Friday, December 11, 2015

Personal Goals for 2016

I talked briefly about my fitness goals for 2016 but I have a few personal goals as well. 

The first is to keep things simple. 

Sometimes I feel the need to over do things. And not in a good way. I can't just admit that I might need to outsource snacks for book club and end up trying to cook everything an hour before. No one ever died because all they had at book club was a cheese plate, veggies n dip and dessert. 

The second is to continue to cultivate the friends I have. 

I don't need 50 friends in order to be happy. But, I do need to get to know the friends I do have better in order to enhance those friendships and sustain them. For now my goal is to really focus on the people I have chosen to be friends with.

I know only two. I'm sure some people are thinking why bother? But, it goes back to number 1.

I don't want to over do it and try to do too much this year.

I want to savor the year. I want to be present and focus on the life in front of me. I want to not worry about things being perfect but enjoy them for what they are. 

My house might not always be spotless, my food might not always be homemade, but I will be happy and I will enjoy myself! And I will build up the relationships around me.

Those are my main goals for 2016!

Friday, December 4, 2015

2016 Fitness Goals

                          Can you believe we're coming up on the end of another year?

Time does really seem to pass by more quickly as the years go by, cliche as it is! I recently turned 34! But, when people ask I still usually tell them I'm 30. It's not intentional, it just actually feels like I just turned 30. 

I realized the other day (on my birthday) that Matt and I have lived in South Carolina for longer than I have lived anywhere as an adult. After college I bounced around to Florida, Massachusetts and back to Virginia until 2011. That's when we moved here. And now 4 1/2 years later this is the longest I've stayed in one place! I think this has a lot to do with age, finally figuring out what it is I am good at and want to do career wise and really liking the area. Some things are lacking here like no Trader Joe's and summer traffic that makes me stabby, but overall I love this place. It feels like home now (and has for a while). 

After that random tangent I'm on to my fitness goals for 2016! 

Looks kind of small right? Well one of my personal goals for 2016 is to keep things simple. I want to really focus on a few things rather than trying to do everything. 

For Christmas I've asked for a 3 month membership to Weight Watchers online. I need a kick in the butt with my eating habits and nothing seems to be working long term. I work out like crazy so the biggest thing left to tackle is my diet. My diet is mostly 80/20 but I know there is always room for improvement. I think this formula will give me the tools I need to really jump start things again. I'm not really interested in meetings in person (and the only close one is during one of my Zumba classes!) so the online platform is going to work well I think (or I hope!).

I'm also planning on joining a 5K Training group. It meets on Sundays which is perfect because the rest of my days are already packed with classes! I'm never going to be a distance racer but I'd love to get more confident and comfortable with running. I've tried multiple times on my own, but I think a formal training group would be nice, since I do better in the class environment in general. 

One thing I have learned about myself is that as much as I like being on my own, when I have a goal I work better in groups. I like being held accountable. As easy as it should be to be accountable to myself, being accountable on a larger scale is necessary for me to thrive. It's how I work and at 34 I'm glad I'm finally learning and embracing that. 

What are your fitness goals? And what have you learned about yourself in the past year?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fitness is my Thing it's not Everything

I spend a lot of time thinking about being fit. 

What I.....


shoes I want to buy

classes I'm taking that week

how much weight I've lost

how much weight I have left to lose

...and so on


Fitness is not everything to me. 

I still have a life outside of neutral vs stability shoes, how much weight I've loss over a specific set of months and how many burpees I can do. 

I have met some people through fitness classes that being fit is all they talk about, ever. They ask everyone how much weight they've lost, when their next 5k is, what protein powder they use, over and over and over again. Every conversation with them both in and out of the gym is fitness related in some way. 

Maybe if I was like that I would be losing weight quicker, but I just can't be. 

I want to talk about how much I love Target, what my favorite coffee flavor is, the newest movie that came out, what book I'm reading, the new recipe I came across, and the list goes on. 

