Coffee Talk Tuesday #62

It’s Tuesday! Grab your coffee, tea, juice, or water, and let’s chat! IMG_0640

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I cut off lots of hair! This is quite a big deal, as I typically cut my hair just once or twice a year. I don’t really do much to it (I’ve never colored it or permed it, etc.) and a fresh cut feels awesome! I’m extremely simple when it comes to ‘getting ready’ and don’t put much effort into hair or makeup. The only thing I really take my time to do is moisturize – that’s important!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we officially put down a deposit on our holiday trip! We’re going somewhere warm, which I think we will be super happy about in the dead of winter. I can’t wait!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m getting pumped to meet my pre-orientation group this Saturday. I’m so excited to be leading a group, and we have so many fun fitness and wellness adventures planned–even new-to-me stuff!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m getting ready to have a two week teaching break. This is mostly because of the academic/campus schedule where I teach, but I’m actually excited about it! I’ve already signed up for lots of classes and workshops that I can take, where I learn, grow, and take away tricks and tips to share with my classes. The best instructors are the ones who love to learn and grow! Related to this, I’ve just created a survey to share with my group fit students. If you take classes/have taken classes with me, I’d LOVE for you to take a moment and provide some helpful feedback!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we spent part of last weekend on an IKEA adventure to get some organizing pieces for inside our kitchen drawers! Can’t wait to share pictures. Organization makes me giddy. I love when things flow well and match.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ve started a new-to-me book (another by Bill Bryson, I simply love his writing) called One Summer, America 1927I find America in the 1920s fascinating: the politics, the art, the writing, the dress, the rules, the freedom (or maybe freedom in hiding)–it’s always been my favorite era. This book has been super awesome to read, and I can’t wait to read even more!

I hope you’re having a great start to your week!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #61

It’s time for a Coffee Talk Tuesday chat! Sharing some thoughts over coffee and a delicious garden view today…

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I’ve been (over)thinking a lot about fitness and wellness lately. I mean, it’s my job! But it’s more than that to me — fitness and wellness and sharing my passion for these things is my life. I love helping people reach goals and feel confident. Confidence is the word of the year for me. And this year, I decided to take a dose of my own medicine and start to feel really confident about myself.

When I first started getting into fitness, I wanted to lose weight. I was overweight, unhappy, feeling lethargic and generally blah all the time. It took a lot of courage to pull an oversized t-shirt over my head and get myself to walk into the gym that first time. But I did it. At the time, I wanted to feel good, I wanted to stop my belly from hurting all the time, and I wanted my clothes to fit.

When I started getting really into fitness, I found exercise classes. Ok, I found Zumba. That was the rage at the time. I still wanted to lose weight. I still wore long pants and baggy t-shirts to class, because there were mirrors and I didn’t want to see myself. I hid in the back corner and started coming to every class offered during the week.

When I started getting really really into fitness, I enjoyed myself in classes. I even asked if I could lead a song. I moved to the front row. New routines didn’t scare me, they thrilled me. It was time for something new, so I found a Zumba license class and took it.

When I started getting really, really, really into fitness, I taught Zumba classes. I taught a lot of Zumba classes. I was hungry for more – I wanted to teach every day. So I did, sometimes twice a day. I took any group fitness job I could find, even subbing classes. I’d lost 30 pounds and I wanted more.

When I started getting extremely into fitness, I found running. I could run and run and run and I lost weight. I learned that I couldn’t run the day after eating certain foods–anything fried, anything greasy, tomatoes, peppers. So, I stopped eating those. Then I stopped eating meat because that made me feel heavy at the time and I wanted to be a fast runner. I lost weight running. I lost a lot of weight running and doing Zumba. I wanted more.

When I started getting very extremely into fitness, I ran 30 miles a week. I ran all the races I could find, the longer, the better! I still taught 7-8 Zumba classes a week. I found other classes by coming early to the gym where I taught or staying late and doing double-duty classes. I wanted to teach those, too.

When I started getting very, very, extremely into fitness, I got certified to teach 2 other formats within the span of 6 months. This was fun, collecting fitness certifications and finding new ways to challenge my body. I wanted to be skinny. I thought skinny was healthy. I did get skinny, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

When I started getting thinner, I felt hungrier. I ate more and more, and got really into the local food movement. When I took certain things away from my diet, I felt better. I wondered why? Then I learned about inflammation and wellness and how certain foods make people feel a certain way. Intrigue! I started eating meat again, because that made me feel stronger. I kept not eating tomatoes, peppers, and fried foods. I didn’t have stomach issues! I wanted to be strong.

When I wanted to be strong, I found programs like Insanity – all about bodyweight strength and challenging your max. I was hooked. I wanted to teach this, too! I got certified so I could help others be strong. Strong is sexy!

