Category Archives: Fitness

Ringing in the New Year: A Healthy Alternative

It’s hard to believe it is December 30th.  Another year has flown by!  Tomorrow marks the celebration of the last day of 2010 and a welcoming of 2011. 

Some of you may have your New Year’s eve traditions firmly in place.  Until recent years, my New Year’s eve typically involved getting dolled up (fun), heading out to some place with an overpriced entry fee (not fun), and imbibing cocktails with my girlfriends (fun), avoiding the more ridiculous partygoers (perhaps this is why New Year’s eve is snarkily referred to as “amateur night”). 

Last year Bri and I did things a little differently.  After spending the evening watching old seasons of The Office, we watched the ball drop and promptly went to sleep.  We had to be up early to make it to the Hair of the Dog 5k!   I felt amazing after that race.  It felt really good to start the year off on the right foot- setting a healthy precedent, if you will.  That race was my fourth 5k.  I’d been running for approximately six months.  The farthest I had ever run was 3.1 miles. 

 On New Year’s Day 2010, I had some big goals for myself.  A 14k, a half-marathon, and numerous others.  That fourth 5k reaffirmed my commitment to my health and well-being.  I felt as though I had turned over a new leaf.  Instead of staying up into the wee hours of the night drinking, I made one healthy decision.  Which led to some others.  Happily, I achieved most of the goals that I set out for myself (which I laid out in excruciating detail in my last post).   In part because I rang in 2010 in a new, healthy way.  In part because I believed in myself and in my dedication. 

This year is no different.  Well, health-wise at least.  I won’t be spending it with my husband, seeing as how he is halfway around the world.  I will, however, be keeping my New Year’s fitness tradition going.  On New Year’s eve, the hot yoga studio I belong to is holding a late night “Studio 54” class from 10-11:30 PM.  You can bet I will be there 😉  I even conned one of my besties into coming with me (thanks Kristin! 😀 ) On New Year’s day I will be running a 3.5 mile race with some awesome ladies.  It feels really good to end the year and begin a new one participating in activities that I have come to love and identify myself with.  Cheers to a happy and healthy 2011!

How will you be spending New Year’s eve and day?  Don’t worry, I won’t judge if you are out partying.  Sometimes that is needed.  Though I may call you an amateur 😉

Image sources: (here) and (here)

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Filed under Fitness, hot yoga, Running

Your Eat Pray Love “Word” & Wardrobe Challenge Day 12

Hello friends!  Thank you so much for the birthday wishes.  I had a fantastic weekend with my girls on Long Island.  After an interesting train ride (ha), we shared some authentic wood-fired pizza with fried eggplant on it.  Yum!  Saturday was my actual birthday and I started the day/28th year out right with a seven mile run 😀  I can’t even believe that I just wrote that.  If you had told me a year or two ago that not only would I voluntarily run seven miles on my birthday but actually consider it one of the highlights of the day (among many highlights) I would have laughed and laughed.  I love the “new” me. 

I tried a new fuel source during the run- chocolate mint gu.  I received a free sample from my local running store and figured why not try it?  I flippin’ LOVE it.  It tasted like chocolate syrup and the texture didn’t bother me at all.  I recommend drinking a lot of water with it, because it was a little thick. 

One of my fave bloggers, Tina, had a birthday yesterday.  She wrote this great post saying that “you know you’re a healthy living blogger when..” and listed all of the health related items that she wanted for her birthday.  I received some AWESOME gifts for my birthday- 10 hot yoga classes from my stepmom, a hot yoga outfit from my bestie Kristin, an entire lululemon outfit (crop pants, sports bra and tank) from Bri AND a gift card to lululemon from my friends Nicole and Alicia.  Fitness related much?  Nicole and Alicia also let me know that there was a lululemon store less than FIVE minutes from Nicole’s house on Long Island AND the store was hosting a free yoga class Sunday morning.  Awesome birthday gift, eh?  Kristin and I skeddadled over there Sunday morning for a fantastic yoga class and I then spent my gift card on an awesome pair of running shorts.  By the way, I love the word awesome, if you couldn’t tell.  I wish there was a lululemon store in the area.  I would definitely try to work there.  And spend my entire paycheck there.  Anyway.

