Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

True love right here.... right on my work desk 

Okay, so I know it's only Tuesday but I must admit that it feels like a Friday since we have a short work week this week! I LOVE that we have a short week this week, that my family starts to arrive tomorrow, and that I get a long weekend to spend time with family, eat lots of yummy food (I know, I know... Carolyn...make sure to at least try and eat in moderation because we all know you will regret it come Monday and it's time to hit the gym again....) and of course, work on my Christmas shopping. I took a stroll to the local Starbucks today on my lunch break and it just put me in the perfect holiday mood! I love when the holidays cups come out in coffee shops, it just makes me feel all smiley and happy no matter what kind of day I am having before I step into the shop. I ordered my regular drink when I go there, a Grande (sometimes I still call it "medium" but try to remember the correct term when I actually order) Skinny Carmel Macchiato (heavenly!) and because I had a light lunch before I went on this coffee run, I allowed myself to get a piece of pumpkin bread that I have been eyeing for weeks! Let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious -- and totally worth the extra time I will make myself run on the treadmill for tonight!

As the holiday season continues you will probably get more posts from me that reflect upon all things holiday. I absolutely LOVE this time of year -- I love the music, the decorations, the shopping, the movies, the food, etc. It just puts me into a great mood whenever I start seeing Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations because they represent a time of the year when people always seem to at least be happy (except when it comes to shopping, which seems to make people grumpy for some reason, but more on that in a later post).

What are you favorite parts of this time of the year?

Or what are your least favorite parts?

 It's always interesting to see different people's experiences and views about the holiday season. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

P.S. Here's my outfit inspiration for Thanksgiving dinner (I found the picture on Pinterest and am going to try my bet to replicate) . What do you all think? What's the "dress" like at your Thanksgiving dinners?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Blogger: A New Mom’s Journey to Getting Back on Track with Fitness

*photo courtesy of http://www.google.com

I had my son almost 3 months ago.  I had a great pregnancy that allowed me to continue working out till a month before I gave birth.  These workouts were less intense than what I could do before my pregnancy, but being able to do something each day made me feel good as I grew bigger and bigger.   
After 2 weeks postpartum, I started walking.  At first I could only do 10 minutes.  Each day, I would increase the time little by little and soon I was up to an hour walk.  At my 6 week appointment, I was given the okay to work out like usual.  Leaving that appointment, I knew I needed a plan to burn the 20 pounds of weight gain.  I got my pen and paper out and I started writing out a plan, which I have outlined below:
1.     Workout 6x a week, NO EXCUSES.  The 20 pounds to lose is to get my body back to when it was at its best and when I felt the best about my body and had amazing energy.  I knew I would need to feel good and be energized for my little guy.  So, 6 days worked for me.  It was enough to get my body moving and burn the fat off of me. 
I workout to DVDs and have always been a morning person, so I asked my husband if he could take care of the baby during my 4:30am workout sessions, which he agreed to.  So, Sunday- Friday at 4:30am I had an appointment with my TV.  Some days, I just did not want to get out of bed, but I made myself get up, get into workout clothes and press play.  Once I started my workout, I felt better and got the workout done!
2.     PREPARE for the week.  Since time is even more precious now, I needed to get organized with the meals for the week.  I decided that along with writing out a grocery list, I would also write out the meal plan for the week.  This way, I knew exactly what to eat to keep me on track. 
Saturdays are for grocery shopping.  Sundays are for preparing meals, so cutting up veggies, cleaning fruit, baking sweet potatoes (I love cutting up sweet potatoes and having them on hand for snacks or to add to salads) and defrosting the next night’s dinner.  Each morning, after my workout, I’d make my breakfast, a shake, the baby’s bottle, and lunch for the day (usually a salad that I’d keep in the fridge and pull out adding chicken and vinegar).  WATER!  To stay hydrated throughout the day, I carry a jug of water wherever I go so I make sure to get my daily amount in.
3.     SNACK TIME is in-between breakfast and lunch and in-between lunch and dinner.  I snack to keep my blood sugar level and to keep my energy going through the day.  But since I’m running around with a little one, I keep the snacks super simple.  Here are some examples: no salt rice cakes w/laughing cow cheese; apple w/natural peanut butter; nuts with fruit; English muffin w/natural peanut butter and sugar free jelly, etc.