When I started getting stronger, I started getting more confident. I said good-bye to my previous life of being a martyr and living in a not-so-good situation. I became even more independent. I got my own little place around the corner from my job and literally bounced around everywhere. I was happy.

As I started getting happier, I found my person. Maybe he found me. We found each other. The girl who never thought she would be a wife became a wife to the best husband. The best. Happy is awesome.

As I started getting happy, I wanted other people to be so happy. So, I started teaching even more classes. This makes happy, right? The fitness community boomed and it was so much fun sharing happy.

But with all of this happy, I stopped working out on my own. I ran, but not as much. I worked out, but not as much. I taught and taught and taught classes, which still made me happy. But I wanted more.

As I looked for more, I rekindled my daily yoga practice. Ah, this was missing. It was nice to find center and calm in a chaotic world. I started regularly going to hot yoga classes. My people! I found my people, and my body found happy movements and connection.

As I started getting into yoga classes, I started getting stronger. I liked feeling strong. Strong is good for me. I wanted to find more strength.

Then I found Kayla Itsines and her Sweat/BBG program – 28 minute workouts three times a week? Ok, I could do that. And then I found confidence.

Confidence feels good. It’s putting on an outfit without stressing about how it looks (because who cares). It’s waking up feeling strong every single day. It’s lifting your chin up and keeping your head up at all times. It’s liking the way you look and not feeling ashamed about showing it. It’s asking for what you want. It’s not constantly apologizing for things you didn’t actually do. It’s finding balance, not being so eager to be the best or do the best. It’s realizing that you haven’t been sick since you started feeling confident. It’s realizing that your belly aches of the past have been eliminated. It’s being you, regardless of whether that fits into a mold or whether it’s what’s expected. It’s not caring about expectations. It’s accepting that you cannot change everything. It’s being.

Here I find myself – happy, strong, confident. After a path like this, I’m eager and excited to learn what might be my next steps. More confidence? More being? Just being? Oh, the possibilities.

xo.

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #60

Grab your cup! It’s time for Coffee Talk Tuesday.

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If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we’re on Day 2 of the new Planks & Positivity Challenge! There’s plenty of time to join the fun. This is a free group and anyone can join! Here’s how it works: I’ll share a plank challenge/style of the day, you do it, and report back that it has been completed! If you have a fun style or variation that you tried, please share that, too. In addition to planks, I’ve added a twist — we have a positive prompt each day. Today, for example, is the day to share a positive quote. I love being inspired by words! Come join the fun.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I finally got a standing desk! When I moved offices, I got rid of my large, clunky, wooden desk (it didn’t fit) and purchased a small desk from Target. I find myself up and moving around quite a bit, and standing feels better to me. So, enter standing desk! This is a small desk, perfect for my office cove. I’m loving it so far!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I had a small accomplishment at the gym yesterday – I went up in my base weight for my BBG program! I’ve been playing with heavier weights, but it would always be for the last set or half of a set. Now, I’m rocking the heavier weights for all 4 sets! It’s pretty amazing what you can train the body to do. Sore feels good today.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we had a beach day on Sunday! We live so close to the Delaware beaches, and after our spontaneous beach day a few weeks ago, we definitely wanted more! It’s awesome how easy it is to get to the beach for a day. I’m sure we’ll go again before the end of summer.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that the sweetest thing happened last week. I had a new participant in the Thursday PiYo class and after, he told me “THANK YOU. This is just what I needed and what I’ve been looking for.” This is the moment that all fitness instructors love — when participants find what they need thanks to something you offer. We all love to feel needed and appreciated! I absolutely love when I get to share my passion for fitness and wellness with others, and when it makes a difference. I really appreciate hearing that it’s working for you. And if it’s not? That’s ok, too! I definitely see people come and go from classes. Please also note that I’m here to talk about your fitness goals — even if it doesn’t involve coming to my classes. I love this stuff so much and I want others to enjoy it as much as I do.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m putting the final touches on my pre-orientation program which happens in 18 days! I can’t wait to meet my group and take them on all sorts of fitness and wellness adventures.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that this post by my fitspiration lady Kayla Itsines hit me so hard this week:

“I was scared, I will admit, to celebrate myself and my body. I felt like people would call me arrogant or get offended that I was proud…. but at the end of the day, I learnt that no matter what you do, not everyone is going to like you… so do what YOU want to do that makes you happy, and the right people will come into your life! For the ladies who get up and hustle one way or another everyday, be PROUD OF YOURSELF BOSS LADY …. we got this”

I love her vibe and energy, and definitely have felt this way, too. I am used to feeling ashamed to share my personal accomplishments, but you know what? It’s pretty awesome what the body can do, and if sharing it makes me proud and maybe helps one other person, it’s totally worth it. I figure that anyone who doesn’t want to see my progress updates will simply unfollow and move on with their lives. Right?!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that the gap in my fitness class schedule between seasons leaves me with nearly 10 days of ‘open’ time. I’m excited to take a few classes that I’m not normally able to attend. You better believe it’s going to be lots of yoga and Buti happening!

