Sunday, April 6, 2014

Workout Wrap-up

Howdy! How was your weekend? Mine was almost exactly like last weekend, and I have to say, I'm enjoying our weekends where it is all about exercise, togetherness and errands around town/house. Next weekend we will be in Spencer, so I relished this weekend and felt so, so good.

Before the weekend, though? Not so much. I wasn't sick or anything, I was just tired. Nothing was getting me motivated and all I wanted to do each day was curl up in bed with book. So much so, that I thought about calling in sick on Friday. However, I did not and I powered through to finish out the work week strong. This sluggish feeling did not help me with my activity level though ... see for youself:

Monday - 11,349 steps. 60 minute Zumba class. This class was with an instructor that I do not usually go to, but I had a lot of fun!

Tuesday - 10,377 steps. Rest day ... I honestly do not know how I made it to 10K steps.

Wednesday - 10,102 steps. This day I tried to run and I got about a mile away from home and was just not feeling it. Ended up home after one mile of running. Better than nothing, right?

Thursday - 12,170 steps. 60 minute Zumba class. I could barely make it through this class. My body was just saying no, no, no.

Friday - 11,115 steps. Rest day ...  No idea how I made it to this many steps either. Apparently the Fitbit is helping me to move more in general!

Saturday - 24,507 steps. 60 minute Zumba class and 2 hour bike ride. This was my first long bike ride on the new bike. I'm definitely getting better at using the gears to improve my efficiency, now I just have to work on keeping up with the guys! I had only one mishap after leaving Mullet's and I could not get my foot back in the pedal with the strap on. It was probably the one beer I had with lunch (I'm a lightweight) but, it seriously took me about 8 tries to get my foot in there and get going. Talk about embarrasing!

Sunday - 10,122 steps. 45 minute bike ride (10 miles). This bike ride was painful. My bum is so sore I could barely sit down the entire ride!

Well, tomorrow starts the infamous Dietbet and I am officially nervous. After weighing in and sending my pictures, it just hit me. This is going to be hard! I have got the working out part down, but the eating part? I struggle. Hopefully this Dietbet (with money on the line!) is the kick in the pants I need!

Have you ever bet money on something like a diet? What's your go to method for dropping some lbs?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Thursday's almost over, but, whatever. I still felt the urge to get a post up, so here I am.

This week could not end soon enough. I have been so sluggish and tired all week and I have a theory it can be attributed to my unhealthy eating. This week has been especially bad and I'm hoping that by cleaning it up (starting with dinner tonight!) I can start to feel more energetic.

Anyway, I thought'd I'd participate in a quick three things Thursday. Three things that have been on my mind these days.

1. Another reason I could be so sluggish is everything that is going on. There's some stuff I have not even shared yet on the blog (but I will soon!) and there are times where I just feel. so. overwhelmed. To put it this way here's my 2014: Second half of my first year of teaching, planning a wedding and getting married, moving in with my fiance and living with a guy for the first time, packing up my classroom due to construction, and buying a house (yep, yep. We close April 14th. More soon). I've done a great job at just dealing with one thing at a time and not getting stressed out, but this week I have been feeling all the things and have felt like curling up into a ball and hibernating for a couple weeks.

2. My clothes are getting bigger and my ring officially needs to be sized AGAIN. It almost flew off in Zumba tonight (that is bad, guys) and my straps on my tank top were literally slipping off my shoulders. I had to tuck them into my bra straps so they would stay where they need to be! Yesterday I placed a order and pants and a top in a Medium. I have never felt such anxiety over ordering something other than a Large, but it felt AWESOME. I am ready to get rid of my size large workout gear!! :)

3. I am really excited for Amber's Dietbet to start on Monday! I bet $25 and the pot is up to over $3,000 right now! I know that money will be a motivator for me and I'm hoping that next week I find some inspiration to eat cleaner and workout harder. I am determined to drop at least 4% of my body weight so I can win some cashola! ;)

4. Okay, I decided to go with four. Maybe I should name this Four on Friday? No? Ok.

Number four may be a bit of a rant. I'm sorry. I love my job, but there are days where I sit and just stew about how much work we are expected to get done. At the elementary level we get ONE hour per day to plan and grade. ONE HOUR. I teach math, word work, writing, reading, science and social studies. I have to plan lessons for each area and then grade assessments in each area. Can that all be planned for and work checked with one hour per day? Absolutely not. If I could, I would personally go back and thank each and every one of my teachers.