I think I'm feeling a little burnt out of the fitness train. I care and I love going to class and sporting my new Asics (I went a completely different direction then mention in my other post!). But, outside of the gym I want just want to be Amber and not be asked how much weight I've lost or what new trend I prefer. 

During the holidays we take a small break at my gym and there are fewer classes. I was kind of sad about that, but now...I think I need it. I need some time to work-out alone and just enjoy being active for the sake of being active. And not because I want to prepare for the newest race or compete to see who can lose the most amount of weight. 

I  need a little break from the fitness train!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Working out with Mom!

My Mom came in to town this past week and is here until next week. When she visits we usually catch up, do some shopping, check out a few new restaurants and enjoy being together!

This time I knew there was a cool even going on in town called 'Cyclovia'.

They closed the roads in our local shopping center called the Market Common to vehicle traffic and had fitness classes, biking trails and runs set up. It was a ton of fun!

I personally think it was one of the best festivals I had been to in the Market Commons. Very organized, a lot of great organizations were represented and the instructors were awesome. 

I tried out a tabata class and Mom and I did a Pound workout together. 
                        A photo posted by jlyfsh (@jlyfsh) on 

The tabatas were hard! Probably partially because I am used to doing my workouts in the air conditioning and it was hot hot hot outside in South Carolina today. 

And after that my Mom and I did a Pound workout together. If you've never done Pound you should check out the website and find a class near you. The class uses weighted sticks similar to drum sticks for everything. They use awesome music and you're moving the whole time. I love it. One of my teachers at the gym I'm a member of is certified and I love her classes. Good stress relief too, banging drum sticks together. After the first class we all realized why drummers have awesome back muscles. They earn those!

After my second workout and Mom doing more exercise than she is used to we decided to call it a day. 

We came home and relaxed with some Netflix with Matt (while I was watching the HSN cooks special on my computer that Nichole posted about here! :)) And I made sour cream chicken enchiladas from Skinny Mom

It's been a great weekend and I'm glad Mom still has a lot of time left to her visit! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Styling at the Gym

Technically you can work out in just about anything. But, I know if you're anything like me I like to like what I'm wearing. When I enjoy what I'm wearing I actually want to work out more. I've also found buying new workout clothes is a much better reward than buying food! Which is what I used to do. Oh you worked out let's get you a cookie! Now it's you met your workout goal for the month, new t-shirt for you!

First, my shoes aren't purchased because they are cute. Typically running and cross trainers are bright and fun. But, I don't look for that when I'm picking my shoes. I've been wearing the same Saucony shoes for three years (well not the exact same ones, hah! Just the same model). I love them. I'm actually thinking of branching out to Brooks next. But, I'm kind of scared. I also have my eyes on a new brand called 361 and some of their cross trainers. 

Do you or have you worn either Brooks or 361 shoes? What are your thoughts? I'm scared to switch! It's not that I don't love Saucony, but when I got fitted I tried the Brooks on and I kind of loved them. But, change is scary, so....

Here are my option Brooks Defyance and 361 Impulse

Clothes now I have much more fun with! I pick up workout clothes everywhere. My top three places are actually Target, Walmart and Old Navy. I've also had a lot of good luck at Kohl's when they have sales. I invest most of my budget on shoes and try to be more frugal with my clothes! BUT, that doesn't mean my clothes can't be cute! 

These are two of my favorites from Old Navy. If you're going to buy from Old Navy check for deals with your Old Navy credit card and pay attention to any percent off codes on their main page. The last time I purchased some active wear from them I got a $10 off of $25 code for the next time I shopped. I am definitely planning on getting some new stuff from them soon with it. 

I've found that I do better with Target in the store. Always. always check out their sale rack in the active wear section! I found my favorite headband for about $2 on that rack, as well as a few tees and a pair of capris. All were at least 30% off. And check Cartwheel too. 