That’s what’s up in this world! See you in classes or in the Planks & Positivity challenge group!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #59

Welcome to our weekly chat! I liked mixing it up last week with a Day in the Life post, but am happy to be back to our Coffee Talk Tuesday. Grab your cup, let’s have a chat.

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If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m debuting the NEW fall schedule for fitness classes and there are some c-h-a-n-g-e-s. I like mixing it up. Some of the changes are my requests, some are the request of the facility. Which are which? That’s a secret I’ll never tell. Unless you follow me on instagram, that’s been my “tell it all” social medium of choice. Really.

Related, I’m starting a new FREE online challenge group! No gimmicks, just free and fun. It’s called Planks & Positivity and the idea is that we will have one plank style a day and one positive prompt for the day. This will be extra fun. Join us! Open to all.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’ve been feeling all sorts of strong and confident, and for ONCE am not ashamed to share it. I’ve found a ‘winning’ mixture for myself (some crazy combo of daily smoothies, the right mix in my lunch ‘bento’ boxes, Johnny’s lower carb cooking, Buti Yoga, regular hot yoga, BBG, BBG stronger, shorter runs, and trying new, ACTUAL RECOVERY, different classes) and I’m super stoked about it. Abs and muscles and a decreasing waistline, I’ll take it all. But the BEST part? I’m overflowing with energy (like even more than before), and I haven’t been sick/felt sick since I started my BBG program in January. Ummmm, that’s amazeballs.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m famous! Haha, not really, but I have a happy quote in an article in our national journal. It’s for admissions profesh peeps like me. I didn’t even realize it had been printed, a counselor friend reached out to me, jokingly asking for an autograph. Stand in line. Just kidding. Lines are silly. Page 31 if you want to see my beautiful name in print and hear my thoughts on a stand-out recommendation letter.

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I’m leading a free family fitness class in Rock Hall! I’m diggin’ the vibes of these family fitness-style classes. I kind of want to keep going with it and see how many communities I can share my love of quirky fitness things with — any bets?

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I bought a plane ticket to Seattle! Husband is actually heading there for a work conference to PRESENT (I so wish I could watch this) and I’m tagging along because I’ve never been to Seattle! I have a full list of things I want to see and do and cannot wait to explore. I’ll be in Boston like two weeks before this trip, so I’ll get to see both coasts within a couple of weeks! It’s definitely helping with the whole not-crazy-traveling for work thing anymore.

Speaking of trips, we’re looking to book something for our winter break (seriously the BEST reason to stay in higher ed as a staff member – we get like a full 10 days off at the holidays, amazing). Husband and I are all in for the idea of gifting each other a trip for Christmas and our 2 year (eeeee) wedding anniversary (which is also our 3 year engagement anniversary and 4 year dating anniversary. We like to keep it all on the same date). I love gifting adventure trips vs. stuff for sure. We have lots of good ideas for where to go. More on this, I’m sure!

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that I have lots of great, creative work things cooking at the moment. It’s awesome to have some renewed energy toward projects after our retreat. I’m an action person, so I don’t like to wait for meetings, decisions, etc., I like to map a plan and go for it (I’m in the ‘I’ll ask for forgiveness’ group vs. the ‘I’ll ask for permission’ group which sometimes clashes with others, but I like to at least try things).

If we were having coffee together this week, I’d tell you that my little sister is visiting this weekend! It’s been so long since she’s been to Chestertown, this will be very sweet.

There’s always an adventure ’round these parts (have you seen the projects happening in my house? Having a handy and creative husband is pretty awesome), but that’s cool for now. What’s up in your world?

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A Day in the Life 2

These posts are always my favorite to read: A Day in the Life. What’s a day look like ’round these parts? I decided to spend this Monday documenting a snapshot into my world!

4:09 – Alarm goes off. Time to get up and meet Melissa for a run. I get dressed, eat a glukos tab, fill up my water bottle, grab my early morning running gear (visor, headlamp, safety sash), and go.

4:30 – Once in the car, I turn on the newest Robin Sharma Master Class lesson. I like to spend at least 20 minutes each morning learning something. This lesson is about living a life that makes history, and I learned about starting my day the world-class way. He’s one of my favorite confidence, leadership, and life-mastery speakers!

5:00 – Run time! We run 3 miles together, enjoying the growing corn, deer sightings, and the first glimpse of the rising sun.

5:30 – I convince Melissa to be the first participant in my new project “Positive Vibes.” Two of my yoga instructors shared the message of vibrations and energy – that everyone gives off vibrations, from low vibrations (negative) to high vibrations (vibrant/positive). They encouraged us to think about a vibrant person or experience in our lives for 5 minutes, and use that positive energy throughout the day, to share with others. The fact that two of my instructors, in completely different locations, shared this message seemed like too much of a coincidence for me not to do something about it. So, enter a new project!

