Saturday, December 5, 2015

When you're not feeling motivated...

The dark, cold months of winter are rough for me.

The dry skin, cold temps, shorter evenings, removal of most of my favorite outdoor activities, and Utah inversion really kill me. And among other things, one thing that leaves me during this time of year is my motivation. I just want to stay in bed and eat lots of warm carbs, which really kills the progress towards goals :)

I've found a few things that help me get through this rough time of year and help me overcome my lack of motivation:

--I get everything ready way beforehand. If I want to work out in the morning, I pack all my bags, lay out all my clothes, prep breakfast, and write it in my planner. I want to put enough effort into in that I'll feel dumb if I decide to sleep in, instead.

--I trick myself. When my alarm goes off and I want to ignore it, I tell myself that I don't have to go to the gym as long as I get up and go to the bathroom. Once I'm up and out of bed, I'm no longer tempted to skip :)

--I reward myself. I attach each goal with a reward (or punishment). If I go to that yoga class, I get to stop at the lululemon store. If I do that morning workout, I will postpone doing laundry that day (very adult of me, I know). If I don't do the workout, I make myself clean something or do extra work. It's very motivating haha.

--I try to regulate my biology. I try to get in the sun for at least a few minutes (harder than it should be, this time of year), eat fruits and veggies, go to bed early, drink lots of water, read for a few minutes, do kind things for others, and at least get up and walk or do the stairs throughout the day. By covering these bases, I feel those winter blues a little less intensely.

--I force myself to do fun things and look on the bright side. Winter may suck, but at least there is skiing! And blankets! And boots! And hot chocolate!

Do you have any tips for keeping that motivation going during winter?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Airport Hacks

I heart traveling.

I came across this article today, and it inspired me to add my own "airport hacks" to the list! Feel free to add your own :)

1. Wear easily removable shoes and ditch the belt and jewelry. My husband is always miles behind me in the line, with his watch, keys, belt, shoes, etc. I wear leggings and slip-on shoes and am in and out of security like like a ninja.

2. Be smart about your carry-on. I like checking luggage, and do it whenever possible. It makes my carry-on light and easy. When I don't check luggage, however, I put my travel-things in one bag and anything I might need during the flight in another. This keeps me from frantically digging through all my belongings. I keep kindle, phone, any documents and ID, chargers, battery pack, water bottle and snacks, wet wipes, sleep stuff, etc. nice and handy.

3. Bring an empty water bottle. And snacks. You can then fill the water bottle at a water fountain and avoid hanger. It's real. Plus, this keeps me from binging on salty airplane snacks and soda.

4. Wet wipes. A lovely couple opened my eyes to the disgusting, germy cesspit that is airplane trays, and I never fly without sanitizing wipes to take care of that ish.

5. Sleeeep. I love to read my kindle while flying, but there's honestly no better way to pass the time than sleeping through the flight. A cozy scarf, an eye mask, and ear plugs make me look like that ridiculous person, but I'm too busy enjoying a glorious nap while not hearing that crying baby to care.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My First Half Marathon

The half marathon. 13.1 miles.

For a self-proclaimed non-runner for SO many years, this was such an intimidating distance. However, training for it and completing my first half last month was SUCH a positive experience for me!

I started small. VERY small. A couch-to-5k app helped me progress from being unable to run for 5 continuous minutes to completing my first 5k in March. My surgery took me out for a while, but I slowly increased my mileage. At first, every run was torture. Everything hurt, my lungs burned, and I felt like 13 miles would never, ever happen.

I’ll never forget the day I ran 4 miles. It was the first time in my life I’d ever run that far. I never thought I could. But after slowly building up to it, I just went out one morning and did it. And you know what? It felt good. Better than good. I was hooked! How could my body go from 1 mile being excruciating to 4 feeling so casual? It was the turning point that transformed me into someone who actually enjoyed running. All those months of torture finally amounted to something.

After that, I increased my mileage weekly. I would do shorter runs a few times a week, and I mapped out my training plan so I would hit my longest distances a few weeks before my race (allowing me to taper). It went really well. The morning (before work) I ran 9 miles, I wanted to shout it to the world! I was loving this! Running was still hard, but suddenly it was a challenge I wanted to take on – I wanted to push my limits.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. The week of my 9-miler, I hurt my ankle. I figured it was something I should just shake off, so I continued with my shorter runs, but I eventually realized it was a bigger deal than that. I ended up having to discontinue my training plan for a few weeks, missing the Dirty Dash as well as all of my longer training runs.

The week before my race, I was able to do a pain-free 5-miler, so I knew that taking a break was the right decision, but I was terrified that I would struggle through my upcoming race due to lack of preparation. My anxiety was at an all-time high, but I knew I couldn’t back out at that point.

