Cleaning up my diet.

It’s no secret I’ve struggled with my weight.  I’m an emotional eater and that is not an easy habit to break.  I’ve tried severely limiting my “approved” foods, My Fitness Pal, juice cleanses and low-fat diets.

Tina

The only thing that has ever really worked for me has been Weight Watchers, but when I started it a few years ago the plan emphasized a low-fat diet without paying much attention to the quality of foods.  As I learned more about proper nutrition, I realized that it really wasn’t the way to go.  Yes, half an avocado is more than 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese, but which is the better option?

With the new changes to the Weight Watchers plan, I noticed a shift in their thinking: encouraging a healthy, well-rounded diet as opposed to low-fat.  I think that’s a positive step in the right direction for those who struggle with the scale.

I started it again after coming back from my vacation to Arizona in March.  While we hiked a lot, we also ate ALL the Mexican and drank most of the beer.:)  I regret nothing, but when I looked at the photos from the trip, I realized that my outward appearance didn’t reflect how healthy and fit I feel.  I knew that my workouts were on point, but I had to take an honest look at my diet…and portion control.

I joined Weight Watchers, pulled out the measuring cups and started tracking every morsel of food that passed my lips, be it an egg white veggie omelet or four margaritas and some chips and salsa. Just because I didn’t track it doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it, and the best tough love comes from within.

So far it’s working.  I’m down 8lbs, which might not seem like a lot, but it feels like 80 to my brain and my clothes.  I have a few pounds to go, but I’m aiming for steady, sustainable weight loss and it seems like I’m on the right track.

This Week’s Workouts

Does anyone else think that the most stressful part of their week is planning workouts?  I get so worried that I’m not hitting all of my body parts, getting in enough cardio, or logging enough miles for whatever race I have coming up.

I don’t mean stress in a bad way, necessarily.  It’s like a little puzzle for me and in reality, it’s kind of fun.  Especially when I am trying to get into my favorite Classpass sessions.  It always ends up working out in the end.  I mean, worst case scenario: I take a rest day. Darn.

This week’s workouts have a great variety and include a new-to-me class, an outdoor boot camp with CoreFitness!

Monday: Hit up Dwyane’s class at Optimal…this class is truly a hidden gem.  The gym is this tiny little thing with no windows, but when Dwyane starts teaching the whole place lights up.  I want to try his hip-hop class one day, but I need to get over my lack of coordination.

Tuesday: Erin’s 6AM class at YogaHabit.  No better way to start the morning!

Yoga Habit

The sky from the studio.  This pic doesn’t do the view (or the space!) justice.

Wednesday: 6 miles outside.  I’m gearing up for the Oddyssey Half in a few weeks and I’m worried about getting my longer runs in.  6 miles is pretty much my threshold for morning runs (time-wise) and I’m gonna make it happen tomorrow!

Thursday: The Core Fitness Shred for Classpass class!! Can’t wait.  I’ll let you know how it goes, but the instructor emailed me about Battle Ropes.  They’re my frenemy, basically.

Friday: Ripped Abs at RippedPHL.  It’s my first time going to this studio in the morning, so I’ll report back about how showering/primping at the studio goes.  It’s always a gamble doing it for the first time!

Saturday: 4 miles and weights while I’m having a little vacation in Atlantic City.  My college roommate will be there for a conference, so we’re going to get some quality time together and I’ll hopefully get a quality workout while she’s out at the event!

Sunday: Reach and Raise!  I’m so excited to finally take part in this event.  Picture this: me and thousands of other yogis on the Art Museum.  I reached my goal thanks to generous friends, but it’s never too late to donate!

Can’t wait to feel the hard work pay off when it comes time for races and bikini season!

 

My 50th Classpass Class!

Can you believe it?

I’ve taken 50 classes since joining Classpass in December 2015.  Last night’s Joltin Jabs was the cherry on top of my fitness sundae.

I never considered myself a group fitness person.  I’m pretty uncoordinated and don’t enjoy chatting while I workout, so I usually stuck to my usual recipe of intense, long cardio, minimal weights and core work, and a weekly yoga class.  I switched it up sometimes to include spinning or swimming, depending on what Living Social deal I could snag.  That changed when I joined Unite Fitness 2+ years ago.  I found I enjoyed strength training as long as someone was there telling me what to do and I had fun alternating between the treadmill, bike, and rower.  Unfortunately, the price of Unite wasn’t sustainable to me, so I ended up leaving after a year to try and do it on my own.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t work for me.  I fell off the strength wagon and was becoming increasingly unhappy with my body, noticing how things that used to be high and tight were…not.