Today is day 15 of the wardrobe challenge.  Woohoo, HALFWAY DONE.  I am proud that I have stuck with it.  Saturday (Day 12) I didn’t get a full length picture:

My own personal version of sex and the city- Me, Nicole, Alicia & Kristin.  Love these girls!  Outfit:

  • Yellow tank- Banana Republic
  • Black cardigan- J. Crew
  • Skinny jeans- Express
  • Black pumps- Aldo
  • Necklace- Lia Sophia

On Sunday we had a suprise baby shower for Alicia (she is having a little girl in December!) complete with Crumbs cupcakes.  Overall, it was an amazing  weekend 🙂

Holy ginormous cupcakes!  I definitely dominated the peanut butter cup cupcake in the bottom right corner.  Amaze. 

Last week I wrote about Eat Pray Love and asked you what one word you thought defined you.  I loved the responses:

I loved the words you guys selected!   They are all positive and demonstrate a thirst and passion for life.  I’ve been trying to come up with a word for myself and although I don’t want to limit myself to one word, I think I have it.  Effervescent.  For whatever reason, that word happened to pop into my head.  I googled the definition:

1. To emit small bubbles of gas, as a carbonated or fermenting liquid. Uh, no.

2. To escape from a liquid as bubbles; bubble up. Nope again.

3. To show high spirits or animation. YES.  

I don’t think I am like this all the time, but it is something that I strive towards.  Not necessarily to be animated but to appreciate life and radiate positivity.  To be happy.  Although when I eat something that is particularly delicious I tend to get a little animated.  So, for now, I am choosing my word to be effervescent.  Like Molly said, I think we are constantly evolving.  So who knows what my future word will be 😉

Tonight I have a run with Jen (wahoo) and then I’m meeting up with some peeps at a coffee shop.  Do you guys have any fun plans for the week?  Thank you for reading and enjoy your Tuesday!

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Filed under Eat Pray Love, Fitness, I'm random, lululemon, Running, self-awareness, Uncategorized, Wardrobe Challenge

What is Your Definition of Fitness?

Hi friends!  Happy Tuesday 🙂  I have a 5k tonight and I am ready to get a sub-30!  Wish me luck!!

Turning to the wardrobe challenge:  one of my new goals is to learn how to use my point and shoot (casio xilim) better and make use of the Canon DSLR D70 that I have access to.  I love learning and I want to know about white balance, aperture, shutter speed and the like.  For now, however, I’m an idiot and didn’t charge my point and shoot I have to use droid photos.  Monday’s (Day 7) outfit:

  • Black wool blend jacket- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2005) Repeat
  • Black wool blend pencil skirt- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2005) Repeat
  • Black and white patterned shirt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2008)- Repeat
  • Black slim leather belt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2009)
  • Red open-toed pumps- BCBGirls- (purchased Spring 2007)
  • Silver heart necklace- Tiffany- gift from Bri (August 2008)

Thoughts on this outfit:

  • I purchased the jacket and skirt together, along with a pair of matching black pants, for all of the interviews I was going on during law school.  That is one of my top tips: if you can purchase a suit with both pants and a skirt- DO IT.  What could be one outfit is instantly transformed into a number of versatile pieces.   I had the opportunity to do this with a brown Banana suit that I own but I didn’t.  I went back to get the skirt and it was gone.  Sad face.  Anyway- lesson learned.
  • I haven’t worn the red BCBGirls shoes in quite some time.  I like to typically wear them with a black dress; it adds an unexpected punch and funkiness to the outfit.  The challenge is definitely causing me to rotate items I typically don’t wear, so I guess it is working!
  • I have never worn a skinny belt over a suit jacket.  I’m not sure how I feel about it but I definitely felt more stylish by taking a risk and wearing it.  Whatever works!
  • I have two foam rollers and you can see them in the above picture.  If you are a runner and do not have one, purchase one STAT.  It has been SO helpful with my IT Band issues.  Do it up!

Tuesday’s (Day 8) outfit:

I know you can barely see the clothing in the pic but I am usually in a rush, as I feel like a bit of a weirdo taking a photo of my outfit in the bathroom.  Yeah.  Moving on:

  • Berry cardigan- J Crew Factory Outlet (purchased January 2009) Repeat
  • Yellow tank- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2010) Repeat
  • Black wool blend pants- Express (purchased 2004) Repeat
  • Black pumps- Nine West (purchased 2009?)
  • Flower Necklace- Purchased in Hawaii on our honeymoon ❤

-closeup of the necklace taken at an earlier date

Thoughts:

  • The challenge is starting to get old.  Ah, love it.
  • I call this look “raspberry lemonade.”
  • I normally would never combine a berry cardigan with a yellow tank.  However, I kind of like it.
  • The black shoes in the picture are ones I would typically wear all the time to work.  I tend to go through black heels very quickly.  I especially like these because the heel is only two inches. 
  • Did I mention the challenge is getting old?