The event, put on by Goldilocks, was in Las Vegas on October 17th. We got started bright and early, and despite some women who got us nervous about the “hard course” we had chosen, I got off to a nice and easy start. The first 7-8 miles were uphill (ugh) and the sky was cloudy. I took things nice and slow, not wanting to burn out. Honestly, after hearing about the hills that I didn’t prepare for, I was just hoping to finish in under 3 hours (2:30 as a stretch goal). I felt really good, though, so I started to pick up the pace as I went.

It did end up raining, which felt amazing, and despite the major (ew ew ew) toe blisters that resulted (still got those suckers), the whole thing was quite pleasant. I never felt that gotta-die sensation I was expecting, and my splits were very negative (I’m talking minutes per mile faster). I finished strong with a sprint, I passed a ton of people in the last half mile, and I pretty much loved every second of those 2 hours and 17 minutes.

I’m so thankful that I’ve had this experience, and I will definitely do another half in the future. :) :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

My First Triathlon: Camp Yuba Sprint 2015

Guys. A triathlon has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I signed up for this sprint last year, but my car accident happened 2 weeks before the race, so this year was the year.

I wanted to test the waters with a sprint, and it was the perfect distance! 1/2 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run.

We camped down by lake Yuba the night before (so awesome!) and got a bright and early start. I set up my transition area and even got a spot at the end of the rack. People were so nice and encouraging, and I pretty much loved everything about it. They did consolidated age groups since it was a small race, and I got 4th place for women under 35! (technically I was the second woman 25-29, soooo I'll take it haha)

I had so much fun! I definitely learned a lot (don't start in the back of the pack on the swim, sit down to take my wetsuit off haha, go faster! :)) and I will definitely be doing more of these!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

8 mile run

Yesterday was a milestone for me.

I've always complained about running. It's always been hard for me. From ankle pain to lack of endurance, it's just been plain unpleasant.

Last year, however, I decided I was going to try it for real. That meant getting running shoes (who knew it would make such a huge difference??? :)), sticking to a training plan, and actually running for longer than 15 minutes at a time.

I know. Earth-shattering. I'm super ahead of the times.

So, after finally applying myself, I was able to run 8 miles yesterday (only stopping at the water fountains along the trail). I know that, for many people, that's not a very major accomplishment... but, for me, that was huge :) :) :)

Next week is my tri, so no long run... but I'm excited to keep adding mileage! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Eat all the things!

All this cardio got me eating like

For example, yesterday I woke up, ate a honey stinger waffle and sipped some gatorade (water in the morning makes me sick... is that weird?), and then headed out to my workout.

I biked 40 minutes and ran (jogged, I don't run haha) 40 minutes, and I had a gu and water along the way.

When I got home, I made an omelette (egg, frozen veggie mix of potatoes, onions, and peppers that is the best invention ever... I keep it in the freezer at all time) and ate a funfetti waffle (yes, that's a thing).

For first lunch, I had a southwest salad (spring mix, sweet peppers, crockpot chicken, black beans) and grapes.

For second lunch, I had an apple, chocolate hazelnut butter, and oatmeal with fruit and nuts.

For first dinner, I had a hamburger patty (I buy them frozen and pre-cooked for convenience), quinoa (half with hot sauce, other half with honey. this is delicious), and freeze dried bananas.

I swam some laps in the evening, and then for second dinner once I got home (see my problem? haha) I ate some peanut butter on toast and some greek yogurt. I was still hungry, but I didn't know what I wanted, so instead I went to bed :)

Because I'm so hungry all the time, I'm trying to eat higher-quality foods (instead of the doughnuts I'd rather be eating) to fuel my body. And I'm trying to hold back a little haha.

It's a rough life ;)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Guess it's time to start training for that tri...

So (in a moment of brilliance) I realized that my sprint tri was less than 3 weeks away, and I figured I'd better start training! Genius, I know.

Now, I'm not starting from scratch, I've gone running on and off over the summer, and I teach a few spin classes, so... I'm golden, right? :)

Sigh. Anyway, I've been squeezing in some more swimming, biking, and running, and overall it's going well. Even when I have to wake up at 5 am and take a headlamp to fit it in.

That's my beautiful bike in the back of the car... it's nice to have somewhere to stash it during the running portion of the workout.

Why do I do this to myself? Sign up for a race, then realize far too late that I should have been training all along?

Ah well, next time ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Renee Tote aka best work bag/lunch box everrrr

So six pack bags are a pretty big name in the lunch bag/meal management field, and I've coveted them for a while. My only problem was the size (and the cost, of course, but I always seem to find a way to justify fitness equipment). Most of those bags are huge, and adding that load on top of a gym bag, purse, and massive planner was just something I couldn't bring myself to do.

I tried other lunch bags and enjoyed them, but when I saw a friend on facebook with the Renee Tote, it was love at first sight.