Oh, and there are about 40 days left til summer break. I am so ready.

That's it for me! I'm watching Parenthood (is Julia dating?!) and then hitting the hay. Night, all! :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Club recap! (plus lots of other miscallaneous other info... )

Hello, hello! How was your Monday? Mine was just okay. I didn't feel as inspired as I did last Monday and I'm just ... tired. Tired of school! There is only 40 something days left and, it feels impossible, but at the same time, I feel SO READY for summer. I need another break.

The day did get better though. We started a persuasive writing unit today and I began with an example piece of writing in which I wrote a letter to the principal stating why RECESS should be eliminated or cut in half. The looks on my kids' faces was priceless and I had to turn away from them to keep myself from laughing. As far as I know they still believe it is true (gosh, I'm mean) and I'm so impressed with the counter-arguments they came back with. Cannot wait to see them put it into writing! We just might have to show the principal. ;)

Well, tonight we met for book club, and it was such a great stress-relieving time for me. I think I needed to vent about a few things in a healthy way with my girlfriends and it felt good! Everything that is going on this year just gets me sometimes, and it seems to be dumb things that make me break. I didn't really break per se, but I did need to talk about it.

Planning a wedding is fun, but can also be disappointing at times. It's the disappointment that I don't want. Disappointment when things do not work out the way you want them, disappointment over not being able to afford what you want and (most of all) disappointment when people you care about won't be there. I was pretty disappointed this week by that last statement and I'm trying hard to remind myself that the people that matter will be there. I am so lucky for the great group of friends I have. I know what I have is rare and I need to remember that. I am so lucky.

Anyway, back to book club. I wish I could talk about the book, but ... only on of us read it! No, that one person was not me. :::hangs head in shame::: We read The Last Letter from Your Lover Jojo Moyes and I got to around page 90 and just put it down. I couldn't get into it. I still can't decide if I want to try and finish it or not. I have so little time for reading that I really want to be sure I'm reading something that I really enjoy!

However, I did recently finish a book that I really enjoyed!! Recently I was sent Sarah Pekkanen's newest novel, Catching Air and I was SO EXCITED to read it! It was probably the reason I put TLLFYL down (in fact, yes it was!)

Sarah's books almost always include multiple viewpoints and characters that you just cannot help but love! I automatically wanted to know more about several of the characters and read every chance I got! If you're a fan of Jane Porter, Emily Giffin, or Jane Green, I think you would really like Sarah Pekkanen!

Definitely check out Catching Air or anything else on this author's backlist. I assure you, that you will not be disappointed! 

What was the highlight of your day? Mine was Zumba, book club and the amazing class discussion about cutting recess in half or eliminating it (I couldn't pick just one!)

Workout wrap up

Hello, friends! It is Monday and time to wrap up my workouts last week. I had a great week for workouts and I'm super excited to share.

Monday - 16,760 steps. 30 minute run in the morning (about 3 miles I believe ... I didn't write it down), 30 minute core strengthening class and 60 minute Zumba class. By the end of this 2 hour workout I was *dripping* with sweat and felt awesome!

Tuesday - 12,322 steps. 30 minute run in the morning (also about 3 miles). Tuesday night I met up with a friend for sushi, and I had planned to do an AM and PM workout, but that did not happen! I'm glad I gave myself a small break though.

Wednesday - 17,911 steps. Hour long 5:30 AM Body Pump class (taught by my good friend, Chandra!) and hour long Zumba class at night. Solid day for me and I'm glad I got in strength training two weeks in a row! Hopefully I keep my streak up. (yes, two weeks is a streak).

