5 tips to stick to your weekly workouts

afitmess
March 15, 2017
A Fit Mess

Hey guys. The weekend is just about here! If you’re currently dealing with Mother Nature, I hope you are staying safe and warm. Spring will be here soon, my friends!

 

I’m often asked how I continue to motivate myself to workout on a regular basis and commit to exercise while juggling kids and work. While I believe it has a lot to do with making fitness a priority, there are other factors involved with maintaining a focus on fitness. Today I’m sharing some of the ways I’ve learned to commit to my weekly workouts and stay motivated to exercise.

 

A Fit Mess

1. Plan, plan, plan!

Every Sunday I spend some time reviewing my calendar for the week ahead. Since I am old school, I  use my Kate Spade planner to keep track of all my appointments. In addition to scheduling my work commitments, school events, and personal appointments, I make sure to plan my workouts for the upcoming week. While I typically stick to the same schedule/classes, sometimes I will have a conflict and need to restructure my days so that I can squeeze in a CrossFit class, home workout, or a run. But I have found that I am MUCH more likely to stick to my weekly workouts if I take some time to plan in advance.

 

2. Pay (and sign up) for classes and training in advance.

This works really well if you plan to attend group classes during the week. Most studio around here fill up fast and you need to sign up ahead of time to secure your spot. This has the added benefit of keeping you accountable since there is often a penalty or fee for cancelling within a certain window of time. Additionally, if you have a gym membership or a personal trainer, paying for both up front will keep you committed. I wouldn’t want to waste money on an unused gym membership and I sure as heck wouldn’t want to lose a training session.

 

3. Block the time on your calendar.

I can’t stress this one enough! Schedule your workouts ahead of time and treat them as you would any other appointment. Try your best to keep every appointment you make. Of course, things come up and you may need to miss a workout here or there, but your scheduled time should be valued in the same way as you would a work meeting or doctor’s appointment. And if you have the time blocked on your calendar then you are more likely to honor that appointment.

 

A Fit Mess

 

4. Find friends and coaches that will keep you accountable.

If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to workout on your own, try to partner up with friends, family, or colleagues. Personally, if I know others are relying on me then I’m less likely to skip. Similarly, I know that my CrossFit coaches would start to notice if I did not show up for my usual classes (I hear that’s pretty typical in the community). Having trainers/coaches who will keep you accountable (and lay on the guilt!) is great for motivation and encouragement.

 

5. Practice gratitude.

It’s easy to take movement for granted. Sometimes we get caught up in a routine and forget how fortunate we are to be active. I’ve been injured numerous times, and at one point I was told I would probably never run pain-free again. All that has changed for me and I’ve been able to workout and run on a regular basis (and pain-free) for quite a while now. Sometimes I still get emotional while running when I look back on those days when I couldn’t do anything without pain. I try to remind myself that movement is a gift and to remain deeply grateful for what my body can do.

You might also like:

Making time to exercise

Fitting in exercise when you have children

The best way to stay motivated

 

 

 

Self care + my first GIVEAWAY!

afitmess
May 31, 2016
A Fit Mess

Self-care is something that can often be overlooked or pushed to the wayside. It’s really difficult to make time for yourself when you’re working, taking care of little ones, and trying to squeeze in all the other things like doctor’s appointments, laundry, and cleaning. But taking the time to focus on yourself is critical to our health and happiness.

One of my favorite ways to show myself some love is with a massage at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Meadowmont – Chapel Hill.

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Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa offers an amazing spa experience at very reasonable prices. The best part? They are open 7 days a week, making it easy for everyone to schedule a service. You can even book online for added convenience.

My experience at Hand and Stone has been incredibly positive. I’ve had around 5 or 6 massages and I always leave feeling rejuvenated and totally relaxed. Each time I arrive I’m greeted warmly by the front desk. I’ve never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for my appointment and I always feel like my massage therapist is mindful of my needs and requests.

Massage therapy has numerous benefits. Not only does it help with alleviating pain, increasing flexibility and improving circulation, but it can boost your immunity, assist with muscle recovery, and ease anxiety and depression. It’s also a great way to energize your body and just feel connected to yourself again.

Hand and Stone offers several choices of massage, including:

  • Swedish
  • Deep Tissue
  • Sports
  • Prenatal
  • Hot Stone (their signature service!)

You can read more about each type by visiting their massage services page. There are new client packages and affordable membership options that enable you to earn rewards for spa credits. If you sign up with your email, you’ll also receive regular promotions and coupons.

Are you ready for the FUN part?

My friends at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Chapel Hill have generously donated a gift certificate good for a 50 minute massage or facial for one lucky winner! You can enter the giveaway by clicking the link below and answering a question. Bonus entries can also be earned!

Enter the giveaway for a free massage or facial!

Good luck to everyone!

Fine print:

  • No purchase necessary!
  • This giveaway is being provided by Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa. All opinions are my own.
  • The giveaway runs from Tuesday, May 31 until 12:00 am on Tuesday, June 7.
  • Raffle hosted by Rafflecopter. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Wednesday, June 8. I will notify the winner by email.
  • Anyone can enter the giveaway, but the certificate is only valid at the Meadowmont – Chapel Hill, NC location and expires May 2017.

