I don’t think its any secret that athleisure is my jam. 80% of the time I would so much rather throw on cute workout pants and sneakers, than jeans and sandals. I’m a little spoiled though because I worked for lululemon for almost 3 years so my workout-wardrobe is all lululemon stuff that I got with my employee discount. That was almost 3 years ago so a lot of my stuff is starting to get worn out- and i’m looking for new stuff but at a lower price point…but I’m TOTALLY striking out. Any suggestions on brands that look as good as they perform?? Or do I just suck it up and pay for pricey/cute workout gear that I know fits/works well when I sweat?

So I mentioned on my instagram a little while ago that I stopped counting my macros (aka “flexible dieting”) and was just focusing on eating when I’m hungry, and choosing healthy, nutritious foods. I had counted macros on and off for 2 years (started right before my wedding.) For me, tracking macros is something that I believe was initially beneficial for me. I’ve always had a good relationship with food so I never felt the pressure of hitting my numbers 100% of the time, I never got obsessive about it.. but it did help teach me the amount of food that my body needs and also helped teach me about serving sizes/reading labels and looking at the contents of food. I stopped tracking pretty much because after a while, I got a little too flexible, with flexible dieting. I started eating wayyy too many “fun” foods (like doughnuts, bagels and frozen pizza) simply because they fit my macros- not because they were good for me. I felt tired, bloated, my joints hurt more than normal and my skin was dull.


Since i’ve stopped, I’ve absolutely noticed a positive change in my energy levels, my skin and even my performance in the gym. Simple mental changes like noticing if I’m TRULY hungry, or if an emotion is causing me to want food (stress, hormones etc) have made a big difference as well. If you guys are feeling like you’re in a rut with your meals/workout routine, have any questions about flexible dieting/ eating “clean” let me know. I’d love to share more of my personal experiences with you all! Hoping you guys have a great weekend!

Rest.

Who watches This Is Us?? I just started a couple days ago.. is it a give-in that I am going to cry every single episode or does that stop at some point… but holy moly what a great show. If you haven’t started watching it– start. Unless you don’t feel like ugly crying, then definitely do NOT watch it.

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Anyways, this week I’ve had some extra un-planned days off (leaving my old job and starting my new one on Monday) so i’ve been able to workout a lot more, and a lot harder than normal. Which has been amazing but I am SO sore today, so i’m taking a much needed rest day. Rest days are SO important.. not only for the obvious physical recovery but also mental recovery. Your brain needs a break just as much as your muscles. It’s easy to get burnt out, bored, or fall off the wagon completely if you never stop and rest. As much as I’m saying this to you guys- i’m also saying it to myself. It’s hard for me to take rest days. I love exercising so much and it’s been such a HUGE part of my life for so long that not doing some type of workout is weird for me, but I also know that I can push myself too hard and end up hurting myself.

Here’s the workout’s I’ve done this week so far:

MONDAY: Park workout. I took Harper to the park in the morning, set my timer for 20 minutes and just did a bunch of random stuff non-stop (box jumps on a bench, burpees, crunches, lunge jumps, pushups, dips etc) it doesn’t need to be complicated, just keep moving!

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TUESDAY: Orange Theory Fitness workout. If you haven’t tried OTF yet, give it a shot— your first class is free and it’s an awesome workout. You’ll run, row and lift some weights- all while watching your heart rate and how many calories you’re burning compared to everyone else in the class, so if you’re competitive like me, it’s fun to push yourself. I ended up burning close to 600 calories and left a sweaty mess which I love.

WEDNESDAY: Gym workout. I did 6 sets of barbell squats, starting with low weight and going up to my last set of 6×105.  4 sets of hip thrusts with 25lb plate, 3 sets of bulgarian squats with 25lbs, and 6 sets of glute/hamstring curls.

Later in the afternoon Stephen got home from work early so we went for a 2.5 mile run.

THURSDAY: REST DAY

FRIDAY: Planning on doing Orange Theory again!

Hope you guys have gotten in some great workouts so far, but remember to take breaks too 🙂

 

Social Media Realities

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Well everyone… I made it to Sunday alive. Which is actually a pretty big deal if you have seen how sick and crazy my child is/has been. If you haven’t.. then just know Harper’s been battling a pretty nasty cold (congestion, cough, low fever.. the whole 9 yards) for about a week. Also know this about my child; she has some seeeerrious ‘tude and her scream can hit a pitch that only dogs should be able to hear. Well long story short, Stephen was out of town for the weekend so it was just me and my sick, screaming child… all. weekend.long.

