Coffee Talk Tuesday #69

Grab a cup! We have some coffee and a Coffee Talk Tuesday chat on the list for today.

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If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I have a special splash of hazelnut in my cup. Ah, yes, it’s time to retire the pumpkin. Bring on the hazelnut!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we’re in the full swing of the January fitness calendar! I’m hosting tons of special classes this month, including a Glow Pound class at my favorite Buti studio (it’s such a dream to teach there!), special combo classes like Zumba + Pound and Zumba + Turbo Kick, and January Jump start – a combination of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and yoga. So exciting!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that one of my goals this year is to develop speciality classes. I’m getting my feet wet with these fun combos, but am deep into developing classes of my own. SO exciting and refreshing. Get ready for so much fun this year.

Speaking of goals, I’m hosting the first-ever Goal Getters workshop. What is it? It’s a chance to workshop a goal–to understand how to create a specific goal and then develop a strategy to achieve it. I’ve found three things to be most helpful when it comes to crushing a goal 1) the goal needs to be specific 2) you need to share the goal with others 3) you need to create Consistent Daily Action items. Success is found in your daily habits. Join me starting January 15 to start achieving your 2018 goals!  https://goo.gl/forms/oqBI9D6BtVu5Nx9j2

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we had the most marvelous getaway cruise to the Bahamas and Key West! We love to travel, and prefer to give each other ‘experience gifts,’ so we planned a special Christmas gift trip. It was my first cruise, and I loved it! The cruise line (Royal Caribbean) was top-notch, and I loved that it was a smaller ship. We had the most relaxing, sunshine-filled beach excursion to Blue Lagoon, met up with husband’s parents in Key West, and even added a trip to the Everglades before coming back to Maryland. It was disturbingly cold here, so I’m glad we got to escape to the sun and sand!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m switching up my schedule once again! In addition to all the classes, I’m adding special online workshops, and have replaced my seasonal part-time job with two new part-time jobs! More to come on these super fun adventures. Each job is a step in the right direction for me, and for us as a family. I’m thrilled that it gives me time to be creative, develop plans for my fitness business, and even take workshops and fitness classes. Of course, my schedule will alter again in February, but I live on my toes, so this works very well for me!

I hope you’re having a great week, and double hope to see you on the floor for fitness classes or virtually for online fitness and wellness sessions!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #68

It’s Tuesday! Grab a cup and let’s have a Coffee Talk.

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If we were having coffee together today, your name is Carly! Ha, as I write this, I’m getting ready for an IRL coffee date with Ms. Sweetly Entwined. Have you heard about her new Sweet Of The Month Club? Check out the details on her facebook page.

If were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that when it rains it POURS. Last week was a whirlwind, y’all. I put into the universe that I’m ready for another gig, and I got contacted by two great prospects within just a matter of days. It’s a cool spot to be in, but the decision of how I’d like to spend my professional time is driving me a little nuts. I want to stay true to myself and my goals, but what if those goals altered slightly? What if those goals became longer goals and the short-term ones changed? Mystery. Intrigue. Stay tuned on this development, because goodness knows I have no clue where I’ll be with it next week. It changes daily!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that in the midst of all these decisions, I’m working all the hours at Bath & Body! Need a last-minute gift? Oh my, do we have something, anything, everything for you. Chances are that I’ll see you this week if you come to my store!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m SO READY for our holiday getaway. Sun and sand, yes please! Cannot wait to dig my toes into the sand in just a few days.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m getting even more adventurous with classes. If you take a fitness class with me, you have some surprises coming your way! I’m really diggin’ the mixture of classes and special events. Speaking of which, I’m returning to Foundations Island Yoga to teach another Glow Pound (we’re calling it Glow STX because that’s cute) in January! Mark your calendar for Thursday, January 11. It will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Here are the details.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that husband is making so much progress on our newest house project! He’s turning our once utility sink/counter/cabinet space in the laundry room into two large closets. He’s so handy, I’m amazed at his abilities. I’m also excited for this use of the space – it’s really neat! We have one more BIG project on the horizon – turning our back room/back porch into our dining and sitting room space.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m working on finalizing my short January fitness schedule. There are so many ideas and options for classes, my head is still spinning. I want to offer awesome options but also keep the classics. I seriously love being able to share fitness and wellness with people every day — I have to stop and think about the awesomeness of that!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I tried a new-to-me class last week – Rocket Yoga – and I think I’m going to go back this week. It’s full of inversions and arm balances, and just the right speed for me. I like to move it and work it when I attend a class, and this fits the bill! I don’t always have the same schedule, so I like to squeeze in yoga classes when I can (especially Buti!).

