guys, we need to talk.

egg white frittata

Nope.  Nope. Nope.  I refuse to hear it.  I’m done listening to people not using their brains with regards to their eating or working out.  Stop it.  Just stop.  You are going to work yourself to death trying all these new diet plans and quick fixes to get fitter.  It’s time we take a look at what we’re doing and realize we have the tools for success engrained in us, we’re just constantly ignoring them.

Area 1: Food.

Spoiler alert coming at you right now: You know what foods are good for you and you know what foods aren’t.  I put an apple and a plate of fried chicken in front of you and tell you to pick the one that is better for you.  I’ll be damned if you say the plate of fried chicken.  And if you’re going to give me some excuse about the protein, look at your life and look at your choices.  A plate of fried chicken is still a plate of fried chicken.

Sure, those foods that are better for us aren’t necessarily more delicious, but you know the right decision to make.  When people talk about “balance” in regards to eating, they are talking about keeping the apple on your plate the majority of the time with an occasional piece of chicken or two thrown in for variety.  Not equal amounts apples and fried chicken.  Do you see the difference?  It’s amazing how just thinking these things through and using the knowledge that we already have at our disposal can save us.

Area 2: Working Out


If you miss a workout you will not turn into a ball of flubber.  You will not.  It will not happen.  You will be okay.  If you miss two workouts, you will not suddenly become Violet Beauregarde and balloon.  Use your brain.  If you can’t hit the gym one day, maybe try and aim to walk a little more or stay on your feet.  I was astonished the other day when someone posted on a Facebook group that I’m a part of about hemorrhaging while being pregnant and wondering if she could still workout even if it was just 10 minutes on the elliptical or lifting 5 pound weights.

Hold up. Wait. What.

You’re willing to put your life and your child’s life in danger for a workout?!  A workout. Sometimes we can’t go to the gym or, you know what, some times we don’t feel like working out.  It’s okay.  The world won’t stop, we’ll wake up the next day and we’ll be back at it.  Even if we have to take a couple months off, there’s still time to get back at it when you fully recover and are ready.  Unless you are a professional athlete and your livelihood depends on your fitness, you are working out for fun.  THIS IS FOR FUN.  I can’t stress that enough.  Working out and eating right are only as important as you CHOOSE to make them.  You can let these things consume your every thought in a negative way or you can CHOOSE to make these areas a positive part of your life that bring you joy.

Main take away: Live your life and learn how to make choices.  You inherently know what is right and wrong.  You can tell the good decisions from the bad.  You know which meal is better for you and you know when to sit back and say, “eh, maybe a workout isn’t the best idea for me right now”.

Use your brain to your advantage.  I’m not teaching you anything new here.  I’m just asking you to open your eyes and pay attention to what has always been right in front of you.  It’s that easy if you let it be.

 

also, obligatory picture of Boo doing her new favorite activity which is have me place this turtle on her head.
-sj

what’s in my gym bag and a boo update

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After last week’s craziness, I am more than happy to report that the Boo is back in action.  Sure, she’s on a ton of drugs and doing some really funny things (ie. wedging herself in between furniture to sleep, sneaking in to her food and getting her head stuck in the bag), but I’d much rather have her home and this way than in the hospital and ill 100 times over.

 

little Boo with a frog on her head and an IV in her arm😦

So, we’re back to semi-normalcy over here and I couldn’t be happier about it.  It was especially scary when we took Boo to her regular vet to get her blood work done as a precaution following her hospital stay and have the doctor look at her chart and tell us how high her numbers actually were.  Very happy to have my nugget back in good spirits even if the medicine she’s on makes me take her out three separate times throughout the night.  The things I do for the love of this pooch.