Yesterday afternoon the only way that she would take a nap was to sleep on top of me–after relentlessly trying to get her in her bed for about an hour I finally gave in. As she was sleeping I took a couple (okay maybe like 20) pictures of her laying on me. I started to post one of them on instagram and without even thinking, I started to type out “I love these sweet moments with my little girl.” Now.. don’t get me wrong- it’s always sweet to have your child cuddle with you.. but what I realized as I was doing this is that it wasn’t genuine. People would look at that picture and read that caption and they would have NO clue that 10 minutes prior, she was crying, screaming bloody murder, snot running down her face… I was crying, yelling at her to stop screaming, with her snot all over my shirt. And that as she was sleeping on me she was a hot sweaty sticky mess, and all I could focus on was the list of things I could have been doing if she napped in her crib (terrible, but its the truth.)

This just made me realize that social media is truly just a highlight reel of peoples’ lives. And  I totally get it.. we want people to always see us in a good light.. as a great mom, loving wife, in great shape etc…But I guess what i’m trying to get at is to tell you guys: try not to compare your reality to everyone else’s highlight reel. Its so easy to look at someones social media and think that their life is perfect- that their kid never freaks out, that their marriage is perfect, or that they’re genetically blessed with 6 pack abs. Keep in mind that social media is a great platform to PROMOTE yourself in whatever way you choose.. but that what you are seeing isn’t necessarily the full story.

Weekend.

Happy-day-before-Valentines-Day everyone! I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentines Day. Not to be a negative Nancy or anything I just would rather have my husband surprise me with something on a random Tuesday because he thought it would be nice, than on the exact same day that every man feels compelled to do something nice. Also, because for a lot of girls who aren’t dating, or married- they feel bad about themselves.. STOP! Don’t do that! Wherever you are in your life, whether you’re single, dating, married- whatever.. realize that there is going to be ups and downs! There’s highs and lows of being single– just like there are highs and lows of being in a relationship. So just embrace whatever stage you’re in!

This weekend was SO fun.. like one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while. Stephen and I had a blast at the bowling tournament with some of our best friends who we haven’t seen in a while, and then we woke up the next day and took Harper to the zoo. I only worked out once, had fast food twice but give zero craps about it because overall I spent some great quality time with people I love, and that’s what I’m going to focus on. Try not to stress so much about eating a slice of pizza with friends.. because you know what?- Sometimes its not the pizza that makes you gain weight, its the cortisol that you’re body releases because you’re so fricken stressed about eating the pizza… #science. Just kidding…but you get the idea.


I’ve only got about 30 minutes between work and picking up Harper so im going to head to a nearby park and get a quick workout in with no equipment needed.. here’s what I’m gunna do:

7 minutes AMRAP: 20 squats, 10 burpees, 10 lateral walking squats (5each way) 10 lunge jumps (total)

5 rounds, no rest in between: 10 Bulgarian squats each leg, superset with 5 broad jumps

5 rounds no rest in between: 20 low lateral walks (10 down, 10 back) superset with  10 180 degree jumps

5 rounds: 20 toe touches, and 20 leg raises

 

Full day of food.

Fridays…… aren’t they just the best? Yes.. that answer is always yes. The work week is FINALLY over and your weekend can begin! I didn’t have such a great week workout-wise, so I’m super excited to have some time today to get a workout in before I go pick up Harper. We have a lot of fun things planned for this weekend; wine and board game date tonight, a charity bowling tournament tomorrow with our good friends, and possibly taking Harper to a strawberry festival. Cant wait. I fricken love the weekends. I hope you guys are as excited for your weekend as I am for mine!!

Anyways.. a week or so ago I posted everything I ate in a day on my instagram stories, and I (to my surprise) got a lot of positive feedback.. I thought it was going to be kind of annoying.. and if you were annoyed then my bad.. but a couple people messaged me thanking me for meal/snack ideas.. or saying that they didn’t realize how much food I ate (ha.. woops!) and that maybe they aren’t eating enough. So I thought I’d do a blog post about what I ate in a day! This will be for what I had yesterday since today isn’t over yet obviously.

For my first breakfast at 6am (yep.. I have 2, thanks to my early rising toddler) I had 1/4c. egg whites and 1 regular egg, on wheat toast with coconut oil. If you haven’t started using coconut oil on toast instead of butter you just aren’t living yet…img_2112

For my second breakfast at around 9, I usually always have steel cut oatmeal, and put a scoop of protein powder (PEscience snicker doodle is the bomb) cinnamon, chopped pecans, and blueberries.

