Stepbet Thoughts

My best girlfriend Ann joined a “Stepbet” and basically made me join too.  LOL!  No really, she encouraged me and said it’d be fun, all we have to do is meet our daily walking goal 4x a week and power goals 2x a week and you get a day off.  You put $40 into the pot and if you stick with it all 6 weeks, you get your money back.  If others drop out, you get a cut of their money split amongst the rest of the crew who stuck it out.  If you have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, it will calculate your averages for you. Somehow my friend Nikki thought it’d be fun too, so she joined in! HA!

The first week is a prep week and it doesn’t actually count. This is where I learned the value of charging my watch; it died a few times and that was bad. I am not gonna lie, the second week I ROCKED it!  I was walking the dogs, pushing the stroller, running around like a mad woman–all while the weather was nice.  However as soon as the temps started to drop, so did my activity level.

Now I’m not a stationary person to begin with; but I don’t hit almost 11,000 steps every single day either.  I’ve learned that this is harder than I thought!! There are days where you are stuck in the car, going to appointments or sitting doing work (chores, playing with kids, snuggling, etc) and there are also times where you just want to not walk!

I literally have 4 days left.  2 can be active and 2 have to be power.  I developed a small (yet annoying!) chest cold on Saturday, so my energy has been zero.  I tried to “rest” as much as I could while still getting in my steps Monday & Tuesday.   Today as I type this at 3pm, I’m at 5,322.  I still need to get to 10,781 by midnight tonight.

My friends and I have found ourselves doing jumping jacks, pacing hallways, running in place and just walking for literally NO reason.  I think it’s kind of hilarious and kind of obnoxious all in one.  I’m a huge fan of challenges, but man alive I’m ready for this one to be OVER! Why is the last week of something always the hardest?

If you’re reading, then please say a little prayer I’ll actually finish this last week; mama needs all the support she can get!  I so appreciate all of my friends who encourage me and to those of you stepping, we’ve got this!!  I will let you all know how much money I end up with at the end. #positivevibes

Here is what today looks like:

Here is a look at the whole 5 weeks that actually counted.

I must say there are a few pros/cons.

Pros- I feel like my legs are super muscular! My booty is looking fine too (according to the hubs! LOL!) I have not gained any weight and honestly, I’m enjoying carbs and yummy treats.  I’ve bonded with some good friends.  I feel like Superwoman when I complete each week.  I know I’m being healthier and getting outside with the kids, when I maybe would wanna curl up and be lazy.  I feel like I’m being a good role model for my son and daughter.

Cons– Really the biggest is maybe the stress of it this last week.  Getting sick sucks and I’m just tired! I don’t want to lose my money, so I must finish! The only other con is that I miss lifting weights and doing yoga.  If I’m “going to spend time being active” then I need my darn steps!

Have you or would you do a Stepbet?

10 Day Cleanse

It was that time again! I have really honed into what my body needs, how to fuel it properly, what I can and should not eat…but I am human!  Enter: Advocare’s 10 Day Cleanse.  I started my AdvoCare journey back in the Summer of 2013.  I could not lose those extra 25 pounds from having my first baby and everything I was trying did not seem to help.

I aim to do one cleanse every season (90 days). The last one I did was in January. 

I did the 24 Day challenge and even that first cleanse I felt so amazing!  It was the perfect match for my personality, and still is.  I love goals and simplified eating.  I realized the more ‘real food’ I ate, the better that I felt.   Throughout the last 5 years I’ve tweaked my diet slightly but over all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Day 1: I was at a number I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  Even around Christmas I don’t think I broke into 140’s! Either way, between not putting myself first, eating a ton of yummy food and not working out consistently, the pounds added up.  I’m not too hung up on numbers, but I was super sad that my clothes weren’t fitting.  It was time.

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I eat the same foods pretty much daily, and I try my hardest to eat 5-6 small meals.

Lean protein

Greens/veggies

Comlex carb

Fats

I treat myself to a protein shake after workouts.  I love adding 4 ice cubes, 12 oz of unsweetened cashew milk, 1/2 of a banana and a scoop of natural peanut butter. Delish!

Wraps are super easy and a great way to fill up.

I live by these little almond butter packets!

I treated myself to some sashimi for dinner one night.

If I didn’t make it to the gym, then I tried so hard to get in an at home workout!

More meal ideas…

One of my friends taught me awhile back that we should eat like a King for breakfast–the most filling meal of the day!  Break that fast with healthy foods.

Water is HUGE. I was feeling a bit of bloat and knew I had to start CHUGGING water.  You need to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water to keep those toxins out!

Left over smoked chicken wings.  They taste much better with blue cheese, but I behaved! Avocado is a cleanse life saver too.

I did ‘cheat’ on Father’s Day and I did not feel bad about it.  I wanted to enjoy some yummy lobster pasta and a little bubbly with my husband.  I did not feel my best the next day, so all the more power to not over indulge like that!

Once again, I re-learned how great it felt to be full of energy and fill my body with real food that nourishes my mind, soul and tummy.

I had patience, even during a STRESSFUL week of my husband working the tent sale, my dad having major surgery and me solo parenting for the whole time.
My shorts fit, my tummy is tighter and the number on the scale went from 141 to 134.

WINNING!!

