Wedding Wednesday – #sweatingforthewedding

Since Josh and I hit the 1 year mark until our wedding, I have been going a little crazy. But not in the way you might expect. I haven’t spent too much time worrying about the planning, or my dress, or the guest list, or anything like that. I’ve actually spent most of “crazy” on my exercise routine. I’ve never been too worried about my body. Josh will laugh when he reads this, because I often stand in front of the mirror after I take a shower and complain about my ass, or my flabby arms, but relative to most women out there, I pretty much have it together. But watching my friends go nuts about their bodies over the past year, as they prepared to get married, I got kind of sucked in. But what does a girl who has tried basically every workout on the planet and never noticed much of a change in her body do to make sure that, when she becomes a bride, she looks like the best possible version of herself? [I will amend this by saying that when I was on the crew team in college for a semester, my body looked insane. But as soon as I stopped, I completely blew up, and I will not have that happen again!]

Barre.

I don’t remember how or why I ended up trying my first barre class, but I’ll tell you that I did not love it at first. Any of you who know me personally know that I tend to go for the more cardio-focused, all-out-aggressive workouts. I have been a runner my whole life, I worked at SoulCycle, I even joined a Division I rowing team as a college freshman with no previous experience (…see above…)! But after my second class, I was hooked. I noticed changes in my body almost immediately. I found myself fighting to find space in my schedule to book a class. I’ve even made a habit of going to classes at 7:30 in the morning just to make it happen! Guys, this is love.

So, this is how I’ve been getting Bridezilla-status nutso before my wedding. By turning myself into a freaking wannabe ballerina. And I love it. Here is some stuff that’s on my Workout Wishlist to feed my barre habit…

 

Barre Wishlist

Ball and Bands | Tank | Socks | Sock Bag | Online Workouts

Wedding Wednesday – #sweatingforthewedding

Josh and I are less than a year out until our wedding, and I have to say that the one thing that has been stressing me out more than anything else is how I will look on our special day…

While I try not to focus too much on my weight or appearance in general, the fact that about 200 people will be watching as I say my vows, and that my mother is paying someone a LOT of money to take a LOT of photos, and that I will be wearing the most expensive garment I will likely ever own, all amount to a strong message that I should look my absolute best. I know that the number on a scale means little, but it’s hard not to buy into all of the crazy body shaming garbage you hear on a regular basis as a bride-to-be. So, Josh and I have been working on a plan to sweat more, eat better, and (hopefully) shed a few pounds before the wedding. We both have “goal weights” in mind, but I think we will be more focused on the mirror than the scale as we move forward.

Personally, I’m hoping to get in 22 workouts this month, while also cutting down on ordering in. I’m waiting to make bigger steps until we are closer to the day, as I know larger sacrifices (like cutting out sugar, or making time for daily workouts) will be harder to maintain.

Stay tuned for more updates on our fitness goals, as well as other plans, for the big day!!

Family Time and Fitting in Exercise

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Josh and I recently went up to Petoskey, MI to spend some time with his family and celebrate his grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. We stayed at an absolutely beautiful residential/resort community, which allowed us to enjoy the comforts of staying in a home, while taking advantage of the pool, spa, and restaurant provided by the hotel.

During this trip, I was a bit worried about making time for exercise. I have really been making a push to exercise more and take advantage of the extra free time that the summer provides me, especially since I am attending quite a few weddings soon, and I didn’t want these few days to derail my efforts. Especially difficult for me is the time spent in the car. As a native New Yorker, spending more than a 15 minute cab ride in a car feels excessive, and this trip was FULL of driving. However, we made it a point to get out and get moving, and we definitely succeeded.

We hiked…

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We biked (on Mackinac Island)…

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And I ran, twice.

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It was hard not to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and the good weather by spending time outdoors, but I was proud of our efforts nonetheless.

How do you stay on track when traveling?

