Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Well, Today Did Not Go As Planned + My Fitbit Blaze

Well, Today Did Not Go As Planned + My Fitbit Blaze
Well, today did not go as planned. I woke up at my normal time, but I was not even out of bed before I heard the thunder out the window.  I just rolled over and went back to sleep.

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a similar morning and got dressed and went out for my walk and I immediately noticed that it had recently rained.  It was much cooler than the previous mornings so I thought "Oh! This is wonderful, I will have a fresh cool walk this morning."  And how naive I was.  I was about a half mile from home when there was a huge crack of thunder right behind me.  It scared me half to death and I took off running back toward the house.  Of course, it started pouring down rain and I was soaked to the bone by the time I got back to my house.  I am just glad I made it home without getting struck by lightning. I think getting struck by lightning is one of my biggest fears.  Completely frightening.

That day was on my mind this morning when I decided to sleep in instead of working out.  I got out of bed with just enough time to take a quick shower and grab my breakfast before time to get to work.

But my schedule was off and my day did not go well. I think it was at least partly because I didn't get my workout in and my day just started off behind the curve.  Work did not go well.  Nothing really went my way today.

We're nearing the end of the day and I am not even at 3,000 steps for the day.  This is by far my worst step day in a long time.
Fitbit Blaze band silver

Do you like my Fitbit?  It's a Fitbit Blaze.  I love this thing!  I got a new metal mesh band for it so that it will look a little dressier than the blue plastic band that it came with.

I like the fact that it tracks my steps, my sleep, my heart rate, and so much more.  And it's right there on my wrist. I don't even have to look at my phone.  It also alerts me to phone calls, text messages, meetings, and alerts.

Fitbit also has a new iPhone app. I like their new dashboard layout.  It has a nice clean look but shows everything I need to know at a glance.  I like it a lot better when  my stats are up to par though.

Fitbit iPhone App

Do you have a Fitbit tracker? If so, which one?

What's your biggest fear?  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Rare Treat + Weekend Recap

A Rare Treat + Weekend Recap
Guess what?

I don't always wake up at 6am to workout or sit around in my workout clothes all day.

Today, the hubby and I went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  I am a terrible blogger! I didn't take any pictures of my food.  Isn't that what bloggers do?

Since I was planning to have a piece of cheesecake, I wanted to get something lighter for my lunch. I ended up getting one of their flatbreads. It's under 490 calories and really tasty. I got the sausage and ricotta flatbread and I was not disappointed.

As I mentioned, I also had a piece of cheesecake.  I often choose healthy food, but I also think it's healthy to indulge a bit from time to time.  This time around, I chose the fresh banana cheesecake.  It was good, but probably not my favorite.  I usually get the Dulce De Leche Caramel cheesecake.  That's probably my favorite.

On Saturday morning, I woke up super early and put in my three miles.  Then Saturday night I put in another 2.6 miles.  I doubled up so that I could take the day off on Sunday.  I didn't do any kettlebell workouts over the weekend.  I'm trying to give my body a little break, but will be back at it this week.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up + Another Kettlebell Adventure

Weekly Wrap Up + Another Kettlebell Adventure
Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful week and met all your fitness goals.

My goals this week were pretty straightforward -
1. Walk at least 13,000 steps per day on average.  I missed my goal one day, but made up for it on the other days and ended the week at 14,960 steps her day on average.  YES - Exceeded goal!
2. Complete 3 kettlebell workouts.  DONE!

Pretty proud of myself

Once again, I started my day off with a 3+ mile walk.  Unfortunately, the MapMyRun app didn't record my walk.  That basically means it didn't happen.  FAIL!  I hate it when that happens.

But I did complete my 3rd kettlebell workout of the week.  I was pressed for time today so I did the sets at different times throughout the morning.

# Movement Reps
1 Two-hand Kettlebell Swing 20
2 Overhead Press 8 left, 8 right
3 Front Squats 10
4 One-arm Rows 12 left, 12 right
5 Kettlebell Rolling Sit-ups 20
6 Kettlebell Situp 20

Yep, I was able to do 8 reps on the overhead presses with the 25 lb kettlebell today.  I'll take that progress any day of the week.  Especially on a Friday.