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that 12 days of fitness is still going strong! I love sharing it with live classes when I can — it’s so much fun to try this challenge with friends. Are you participating? Head to my facebook page to see the daily challenge video and prompt (the opportunity for a FREE class awaits).

That’s all for now, I hope you have a great rest of your week!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #67

Well, hello! It’s so nice to see you for this Coffee Talk Tuesday. How ya been?

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Let’s coffee chat while eating this scrumptious avocado toast.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that The Andersons are ready for Christmas! The house is decorated, the tree is trimmed, and all the gifts we purchased are wrapped and under the tree. Almost all of them are for Phoebe. Kidding. Maybe. This is pretty incredible coming from someone who used to skip Christmas.

Even more, we are SO ready for our Bahamas cruise! I cannot wait for some sun & sand. We just booked a fun excursion in the Bahamas, and it makes me even more excited to go.

The trip comes at the perfect time because hey-o I’ve been teaching SO many classes lately! I love all of it, especially when people are excited to be there and work so hard. Have you seen the December schedule? I’m trying lots of different events and will tweak this schedule slightly for January. I’m also working on a class in a NEW location, so stay tuned for all of this!

When I made the BIG decision to leave my cushy office job for the uncertainty of teaching fitness classes and some part-time employment, I really leapt without a net. I trust my work ethic and ability to succeed, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it scares me still! I really appreciate everyone who attends classes, tries my new workshops and crazy ideas, and those of you who have offered sweet words of support. You’re the best!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m still loving my part-time job. Who knew that getting nerdy and excited about self-care would be so much fun? I really enjoy all the folks that I get to work with (which is new for me, I’m not used to having work friends!) and I love the products and atmosphere. I got to be part of the set display team this past weekend (where we basically rearrange all the tables and displays in the store) and it was really fun to work as a team. I’ll be sad when the seasonal job ends.

But on that note, if we were having coffee together today, I’d put it into the universe that I’m looking for my next gig. Ideally, I’d work in a gym/fitness center environment and get to use my creative skills (writing, social media planning/strategy, community engagement) as well as my event planning/workshop and teaching skills. Extra ideally, it would be a place I could build skills to learn how to manage a gym facility. I’m like a sponge and I LOVE to learn and grow. I have a couple of conversations related to this next chapter in the works, but I’ve learned that it’s good to put your ideas out there and see what can spark.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that we’re on day 2 of 12 Days of Fitness, and I’d love for you to join! We started yesterday with 12 plank jacks, and each day we will do all the previous moves plus a new move. So, today will be 12 plank jacks AND 11 side-to-side shuffles. All posts and videos are on my facebook page!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m loving the 25 Days of Buti challenge on instagram. I’ve been completing the challenges on my ctownyogi instagram page, and it’s been really fun to share my favorite elements of this awesome class. I’m SO glad I found Buti yoga this year. It really helped with my confidence building. I love being able to be a student, and all of the different components of this class. Confidence was the word of 2017, I wonder what will become the word of 2018?

Speaking of 2018, if we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I have a new planner for 2018–the Rose Gold planner by Popflex. I’m excited to try this format, after a successful year of bullet journaling. I love the monthly and daily calendars and the habit trackers. Excited to use this! I’ve already completed the front questions with my big and small goals for 2018. Do you plan goals for the year, or by week, or by month? I have a few BIG goals for the year, and then I like to break down goals by month. A goal can be as simple as “drink 2 more glasses of water a day” to “get a new fitness certification.” I also like to have one goal that scares me. I’m thinking about hosting a “goal getter” online workshop, where we’ll identify one BIG goal and a smaller goal, and then create action plans to reach them. Would you do it? I LOVE GOALS (please read my engagement story where my husband proposed by using one of my nerdy goal sheets. Yup.)

Whoops, coffee is gone! Time to get rollin’ with the day. Talk to you soon!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #66

Hello there! Grab your cup of something special, it’s time for Coffee Talk Tuesday.

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Me? I’m drinking the last of the special Seattle roast we got during our visit. So delicious, especially with some Trickling Springs Creamery milk. Yum.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that November has been c-r-a-z-y in the best way possible. And from this seat, December and January are lining up to be the same. I’m booking tons of great classes and lining up a pretty sweet schedule. It’s a lot for me, more than I am used to doing physically, which brings me to my next topic.