Friday Favorites: Building a Yoga Practice

I have been doing yoga for a long time. I love it because there is always more to work on, most of all, your mind. For me, I typically have to work on the same things in every practice – my shoulder and hip flexibility, namely. But everyone is different. The beauty of yoga is that there is something for everyone. And the key is doing what you can, whenever you can. I still struggle with maintaining an at-home yoga practice, but I find that some days, it’s exactly what I need. Building a practice doesn’t have to start at home, but having these things at your disposal will make maintaining your practice that much easier.

Yoga blocks are often considered an unnecessary crutch. However, the purpose of the block is not really to make things easier, but instead to improve our alignment. Not everyone can touch the floor in a Half Moon pose, and the purpose is not the throw your whole body out of whack in trying to do so. The block is there to allow you to put more useful effort into the pose. Use it. Manduka Recycled Foam Block

I will never find another yoga top that is as perfect as this one. Simple, cute, comfortable. And it moves with you through every pose. That’s all you need. Lululemon Power Y Tank

Although it can be scary, meditation is a key aspect to a great yoga practice. Any cushion will do (you can even sit on the couch if no one is around). Hugger Mugger Meditation Cushion

This is a 2 lb. travel mat that you can fold up and put in your suitcase. Ever feel like a long flight has totally wrecked your body, or you just want to wake up and acknowledge the gift of new surroundings? This mat is perfect for that. Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat

I go to a yoga class every Sunday that is a little strength training and a little yoga built into one class. The teacher likes to start the class by opening our backs with these rollers, especially in the winter when we curl in on ourselves constantly. This roller is also perfect for rolling out hamstrings, calves, quads, and anything else that needs a little tough love. Trigger Point Performance The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller, Black

This may not strike everyone as a necessity for an at-home yoga practice, and to be honest, I don’t own one of these yet. However, I think there is something to be said for the versatility of a thick Mexican blanket (hip support in seated poses, knee support in kneeling poses, comfort in savanna, etc.). I also think it’s important to have things that are just for yoga. Native Mexican Blanket

Lastly, I will recommend the Yoga Sutras. It took me so many years to open up to the true practice of yoga – it wasn’t really until I began my certification to teach that I even understood what yoga really was. This book is something that will open you up, and you can always come back to it. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Monday Motivation

I love to plan. I think almost everyone in my world knows this about me. This week, I have big plans.

Training: I have 18 miles, plus two strength training sessions in the gym, planned

Tutoring: I am meeting with 2 new potential clients this week

School: I have a lot of lesson plans to sort out, plus research to write up

Free Time: Museum? Laying out on my roof? Trip to the Hamptons? We’ll see!

Happy Monday!

Dehydration

Yesterday I told you that I have been battling dehydration for a while, and to be honest, this is something I struggle with on a fairly regular basis. I never drink enough water. And to make matters worse, I sweat a lot, all the time – even in the winter. And let me tell you, dehydration sucks. Because it’s summer, and I read a lot of “wellness” blogs, I have been reading a whole lot about dehydration and drinking enough water recently. So I thought it might be a good idea to provide you with some facts and tips to avoid dehydration – regardless of the season.

Signs of Dehydration

When I get dehydrated, I start to feel sluggish both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that cognitive focus, attention span, and even mood can decrease when one is dehydrated, and I definitely feel that. I also get non-specific pains in my abdomen, and I often feel nauseated. These are typical signs of dehydration, although the way it presents itself in any individual is often variable. Obviously, paying attention to when you are thirsty is important, but it is also important to remember that only drinking water when you are thirsty can often put yourself at risk of dehydration in the summer months, when you are sweating more.

How Much Water?

Some people say that everyone should drink about 8 glasses of water a day. While that’s a nice general rule, it’s not really accurate. Everyone has different water intake needs, depending on their weight, their body composition, even the clothes that they wear. Because everyone sweats differently, everyone has different needs! Apparently, halving your body weight and putting that into liquid ounces is the best way to estimate your daily needs. So if a person weighs 150 pounds, they should drink 75 ounces (or 2.2 liters) per day.