4.     ACCOUNTABILITY.   I can say I’m going to do all these things but I need to be accountable, so I have a group on Facebook that I post daily with my workout and foods for the day.  I also comment on how I’m feeling, any weight loss and frustrations, etc.   It’s great because we all support and encourage each other.
Now, I’m 2 months into making workouts a part of my life again and almost back to the intensity I’m use to.  My results for the first month are in and I lost over 7 pounds and 4 inches.  I was surprised at first because I hadn’t felt any difference in my body but after taking pictures from when I started, I could see a huge difference in my stomach and back.  It felt great to see these results and I can’t wait to see how I do in month 2. 
My plan for this month is to continue what I’ve been doing.  I do allow myself a cheat meal once a week, which will be tougher come the holiday season but I’m going to do my best.  I’ve already started thinking of desserts to make for Thanksgiving that are healthier than the real thing but just as yummy. 
Change can be tough, but start out slowly.  If you only have 10 minutes to work out, then do 10 minutes and then build on that.  If you can’t figure out what to change in your diet, think about what you eat on a day to day basis…what’s the worst thing you eat?  Try cutting that.  Losing weight is a process and will take time, but you can do it. 

Stacy Rudman, is an Independent Beachbody Coach. Her passions include fitness, eating clean, and helping others reach their personal fitness goals. Look for her on Facebook under Stacy’s Health & Fitness and check out her blog at www.stacysfitnessfocus.com.

Friends!! It's American Diabetes Month!! Being that this blog is largely dedicated to fitness and living a healthy life, I thought it appropriate to post this awareness that it is in fact American Diabetes Month --- I'm sure that most of you out there know someone who is, or has struggled with diabetes and/or obesity. It's time that we start spreading the word on ways to get fit that EVERYONE can do to try and live a healthier lifestyle. A few examples would be yoga, pilates, running, hiking, kickboxing, biking, swimming, and even walking! We all know there are TONS of things we can do to live healthy on a day-to-day basis -- so help spread the word so we can help other people as they fight this battle! I'd love to hear ideas from people on how you are planning on spreading awareness this month!

xoxo Carolyn

Monday, November 5, 2012

Starting the week off right!

It's Monday... which tends to bring on the Monday-blues, where we spend time wishing that it was still the weekend and dreading the week ahead of us. However, I came across this quote today and I couldn't help but post it -- I am making it a goal for myself to be more positive about the beginning of each week and to allow myself to "lose/find myself"in the things I love to do ANY TIME during the week, not just on the weekends! So here's my challenge to you -- what are YOU going to allow yourself to lose yourself in this week? So far I am loving my yoga classes so I am going to allow myself to go to a couple of classes this week that usually I don't allow myself to do because I "just have too much to do". Also, I love to cook and bake, so I may just allow myself to get lost in that as well! Happy Monday everyone!

xoxo Carolyn

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trip to the Adirondacks

Fall drive through the Adirondack Mountains! 

Hello friends! I know it has been a while since I last posted and I am so sorry! I am really going to try and make an effort to blog more often as there is something calming about being able to share my experiences with all of you!

I took this picture a few weeks ago -- I took a weekend trip to the Adirondacks with a couple of friends -- we had a blast! I thought this picture was awesome because the colors are so amazing -- there is something so awesome about fall in Upstate New York -- watching the leaves change colors is definitely one of mu favorite things about this time of year! Unfortunately the leaves have all pretty much fallen off by now, so I just like to look at this picture and think of how beautiful all the trees were just a few weeks back! 

We stayed in Lake Placid for the weekend and it was awesome! I have been there a couple of times before but it is such an awesome town that I always get excited to visit there no matter how many times I have been before. I think it's nice to have a few spots like that -- spots that are dependable on making you feel happy and good no matter how many times you have visited them. Do any of you have places that make you feel that way? Where are they?

I didn't do much for actual "working out" in any sort of way, but we did do a LOT of walking around the town, which I felt was a pretty good form of exercise! Here's a picture of the outside of the Olympic Skating Rink from the 1932 Olympics! 

Now that it's November I suppose it's time to start really getting myself motivated to work out more than not. Anyone else out there find themselves struggling this time of year to stay with a workout regimen? I don't know if it's because the weather is cold and it makes me want to stay all snuggled up warm inside, or if it's all the amazing food that is being served during the holidays...I think it's probably a mixture of both! What kinds of things do any of you do to help keep yourselves on track during the holiday season? 

Until next time!