5:45 – After almost every run, I like to head to the town dock to watch the sunrise and take a fun picture of the day. This is usually a yoga pose or a stretch. I love sunrises!

As I prepped a bag for @thredup this weekend, I came across my stash of running shorts and skirts. I wore these all the time during my crazy year of 15 road races–I ran ridiculous miles and had gotten so 'skinny' that I thought it was acceptable for me to wear shorts (finally), which was a huge relief for a girl who has always been self-conscious of her large, muscular legs. Thanks to #BBG, #bbgstronger, and a changed perspective, I threw on this running skirt today with zero care of how I might look. It's hot. Even though I run in the early morning, it's still hot and humid and shorts > capris for running some days. Feeling super awesome and confident and it's the most amazing way to start the week. #run #runnergirl #skirtrunner #irunthisbody #teamnuun #zoomanation #chesterriver #chestertown #chestertownmd

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6:00 – I pick up hot Dunkin’ coffee (yummm) for both the husband & me and head home.

6:15 – I pack my lunch, make my 10:00 smoothie (sooooo many berries in this one), and usually I’ll clean up the kitchen. We have another home project happening near the kitchen, so I don’t really have much to clean up today, since there are tools everywhere anyway.

6:30 – Chase the cat around the house. She’s super active and playful in the morning, so I like to spend a little time playing with her, admiring her, taking pictures of her for instagram. She loves it.

7:00 – shower tiiiiiime. So clean. My ‘get ready’ routine takes about 12 minutes, including shower (if I worked out that morning), getting dressed (I pick out my clothes the night before so decisions aren’t a thing), and gathering all of my things for the day.

7:30 – Make it to my office at work. I like to be very early to work; it gives me a sense of calm before the chaos of the day. I love getting my hardest tasks done FIRST, so I can concentrate. I drop off a special delivery in a colleague’s office, get all of my things plugged in and turned on for the day.

7:45 – Eating that frog. My most dreaded task (today creating a survey full of special if/then circumstances) came first, and I’m RELIEVED to have that done.

8:15 – start sending reminder emails/requests to colleagues, hoping to be first in line in their queue for the day.

8:30 – Email from my boss that causes me to get incredibly grumpy about the fact that I’ve had 5 bosses in three years, which means I spend most of my time with them explaining my job/past projects vs. planning for the future. This means a lot of time gets lost, time that could be contributed to creativity and output. On the same hand, I’m also glad that I created a new position for myself. Still, with another leadership change happening, I’m prepping my narrative to do this again.

8:45 – Enter the next big task of the day, drafting intensely specific communication plans for all campaigns. This goes beyond the broad graphs and general schedules I usually share. This will highlight all the nitty gritty details and hopefully ease the learning curve of the next administration.

9:00 – Discover discrepancies in two publications that, thanks to the leadership transition, will have to be redrafted and printed. More grumbles.

9:20 – Create new landing page for certain student applicants. Trying a new communication method this year!

9:45 – Have energetic conversation with colleagues about vacations, fall plans, and what we can do to make a difference. Feeling good.

10:15 – Belly grumbles, in need of daily smoothie! Adding a fruit smoothie to my daily routine has really helped me see results, especially in my core. It gives me something to eat without being heavy, and keeps me satiated until lunch. I’ve casually been flirting with intermittent fasting on weekdays, meaning the smoothie is my first ‘meal’ of the day, around 10:00 a.m. If I workout in the morning, I’ll usually have a few Glukos chews and some nuun to replenish electrolytes, but hold off eating until smoothie time. In the short term, I’ve seen noticeable difference to my waistline and my creative juices get flowing on an ’empty’ stomach. I likes.

10:30 – Clean out my desk drawer since I’ll be getting my NEW standing desk this week (I think). Better to be ready vs. not! I only had one drawer, so this is way easier than expected. Found bonus stickers.

10:45 – Share new publication pieces with counselors, oooo, ahhhh.

11:00 – Create plan for student workers for the next two weeks. I couldn’t do my job without their help. I NEED YOU!

11:15 – Working on my new, Seth-Godin inspired office project. So far, so good! It’s also fun to get to know more about my colleagues. And, it’s kind of like arts and crafts time.

11:45 – Get changed and head over to the fitness center so I can warm-up before teaching Insanity Live class. I love this break in the day!

12:15 – Teach Insanity Live. NEW round and NEW music, so cue butterflies (even after 8 years of teaching, this still happens).

Holy moly it’s only noon and this has gotten so long already! I have really long days. Condensing stuff now…

12:45 – Class is ovah and I take a jumpy photo to celebrate!

1:00 – I pop downtown to Dunkin’ to get an iced coffee – it’s my favorite hot summer day treat! I like a medium/1 cream/1 shot of Hazlenut swirl iced coffee. (Yes, this is two Dunkin’ in one day. YOU ARE NOT THE COFFEE POLICES).