Several of my friends used Classpass and suggested I give it a shot.  It’s been 6ish months and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon!

I love being able to switch up my workouts anytime I want as well as try new studios in the area without committing to a hefty drop-in price tag.  Some classes have been better than others, but overall, I’m so happy that I have changed my routine.

Here are some Philly “Best Ofs” for anyone interested in trying it out:

Dwayne’s Body Blast Class at Optimal 1315

Priya Hot Yoga (especially any of Ashley’s classes)

Jess’s classes at Body Cycle

Joltin Jabs

Row Zone (Gary and Jason are my faves)

Flywheel (when you can get in!)

Unite Fitness

RippedPHL

My goal this month is to try at least two new studios…any suggestions?

For anyone interested in trying Classpass, use this link to get $20 off! 

 

 

May Goals

Since turning 30 last December and feeling like I wasn’t where I expected to be at that age (I know, I know…join the club.), I have been hyper-aware of falling into any sort of rut or complacency with my life.  Be it fitness or professionally, I want to make sure I’m always challenging myself to try a little harder and do something new.  I really think goal setting is the only way to ensure that I stay focused and make moves.

So here it goes!

  1. Ramp up my running so I can run a personal best at the Oddyssey Half marathon in JuneThe Oddyssey Half is the frenemy of the Philadelphia running community.  Held in early June, it’s often hotter than most half marathons in the area and it is DEFINITELY hillier.  I don’t compare it to my other half marathon times because the race is much more difficult for me than Rock and Roll or the Philly Half in September or November.  I’m going to work on incorporating more hills into my runs, as well as ramping up speed training at RippedPHL and Unite Fitness.
  2. Seriously begin a job search. – I love my coworkers and working at my company is great, but the position itself is leaving me unfulfilled.  It’s hard coming home from the office and the gym and then spending more time in front of the computer, but it needs to be done if I want to get out of my job rut.
  3. Read more. – I went on vacation with my mom and aunt last month and read 2 books in 5 days.  I forgot how much fun I have just kicking back with a good book.  As the weather gets warmer, I’d like to turn off the Netflix, get outside and read a good book.  I highly recommend The Darlings and What Was She Thinking?.

Review: YogaHabit Fairmount

As I write this post, I’m doing a mini happy dance in my seat…Fairmount has a new yoga studio and it is exactly POINT ONE miles from my front door.

giphy.gif

As someone who likes a good morning yoga sweat but still has to be at her desk around 8am, this is a godsend.  Be warned: it is hot yoga, so sweat you will.

I was lucky enough to snag a spot in the first class offered at the studio on Saturday as part of their grand opening celebration. Everything about the space lived up to the hype I created in my head, as one who is a huge workout junkie does.

First of all, I love seeing that block getting some love.  Anyone who lives in the area knows that there is a lack of development on Fairmount Avenue as you head towards Broad Street from the Art Museum…it has a gradual decline of quality and activity that YogaHabit, Bar Hygge, and Anytime Fitness are trying to remedy.

The owner, Jen, and her team did a great job of creating a bright and open space for your practice. The whole space is clean and “industrial” but also very welcoming.  After walking up a flight of stairs, you find yourself in the lobby of the studio.  There are cubbies and benches for your belongings as well as bathrooms, a shower, and a water cooler.  They also have a small retail section, offering tank tops, water bottles, and Lululemon yoga mats.

The studio itself has gorgeous flooring, light-colored walls, and HUGE windows overlooking Fairmount Avenue that create a relaxing space that I really feel enhances my practice.  Sidenote: there are no mirrors, which is amazing.  I hate practicing with mirrors, worrying more about how my stomach looks than how I am feeling.

So far I have been lucky to take two classes in the space, one with Jen and another with Alicia…they were both excellent! High energy and fun, while also allowing you to focus and center yourself. They offered hands on adjustments that helped me take full advantage of the poses. I took Alicia’s class the day after the Broad Street Run, which I had mentioned to her before class started, and her gentle adjustments really assisted me in loosening up my tight quads and hamstrings.

Best part?  The offer cool lavender soaked towels during savasana.  I put it over my eyes and totally zenned out.

They’re currently offering a $21 for 21 days pass to new clients, so I snagged that deal and plan to use it to its fullest in the coming weeks!

YogaHabit_Logo-25

YogaHabit

Location: 1640 Fairmount Avenue

Overall rating: A+

 

PS – Just added my blog to Bloglovin…follow me there!  <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/8017077/?claim=nvstjdjeyjz”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

 

ClassPass: A review.