As an anniversary present, my wonderful husband got me the tote in black. Part work bag, part gym bag, and part cooler, I now only carry one bag to work each day (can you say miracle?).

I seriously love this thing. It has plenty of room for the 2 meals I eat at work most days. It comes with 4 of the tupperware containers (and I found the glass ones that also fit at Walmart.. perfection) and 3 gel freezer packs that slide in there and keep things cold ALL DAY LONG. It's seriously amazing.

The outside has lots of little pockets, making it easy to organize all my things, and the inside pocket is just big enough for that planner (or a laptop), gym clothes, and whatever other random things I need to throw in there.

The bag does get a little heavy, but when you consider everything that's in there, I don't see any way around it (and I really don't mind it at all).

Overall? It's true love, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who works and tries to eat healthy/meal prep.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We went to Hawaii last month!

Because I'm completely spoiled and because we love to travel... and because I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, we went on a much-needed vacation last month!

We spent the first few days on Oahu, doing tourist-y things like visiting the PCC, checking out the temple and BYU-Hawaii, touring Pearl Harbor, and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.

We ate at shrimp trucks, soaked up the sun, and generally loved being there :)

We spent the rest of the trip on Kauai and LOVED it!!! So gorgeous, so fun, so much to do and see! We stayed at these fun condos on the North part of the island (right on a cliff on the ocean!) and had a blast seeing the sights, swimming in Queen's Bath, diving in the lava tubes at Tunnels Beach, hiking and sailing the Na Pali coast, eating delicious food, and generally enjoying ourselves.

Best trip ever :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Whole30: We are quitters

So. Our Whole30 is over. After 2 weeks of loving it, and even surviving our anniversary, we just ran into too many obstacles.

The vacation to St. George happened, then my family came into town. We were sitting at a family reunion and realized we would only be able to eat the lettuce and carrots. We attempted to stick to it… but while we sat there, missing out on all the delicious food (and the socializing that comes with it), we decided that it just wasn’t working for us at this time.

We will probably try again in January, and we’re definitely keeping up with a lot of our good, Whole30 habits! I feel like I’ve learned a lot and broken some bad habits. Overall, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience, but I am glad it’s over, because I’m having a delicious, happy week with my family :)

give or take :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Whole30: Days 14-16 (where we cheated)

So, on Thursday we headed down to the always-wonderful St. George for a little anniversary getaway... and immediately realized how hard it was going to be to stick to the Whole30. I called ahead to several restaurants and determined that there would be very little we could actually eat (if anything at all). Depressing.

We tried to stick it out though, eating apples and almonds in the car, grabbing dinner at a Thai restaurant (after pestering the waiter... no sugar, no soy, no MSG, no gluten) and settling on curry: no brown sugar, no peas, no rice... basically curry soup. It was kind of disheartening, actually, since eating is one of our favorite parts of going on vacation.

The next morning, we woke up, and were pretty much dreading breakfast. Our hotel offered a big breakfast, but of course we couldn't eat any of it but the orange slices. We were gearing up to try and find a place that would cook us up some eggs and veggies in the right kind of oil, and we decided that we'd had enough. While we've loved what the program has done for us so far, it wasn't worth ruining our vacation over.

So, it was decided. We were going to skip these 3 days, eating at our favorite places down in St. George, and actually enjoy our vacation.
It was such a good decision.

We rode our bikes through Zion, we hung out at the pool, we enjoyed the scenery, and we ate amazing food. It was a great trip.

Now that we're back home again, we're going to pick up again with our diet tomorrow. We know it goes against the rules of the program, but we're just going to do what's best for us. I definitely don't regret it (we got to eat sooo many delicious things, and we didn't go too crazy), and I'm excited for the next two weeks of eating Whole30-approved foods again!

Terrible picture, but we got to eat at the Anasazi Steakhouse, where you cook your own meat/seafood on a hot stone!
Soooo worth cheating for.

St. George Temple!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Days 10-12 of the Whole30!

Well things keep on getting more and more delicious! Thank goodness, right??

On Monday we had mini burgers (beef, egg, seasonings) with a fried egg and mustard on top, wrapped in lettuce. So so good.

Yesterday was our anniversary (3 years! best ever!) and we wanted something extra we did a crab boil!
Crab, shrimp, potatoes... heaven.

Tonight we did beef-stuffed bell peppers (last week was a lot of chicken, this week is beef... I buy and cook in bulk these days haha)

aaaand my new favorite breakfast/treat:
sweet potatoes, coconut, pineapple, and cinnamon.
I could seriously eat this all day.

Sweet potato deliciousness:
-Nuke some sweet potatoes for 5 minutes, allow to cool
-peel them and chop them into chunks
-sprinkle with ghee, cinnamon, and coconut flakes
-top with pineapple rings
-cover with foil, bake at 350 for 25ish minutes, die of happiness