1:15 – Back to the office to continue working on my special Seth G-inspired project.

1:30 – start to eat lunch (my special meal boxes! This one has crustless broccoli/turkey bacon/cheese mini quiche, carrots, celery, kiwi, cherries, and apples.)

1:45 – initiate second large project of the day (I like to have FIVE main tasks in a work day, it’s more efficient and makes me feel good to check them off my list. Today has TWO big tasks)

2:15 – Come up for air, work on updating communication letters that other people need to use in the office

2:45 – back to the BIG project (#2) of the day

3:15 – brief break to share communication and strategy with a colleague

3:30 – back to project #2, shared with some colleagues for early feedback (something I’m trying to do more regularly)

3:45 – pow-wow with my student worker to chat about projects for the week. Again, can’t do the work I do without my student team!

4:00 – start prep for Tuesday (I make a ‘5 things’ list at the beginning of the week, but smaller projects always pop up during the week)

4:15 – change to head to gym so I can fit in my BBG stronger arms & abs workout before teaching TurboKick Live class

4:25 – It’s go time. BBG Arms & Abs. I just posted a recent progress update on instagram – 6 months down (20 weeks BBG and 7 weeks of BBG Stronger). I’m loving this program and all the confidence it has helped me find. This has been an amazing growth year.

It's so much more than a body change. Six months ago, I was not me. I pushed myself to teach all the classes and worked to finally get the job title change I deserved but left myself with no self-care time. That needed to change. I started 2017 with one word in my mind: Confidence. I put a little more time and money into MYSELF and started #bbg. I also started taking #butiyoga and more #hotyoga classes, two classes that do wonders for me. I don't even know the woman on the left anymore. She's been replaced with a confident, strong, take-no-excuses and take-no-crap woman. I can't believe I've come this far. Just shy of 9 lbs lost but SO MUCH gained. I'm wearing shorts without thinking about it, working out in a sports bra (because heated classes are HOT), and standing up for myself. I'm so grateful to have the amazing support system of my husband and my sweet running friend and my kickass students. No more playing games, no more waiting for (and wasting time on) false people, moving forward this is all about feeling good and being in charge of my health and wellness so I can do the things I love with the people I cherish! #bbgstronger #bbgcommunity #bbgover30 #bbgprogress

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4:55 – 28 minutes and DONE! One of the things I love most about my BBG workouts. Now it’s time to greet Turbo peeps and get ready for class.

5:15 – TurboKick time!!!! This is my favorite format to teach – I love the energy and power, the discovery in the movements, and the strength you need to push yourself and others through the class. They were on fire tonight, and we made it through THREE turbo rounds.

6:00 – Asked my Turbo peeps for another Positive Vibrations picture! I love post-class pics the best, when everyone is glowing and shiny and happy.

6:15 – Time for some yoga practice — I’m working on balances this week. Titibasana, or firefly, is first! I haven’t spent much time on this in a few weeks. I love focusing on a movement or an asana because it gives me some idea of improvements and I always learn something new in my practice

6:45 – head to the bank, then head home!

7:00 – Ate my leftover burger with blue cheese over a salad. Also had one of my crustless broccoli/turkey bacon/cheese mini quiches. Washed it down with lime Perrier (my sparkling water drink crush at the moment).

7:30 – empty the dishwasher, refill it with the dishes in the sink, start a new load of laundry (teaching and taking classes produces SO much laundry. I’d like to be the kind of person who doesn’t change her outfit every class, but I am. And I do. And I have too many cute workout clothes to just wear one or two outfits a dayyyy). All of this is accomplished while simultaneously watching old episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians on my laptop. I can’t not watch it. Hooked.

8:15 – a little email work, chatting with one of my student workers, pay a couple of bills, and do a little prep work for my next online fitness challenge (it’s gonna be amazeballs!).

9:00 – Husband is home from his night of event and board meetings at his church. Wahoo! Chat about our days, giggle, be husband/wifey. I love our time together. He’s literally the best.

9:30 – Sweepy. Long day. Good day! Lots of productivity and positive vibes. I love a good, solid, long day. Good night!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #58