Benefits of Water

Beyond staving off dehydration, water has a myriad of benefits. It helps flush out toxins from the body (especially when you put some lemon in there!). Water improves your metabolism, your skin, your sleep. Because water is such an important part of our body’s make up, drinking enough ensures that all of our beautifully complex systems continue working as they should!

That being said, there is such a thing as water toxicity, and being constantly thirsty is a sign that something is wrong. However, these are not things that the general public needs to worry about.

Drinking More!

If you’re anything like me, you find it almost impossible to get yourself to drink water. No judgment! But scouring the web has given me some great ideas for how to increase water intake.

1) Invest in a Water Bottle – It might seem silly, but having a water bottle that you truly love – that you find convenient, pretty, and useful – is hands down the best way to remind yourself to drink more water. I love this one: bkr® bottle, but I have also heard great things about these:Aquasana 18-Ounce Glass Water Bottles, which come in a pack of 6.

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2) Get Creative with your Water! – Throw some citrus, berries, herbs, or all three into a jug of water and call it a party! No one said your water has to be boring! Or make ice cubes with fruit frozen inside, and make it even easier to add some flavor to your water on the go!

I also really like to chug some Nuun after a sweaty run, which has less sugar than regular sports drinks. But Nuun also makes a tablet for the non-sweaty parts of your day, which I have been eager to try: Nuun All Day Hydration. I also really like the idea of making ice cubes with fruit frozen inside,

3) Make a Plan – I recently read about a fantastic rule to get yourself to drink more water on a daily basis, and I think it is worth sharing. Split your goal intake up over your day, and stick to it. Before you have your second cup of coffee for the day, make sure you’ve hit your morning goal. No lunch before you hit the mid-day goal. And don’t even think about brushing your teeth before you’ve hit your final, evening mark! Having little placeholders in mind can really help form a habit.

Things to Remember

Drinking coffee or caffeinated tea doesn’t necessarily negate the amount of water you’ve been drinking and can help you meet your hydration goals. Just don’t drink too much, and the diuretic effects of coffee will be negligible.

Eating salty foods can help your body retain water if you are already feeling the effects of dehydration. However, this is not a substitute for drinking water!

A cup of water has 8 ounces, and there are about 34 ounces in a liter. (I hate doing conversions!)

 

Happy Hydrating!

Saturday Scribbles

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted, especially something of substance. I got complaints from my mother. You should know that I have been working on things in the background, so I can have some good content in the coming weeks. I also have been feeling really ill this week, battling dehydration and basically down for the count most days. My productivity is at an all time low. So, in an effort to give you a meaty post and get some stuff off my chest, here is a Saturday Scribbles!

Weeks 2-4 of Half Marathon Training have been a bit of a roller coaster. I haven’t been able to fit in all of the workouts that I wanted to. The workouts I’ve done have been a mental struggle. Summer vacation has left me feeling mentally sluggish and heavy, so each training session feels like a battle. My longest runs so far have been 5 miles, and I am ramping up to 6 miles next week.

Run totals:

Week 1 – 11.3 miles + strength training; Week 2 – 5.1 miles + strength training & SoulCycle; Week 3 – 11.7 miles (so far)

Back to School Prep has been stressing me out. I am trying to soak up my free time by not worrying too much, but I also have so much on my plate for the fall that not planning accordingly now is just kind of silly. I have two weeks left of summer, and I am so excited to get back to the routine, but also very nervous about making time for everything.

This week I got some very big news that will totally change my life in so many ways. I received a very important fellowship to do research and receive training at a nearby (and highly prestigious) hospital for the next year. I won’t have to worry about money in the same way that I have been for the past… forever. But my work load is about to skyrocket. I am over the moon and feel completely blessed to have this opportunity.

I updated the blog a bit, so now you can see what I hope to be reading in the near future. Comments are always welcome, of course.

This weekend I plan to get some work done, make some nice dinners, watch a movie or two, and go to the beach. Realistically, probably only half of this will happen.

Enjoy your Saturday!