Self-care. Oh my, I have really indulged in it this past month. If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my self-care rituals are sacred and I must do them in order to feel successful. For me, self-care includes feeling clean and refreshed. One of the items I use is this full-body wipe, especially if I’m in between classes or have a meeting scheduled after a class. They leave me feeling refreshed and like I took a full shower. Love them. Another thing I do for self-care is spray my tired feet with this refreshing Tea Tree Oil Foot Spray. One other thing I do for myself is an at-home foot spa treatment complete with foot scrub (loving the sugar scrubs from bath & body works), and I finish with an essie polish.

It’s so important to have a self-care regimen! In order for you to be helpful and motivating to others, you have to be at your best.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we spent Thanksgiving Day in NYC! This is the third time we’ve gone to NYC for the Macy’s Day parade, and it’s one of my favorite trips. We have the whole routine down at this point, and welcome all the adventures!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m also getting pumped for our anniversary/Christmas trip – a cruise to the Bahamas and Key West! I’ve never been on a cruise before, but Johnny has, and I’m excited to spend some time in the warm sunshine when I’m sure it will be super cold here.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve had the opportunity to chat with some business mentors about Fit with Aundra. It’s so exciting to take something that you’re passionate about and turn it into your career. It’s also a ton of work, but it’s the kind of work I love doing the most. And, I get to take all of my awesome group fitness students on the journey with me. I love seeing and being part of the personal successes and bringing smiles and cheer (and hard work) to everyone.

Tuesday has become my fullest day (5 fitness classes today), so I’ll keep our chat short, but I’ll be back for another strong pot of coffee next week. xo.

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #65

Well, hello! Grab your cup of something special, it’s time for a long-overdue Coffee Talk Tuesday.

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If we were having coffee together today, I’d be all “how ya been” because it’s been awhile. Not that I haven’t enjoyed a cup or two of coffee without you, but I always enjoy it more with you.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that WOW things have changed in my world. Here goes… I left my job of 9 years, 1 month, and 25 days (not specific at all) a few weeks ago. It was time, friends.

You know what happened on the day I handed in my resignation letter? It felt like an entire weight lifted from my body. I felt free. And in charge. And also terrified because, whoa, I’ve been going to the same place for work for nearly 10 years. Of course, I haven’t left completely, because I’m still on campus 4 days a week to teach fitness classes. But it’s different. In such a good way.

So…what happened? Well, you’ll have to join me for an IRL cup of coffee for that story, but I will say again that it was time to go and I’m much happier having left.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m loving the fitness instructor life! I admit, I was scared (still am a bit) to move from a secure, real paycheck job to one that is much less certain. But, can I share a secret? I just paid off my student loans, so my monthly expenses have dropped significantly.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that the husband and I went on a fun 5-mile hike last Friday, because we can! I love spending time walking in the woods with my favorite person. The views were exceptional, too.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I have added three new classes (including one in Middletown, one of my ‘vision board’ places to teach) to make it an even 10 classes per week, and I’ve also gotten a part-time seasonal job at the outlets. Oh my, that has been really fun. A job that I can go to, share happiness and fun products with customers, and then leave at the end of the day? Right now, that’s pure bliss.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m really enjoying the extra time at home, too. I’m running around teaching all the classes and working at the outlets, but I have definitely been home more than usual. We’re working on two new house projects, so it’s been fun to help move those along, I finally put together a wedding album (after two years!), worked on some crafts I’ve been meaning to do, I organized and sold some stuff that has always been on that “rainy day” list, and I’m loving keeping the house organized.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I want to be the best fitness instructor that I can be for you. I’d love to help you, organize a group event for you, be there for your fitness and wellness needs. I’m dreaming up and toying with lots of possibilities right now, including online group instruction, personal training, wellness coaching, and more. It’s really awesome to dream, but also very overwhelming. Thank goodness for “Mastermind sessions” – walks, coffee dates, lunches, etc. with my very savvy friends. I’m even signing up to meet with a business mentor to go over my business plan and more. This is a very exciting time for me!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ve got a busy day ahead — Tuesdays have become 4-class days, and Wednesdays are 3-class days. I’m also doing a little volunteer work this morning, helping promote the Dickens of a Christmas weekend in Chestertown — it’s December 1-3 and will transform Chestertown into Victorian London. There will be carriage rides and fire pits and decorations and fancy dress, and more!