Thursday - 12,552 steps. 30 minute run after school (3 miles). Thursday night was our monthly "Foodie Night" which is hosted by my good friend Manon, and is basically about 20-30 of us that want to check out a restaurant in Des Moines, eat good friend and enjoy adult conversation over dinner! I love this monthly tradition. :) 

Friday - 11,516 steps. 30 minute walk at an 8% incline in the morning. Getting myself to the gym Friday morning was HARD. I could NOT drag myself out of bed and it was a huge battle to actually get there because I was just so tired. I knew running was not going to happen once I did finally get there, so I settled on a walk and kept increasing the incline. It was actually a decent workout and my butt was sore!

Saturday - 24,853 steps. Ohhhhh, yeah! Record step day, everyone! I don't know where my energy was coming from (perhaps the sweet potato hash and eggs I made for breakfast that was delicious??) but I made it to my normal 9:30 AM Saturday morning Zumba class annnnnnnd a two hour Zumbathon in Ankeny! I felt amazing and like I could keep going! What is also exciting is I could tell how much I have improved since the last Zumbathon. A month ago, I was really irritated at my gym's Zumbathon because there were so many instructors from other gyms and I didn't know their choreo and I just so .... lost. This time, I could follow all the routines really well, and for those that I couldn't see (there was a lot of people there) or didn't like, I just made up my own choreo. It was SO fun! I cannot be more grateful for Zumba. It has done SO much for me this year.

Sunday - 17,259 steps. After Saturday, I honestly was very worried about today's "long" run, but I knew I could do it and I had to at least try. I set out planning to do 8 miles and run an out and back on the trails near my house. I got about 3.5 miles away and decided to turn around. It was windy as hell and I could feel my legs getting heavier and heavier. I am actually quite proud of what I did end up achieving. I ran 6 miles at an 11:00 pace and walked about 1 mile to "cool down." I know I made the smart choice and I'm happy with what I accomplished.

You might be wondering what I mean by Zumba doing so much for me this year. I know my body is changing and I am loving it. Saturday morning I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors and I did not recognize myself. My arms looked toned, and skinny. From behind, I looked like a girl who knew what she was doing. Then, a friend of mine came up to me and also said almost the exact same thing. She saw me in the crowd and couldn't tell if it was me! Holy moly. This feels so good, and I am so excited to see where I am at when July rolls around.

What I really need to get a handle on is my eating. I literally eat whatever I want. Since giving up sweets for Lent things have gotten a tad under control, and I almost always eat salads for lunch and a healthy breakfast, but for dinner I am all over the place. Starting April 7th I am participating in Amber's Dietbet challenge, and I am determined to do well.

Basically, this challenge is a bet to see who can lose 4% of their body weight in 4 weeks. The cost is $25 and those that complete the challenge split the pot. I knew that to do this, I would need to clean up my eating drastically. So, Bill and our roommate, Cody are thinking of doing the Whole30 challenge. My friend Emily just finished the challenge (successfully! Yay Emily!) and some friends of Cody's have done it. I like the idea of a lifestyle change with my nutrition and I know I need it. Honestly, my only source of anxiety is the cost of all this food. Whole30 is A LOT of meat and that gets very expensive, but hopefully between the three of us, it won't be that bad.

How did you move last week? Have you tried any "fad" diets? What are your thoughts on them? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Wow, how is it Friday already?

This week (obviously) flew by for me, which is weird considering it is the first week back from Spring Break. But, really, this entire year has flown by for me and I am in awe that my first year of teaching is almost over. It is just so surreal!

Anyway. It's Friday and I have a weekend of nothing planned, except yes, I do have things planned! Do you know those weekends where "nothing" is really "planned" but it still ends up being a full weekend? Yep, it will be one of those. Tomorrow night my group of friends are awakening our weekly Friday happy hours and meeting at The OP in West Des Moines for some friend time, beers and the Iowa State game! My team made the Sweet 16 and I am hoping they kick butt tomorrow! They play UConn ... so, my fingers are crossed and I'm thinking positive thoughts! Go State!

On Saturday I have my regular Zumba class in the morning and then a Zumbathon that I would like to attend in Ankeny ... that is three hours of Zumba. Wonder how many steps that will be!? #stepobsessed #ILoveMyFitBit

Saturday night we usually go to church. Which, I love! Next week starts pre-marital classes at our church. Like a nerd, I'm looking forward to it. ;)

Sunday, I am hopefully going to get in a long run and then I know there was something else, but I am blanking. This isn't good. Gah. Hopefully it isn't something important!! I will probably get some grading done (I didn't get as much done over SB and this stuff multiplies faster than flies. I swear.)