If you don't know what Cartwheel is, it's basically the most amazing app you can download! It's a Target specific app and it includes discounts from 5% and up for all kinds of things in their stores from bubble gum to electronics. It keeps a running total of how much you've saved. My total is now just under $500 in two years. 

And no Target isn't paying me to tell you this. I just love them so much and how much I save there. I want everyone to know it's awesomeness!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Where did 2015 go?

The last time I felt the desire to blog was March. 

It's now almost November. 

I wish I could say I was off doing amazingly crazy things, but mostly I was just doing life. 

What has changed since March?

I'm still working out 5 to 6 days a week and I still try to live by the 80/20 rule. I would love to say I'm seeing a transformation but it's more like I still feel great and like I can do a lot but my body is about the same. I tried a whole 30 and lost some weight but not as much as others who have done it. I still eat 'clean' and over all I'm not seeing a giant change. I have another appointment with my doctor in November and I'm hoping for some ideas. Doctors like to assume you're not telling the whole truth, but the reality is my food eating is boring and over all very healthy. I do let myself indulge every now and then but if I never indulged at all I wouldn't be able to stay on track. For the most part I eat a protein and veggies/fruit at breakfast, protein and veggies at lunch (or Light Progresso Soup) and then protein and veggie for lunch. For snacks when I have them I eat greek yogurt, fruit, veggies, nuts or popcorn. I do have chocolate and dessert every now and then. Not every day or even every week. But, letting myself have that treat keeps me from craving it all of the time! Sometimes just having one chocolate bar in the cabinet makes me less likely to go crazy. 

I have noticed a lot of positives in the gym though. I use heavier weights for all of my exercises, I can hold plank for longer, do more regular jumping jacks. I can survive the days we do 110 burpees and not feel like I'm dying! So, while there aren't a lot of scale victories over here the non-scale victories are in abundance. 

I joined a book club with new friends! So far we've read The Nightengale, The Girl on the Train, At the Water's Edge, Listened to Serial (again for me), The Invention of Wings and Station Eleven. Next up is The Buried Giant. It's been fun and I've enjoyed making a new group of friends!

Things at work have been good but busy. 

I got to visit one of my best friends from college in NY over the summer! I can't wait to visit her again. Hanging out with old friends who know you well is like getting recharged, at least for me. I only wish that I could sit on her couch and watch tv and drink wine every week instead of once a year. 

The dogs and Matt are the same. Good but crazy :)

Target is still my happy place. (like that will ever change!)

I still love wine. I actually went to the Duplin Winery here in Myrtle last weekend. But, man there wines are SWEET. Like I just ate a pan of fudge sweet. I can't drink a lot of them! 

And that's about it! I have grand plans to start blogging more. I enjoy having an outlet and having a diary of my working out and a place to share recipes. Which I have had many of lately! I love fall because it's a great time to dust off my crock post and go crazy. Especially on Sundays! It reminds of growing up to smell a kitchen with a crock pot full of goodness. 

My goal is to blog twice a week maybe one fitness post and one recipe post to start. Then we'll see what happens! Like I said this is mostly to keep myself accountable and to share what I've been doing. 

Hopefully I can work a book post or two in there as well. I am reading more consistently now which I love. And when I have a book club book I've been buying it more often. I love having a real book to touch and since I'm only allowing to buy one a month it's not getting crazy! The rest of the time I check books out of my libraries digital catalog which is probably my most used app on my phone. I love it! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

5Ks and getting back on track

I walked/jogged my first 5K on Saturday. It wasn't pretty. I didn't train well. I've mostly been doing classes and the elliptical. Which is great but for me I need to do more walking/jogging. I didn't finish last but it took me way longer than I imagined it would. I'm happy that I finished, but I know if I had trained better I would have been better prepared. My next 5K is on March 28th. I don't expect great things from that one because it is so soon. But, the next three weeks will involve three walk/jogs a week. I will be better prepared for it!

I'm still very happy I did it, happy I finished and happy it's over :)