—-

Okay, onto the fun part of the post.  A while back Bri wrote a post about his definition of fitness.  You can tell it was a while ago since he refers to me as his soon to be wife.  Heh.  I credit Bri with turning my health around; prior to meeting him I subsisted on bagels, cheezits and risotto and didn’t have a gym membership.  Now I am a runner, yogi, eat mostly well and feel as fit as I have ever been.  Without futher adieu:

My soon-to-be wife has asked me to write a blog for her outstanding website.  I have been into fitness practically all my life and was recently certified as a Level I Crossfit trainer.  I played Division I sports in college and have been active in everything I do.  While I commend anyone who takes the time to exercise, I do believe in efficiency and efficacy in work outs. I wanted to start a discussion to explore, comprehend and dissect the word, fitness.

We have all heard and seen the term, “fitness.”  We see it everywhere in the United States.  We see it in the names of businesses, magazines, and books.  But, what really is fitness?  When is a person truly fit?  Is someone fit if they can run a marathon but cannot pull their bodyweight? Or, are they fit if they can clean and jerk over 250 lbs but cannot run a mile?  With an industry of 45 billion dollars, very few people can agree on what is fitness.  How do you define fitness?

The first place to look for the definition of a word is the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster defines fitness as: (1) the state of being fit or (2) the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms.  The first definition is completely unhelpful.  This is the frustration of the dictionary sending you on a scavenger hunt.  The second definition is also not all that helpful, except for one key point – the capacity to survive.  Survival in the 21st century has changed significantly from even a century earlier.  Most believe that modern medicine and agriculture has significantly improved our lives, but has it made us more fit?  Are people in today’s society more capable of surviving?  No.  The expectation is that most are not capable of successfully confronting unexpected events in daily life or even disasters. Obviously, the degree of this on each individual depends on the occupation and environment of an individual.  A person who works behind a desk would normally confront a substantially different subset of unexpected events than an infantry Marine.  There are similarities though – balance.

Balance is being equally successful at all of the physical skills.  What are the physical skills?  Cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, acceleration, coordination, agility and balance.  Being equally good at all of these allows one to adapt to an entire universe of events.

The fitness industry these days, however, promotes specialization.  What is specialization?  Specialization is the concentration on one physical skillset at the cost of another.  This is particularly true of the weight machines that isolate muscle movement and even ellipticals.  When in the world are those specialized, isolated movements going to really come in handy in the real work.  When you pick something up, do you really do a strict curl?  No, you employ the core, the shoulders, the lats, the biceps, triceps and many other muscles.  Similarly, you see bodybuilders with huge upper bodies but they are so tight, they move slow and one wonders if they could touch their back.

Turning to what most of you love to do, running.  A runner concentrates on cardiorespiratory endurance and stamina, but the runner sacrifices power and strength, flexibility and many other skills.  Do not misunderstand what I am saying.  Individuals who run a marathon are absolutely impressive and something that many of use cannot accomplish, but that same person could probably not lift their bodyweight over their head.  For the women- I know women that can lift their bodyweight over their head and they are not built like a Russian beat farmer.  In fact, they look like the women you see on the cover of a fitness magazine.  Moreover, I saw this principle when I played Division I lacrosse, where I didn’t have to think twice about my cardio-respiratory during a game but I couldn’t do 10 strict pull-ups.  It was not until I got into Crossfit that I saw a different approach to fitness.  Now Olympic athletes are absolutely great at their sport and are in shape, but can we really say they are truly “fit?”

This is why I have accepted and agreed with Crossfit’s definition of fitness: the ability to statistically perform the best across an entire of universe of repeatable, measurable, observable tasks. 

So, how would YOU define fitness?  Do you agree with Brian’s approach? 

Also, I’m curious- have you ever tried Crossfit?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I attended a “scaled down” class for new people and WOW.  The workout lasted for 18 minutes but was so intense and effective.  I was cursing Bri the whole time (love you honey 🙂 ) but afterwards I felt amazing. 

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Filed under Fitness, Wardrobe Challenge