class with only a few, brief stops. Impressive! I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. This week I rocked jeans I couldn’t get past by thighs on May 1st, that’s huge!! I feel so strong and so accomplished. I am so glad I found barre n9ne (insert gushy smiley face) – it really changed the way I look at exercise!
I’m looking forward to move leg shaking classes, more butt-kicking and more progress!
As for the rest of the weekend, I am doing Dad’s day brunch w/ Derek, Mom and Dad tomorrow at Masa Grill. Super excited, their menu looks amazing. I’m also taking 1 class Sunday, heading to the new Farmer’s Market in Wilmington and taking Dad out for Indian as a treat. Looking forward to quality family time + some rest!
Are you guys venturing outside your comfort zone? Challenging yourself? I hope so!
Enjoy your weekend!!
PS – some ecards card of the day is:
Hope everyone had a kickass long weekend. I certainly did. Grilling, sunshine, sleeping late, family time, friends and 5 barre classes in 4 days! BAM.
So I wanted to make “Self-Reflection Sunday” a feature here in the little piece of the interwebz…but it was a long weekend and this is the first time I’ve booted my laptop since Friday. I think I needed the break. I love my job, but sometimes it’s all-consuming. I’m on my Blackberry until midnight, I’m responding to emails until wee hours of the morning. I needed to disconnect and reclaim my life and my free time. I’m happy to say this weekend I did that!(Sidenote: my boss always yells at me for working as much as I do – this is self-imposed not work-imposed obsession, LOL).
I also took time to clean out my iPod, added more motivational songs for the gym and got rid of those songs that reminds me of people I don’t know anymore. It’s funny how places, smells, songs etc. have associations (more on my crazy food associations later). Then I sat here recapping my weekend in my had. Saturday I had a major meltdown concerning this body of mine. It sounds silly in hindsight, but I kept thinking about how great I’ve been doing with food ~ and how many things I’ve given up – why aren’t I a size 10 yet dammit!? Why don’t I have one body part that wants to cooperate with summer clothes?! (No capris, I have cankles – STILL, no sleeveless tops – bat wings, no dresses for a while until my stomach pooch flattens). Gah. I wish for every healthy meal you ate or kickass workout you endured one bad decision was erased from your past. Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Nerds friends, please work on this concept for me and see if you can invent a machine. I’ll be the beta tester.
Luckily I have a very rational and supportive support system (thanks this week to Mom, Derek and Stasia) I was talked off the ledge. Let’s be perfectly frank here - I haven’t been kicking this much ass all along. I spent months half-assing it and making excuses. I can’t expect perfection overnight….I didn’t get fat overnight (though sometimes I swear to god it feels like it!). I don’t think I ever realized how big I was at my heaviest. It didn’t dawn on me that I was rotating out the same 6 outfits over and over. Now that I’m exploring the massive clothing collection I have I’m surprised to discover things I’ve never worn fit – score! Things from last year fit MUCH better this year – double score! I am making progress, it’s just not as fast as I want. I think some of it is my impatience and some of it is the “but I didn’t go to Bagel world and have a sesame toasted bagel with scallion cream cheese and a huge mocha iced coffee today – shouldn’t I have lost 5 pounds just for being awesome?” mentality. I feel better without that damn bagel, I know I do….I just wish I could have the bagel and the svelte body of my dreams!
Saturday I did a double with Jo – which killed for the record – and burned 1313 calories! I snapped a picture on my way out:
On Facebook my caption was “Goodbye 1313 calories, hello collar bones! Please, stay a while”. Looking at that picture I see progress. I see determination. I see strength. Sidenote: I need to take more full-length pictures for comparison later!
So, I’m over my hissy fit and moving forward. Dust yourself off and all that jazz. Time for some Sunday Self-Reflection questions!
What is the top priority in your life right now?
It’s a tie – weight-loss/health and enjoying my life as much as possible. I’m trying to focus on little things that make my day (like seeing old fiends who “get me” or spending my calories wisely on a well-deserved treat). I’m having conversations about where I want to be with people (rather than keeping it to myself). I’m making lists of things to try (like a 5K or hiking or surfing) as I reach different milestones. I’m planning for a kickass future.
What are the biggest actions you can take now to create the biggest results in your life?
As much as it pains me to say it ~ just keep swimming. Oh and get some cardio in. LOL. I finally found my perfect exercise routine, perfect support system and perfect calorie allotment – now I just have to keep at it and trust myself. It’s nice to know I’m where I’m supposed to be, I just wish I had figured it out sooner!
How are you feeling today?
So glad I didn’t write this a few days ago…haha. Today I am awesome. I worked out, spent time with my Mom and Stasia, saw barre friends, spent some time alone and got ready for a lovely 3 day work-week before a weekend away. Yay! Ready for a little fun in the sun.
Quote of the week:
Cheers to a nice, short work week!