You ARE ready. My new Wakeup Call

As 2014 is quickly coming to a close, I’m thinking about how strong I want to finish. I don’t like leaving chapters open when I really do have the opportunity to close them and start on a new goal. 2015 is dedicated to remembering who I am. 2015 is dedicated to the athlete, the fighter, the one that won’t quit when everyone is pulling you in different directions. It’s dedicated to important appointments, and dates, ones that I will stop breaking and standing up for things that do not push me closer to my dreams, leaving my sneakers sad by the door, waiting to hit the pavement or cycle another revolution on my lonely bike. 2015 is not about how dark it is. It’s not about how tired you are. How sore you are. How much you want to skip your workout because your current state of mind says that can’t. It’s about how much you CAN. It’s about how much you will love yourself for that extra 20 minutes of yoga in the morning, that 6 mile long run you’ve been putting of. The 10 mile long run you forgot you could do. It’s about digging deeper, finding your WHY, your reason to drive forward and bring light to those dark spaces in time. I’m planning NOW for later, it’s never too late to start.

2015 is dedicated to the athlete, to finding my max. Because I miss it. I miss the feeling of pushing myself further and accomplishing the unthinkable. January is usually the month that I spend wiping my sorry butt off the floor because I’m ‘too cold’ to run outside, or ‘too tired’ so I end up having no plan, no motivation, and no results. Well this is the last January I sit on my couch making excuses. I know how to honor my body, give it the fuel it needs, the water it needs, and the rest that it needs. But will I do it? This is it, this is the time, I’m going to get those 8 hours of sleep, and my body is going to LOVE me for it. I’m going to get up with enough time to push myself past that snooze button, onto the floor and someone is going to say ‘OH crap, she’s up’. I’m going to teach others to love their minds and bodies, and sweat and dance while doing it! I couldn’t be more excited to finish this year!

Here’s my new wakeup call. I’m going out with a bang 2014 so look OUT 2015, you won’t know what hit you.

I’m ready. You ARE ready.

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Top 5 Ways to Keep Motivated. My Typical Workout Routine

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Many of you support me on Instagram (thank you!) which is where I check in with my daily fitness routine, meals, motivation, and the occasional fitspo. Well it dawned on me today…seriously…that my biggest reason for success IS Instagram!

Like I say about being ‘your body’s mechanic’ every single one is different and I can’t give you a secret formula for your personal gene makeup but I can give you lots of ways to get started and stay motivated! What works for me, may not work for you, but a lot of you ask me what my typical routine is like and how I finally was able to lean down and tone up after years of being an athlete.

1) Every meal counts:
This probably sounds harsh but think of it as a way to love your body! Put nourishing foods in it. Every time you have the opportunity to replace something worthless with something rich in vitamins and fiber or protein, you are making an impact on your body! Why does this matter so much? Because it’s literally a formula. One you replace one meal a day with veggies and protein and superfood packed grains like quinoa, it adds up! That’s how I did it. I made a conscious decision to include more of the good stuff into my routine, and less of the bad stuff! It’s clearly added up! It makes indulging a little leave me with zero guilt. I still drink wine and #tiuapproved martinis, know how to make healthy desserts, and yea I still eat ice cream on occasion (favorite brand is So Delicious!) wiggle room is left when you make conscious decisions that propel you forward instead of standing still!

2) Exercise Everyday-Anything Counts
I’m serious when I say everyday. I usually start my week by setting up the times I know I can work our based on my schedule. I’m not very good at getting up every morning! So my current trend is lunch time workouts. But setting my mind to doing something everyday leads me to do MORE than I would if I didn’t set that goal. Meaning, I will probably work out five days a week instead of seven. And to me that’s a pretty successful week! But if I don’t set these goals I might go to days or three days and then I don’t feel as accomplished at the end of the week!

3) Find someone to keep you accountable!
Think back to the days that you played a sport. Your teammates kept you going. Why? Because you knew that they were going through the same tough workouts that you were too. Share in your successes and your failures, pick each other back up, and support each other when you had great victories! I am so lucky to have such an amazing team who I know is working out every day and making healthy choices every day and that makes me really respect those girls and guys! I used Instagram to find these motivating peeps! Seriously. Checking in every day was a way for me to keep a fun diary of everything (because food journals are BORING) to me, and I met people in my new city where I didn’t know anyone!