It’s Coffee Talk Tuesday! Grab your cup and let’s chat.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that yesterday was insane. I went from a 5 a.m. run to work, to teach insanity at lunchtime, more work, to my BBG stronger arms workout to teach turbokick, then taught a private Zumba Glow Party class. WHEW! Thank goodness for my meal prep, nuun tablets, and all the water. I slept SO well last night.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the rest of the week is equally chaotic. I like to pack it all in, you know? I’m attending two different workshops this week (one right after teaching a class), on top of the six classes that I teach, two more BBG stronger workouts, maybe a run in there somewhere, and taking my beloved Buti class this weekend. I often joke to my running friends that I have no need to ever train for a marathon, as my life is kind of like marathon training on repeat. In related news, I think I’m running faster with all the BBG stronger workouts!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve started implementing some of the ideas from one of my favorite books that I just re-readTribes. The big idea is that you don’t have to be in charge to be the leader, that you can gather the ‘troops’ in other meaningful ways. I have zero desire to be in charge, but I do like leading initiatives and change, and identify strongly as a heretic. Wish me luck.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I got a full scholarship to attend a new instructor training! I’d chosen the format, but didn’t sign up yet, and THEN, my master trainer contacted a bunch of us to apply for a full scholarship to get trained in the format. And I got one!!!! I’m super excited to bring this scary-for-me-to-teach format to you sooooon. Stay tuned. In related news, I’m (on a whim) planning on attending a new class training with another local instructor in August! Intrigue.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m feeling so strong and confident these days. And it’s kind of amazing. My intention word for 2017 is CONFIDENT and it’s one of the reasons I started the BBG program – I’d been teaching SO much and trying so many new class times/locations that my own workouts were not up to par (on my standards), or I’d leave little-to-no time for them. When I feel strong, I feel confident. So, enter BBG and then BBG stronger. I also jumped into taking more hot yoga classes which make me feel amazing, started taking Buti Yoga classes, and am open to trying lots of different workshops/formats. I love this feeling, it keeps me energized, which in turn makes me a better instructor!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we went on a spontaneous beach day trip on Sunday, and it was one of the best decisions ever. It was a beautiful day, we’re always saying how close we live to the ocean, so we packed up and left! We’re both content to spend just a couple of hours on the beach, so a day trip is actually perfect for us. And it’s SO close to where we live. We’re already planning another beach trip soon! Ahhh, summer.

That’s good for today, yeah? I hope you’re having a great week so far!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #57

Grab your cup! It’s a holiday week, I’m away from the office, and it’s time for Coffee Talk Tuesday. Or, Wednesday.

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If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m back from my whirlwind Chicago to Outer Banks trip! I spent a few days in Chicago for a professional conference, and then the husband and I spent our long July 4 holiday weekend in the Outer Banks!

We had such a great trip to OBX – it was Johnny’s first time there. We explored all of the towns from Duck to Hatteras, visited the Wright Brothers Memorial, enjoyed many sunrises and sunsets, saw The Lost Colony show (which was a special 80th anniversary show and the audience was FILLED with previous cast members, super awesome), AND the highlight for Johnny was his birthday gift – jetpack/flyboard lessons! We were the only two people signed up for our time with OBX Jetpack, which meant that we got some extra flying time. Johnny even went twice. He was AMAZING at it, doing fun turns and going really, really high.

We always leave a fun trip like this feeling energized and in planning mode for our next adventure. I like having another trip planned before our current trip ends!

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m re-reading one of my favorite books, Tribes, by Seth Godin. He’s one of my favorite minds and always challenges me to think critically and differently. Reading a book full of his nuggets of wisdom is the best. I love re-reading books, especially with several years in between reading sessions, because I’m in a different place, have new perspective, and might be more ready to hear some of the lessons and ideas. It’s definitely true this read through, because I find myself vigorously nodding and wanting to rush to take notes.

A few takeaways this time around – the idea of waiting around for someone to tell you what to do, and the statement “I’m doing what you told me to do,” that change isn’t made by asking permission (I’ve definitely pushed the envelope on this one several times in my career), changing things and creating a future that doesn’t exist requires bravery and often causes criticism (again, sort of my daily life at work), past performance is no guarantee of future success (ahhhhh!), and the BIG idea that you can claim the future that you DESERVE by merely refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it (winner! winner! winner!).

When I read Seth’s work, I often feel like he is talking directly to me. I subscribe to his daily nuggets of wisdom, and find helpful tidbits to bring to my everyday life. I think it mostly speaks to my work at Washington College, but I’ve found ways that it relates to my work as a fitness instructor and just in everyday life, too.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I shared some of these concepts with a few of my colleagues on my recent work trip, and we had the BEST discussion as a result. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to have a solid conversation that didn’t involve day-to-day work needs with colleagues. I get very caught up in day-to-day operations that I don’t make time to share ideas and concepts with my colleagues, and I definitely need to do this more. It energizes me and gives greater purpose to the work that I do.

The last year has been strange with several bosses in and out, a new job that I created myself (and the negativity that can surround it with people who don’t understand it), and other big administrative changes at the College as a whole. It’s also caused frustration because no one is running the show, which Seth actually talks about a lot, too. So, it’s basically a lot of rushed energy followed by periods of uncertainty. I like to plan and to be in control of my time, and it takes a ton of energy to accomplish this while everything around is chaotic. But! I know I have the ability to control ME and MY tasks, and as a result, I think I’m less frustrated and less in panic mode than most of my colleagues.

