Winter is Here

As I turn the page on my extremely large wall calendar (why I decided it was necessary to get a calendar that large I will never know) it hits me that this is the last month in 2012. Where has it gone, it feels like yesterday that I ran my first half marathon, I went to Cabo with my mom, my sister was living with me for the summer, and I made some friends that I know will never leave my life. But as a (semi-quasi) blogger you know that we love to write goals and resolutions and we can’t help but look back at them and decide where we want to go next.

As I look back at mine I didn’t too bad:

  1. Find a new job – Check, and boy has it taught me a lot about myself
  2. Take a marketing course fail but it is never too late to learn
  3. Apply to Lululemon – check
  4. Practice yoga 2-3x per week – major fail, for those of you who do that, I commend you
  5. Run 4 half marathons – check! (Best experience of my life, I went from obsessing to hating to loving running, what a year)
  6. Lose 20 pounds by June – major fail
  7. Keep my body hydrated - fail
  8. Continue to journal – check, if you don’t journal I highly recommend it
  9. Be open to relationships – check, granted I was never in one relationship in 2012 but I had “boys” come and go from my life and they all taught me very valuable lessons
  10. Revive my blog – I would have to say fail on this one

Five our of ten, 50% I will take that. I recently went to lunch with a friend, they were discussing their bucket list that they made for the year and they asked if I had accomplished everything on mine. I thought about it, I make resolutions and goals every year. I have my bucket list that I wrote when I was 15 but I don’t make a bucket list every year. So now it has me thinking what do I want to accomplish in 2013 (which is a lucky year for me, 13 is my FAVORITE number).

It is now December 3rd, I have 28 days to decide what I want to accomplish in the new year.  Also back in October I set three overarching goals for the remaining months of 2012:

  1. October – Read the books I my shelf I have wanted to read – does 20 pages of one book count, I would go with no, fail
  2. November – Stay within my budget, check! But I honestly think I got lucky on this one. When you stop going to all of your expensive gym classes it suddenly becomes easy
  3. December – Shut off all electronics an hour before bed, in progress, this will be an interesting month

In December I made a promise to one of my best friends (who I consider my running coach) that I would recap all the races I have run. So for the next month get ready to read about my races: Bronx 10 mile, Newport Half Marathon, Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, and Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I promise I will make them interesting to read :)

But now that I have shared my past goals with you, I am interested have you met your goals for 2012? Have you started planning for 2013? Do you make goals, a bucket list or both? I need inspiration and I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,

picture-33

Lululemon’s #WTFSept Photo Challenge Recap

There are only a few more hours in September and I successfully completed Lululemon’s 30 day #WTFSept photo challenge. This is my first 30 day challenge I have completed so I am pretty excited. You can see all my photos from the challenge below.

Fall Challenge

Where did the summer go? I am pretty sure I blinked and it was gone, which I am actually okay with because I love the Fall. Especially in New York. As you can see I took the summer off from blogging. I had a summer full of changes; a new job, new apartment, a mini romance (it ended), and lots of traveling. All great things but I am ready for Fall in the City. Race season starts for the runners, I can wear my Lululemon pants with a scarf & tall boots and it is totally fashionable and the fitness community has been inspired by Fashion’s Night Out and has created a day dedicated to fitness called Sweaty Saturday! All pretty awesome things if I don’t say so myself.

Image from Disney Food Blog

Speaking of race season I started training (well more like Barry’s Bootcamp and an occasional long run) this summer for my two half marathons this Fall. The Newport, RI half and the Disney Wine and Dine half. Even if I wasn’t as excited about training this season, I am very excited for the races! I already have my outfit planned for the Disney race (stay tuned)! Other than training my fitness life revolved around Barry’s Bootcamp and an occasional Ben Turshen SoulCycle class (if you haven’t taken class with him yet it is a MUST) — Actually he teaches a class on Friday night in Union Square, would anyone be interested in New York fitness meet-up, if so email me. Okay getting back on track…

Now I don’t know about you but I am terrible at challenges. If there was an award for most failed challenges I would probably win it. Everyday I read a blog post about someone completing a 30-day challenge of only eating carrots (okay that is an exaggeration but you get the point) and I wonder how they do it, is there a secret that I do not know about? When I tried the plank-a-day challenge, it lasted for 2 minutes (the amount of time I held my plank on day 1), I did P90X for 3 days, and I did a sugar detox for 5 days (with some dark chocolate). All of these challenges had a much longer duration but I did not complete them. I can not put my finger on why I do not complete them but I am proud to say that the Lululemon #wtfsept photo challenge is coming to an end and I have successfully completed everyday.