4. HIIT workouts and Always Change it Up!
There’s a reason I finally lost that stubborn 10 lbs and have been able to maintain it for 6 months now. Because I have done SO many different workouts over the past few years, I have been able to combine my strength training with cardio moves to do 30 minute High Intensity Interval Training. But I learned these from always changing up my workouts. I’ve done pretty much everything…except Crossfit. I tried it in college and it wasn’t for me. But I HIGHLY respect my friends who are that hardcore. It just wasn’t in line with my goals and I really enjoy Turbo Kick and tabata, T25, running, Body weight exercises like planks, push-ups, lunges and squats. I love PIYO, yoga, weight and toning routines I learned from Tone it Up and my NASM training. Honestly it takes lots of practice and repetition to know all these things lol that’s why I love having trainers in my own home. I’ll do a more detailed post on my favorite at home workouts soon! Don’t be afraid to try something new! Ask a friend to join you πŸ™‚

5) Set a Goal, Join A Challenge:
There’s nothing like a little competition to motivate you! This can be a race, or a goal of 100 push-ups and sit ups each day! Or just drinking water instead of soda and replacing the afternoon candy bar with a granola or protein bar. Join a fitness group on Facebook, there are literally hundred of them. I run a 30 Day Challenge every month =) Β We are living in a fitness obsessed generation, however not everyone will be thrilled in your immediate circle with the choices you’ve begun to make. And that’s ok they don’t have to! But there is this huge online community that can help you start getting connected to people who have been in your EXACT position. I know I know, it’s super sucky to share personal details about your story. That’s up to you, but you don’t know who it might help. There are dozens and dozens of stories I have heard from you that give me hope of helping someone with an eating disorder, or a lack of confidence, overcoming a bad relationship, lack of support from friends and family, and more. Because we have all been in these tough places and finding someone to relate to is a hashtag away #loveyourbody #strongisthenewskinny

Typically I do something different every day. This month I’m running one mile each day and doing PIYO/Yoga to stay strong and flexible! Do I get it done every day? No I miss days. But that’s ok! I still get in more than I would without a plan. I drink shakeology for breakfast every day, usually a small snack at 10am like yogurt or fruit. A veggie based lunch. Wraps and the occasional paninni but I cut pasta out! I load up on grilled or steamed veggies or raw if in salads. I love zucchini and Brussels sprouts, beets and walnuts, spinach salads with goat cheese and strawberries! I eat a piece of fruit or a protein bar in the afternoon and sometimes I have time to workout at night but not lately. I make sure it gets done before the sun goes down haha it’s easier for me in the winter! I just got a new Stand Up Desk at work that keeps me sitting less and it’s giving me more energy! I take the stairs pretty often (heels people heels!) As the holidays approach I’m trying to drink less so that I can indulge at holiday parties and enjoy the increase in occasions. I drink lots of water and and average of half a cup of coffee daily…I don’t really need it anymore! I hope this helps you get a glimpse of my routine! Doing these things on the reg. really adds up. I promise you. Enjoy the journey, take your time, and stay consistent….people will start noticing and they will ask you how you did it!

Sacrifice yourself for others

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Sometimes you need to think and look real hard at yourself and remember that you’re going through a difficult time for a reason. Our sacrifices are for the work of something greater. For me it’s God’s legacy. For you it may be a family member, a pet, or a dream. Who holds your dreams and desires? Remember that it is good to put yourself second sometimes, because the hard work you do now, will bring great joy and gifts later. I forget that despite how busy this season of my life may be, others are taking notes from me and getting healthier in their lives. This is probably the best part of my day-it makes me super happy! Knowing that I can still motivate you to work hard even though I can’t be right there! I hope you will push through your tough week at work, your difficult semester at school, and know that your hard work is inspiring others out there to be better and bolder each day! Happy Monday πŸ™‚

MOVE-Who’s done watching?

This video byΒ Arc’teryxΒ has hit the ground running and I’d love for you to take a quick look! I understand that a lot of you may need some motivation like this, so I’ll be posting more adventure videos every week. We may spend most of our days behind the desk, but start thinking about life in front of the desk. One of these days, I know you will start an adventure of your own.