 

Anyway, in other areas of my life I’m slowly but surely getting back into my running and I’m elated.  I did 7 miles on Saturday and I have a lovely little blood blister on my foot to prove it.  Ah, running, you glamorous little activity, you.  I’m actually straight up shocked that my fitness is where it is right now.  I haven’t run consistently since April and to be back at it with a 7 mile run and really feeling good is something I’m pretty proud of.  Sure, my speed is about 15-30 seconds slower than I would like, but I’ll get back there.  Right now, it’s all about slowly increasing mileage to prevent injury and to get back in fighting shape.

running watch

 

 

But all of that fun recap business isn’t the main purpose of this post.  The other day, one of my Insta-friends reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to join a group of other bloggers for a “What’s in my gym bag” post!  I had to say yes for two reasons 1) I love reading other people’s blogs and supporting like-minded women 2) I’m genuinely curious what other people bring with them to the gym haha!  I’ve teamed up with Taylor Cartee, TeachersGoneStrong, Samantha Rose Fitness, and Running with Strength.  If you haven’t given these girl’s blogs a read, you’re honestly missing out.  They are genuinely some of the most informative, interesting blogs I’ve read in a long time.  Plus, on top of being so knowledgable, they are all kick-ass athletes that I am just in awe of.

So without further ado, welcome to my lovely little gym bag.


I tend to only bring a bag with me when I am doing an activity that requires me to switch shoes, which is happening more and more often now with Spinning.

I keep everything I bring to the gym in this silly drawstring I got at the admitted students weekend before I enrolled in college at Rice University.  Yep, that’s right, this thing is 7 years old.  It serves its purpose and always has, so I can’t complain.

In my gym bag, I also keep a protein snack of some sort.  I usually am a little hungry before my workouts, so I’ll break off a piece of a Quest Bar and eat it on the way to the gym and then have some more to refuel after.

I also keep a towel in my bag at all times because I am a sweaty monster and I never want to be caught at the gym without one.  I swear just walking into the gym signals my body to start sweating.  Praise the lord that sweat towels are a thing that exist because I would be a very sad sight without one.  I also use it to cover up the timer on any cardio machine I’m using unless I’m doing specific intervals.  This allows me to not obsess about numbers and just go on feel and I think it makes my runs/ellipticals/bikes a million times more enjoyable.

I am obsessed with my Bluetooth headphones and these are the best pair I have ever owned and I have owned a lot.  I tend to lose headphones pretty often, so I don’t like to spend a lot of money on them.  After losing or breaking 5 pairs in the last couple of months, I got these and I’m never looking back.  Sound quality: on point.  Ease of use: 100%.  Cool color: A+.

Then there are my spin shoes.  I love these and got them on Zappos for about $100, which is cheaper than most pairs.  They honestly make such a difference.  Not only do they allow me to bring more power into my spinning, they allow for better, more efficient form.  Fun fact: the cages that are on most bikes are meant for Men’s Size 11 shoes, which means your toes should not touch the end of cage.  Instead, the ball of your foot should be on the pedal with the majority of your foot off of it.  I guarantee this is not the positioning you’re used to, but the more you know.

When I practice my spin classes, I always carry a little notebook with me.  It takes a beating, that’s for sure, but it’s a great place for me to jot down notes when I’m making a spin class or to write down a workout I come up with when my mind is wandering.  When I’m making a class, I usually start out with a couple songs that I know I want on the playlist and then listen to the beat and pick when moves I think compliment that song best.  I then kind of just go exploring through spotify and end up with a list that I feel confident about.  Then, when I get home later, I’ll reference my notes and rearrange the songs to be in a more cohesive, challenging workout pattern.  It’s honestly a whole lot of fun, I’m not going to lie.

The last thing I keep in my gym bag is my actual gym shoes.  Well my running shoes in this case.  If I’m doing plyo or leg work, I wear a pair of flatter nikes, but for runs I’m all about my Brooks Ghost right now.  Also, I have exceptionally high arches, so I like to wear custom inserts in my shoes to make them a little more comfortable.  I wear these shoes to death, so I’m willing to splurge a little bit for extra comfort.

And there you have it.  My gym bag in all of its glory.  Sure, there are days when I pack way more or way less, but this is pretty much what it is and it works for me.  What do you keep in your gym bag?

-sj