Image from 12 Months of Lent

Through this new-found inspiration and a lot of self exploration I started reading more about challenges and goal setting and I came across this blog called 12 Months of Lent, where Julie, the blogger, assigns herself a different personal challenge every month. I have decided for the rest of the year I would follow in her footsteps and assign myself a new task each month. Here is my plan for the rest of the year:

October:

  • Read the books I have been meaning to read for months – Will I finish all the books I have been meaning to read, probably not but I want to read at least 4 of them
  • FatMumSlim Photo Challenge October: Come Play – Since I had so much fun with Lululemon’s photo challenge, why stop now. You can only move forward

November:

  • Stay within my budget - If you know me, you know this will be a fun month for me (Mom, I am going to make you proud)

December: 

  • Turn off all electronics (cell phone, computer, tv, tablet, etc) an hour before bed

I will keep you updated on my progress whether it lasts two minutes or the full month. I will also note down anything that helps me along the way so I can pass that knowledge to you. Now I ask you, how are you going to challenge yourself this month? Your Inner Skinny has created the 28 Day Sober Challenge, I would have joined but I have my sister’s wedding in the middle of the month (Sorry Scott! I will be in for the next one).  Leave me a comment if you a participating in a challenge this month so we can keep each other accountable, also I want to hear about any successful challenges you have completed. The more tips and inspiration the better! Until my next post, Happy Fall!

Gaining Confidence and True Friends… The Sports Bra Challenge

I actually wrote this post a week ago and I sent it to a friend to check. When I sent it to her I knew something was missing and I knew exactly what it was. When I got her comments back, there it was staring me in the face in black and white “it would be nice to hear more about your personal experience at the event, as opposed to just what the event was.” I know I can write about the things I do but I know I am lacking when it comes to sharing my personal experiences. Funny you would think if someone starts a blog they would be able to share but that is not always the case.

About a week and a half ago, I took a SoulCycle class in the middle of Union Square in my sports bra. Why did I decide to spin half-naked in public? That is an easy answer, to help support the S.E.A.K. Foundation’s mission to help give teens and younger adults the courage to feel comfortable in their own bodies and to hang out with some amazing friends I have made since I started taking classes at SoulCycle.

If you told me I would be doing this when I was younger there would have been NO WAY I would have gotten on that bike, but as I got older I started to realize one important thing. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what matters is the people you surround yourself with. They will give you the confidence you need to grow and strive. Growing up I had a lot of negative friends in my life and a lot of positive ones (one in particular that has been my best friend since 5th grade). Over the years I quickly realized that no matter what I looked like my true friends were always there to support me.

Since I have moved to New York I have become somewhat of a Fitness Fanatic (okay who am I kidding here, I am TOTALLY a Fitness Fanatic). A lot of what I do and talk about is fitness related and bless my friend’s hearts, always talking about that can get annoying. When I started SoulCycle I met some amazing people who I now consider some of my closest friends. Not only do they get my crazy fitness habits they get me. I can’t imagine not spending my Saturday nights with them, I don’t know many other groups that can finish off 8 pastas and 6 pizzas (Partee). So going out to ride in the Sports Bra Challenge was not only to support a great cause but to be out there with my friends that give me confidence and inspire me to always give it my all. You guys know who you are, I am so thankful I have met you.

Alright now on to the event itself. This was S.E.AK. Foundation’s second annual Sports Bra Challenge. The Sports Bra Challenge is a day-long charity fitness event centered around women working out in a series of group fitness classes in their sports bras. Men and woman came out to support and empower one another to feel comfortable in their bodies – exactly as they are. This year the challenge supported the City of Hope’s Positive Image Center, which helps cancer patients regain and retain confidence in how they look while undergoing treatment.

The Sport’s Bra Challenge started at 2:00pm with a live performance by No Way Josie and then throughout the day they offered a yoga class and Crunch fitness class called Pound Rockout. At 5:00pm and 6:00pm they had two SoulCycle classes with a 100 riders each! For a special music performance they brought PS22 from Staten Island (the same choir that sang to President Obama) to perform the last couple of songs for each of the rides. SoulCycle classes are always an amazing workout, but the best part was the experience and seeing everyone that came out to support the cause. Even Olivia Ward (The winner of the Biggest Loser Season 11) and her sister Hannah Curlee came out to support the cause. Just seeing everyone have the confidence to ride in their sports bras was very empowering. I am so happy I was able to be a part of such an amazing event (See me below in the neon orange sports bra, I am towards the back).

Photography Credit: Gail Tobias

S.E.A.K. (Strive, Embrace, Achieve, Know) is a non-profit foundation that helps teens and young adults express themselves, feel comfortable with who they are both mentally and physically, and discover the inner-confidence and passion to achieve their goals.  S.E.A.K.’s educational resources and services include after-school programming focused on fitness, nutrition, health and other aspects of personal wellness. To find out more about S.E.A.K. and how you can get involved please visit their website or Facebook page. You can also check out this article about The Sports Bra Challenge by, the Director and Co-founder of S.E.A.K., Jenny Gaither.