Maybe Sunday we'll figure out more wedding invitation information. I need to get them ordered, but we haven't decided who will be invited to the ceremony AND reception and who will just be invited to the reception. I hate the thought of having to choose and I'm hoping we can invite everyone to both, but we really need to sit and figure it out FOR SURE. Planning a distance wedding is harder than I thought!

What are your plans this weekend? Anything fun? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Workin' it out!

My spring break was great and I am so thankful for a much needed break! Although I was very productive over break, I know I also got some great R & R time as well.

Anyway, here's how I moved last week!

Monday - 60 minute Zumba
I tried a class with a different instructor because it was offered during the day. She was okay, but I was bummed when she cut the class short by about 15 minutes. I told myself I would go to my regular Zumba class in the evening, but then that didn't happen. Womp, womp.

Tuesday - 4 mile run/walk and 45 minute Piloxing class
This was my first Piloxing class and I loved it! She got the intensity up really high and was extremely energetic. I'm definitely going to this class again!

Wednesday - 60 minute Body Pump, 30 minute walk on the treadmill, 60 minute Zumba
 Ay yi yi. Was I ever sore after this! Luckily, by Friday I pushed through the pain and I think I just stretched it away! Haha! That horrible soreness is a sign that I *need* to do more pump and strength training.

Thursday - 30 minute bike ride
Due to the intensity of Wednesday, I skipped Zumba and did a 30 minute bike ride (on the new bike!) instead. I was still incredibly sore and the bike ride didn't help that, but I'm glad I got some activity in.

Friday - 75 minute Zumba "happy hour"
My gym does Zumba happy hours on Fridays every so often and they're kind of like mini Zumbathons. They are so fun!!! I was really sore, and honestly, worried about making it through this class, but once I warmed up I was fine! Afterwards all of us Zumba regulars hung out that gym celebrating one of our favorite instructor's birthdays and drinking beer (yes, our gym serves beer! I was surprised!)

Saturday - 60 minute Zumba class and 30 minute walk on the treadmill
This class was tough. I was just so tired!! I powered through and then hopped on the treadmill to get my steps up to 10k. I usually get a small run in after this class, but the thought of exerting much energy sounded awful.

Sunday - 60 minute Power Flow Yoga class and 30 minute walk on the treadmill
Gah, sometimes yoga is so hard for me. This class was hard for me. I could not get into tree pose for the life of me and felt silly making pathetic attempts the entire time. After the class I did feel good though. I needed a good stretch.

My steps for this week are lower than they normally are due to being on spring break. I was hoping I could make up for those steps by working out a little more and keeping myself busy, but that proved hard than I thought it would be!

I really need to get in more running. I only ran once last week and that is pathetic. I have a 10k coming up at the end of April and I would really love to pull off a good time, but if I don't get my booty out on some quality runs, that is NOT going to happen!

How did you move last week? What do you do when you're no longer motivated to run? (if you're a runner) 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mailbox Monday

I know it's only Sunday, but I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday a tad early! It has been ages since I have participated in any of these link-ups and due to the way I look forward to others' posts about what they have received to read, I then figured I should participate too!

It has been a good week for me in books. Now, hopefully I can pull myself out of this reading slump that I have been plagued with! Life has been so hectic and I just cannot seem to focus for very long. I know this is normal, and I am trying to cut myself some slack but I really miss the relaxation I get out of a good book!

Recently I began using Netgalley again and I am so excited about these titles I was approved of!

From Netgalley:
Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen
Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany
That Night by Chevy Stevens
Disconnected (a novella) by Jennifer Weiner
Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf (a fellow Iowan!!)

From Goodreads First Reads giveaways
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

From the library
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

I'm reading Catching Air right now, and so far it's really good! I have loved everything that Sarah Pekkanen has written and I have a feeling her newest will be no different!

What did you get this week? Do share!