“We all try to be busy, instead of trying to be alive.” Β Do you remember the last time you felt alive? Felt proud of a hardship or sacrifice you made for your body? Or maybe for a family member or friend? Coached a team? Taught someone to ride a bike? Or has the fear of failure kept you chained to the couch, watching others fight and work and achieve their goals and dreams. WHY NOT YOU? Β Not enough time, no victory in sight, not sure where to start. Well guess what, we can all win by being better. Better movers. Better motivators. Better friends, athletes, teachers, pet owners, siblings… But the fundamental ability to move is a privilege. If you have it and you’re wasting it, someone will gladly take it off your hands or your feet.

Our life on Earth is but a tiny blink in the span of the cosmos. A speck. A mere reflection of human adventure and interaction-or lack of? We spend more of our time looking into the lives of others, researching how we can become more like someone else, practicing, gossiping, lying about accomplishments and defeats. Watching. Watching. Watching. Who’s done watching?

To put it best…”Me, I’m moving., because life’s more fun when you move. “

Why I Run.

Why I Run


 

There are many things in life I never thought would become habits for me. Things that didn’t seem appealing, worth a try, or  carry so many benefits with them. Did you ever think that by doing something for yourself, you would actually be helping others too? As skeptical as I am to experiment in the kitchen, I have learned that it brings more joy to those around me when due effort is put forward. And yes, being selfish is one of the healthiest thngs you can do for yourself and those around you. It will make you happier, less anxious, less grumpy, and in reaction-you will be making your community more attracted to you! A happy mom, makes a happy family πŸ˜‰ A happy individual makes a happy workplace, and so-on…just set one foot foward. 

Thus goes with running. It is something that always seemed like a chore to me. Or some unnatainable sport that I was not ‘born’ to do. I always thought because I grew up playing softball, that my body would never be able to carry me more than 30 yards at a time. That it was unbelievably hard-and it is..but just put so much pressure on each run and running as a whole. Oh, how my dreams and goals have changed. 

It has taken years of experimenting (and practicing, aka running!) to find why running makes me so happy. It is simple, yet creates a ‘no brainer’ reason of why you should do the things that make you the happiest, every day if you can. 

Running is the only time I can be alone, without phone calls or emails, meetings, projects, people, parents, whatever it is that keeps me busy all week….running is MY time. No one can tell me where to take my run, how fast to take it, what to think about, or what time to go out on my care-free, wind-in-my-hair, adventures. If I want to get up at 5:30, before the world is light to be with myself and God if I choose, I do it. Forget about the beautiful places my runs take me to, the quiet time is reason enough. So after learning all this, races don’t interest me nearly as much anymore (save for triathlons) running groups aren’t my thing, and I still do appreciate a great running partner to share in the sacredness of running. But my favorite runs are solo. And that works for me. What works for you? 

 

 

Summer Sweat

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Hellooooooo-Summer is still in full swing! You may not have sunny days every day where you live, or maybe you do-make every one of them count! I feel guilty when I’m not outside on a nice day. Β Living in the north-east, the sunny days are a bit scattered. But even when it’s raining, I’d still rather be outside than the gym. (However, we all have priorities-studying, kids, cooking, cleaning, working-let’s get serious, eating is important too). Now you’re probably wondering what you will do to challenge yourself for the next 30 days, and for August, because you are just so excited to keep up your new pace of happiness. What will you do besides lift weights???

I’m challenging you to 30 minutes of activity EVERY day. You may be in the middle of getting back to your routine, or you’re not sure if it’s the ‘right’ time to start getting in shape because summer is almost over. WRONG! Β Summer bodies are for the binge work-out fiend. We want an EVERYDAY body! So I don’t care if you are walking every day, or biking-playing kickball, walking the dog, roller-blading, hockey, basketball, tennis, softball, yoga, biking, swimming, running around with the kids, playing on the playground, swimming in the ocean, kick-boxing. GET OUTSIDE! Β Find something you love, and make sure you are sweating for 30 minutes a day. You will be amazed at the energy boost you get, the happiness that comes with losing weight because you are doing something you love. How rewarding is that? Check in with me on the Facebook page-Fitgirl Mechanic, Ariana Michelle. Or on Instagram. I want to see what you’re doing, it makes me happy too πŸ™‚

Sweat everyday, sweat often, be grateful. Healthy first. Happy Second.

p.s I’ll be adding a new toning routine for you every week too πŸ˜‰