That’s certainly a lot for a Wednesday that is meant for a Tuesday but feels like a Monday. I will say that I’m super grateful for the College closed/days off! I prefer going away when the College is completely closed. I’m one of those obsessively-checks-email-on-vacation kinda people and it’s nice not to worry about it when you know everyone else is out of the office, too. Bliss!

I hope you have a great (and short) week!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #56

Welcome to our weekly Coffee Talk Tuesday chat! Grab your cup.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m attempting to cram nearly 10 days of work into 2. Wish me luck! I know I’ll still work on my conference trip, but it’s a different speed/concentration since I’ll be in sessions all day. I’m definitely not working through the holiday weekend since the College is CLOSED and that’s when I get my best peace of mind. All the things!

This made me giggle today. I’m a huge open coffee mug by the laptop person and this is certainly a fear.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m SO flippin’ excited for the Outer Banks. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been there and Johnny has never been! I have a full itinerary and we’re staying in a cute Inn by the beach. I can’t wait for our jet pack adventure, to take him to see The Lost Colony, and my hopeful attempt to convince him to drive allll the way to Ocracoke. Worth it! I’m also ready for some more beach time for sure.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that, while I’m at my conference, my office will be interviewing new VP candidates. Boss #5 for me in just a few short years. Let’s hope this one sticks and is excited to be part of Chestertown life.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we got our gas stove installed yesterday! I love gas stoves, and am so excited that we have one now. The kitchen is so very close to completion, it’s amazing. Here are a few sneak peak pics. Once the last of the tile is grouted and the baseboards are added, I’ll take beautiful pics to share. SO EXCITING! I’m so impressed with the husband’s handiwork and it’s so satisfying knowing that he BUILT this for us.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m missing Buti classes real bad, and can’t wait to get back into the groove! The timing hasn’t worked because of subbing classes, but I have alllll of July to play in class and I’m so ready.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been flirting with the idea of live videoing one of my fitness classes. Would you love that? I tried my first live video a couple of weeks ago, and it was scary but pretty cool. I love these kinds of features. In the social world, I’ve kind of fallen in luuuuuv with the instagram stories feature. Super fun! Still not on snap chat. Nope. Nope. Nope.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m signing up for two new instructor training classes. I’m a little nervous because both formats require equipment, and part of my thing as a fitness instructor has been all about “anytime, anywhere” and this makes it a little more difficult. BUT! I love challenging myself as an instructor and it’s the only way to grow! New challenges and opportunities coming this fall/winter. Under development, stay tuned.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I had so much fun picking all the berries at Lockbriar last week! They’re in my smoothies this week. I froze a lot of them so I can enjoy smoothies forever! Have you been to Lockbriar yet? Go check out their U-Pick options, on-farm market AND get yourself some ice cream. YUM!

That’s what’s up this week – see you next week for a special edition of Coffee Talk Tuesday!

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Fit Friday #16: Spotlight on BBG

Welcome to a new series on the blog: Fit Friday! We’ll explore topics in fitness and wellness together. Have something you want me to answer or cover? Email me at fitwithaundra@gmail.com. Here’s a collection of all the Fit Friday posts.

For the past few months, I’ve been sharing a new workout on my instagram page. Three times a week, I complete resistance workouts posted in the Sweat App, which follows Bikini Body Guide, or BBG.

I tag all of my photos Sweat with Kayla (Kayla Itsines, program founder), or SWEAT and have a received a few questions about this mysterious workout that has captured my attention. But it wasn’t until I posted this super awesome progress update that the questions started rolling!

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WHAT IS BBG?

Bikini Body Guide – there’s a book and also an app that you can purchase. I personally love the app because you can follow the workouts step-by-step. Both the book and the app showcase the workouts – two sets of 4 moves that you can repeat once (14 minutes) or twice (28 minutes). The app has you set up to follow the 28-minute workout.

You choose the intensity! The movements are defined, but you can always choose a variation. Some days, I’m all about jumping from burpees, and doing double-under jump ropes, and some days I’m all about incline push-ups vs. on the ground push-ups. The biggest thing is listening to your body and staying consistent.

Right now, Kayla is hosting a special 4-week look at her program! You get one workout a week. This week focuses on legs. It’s a pretty typical BBG set!

BBG Stronger incorporates more weights – free weights and weight machines. It’s an awesome way to get out of your comfort zone inside the gym. It took me a couple of years, but now? I walk into the gym without thinking twice about ‘being in someone’s way’ or ‘not looking like I know what I’m doing.’ You have every right to be there! I think this program is going to help so many women push past gym insecurities and GO for their workouts.