I hope you are having an amazing Memorial Day weekend and I hope that you surround yourself with people who give you the confidence to be yourself. Friends are truly one of the most powerful things you can have in your life.

Becoming an Avenger, First Stop: Barry’s Bootcamp

After seeing The Avengers I decided I wanted to join the team and what better place to start than Barry’s Bootcamp. I had been hearing about it a lot recently. Especially in the twitter world, Kim Kardashian tweets about it on an almost regular basis.

When one of my good friend’s from SoulCyle invited me to go I knew I could not miss out on this opportunity. Barry’s Bootcamp was founded in West Hollywood, CA in 1998 by Barry Jay Stitch, John S. Mumford & Rachel Mumford. They wanted to create a no-nonsense workout that would provide the best cardio and strength training in one hour. In 2005  Joey Gonzalez joined and helped expand Barry’s to San Diego and New York (THANK YOU for bringing it to the East Coast).

Barry’s is made up of 2-30 minute segments, 6-10 minute segments or 4-15 minute segments depending on what workout the trainer wants to put you through and there is always a 5 minute cool down and stretch at the end. In the New York studio there is room for 40 people, 20 people start on the floor and 20 people start on the treadmill (Tip: Some people like to come early so they can get a spot for what they want to do first. I personally would like to do the treadmill first to get that pure evil over with but my friend insists we always start on the floor. It is totally personal preference.)

There is one trainer, who keeps time of everything and despite the fact that they have to manage two groups of people, they do a pretty amazing job. Every day of the week features a different workout, for New York the schedule is currently:

  • Monday: Arms & Abs
  • Tuesday: Butt, Legs & Shoulders
  • Wednesday: Chest, Back & Abs
  • Thursday: HARD Core
  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Full Body
    • I should mention there is a “Dance party” on Saturday Nights

On Monday night I took my second Barry’s Bootcamp class, when you walk into the room it’s like walking into a dance club except with steps and treadmills. They have tinted red glowing lights, play awesome music and everyone is half-dressed so you can pretend like you are in a dance club and it actually might help you take your mind off the pain you’re putting your body through ( I promise this is the good kind of pain). The trainer that night was Patrick Frost who looked harmless at first but as soon as he said start was no longer harmless and his name became FROST. We did 4-15 minute segments, I started on the floor where we did an arm series with a body bar & resistance band and then we ended with an ab series. My face made a lot of funny faces going through this workout and my arms were screaming at me but I loved every second. After that we moved to my favorite part, the treadmill. On the treadmill we did a 15 minute set of jogs, runs, and pushes. FROST likes to say a jog is anywhere between a 5.5 to a 6.5, a run is a 7.5-9, and a push well that’s your highest push and he likes to see double digits. Not only did he have us doing 30 second pushes, we were doing runs on 5-8% inclines. I would like to say I was glistening during this workout but lets just face it, I was sweating my ass off. After we finished that torture we still had 2 sets left, one 15 minute set on the floor using a heavy dumbbell and another 15 minute set on the treadmill where FROST gave us a heart to heart and said listen I need you in your RED zone which to him is like a 12-15 on a treadmill, can you even go to a 15 on a treadmill? FROST all I have to say to you is, you are a total BADASS and I love it.

I am happy to report after we finished this workout I did not throw up and my fat was crying (Burn baby burn). I only found out after class that FROST said that was his 90%, which in my opinion I thought that was 110% so I am thinking the day he brings the 110% I will have thrown up at the end of class. I will keep you posted. Bottom line, it sounds a bit scary and that’s because it pushes you to where you didn’t think you could ever go. I did a sprint at a 9.5 on a treadmill, and I used to think a sprint was 7. This class is no-nonsense and you will see results. I have a very good feeling that if you did Barry’s Bootcamp 3x a week and ate a clean diet, you would see amazing results. “Burning fat, tightening up the body and building muscle has never been easier…” and that is because they don’t give you time to think about it, that hour is over before it started and you are out the door smiling about the insane workout you just accomplished.

So if you haven’t tried Barry’s Bootcamp, I highly recommend you try it once. Barry’s is expanding in New York, not only will they have the Chelsea studio, they are also opening a TriBeCa studio as well as a Hampton’s studio for your summer fun (no excuses). Prices in New York are as follows:

1 CLASS $32
5 CLASSES $150 ($30)
10 CLASSES $285 ($28.5)
20 CLASSES $540 ($27)
30 CLASSES $780 ($26)
50 CLASSES $1250 ($25)

They also offer a couple of packages and they have the Academy where you go to Barry’s 5 days a week for 4 weeks, I want to try that so bad!! The cost of the Academy is $385 for 4 weeks. Not to bad if you can make the commitment but if you do this make sure that your diet is in check because you can NOT out-train a bad diet (just saying…).  Oh if you are wondering they do have a small locker room with two showers, free lockers and towels, and an amazing smoothie bar for your post workout protein shakes. If you want to take a class and don’t want to go alone, email me. I am always down for Barry’s Bootcamp!