At around 10:30 I snacked on a couple raspberries.. they’re SOO good right now and I think at Publix they’re 2/$5img_2417

and for lunch at 12:30 I had leftovers that I had quickly prepped on Monday.. just some chicken, quinoa and zucchini.. and I got a salad from my work cafeteria with spinach, feta cheese, and oil and vinegar. After lunch I needed something sweet so I had one piece of this chocolate bar that I found at Whole Foods and its amazing.

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Before my volleyball training at 6 I had this protein bar.. these are my new favorites. The ingredients are all natural and my stomach tolerates it better than some other protein bars.img_2419

After training at 7 I was starving so I went through the Chick Fil A drive through and got the grilled chicken club sandwich. No fries… sad… but true. And that’s it! If this helps even one person with some food ideas then it was worth it to me.

 

WHY.

Its Monday… I woke up and the friggin’ Patriots won, the LAST thing I wanted to do was go to work after such a fun weekend with my fam, I spilled hot tea on myself and got a terrible migraine. Mondays are the pits… could always be worse though, right? Right..

ANYWAYS… Someone asked me the other day how I always stay so motivated to workout/eat right etc. Short answer? I don’t. I have days/weeks where I only make it to the gym once if at all, where I eat more treats than green things, and where my motivation is lacking. I was listening to a fitness professionals instagram story the other day (@biolayne.. if you want some serious knowledge and some serious tough love.. follow him) and he was talking about your “why.” What is it that keeps you DEDICATED to your goals when your motivation is lacking? I had never really thought about it before.

Having played volleyball my whole life and throughout my 4 years of college, working out was always a requirement. 3-4 hours of practice and an hour of weights/conditioning almost every single day. It was just part of our schedule. After volleyball ended I continued working out almost every day mostly out of habit.. and as time went on I was able to view workouts less as a requirement and more of a privilege. So, 6 years later (ugh, i’m old) what is my why? Here it is: I workout for ME. Because it makes ME feel good. Because it’s time that I have to MYSELF. Because when the weights get heavy, I get stronger. Because when finishing hard workouts makes me proud of MYSELF. Because I know I’m setting a good example for my daughter. That’s what keeps me going when I don’t feel like it, or when I’m tired.

I encourage you to sit down and think about your why. If you’re struggling with motivation/dedication.. take a minute and think about why you started in the first place. WHO/WHAT are you doing this for? Your reasons may be completely different than mine and thats ok! There are no wrong “whys.” Even if yours is just to look good in a bathing suit, but I will say, you should make sure your why is strong enough to keep you going on hard days, or days when you’re too tired.

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Okay, so how many times have you guys planned on going to the gym to get a killer work out in, only to be interrupted by life –you know.. a last minute work project, an unexpected phone call, traffic etc.. and all of a sudden you only have 20 minutes until you have to get your kid from daycare in time to beat rush hour and get home to make dinner? No? Just me? Well, if in the future that ever happens- I’m here to tell you that 20 minutes is all you need! It may not be the killer work out you had planned.. but its always better than nothing.

I recommend keeping 2 things in your car at all times: a mini band (they’re super cheap you can get them here for $10) and a dumbbell (here) If these two things are in your car then you can get your workout-on anywhere! The parking garage at your work, a park, the beach..your options are endless, and your excuses are lame.. so just do it.

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Here’s what I did the other day:

20 squats (band around ankles)

lateral walks (10 steps down 10 steps back, band around ankles)

10 single leg Bulgarian squats each leg (I used my truck for my balancing leg)

I did this 5x non stop, and finished with 200 lunges. *200 is a little crazy so if you’re just starting aim for 50-100!*

I hope this gives you guys an idea of what you can do with limited time/equipment!

 

 

 

Re-commitment.

2 months. That’s how long it has been since my last blog post. I could sit here and give a bullet point list of all the reasons why I haven’t written, but for the sake of saving us all some time (and lame excuses) Ill just say this; I simply didn’t make it a priority– and that’s OK! I/we have to be better at accepting things for what they are, and letting that be enough. Let’s ease up on ourselves a little, and instead be proud of all the things that we accomplish… because those little things really do add up to the big things.

A super quick recap of what’s happened in my life in the last 2 months… the holidays came and went (well I guess they haven’t REALLY went yet because our Christmas tree is still up.. no.. not kidding, but its totally fine I’m not secretly dying about it at all and my husband promised me that it’ll be gone soon…..) I OFFICIALLY passed my NASM exam so now I am a certified personal trainer (WOOP WOOP no more studying!) I’m still working full time, and Harper is sassier and cuter than ever.