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I don’t share to boast, I share to encourage.  Anything and everything is possible.  We are all a work in progress and while I may never have a rock hard, 6 pack abdomen, I have a healthy body that is working at maximum speed because I’m doing the right things at the very least, 80% of the time.

80/20 is SO helpful for me.

Eat clean, real, whole foods 80% of the week and allow 20% to be maybe not the cleanest. This means enjoy the ice cream cone with the kiddos, or the glass of wine, but don’t do it every day.

Workouts

I am admittedly terrible at sticking to a workout routine.  I love schedules, and yet I can’t seem to follow them!! Between pre-k, appointments, sicknesses, weather, it’s impossible for me to stick to one thing.  I am probably way harder on myself than I should be, but I really feel like a better human being when I sweat on a regular basis!

I FEEL a million times better when I workout and I also eat a lot better too.  My goal is to workout 5x a week.  If I end up moving more than that, great!

I did invest in a membership to the YMCA.  I think it has done wonders for the kids to get out, play with other kids, sweat it out in the “Mystery Cavern” and for Bradley to be around other grown ups.

It’s also incredibly nice to have an hour or so to myself where I can blast gangster rap, listen to a podcast or just zone out to You Tube.

What if I don’t want to work out?

Just go walk on the treadmill.  If you’re going to watch a show, then why not burn a few calories by walking?  Even 30 minutes of walking will probably make you sweat a little, and you may be inclined to walk more.

I don’t have time.

None of us do.  We just have to make the time. If it’s 5 minutes here, or 15 minutes there, it all adds up.  Start small and increase as you become stronger.

Check out this article via Prevention magazine; it talks about the benefits of simply walking! Walking Benefits

I have zero motivation.

I will totally admit when I have an event to attend, a vacation to go away for, or Summer…I am certainly way more motivated than in the dead of Winter (now) when we are covered in layers upon layers and leggings. Oh those damn leggings with the elastic waist! It’s great until you try to zip up a pair of your favorite jeans…

You can also make your friends hold you accountable; it’s much easier now with the fitbits and Apple watches.  Join an actually accountability group, hire a coach or purchase from a Beachbody or AdvoCare coach.  These things work people! Only if you want them to of course.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t workout.

I need this one right now.  It’s been over a week since I went to the gym.  On Saturday I did a 20 minute yoga flow and truly felt my shoulders burning, but I haven’t done much else other than walk the dog a bit.

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Find a workout you LOVE.

For me it’s a mix. If I could do Zumba every day, I probably would, but that’s not in the cards for me!  I try to go every Tuesday at the Y.  Sometimes I miss it, but man when I get my dancing in for the week, I am a happy happy girl!

I try to workout based on my mood. Some days I really want to lift weights, other days I’m really into yoga. There are even some days I just want to walk with the kids outside or run around at the playground. At the end of the day, and even at the end of the week I think it’s important to look back and just see that we have exercised in some sort of capacity.

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Get Outside.

I hear ya sister, it’s cold and probably not sunny all of the time.  I am such a hermit when the cold weather hits, but when it’s at least 45 and sunny? I really try to make an effort.  I do attempt to play in the snow with the kids too, but I’ll be honest I am more beach bunny than snow bunny.  My dog sure doesn’t mind a little cold, so on Sundays if it’s not too bad out I’ll take her for a nice long walk.

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Try a pre-workout drink.

I am obsessed with pre-workout. I love both Beachbody and Advocare’s.  I find the energy uplifting without a crash and it DOESN’T bother my belly! Yay! I will even drink this stuff if I need a kick in the pants and need to function…I can’t drink coffee, and green tea only does so much for me.  This is made with a green tea leaf extract and I think it’s mixed with a magical potion to create a perfect balance of ‘get-er-done’ and zen.  Odd, I know. Trust me on it though!! Spark is too rough on me and I just love the taste of this.  I add one ice cube and sip that baby like it’s my morning cocktail of energy.  {You can get your pre-workout here.}

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Take photos.

I can’t tell you how many times I will sit there feeling sorry for myself and I don’t wanna workout bla bla bla, and then I’ll scroll through some of my old insta-story photos and instantly become motivated. I didn’t want to workout then either most likely, but I did it, I felt good and I know that I can do it again. I also think it inspires other people, which I always enjoy doing too.  It’s also nice to see progress happening, whether it’s a flatter tummy, more defined arms or clothing fitting a little nicer. With all of our social media options, find a place to hold yourself accountable and share your photos. Or just take them and store them in your phone.

Reward yourself. 

I had been dying for a pair of LuLulemon yoga pants for quite sometime. I vowed that once I dropped my baby weight (the second time around) and stayed at a consistent size/weight I would treat myself to a pair.  Warning: They’re addictive! Hands down, these are THE BEST and most comfortable pair of pants. I could live in them daily.   Maybe it’s a spa day, a manicure, a new pair of sneakers….dangle some sort of carrot in front of your face, so that you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

(You can find them here.)

Motivation doesn’t last.  It ebbs and flows, some days I am ready to kill it and others I want to pull the covers over my head and stay there all day.  What works best for me is to remind myself that my overall health is what’s important.  Yes, I want to feel and look good but ultimately I tell myself I have this one body and I must take really good care of it.  We are not meant to be sitting all day; we need movement and to feel the oxygen going in and out of our lungs.  We have to push ourselves and also enjoy exercise.

What are your tips for staying active?  Do you have a favorite workout?