Recipe: chocolate almond milk

afitmess
May 24, 2016
A Fit Mess

Hey guys! I have a delicious recipe for you today. It’s a yummy variation of the homemade almond milk I shared a few months ago: chocolate almond milk. This drink is packed full of flavor and is a healthy alternative to store bought chocolate milk. It’s been kid tested over here and we got two (well, four) thumbs up!

 

Commercial almond milk often contains a lot of processed junk and very little nutritional value (some have less than 2% of almonds in them!). Plus, the flavored ones (like vanilla and chocolate) are loaded with added sugars to make them taste good. This recipe is simple to assemble and is made with only natural ingredients. I’ve been adding mine to overnight oats, chia pudding, and smoothies.

 

Homemade chocolate almond milk

Ingredients:

    • 3 – 3.5 cups of homemade almond milk
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 3-5 dates (depending on how sweet you like it)

Directions:

      1. Prepare the almond milk following the original recipe.
      2. Pour almond milk into blender.
      3. Cut the vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the inside. Discard the bean pod.
      4. Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and dates to the blender.
      5. Blend until everything is completely smooth.
      6. Store in an airtight container in the back of you fridge.
      7. Separation will happen to the milk. Just shake or stir vigorously before serving.

 

A Fit Mess

Notes:

      • You’ll need to soak the almonds overnight prior to making the milk.
      • If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you could sub vanilla extract.
      • You’ll need to adjust the ingredients depending on your taste preferences. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find your ideal combination. I used 3 dates in mine, but could have probably added another one.
      • Consume the milk within 3 – 4 days.

 

Please let me know if you try it! Have a great Tuesday!

You can find this recipe and more on my Pinterest page!

Weekend in review: family visit + good times

Heeeyyyy! How are you? I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had an eventful and fun couple of days over here. Let’s cover the highlights, shall we?

Matt’s father, step-mother, sister, and niece came in for the weekend. We had fun catching up with everyone. The girls especially loved hanging out with their cousin…and jumping on the air mattress.

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Friday night I stayed in with the girls while everyone went out to dinner. We watched Monsters, Inc., ate popcorn, and snuggled on the couch.

A Fit Mess

Saturday morning we headed out for our niece and nephew’s bar / bat mitzvah. All dressed up – so cute! Their outfits (including the sandals) are from Old Navy (psst – all toddler tank, tees, shorts, and swimwear are 50% off right now!).

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The girls got restless after an hour (it’s a long service!) so I took them to Whole Foods for a distraction and Matt stayed for the remainder of the ceremony.

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We grabbed some breakfast and snacks while we were out.n Ashlyn looks like she was caught in the act.

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Later on we headed out for the evening celebration at Top of the Hill sans kiddos. I wore my new Galen laser cut dress that I received in last month’s Stitch Fix shipment.

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It was a really fun party. Lots of food and drinks, a DJ, a touching video montage, and dancing.

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We loved the photo and prop station. What an awesome idea! My sister-in-law thinks of everything!

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Sunday we said good-bye to our family and spent the morning lounging around. I didn’t change out of my pjs until lunch time. I was really tired from the week and weekend.

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Yes, I was definitely THAT person wandering around my neighborhood in my sweats with my coffee clutched to me. I may have had four cups of coffee.

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Last week’s workouts (strength portions based off of bodybuilding.com)

Monday – strength

  • smith machine/include pull ups 3 x10
  • bent over barbell row – heavy! 3 x 8
  • seated cable row 3 x 8
  • wide grip lat pulldown 3 x10
  • one-arm DB row 3 x 8
  • underhand lat pulldown 3 x10
  • back extensions 3 x 8

Tuesday – strength and cardio

AM @home:

  • DB press on stability ball 5 x 8
  • pushups 3 x 15
  • side to side pushups 3 x 10
  • DB lateral raise 3 x 10
  • toe touches with 15# weight
  • crunch with 15# weight
  • reverse crunch 3 x 20

Lunchtime:

3 mile run <–felt great!

Wednesday

Orangetheory

Thursday – strength (85% max effort)

  • BB curl 3 x 10
  • hammer curl with ropes 3 x 10
  • alternating hammer curl 3 x 10
  • dips 3 x 15
  • skull crushers 3 x 10
  • tricep OH extension 3 x 10
  • bicycle crunches 3 x 25
  • v-ups 3 x 10
  • leg raises 3 x 10

Friday

REST

Saturday

Orangetheory (lots of sprinting)

Sunday

60 min yin yoga

Overall, I feel pretty good about my workouts this week. My right shin has been bothering me a bit, most likely due to the running. I may switch some of my cardio to the bike or rower this week. I also really need to get more yoga in. I notice that aches and pains start to creep up when I don’t make more of an effort to practice at least twice per week.

Recent blog posts:

Fitness phases, motivation, + letting life happen

Summer bucket list

3 guilt-free treats for toddlers

Friday faves #1

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

What did you do this weekend? I love to hear what others are up to!