  • Share the Barry’s love on Facebook
  • Tweet Barry’s
  • If there isn’t a Barry’s Bootcamp near you they sell DVDs, I haven’t tried them yet to compare but I will keep you posted

 (aka Avenger in training)

What a Week

Last week was amazing. I tried new classes, made new friends, and got some new books. What could possibly be better. It started on Monday when I took my first Barry’s Boot Camp class (I promise I am writing a review soon). But all I have to say is WOW. I loved in so much I am taking a class tonight! I am so happy one of my good friends got me into it, you know who you are you should be proud.

On Tuesday I attended a book launch for the book The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. Chris Guillebeau writes a blog called The Art of Non-Conformity, “a home for unconventional people doing remarkable things”. I first started reading his blog when I found out about his goal to travel to every country, he currently has been to 183 and has 10 remaining. The book is about making a business out of your passions, I thought the launch was great and I was really glad I was able to attend. The book is an easy read, I am half way done and I can’t wait to read the rest, if you want me to post a review on it just leave me a comment :).

On Wednesday I attended FitBlogNYC! What an amazing event hosted by Fitness Magazine. First I was able to wear my favorite fitness gear which was great because I try to wear fitness gear everyday :). I got to use my new bag I won in the raffle at the Fisher House ride. Thank you Abby and Lululemon for the amazing bag! It is such a great color for spring! We were greeted by Mia Hamm which was so nice of her to take her time out to be there. Then the morning was filled with amazing speakers. The first was A.J. Jacobs who I recently saw on the Today Show talking about his new book Drop Dead HealthyI was so excited that he was there to talk about his book. Drop Dead Healthy is about his quest for “bodily perfection”. He tried every diet, fitness trend, gadget out there to find out what really works. As soon as I finish The $100 Startup, I will be reading Drop Dead Healthy and I can’t wait to tell you about what I learn! One of my favorite things he said was “Sitting is the new smoking.” Which if you haven’t seen this infographic on sitting you should check it out.

After A.J. Jacobs my next favorite panel was Fitness Facts and Fibs with Joe Dowdell from Peak Performance NYC and Alycea Ungaro from Real Pilates. This panel really spoke to me because I have something I like to call Fitness ADD (stay tuned for a post soon) and having Fitness ADD is not a good thing.

Joe recommends sticking to a training plan for 3-4 weeks and then switching it up with a new plan. You need to create patterns in your body and if you are constantly switching up your workouts your body isn’t going to retain anything and eventually get frustrated and give up. I have learned this the hard way because I haven’t been able to stick to a plan, I constantly want to try different workouts and now I have hit a plateau.Since trainers are so expensive, Ashley from Healthy Happier Bear, asked a great question, “What do you do if you are on a budget and can not afford a trainer to create a plan for you?” Joe recommended either signing up for one or two sessions with a trainer to get you started or he also mentioned two books, one he wrote called Ultimate You ( I will be reviewing this soon, yeah for new books!) and the other one he recommended is the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises which has some great plans if you are just starting out. There were a lot of great panels at FitBlogNYC but those were two of my favorites. There was also a panel on How to Turn your Blog into a Business with Kelly Olexa, Tina, Carla, and Julie, I heard it was one of the best panels but I had to sadly miss it to get back to work.  At the end of FitBlogNYC we left with some amazing fitness swag, thank you Fitness Magazine!

At FitBlogNYC I met many FitFluential Ambassadors, I have always wanted to be a part of FitFluential but I never  took the time to apply. After meeting so many amazing ambassadors at FitBlogNYC, I knew I wanted to be a part of such a great organization and guess what I was accepted to be an  FitFluential Ambassador this morning! I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing network. If you don’t know what FitFluential is, it is a nationwide network of fitness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and offline through multiple social media platforms. Founded in April of 2011 by Kelly Olexa, FitFluential was designed to connect health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized, long-term experiential and contextual marketing campaigns.

I have so much more to tell but I think that is enough for now. Stay tuned for a post on Barry’s Boot Camp, The Fresh Diet, Fitness ADD and a couple of book reviews. If there is anything else you want to hear more about just leave me a comment or send me an email :). Hope everyone is having a good Monday, now it is time to get ready for Barry’s Boot Camp!

Monday Mantra

I was reading through my Google Reader this morning and came across this video. I felt like this was the perfect Monday Mantra. Anything is possible…

After you watch the video you can check out the article on Blisstree

Happy Monday!