Let’s chat again real soon. Xo.

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #64

Why, hello! It’s been awhile. How about we grab our cups and have ourselves a sweet little Coffee Talk Tuesday?

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If we were having coffee today (I’ve officially switched to iced coffee with one pump of pumpkin swirl, please!), I’d tell you that it’s been a couple of whirlwind weeks. I feel like I always say that? When does it slow down? Well, it doesn’t. YOU make it slow down, if you want. So, I have! I’ve turned down a few opportunities to be social and even a teaching opportunity. There’s a time and a place to fill the cup, and right now I need to be selfish (NOT a dirty word!) and focus on what’s best for me and my family.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that BIG changes are coming my way. Puttin’ out positive feelers into the world for this one! I’ve reached a point where I’m super ready for something new and exciting. Stay tuned. In the meantime, think happy thoughts for me!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we’re just ONE day away from the debut of a new-to-me teaching format. A few weeks ago, I got certified to teach Pound Fit classes – something new, something different. That makes FIVE formats I’m currently teaching. On top of a full-time job. Gulp. Send cookies. SO MUCH CHOREO. Want to see a preview? Check it out!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m super pumped for our upcoming trip to Seattle. I’ve never been to the northwest before, and am really excited to explore. I’m tagging along the husband’s business trip, and have grand plans to see it all. #hype I just returned from a trip to Boston, and love having another trip on the horizon!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the husband has been working so hard at church for the upcoming Harvest Home and 125th celebration! There’s a free music program followed by an auction – here’s the info if you’re local and want to attend. We spent a few hours on Sunday making apple dumplings for the bake sale auction. You really need to come grab one!!! I’m so incredibly proud of the dedication he has to this church, and love being able to support his passions.

So much more is rattling in my head, but for now, I’m enjoying my smoothie, my Dunks iced coffee, and making big plans. Have a great day!

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Thoughts on a Thursday

I’m not sure there’s any structure or form to this post, it’s a series of thoughts I’ve been mulling over lately in my head. I realize that I’m such an organized person that this might be awkward to read, but I wanted to spend time brain dumping today.

On a related note, one of my favorite things to do while transitioning between projects is to brain dump (so like this week I hosted a 4-day pre-orientation adventure for new first-year students at Washington College, so it was a ton of work but a break from my regular work and fitness class schedule).

Have you ever tried brain dumping? It’s a practice of just writing what comes to mind. Anything and everything. Maybe it is organized in a list, maybe it’s just words on a sheet of paper or on a computer screen.

I find these in-between times to be the best brain dump times because when you give yourself a break from the routine, you’re giving your mind creative freedom to think (or not think) about it. You get to change your perspective when you’re not constantly in it.

So, here goes…

I’ve recently started this #RefusetheStraw project. Basically, I carry my own stainless steel straw with me and use in place of a plastic straw. I love getting coffee at different places vs. making it at home, and I really love iced coffee. Iced coffee comes with a straw. So, in my mind, I use a lot of straws. I found this Refuse the Straw project and thought “hey, that’s a small way I can make a difference, not using disposable plastic straws all the time.” I don’t think I’m better than anyone who uses plastic straws. I don’t think I’m ‘good enough’ to educate people not to use plastic straws. I mean, I’m still using the plastic cups. It’s a small thing I’m doing in a grander scheme of SO many large things. Like, for example, I could not purchase coffee and make it at home instead. Or, I could stop drinking coffee and eliminate the need for the cup and straw at all. I think deeply about things like this.

Earlier this week, I got to plan adventures for first-year students. One of our adventures included visiting a fabulous local farm that is well-cared for and consumer-friendly. We went on a U-Pick adventure and got to “grocery shop” around the farm. We picked corn, cherry tomatoes, and peaches. I don’t eat tomatoes, and Johnny doesn’t like the cherry variety, so I put them in a small bag and Johnny took them to work. One of his student workers immediately ate them. He remarked “they’re so good, much better than any I’ve ever tasted, where are they from?” When Johnny told me this story later, he added that his student had never eaten a fresh vegetable growing up in China. They couldn’t eat fresh fruit and vegetables because of the fertilizer (it’s toxic maybe?). I couldn’t get over that I have a million beautiful farms around me and a garden in my backyard, and fresh fruit and vegetables every single day, and someone lived 18 years without them.