Now that I no longer have to spend my free time studying, I have more time to prioritize other things like blogging, and working on some fun fitness programs for people and putting out some information content regarding workouts and stuff! I have two online clients now that I’m working with and its been so fun for me to finally start this aspect of my life that I truly feel called to!

So basically I’m re-committing to blogging and chatting with you guys here way more often. If you’ve fallen off track with anything that’s important to you (whether that’s New Years resolutions, fitness goals etc) give yourself a break, re commit and start again! Here’s some photos of what I’ve been up to the last 2 months…

Pursue your passion.

 

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Ooooookay you guys… this post has literally been about 2 weeks in the making. I feel like I have been writing this in my head for weeks but haven’t had enough time to actually sit down at my computer and type it out, so I apologize for being M.I.A.

Lately I feel like I’ve been so caught up in the whirlwind that is my every day life; Harper waking up way too early, getting us both ready for work/daycare, working 8 hours, personal training in the evening 2x a week- the logistics of whose picking up Harper, doing dinners, bath time, bedtime, trying to study for my certification, fitting in workouts, planning my meals, and in between all of that- trying to be the best mom, wife, friend, daughter and sister. It’s overwhelming at times.

The other night when I got home from personal training at 8pm after 13 hours of being gone, I had a mini-break down to my mom about how I wasn’t keeping up on cleaning my house. My mom said something that just hit me (shout out to my mom who always knows just what to say..) she said “yeah but Alexa, look at all of the things that you ARE doing! Your a full-time mom, you work a full time job, find time for part time personal training, and your studying and working towards doing what you’re meant to do.” img_0060

She’s right (duh,) I’m pursuing what I’m passionate about.. that thing that makes me so excited that I’m willing to wake up early and stay up late to succeed. That thing that continues to motivate me no matter how tired or overwhelmed I may be; and that thing is helping others in their health and fitness journey. Inspiring other people, especially other moms- that you can still make your health a priority AND be an amazing m0m/wife/friend/sister/daughter.

If you have something that you are passionate about, I whole heartedly encourage you to pursue that. Make the time, invest in yourself and what makes you happy. Obviously being a mom is my purpose in life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have other passions, and I want to be the best role model for Harper as she grows up and show her that you can do anything and everything that is important to you.

Pursue your passions you guys… it’s worth it I promise!

 

 

Holidays.

Well you guys… its here… (or I guess its been here since Halloween) but it’s officially Holiday season! Thanksgiving is next week, and then you’ll blink and there goes Christmas and New Years! They come and go so quickly that before you know it you’ve skipped 2 weeks of workouts and you’ve eaten so much dang pumpkin pie you can’t even face stepping on the scale.

Lets pause for a second and talk about planning around your goals, shall we? If you are trying to be super strict and lose a significant amount of weight- then your holiday planning will look different than someone who is trying to maintain their weight. Its all relative to what your goals are. The Holidays are notorious for super large portions, fatty foods and tons of sweets. I’ve heard (and personally used) so many excuses for skipping workouts and eating too much over the holidays.. but I’m here to give you a couple tips/tricks for not going completelyyyyy overboard this season.

  1. Come up with a game plan! Pick certain foods that you KNOW you want to indulge in, and then scale back on some of the other side dishes. If your mom makes a killer apple pie that you just cant skip- then DONT! But maybe don’t load up your plate with the sweet potato casserole that’s loaded with butter and marshmallows.
  2. Keep up with your workouts! Plan out your workouts for each day and find a friend or family member to join you to keep you accountable…You don’t need to sweat for hours each day, but get up and move your body! You can go on a long walk, do a 30 minute interval workout, or hit the gym for an hour. Waking up and getting your sweat on will help set you up for making better decisions later in the day!
  3. If your goals require you to be much stricter with what your eating– then make some of the food yourself! That way you have no excuse to say “well I had no other choices..” Yes you do.. you ALWAYS have other choices, and if you need to make your own green bean dish to stay on track.. do it. Which leads me to..
  4. Get ready to explain yourself to family members. I’ve gotten this from a lot of friends who say they feel badly if they aren’t eating what their family makes. Family will always ask why you aren’t eating something, or why you brought your own food. Just come up with an answer ahead of time and explain to them what your goals are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Most people will totally understand and be proud of you, but there’s always going to be that Aunt Dianne who tries to shove cookies down your mouth.
  5. Enjoy yourself! The holidays are such a special time to spend with your loved ones, don’t trade memories for stress about eating. Stick with your plan and you’ll be successful, and enjoy yourself too!

Have a great holiday season and check back next week for some free holiday workouts!