After a tough year running wise last year, I ended 2015 with a hamstring injury.  I never went to PT, but after a semester at Google University I self-diagnosed a proximal hamstring strain.  The suggestions were resting and strengthening, so I decided that I was not going to run for a month and give my leg time to recoup.

The problem was, what would I do instead?  I belong to a great regular gym, but if I can’t run it limits my cardio.  They don’t offer as many spin classes as I would like and I can only take so many elliptical sessions before I want to throw myself off a building.

That’s where Classpass comes in!  A few friends suggested that I try it, given that I love new fitness classes and a lot of my favorite studios are on there already, such as Flywheel and Unite.  You can attend each studio 3 times during the month using Classpass, but you can take an unlimited number of classes overall.

It’s $89 a month, although by using this link you can get $20 off your first month.  No commitments and no sign up fee, which was key for me.  While it’s definitely a great deal, I’m not sure if $89 is sustainable for me.  This way, I’m not stuck with an expense every month if I decide can’t afford it.  They also offer an option of freezing your membership for $19/month.  You still get to take one class during the frozen months and you’re probably still spending less than you would if you registered for the class normally (hello Flywheel and your $28 fees).

After one month of using it, I can definitely tell you that I’m hooked.

Overall Rating: Five Stars (out of 5)

Number of Classes Attended: 10

Studios Attended: Priya Hot Yoga, Flywheel, Unite Fitness, Row Zone, Anjali Power Yoga

Pros:

  • There are sooooo many studios on Classpass.  From spinning to barre to Crossfit to rowing to boot camps, you can really find anything on there.
  • You can try studios that have been on your radar for awhile without actually committing to a membership there.
  • At $89 per month, you’re spending a lot less per class than you would if you signed up via their website.
  • You can take Classpass on vacation with you.  Changing your “metro area” is super easy and allows you to take classes in different cities while you’re out of town.
  • My workouts have been so varied and inspired lately that I can feel my body making some great changes.  I was lacking this with my own non-running workouts.

Cons:

  • It’s not cheap.  While it can be a great deal, it’s also still a large expense that I’m not sure is sustainable for me right now.
  • There are limited classes available.  I was a little disappointed that some studios, like Unite, offer very few classes to Classpass members.  I understand they need to keep them for their own clients, but I think they could do a little better with offering more accessible times.
  • Classes fill up quickly.  If you want to go to Flywheel, sign up early!!

I think I’ll end up keeping it for another month or two to get me through the winter and into distance running weather, but after that we’ll see how I’m faring financially.  Definitely worth a shot though!!

Thursday Thankfulness

As anyone who looks at my blog (Mom, thank you) knows, I’ve been terrible at updating this.  I keep saying “I’ll start Monday!” or “I’ll do it after I study for chem.”  Well, my last chem test was yesterday (WOOHOO!) and I found myself making an excuse about posting something until I read Ali’s newest post.  Not only is she possibly the busiest fake friend I have (new husband, new puppy, new giraffe stories) she’s also living with Crohn’s disease.  And she manages to write beautiful, meaningful, puppiful posts that I love.  So here I am with Thursday Thankfulness.

I’m thankful that my chemistry class is over.

I think we all saw this one coming.  Online learning is a struggle for me (both with motivation to act on my own behalf as well as not having immediate feedback and the ability for face-to-face discussions), especially when it’s something like chemistry.  Too much math!  Too many numbers! Brain melting.  I’m starting anatomy next semester as an on campus class and I’m both scared and excited.  One step closer to becoming an RD!

I’m thankful I got to travel so much this year.

One of my goals for 2015 was to visit a new city, and I visited a lot more than that!  Early in the year I went on a road trip with my brother to move him to Colorado and we stopped in Indianapolis, Columbus, St. Louis and some smaller towns along the way.  Then I spent a long weekend in Nashville for my friend’s bachelorette party, a weekend in Boston and Salem with my boyfriend, and another long weekend in Chicago to see my friends that recently moved there.  All of these places were beautiful and amazing and interesting, but I left each time with even more of a love for Philadelphia.  There’s no place like home!

I’m thankful to be turning 30.

Sometimes.  Ask me again next Friday.

I’m thankful to take a short break from running.

I’ve been having some leg pain and just want a little break so I can strengthen my hamstrings and glutes and try out new fitness options.  I doubt I’ll make it until January without running at all (I already cheated this morning), but I’m definitely doing less distance and more HIIT and strength.  I am hoping to run the 2016 Twin Cities Marathon and I know I’ll need major leg muscles for that!

There are about 54000 other things I am thankful for, but I feel like that’s a good end to my first blog post in about 54000 months.  

What are you thankful for?