Earlier this summer, I found my newest soulmate class. I love fitness and love working my body, and it’s great to be able to shake up the routine and try things that I can take and not be a student. Buti Yoga is my latest love, and I think it’s for a few reasons. 1) It challenges me in new ways, combining dance, plyometrics, and strength into one workout 2) I never ever bring my cell phone into the studio or building. I’ve never left my phone in my car for anything else. I think I like this break from my phone. OF COURSE I could just give myself a break from my phone, but I’m not disciplined enough to do that. Having this class in this location with a no phone policy is AMAZING and one of the reasons I like this studio so much 3) This will sound awful, but I like that this studio is far enough away from home that I got to meet some new people. I’m super weird and have a hard time giving 100% in a workout when I’m taking a class with my fitness students. I need to get over it, but for now, I’m embracing this new fitness home I’ve found and enjoying meeting some new people who share my love for intense workouts. It’s also really weird to make new friends over 30. There, I said it. I am shy and would rather hang out with the husband and Phoebe vs. going out to try and make friends. So, if I can get in a workout AND meet new fabulous people, I’m there.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my next career move, too. My passion is working with people, related to health and fitness. I’m very organized, self-motivated, and have follow-through, so my current full-time gig is a good fit. My biggest motivation in my current job is to pay off my student loans. My light at the end of the tunnel is paying them off and finally feeling flexible enough to take a different job that allows me to explore fitness and health even more. In the meantime, I’ll continue working two (nearly) full-time jobs.

I also realized that I live a pretty privileged life to be in a position to stop and reflect about these things. I’m grateful to be in such a position to be able to improve myself!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #63

Happy Tuesday! Grab your cup of something special and let’s chat.

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If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that it’s been an unusual week for me. Several months ago, I was asked to prepare a curriculum for a pre-orientation program – special guided trips for our new first-year students. With my love of fitness and wellness, I knew it had to be something related to these areas. Surely, I would spark interest in the incoming students with things like SUP yoga and HIIT, right? I created the program, got the budget approved, and soon 12 first-year students were in my group! How exciting is that?

I wanted to create a program that would introduce them to healthy living tips and habits on campus and also in the greater Chestertown community. So, for four days, I set-up themes for each day: healthy living on campus, an adventure trip, healthy living in Chestertown, and a day of local exploration. We’ve had a blast so far (we still have 1.5 days left!).

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that part of the pre-orientation program I created (my group is called Shore Fit) was an adventure to Annapolis to take a Stand-up Paddleboard Yoga class. I’ve never done this myself, so it was an adventure for all! Our instructor was awesome, had lots of energy, and wanted to try fun things with our group, since everyone is so adventurous. I was SO proud of my group for trying everything and not whining or being afraid. Our guide started us slow and low on the board, with different side-to-side balances. Then, she let us play and try some single-leg downward-facing dogs, wheels, and headstands. I was so surprised that I could hold a tripod on the board! 21032796_516794181997057_5083674703368363409_n

If you’ve been a yogi for awhile and think you have a solid practice, I dare you to take it to the paddleboard to be immediately humbled. Tree pose was SO hard. So hard. This place was organized, friendly, experienced, and super fun. I’m already looking at paddleboard exploration classes for the husband & me to go back there!

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’m in non-teacher mode (except for pre-orientation, I’m definitely in teacher mode) for the next two weeks. I’ve already soaked up a flow class, a Buti class, and I’m taking an XY HIIT class tonight (after an incredibly long day with my group, send love vibes). These next two weeks are filled with pound (training!!!), Buti, yoga, and so much practice for the start of classes September 4. Zumba is making a comeback, so I’m adding lots of fun songs. I hate teaching the same class over and over again, so each class is planned with different songs. This is awesome and keeps everything fresh, but it’s definitely a lot of work. Please come jam with me! My Zumba classes are high energy and full of fun moves you can rock everywhere. I’m also teaching PiYo, Insanity, Turbo, and at the end of September, Pound Fitness. Gulp.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that my newest boss started last week and it’s been a little tough for me. I’m not opposed to new things (I feel like I’m always trying something new), but 4 bosses in a year has been an adjustment. Everyone has different expectations and a different style, and I feel like I’m constantly explaining what I do (which is extra fun because I made up my job back in December and my focus has changed slightly with each boss). If I didn’t have my classes or workouts, I’m pretty sure I’d fall apart or melt or be awful all the time.

That’s quite a bit for this week! I hope you are having an awesome start to your week, and I hope that you caught a safe glimpse of that eclipse yesterday!

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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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