With this program (which I started in January 2017), I’ve been able to redefine my personal workouts. With being a fitness instructor, it’s super easy to let my workout time slip into the abyss. I mean, I was always moving and on-the-go with classes, so I thought that would be enough. But truthfully, it’s not. It’s a HUGE misconception that a fitness instructor only needs the classes they teach. Ok, to be fair, that probably worked when I was 24, but does not work now. I’m more worried about what people are doing in class vs. me getting my 100% workout. And, when I would teach 9-12 classes/week, I didn’t leave myself much time to get a solid workout (on top of a 40+ hr/week full-time job).

For me to be successful, I have to strength train. I can run cardio circles for days, my endurance is top-notch, but I don’t notice a difference until I lift those weights. And with Kayla’s app, I was able to have a solid 28-minute lifting/strength session three times a week.

Sure, I’ve created my own programs to follow (I had a really awesome lifting routine right before my wedding, ha ha), but after creating new and fabulous choreo for Zumba, finding the right choreo and moves for the other three formats I teach, I didn’t leave a lot of creativity for my own workouts. Kayla’s workouts really helped fill that gap.

I noticed changes pretty quickly when I started BBG. I actually followed Kayla on instagram a couple of months before I worked up the courage to download the app. Then, in January, she announced a 12-week BBG challenge, and you know I love challenges. I hopped on board and haven’t looked back since!

I completed 20 weeks of BBG workouts, and then, three new workouts were debuted on the app: BBG Stronger, Post-pregnancy, and Yoga. I started following BBG Stronger, which incorporates heavier weights and reduced reps, and will completed week 4 with today’s workout. I LOVE this new format. I’m so excited to keep going.

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #55

It’s Tuesday! Grab your cup and let’s settle for a Coffee Talk chat.
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If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we had a whirlwind of a weekend! Between driving 8 hours round-trip to have dinner with my family for Father’s Day and then spending Sunday evening with Johnny’s dad, we definitely felt on-the-go! In great news, Johnny worked on Sunday morning to grout and clean the backsplash tiles. It looks SO good. I’ll share an update soon!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I had a TREAT YO’SELF day on Friday. I started with yummy hot yoga in the morning, then got my unsweetened green tea frappe treat from Starbucks, then I treated myself to NEW colorful sharpie markers and a spa pedicure! I chose a super fun pink color, you can see them peepin’ in my picture! Such a good day. I rounded out Friday with the final installment of the Free Family Fitness series (complete with a fidget spinner game edition, what a fun, quick craft!).

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ve been in a SHARING mood lately. Last Friday, I shared some confessions of a fitness instructor with tricks of my trade, and today (GULP), I’m sharing a ‘Transformation Tuesday’ type post on instagram, with some very exciting progress from my BBG workouts. I’ve been rockin’ BBG workouts since January 12. I completed 20 weeks of BBG and then started BBG stronger, now I’m on week 4. I’ve noticed a difference already, just switching to the new stronger program. It’s heavier on the weights, which really gives me results and keeps me motivated. Be kind to my progress? I’m forever a work in progress, as are you! Our bodies are amazing and they change and adapt as we treat them with kindness.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m beyond pleased with the progress of the Core & More Challenge group! I love hosting these free online challenges and get so excited when someone posts, shares, comments, etc. It’s thrilling to see people coming together over health and wellness topics. It’s never too late to join!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ve been thinking a LOT about image, social personality, posts on social, etc. I actually love sharing on social sites, and tracking progress. It’s extremely helpful to my personal development, and I love that I’ve been able to curate a business online to complement my in-person fitness classes. I might not post every last detail about my life, but I’m true to my posts. Actually, I think I’m more ‘real’ on social media than I am in person.

Things that I don’t post about that I think I should share (man, this could be a whole post): I’m definitely an introvert. I like my alone time (maybe you can glean that from posts), and need LOTS of it to ‘recover’ from being extroverted as a fitness instructor. I’m super awkward and can be known to bless and thank myself when I sneeze. Even in front of people. I can absolutely polish a complete bag of tortilla chips in one or two sittings. They’re my jam. I’m REALLY ridiculously into Keeping up with the Kardashians. I’m addicted. I completely overthink things and even have full conversations with myself to resolve conflicts. #weirdo Who knows? Maybe you’ll see these things in future posts, because they’re all part of me!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m very excited to host a Summer Solstice class in the park tomorrow! I’ve hosted this class for the past 4 years and love being able to offer it for free. Together, we welcome the start of summer with 108 sun salutations (the PiYo way – plank, chaturanga, upward-facing dog OR cobra, downward-facing dog). It’s an intense 30 -40 minutes and your shoulders will look hella good the next day. And, um, they’ll feel good, too. Join us!

Other than being very excited for upcoming events, I’m also looking forward to my conference in Chicago AND heading to OBX with the husband! I love having adventures on the horizon. Did I tell you that, for his birthday, I got the husband a water jet pack adventure in OBX? We love trying new things, and I’m absolutely terrified. But it will be blast. Stay tuned for video!!!!!

That’s what’s in my cup today, how about you?

 

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