Maybe I deserve a rest day? Or two?  Can I get an amen?!

Now it's your turn - share your fitness accomplishments for this week in the comments.

Favorite kettlebell move?  Do you track your steps?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I'm Nothing If Not Consistent + A Fruitful Recipe

I'm Nothing If Not Consistent + A Fruitful Recipe
Well, I hate to be redundant, but I started my day off with a 3.15 mile walk.  I'm nothing if not consistent.  Earlier this afternoon, I was thinking that today's walk was 3.15 miles ... a smidge longer than a 5K race.  I can do the distance. I just can't do the running part.

And my first mile is always the slowest.  I think it's because it takes a mile for me to really wake up and get my body moving.  Then the second mile I'm just on cruise control and walk at a nice happy pace.  Then the third mile is where I have to hurry up and walk fast so that I can get home on time. My numbers definitely show it, too.

The other night, I made a peanut butter yogurt dip to go with my fruit.  It's just three simple ingredients, but I thought it was really tasty.

Fruit Dip

8 oz plain greek yogurt
3 Tbsp natural peanut butter
3 Tbsp honey

Combine ingredients and mix well.

This recipe made a thick dip and it's perfect with apples, bananas, pears, etc.  You could thin it out with a little milk if you'd like.  YUM.

Have you ever run a 5K race?  That's on my bucket list.

What do you like on your fruit?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Achieving My Goals + Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Kettlebell Workout

Achieving My Goals + Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Kettlebell Workout
So, I killed it on the step goal today.  I'm a little over 20,000 steps for the day.  I decided to set my alarm a little earlier this morning so that I could make my morning walk a little longer. I ended up putting in 3.5 miles to start the day.

Then on my lunch break I put in another mile around the neighborhood because I was cold and tired and I needed something to warm me up and get my blood pumping.  Maybe I went a little overboard on that considering that it was nearly 100 degrees outside today.  

And tonight after supper, Emily and I walked a little more than a mile. I forgot to map my walk so I'm not sure exactly how far we went.  But my roses sure were pretty today.

I also got in my kettlebell workout this afternoon. I'm kinda into making up my own routine. Have you ever read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book where you get to choose what happens next in the story? That's kinda what I feel like when I make up my own kettlebell routine.

I was pretty sore from my last kettlebell day so I tried to scale back a little today.

Warm-up then five sets of the following with the 25 pound kettlebell:

# Movement Reps
1 Two-hand Kettlebell Swing 20
2 Kettlebell High Pull 16
3 Overhead Press 6 left, 6 right

I did the 5 sets over a couple hours.  I'm not sure if it's as effective as doing them all at once, but that's the only way I could fit in a kettlebell workout today.  I probably would not have been able to do 5 sets all at once. Just sayin!

Have you ever used a kettlebell?

What size kettlebell do you use?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nicely Sore + Finally Hit the New Step Goal

Nicely Sore + Finally Hit the New Step Goal
Okay so that kettlebell workout yesterday turned out to be a good one.  Did I mention that I intended to do 3 sets of the workout, but could only manage to complete 2 sets?

Today my deltoid muscles are nicely sore.  Deltoid muscles?  Yeah. You know ... those muscles on the back of your shoulder that wraps around the back of your arm?  Am I the only one who Googles the names of my sore muscles?  Hurts so good.  That's all I'm saying.

Tomorrow is another kettlebell day so I need to start Googling a good full body kettlebell workout.  Maybe this one? Or this one looks good. Or what about this pumped up workout?

I also managed to meet my new 13,000 step goal today for the first time.  I started with a 3 mile walk this morning then I had to jump on my exercise trampoline several times during the day to keep on track to reach my goal.  I try to remember to pay attention to the Fitbit feature that tracks how many hours I walk at least 250 steps.  Some days I do better than others.  Today I did pretty well and hit 11 of 14 hours. (I've set 7am to 9pm as my active hours.)

Every little bit helps.  The main thing is to keep putting in work every day.

Do you embrace your sore muscles?  

Have you ever used a foam roller to try to roll out the soreness?

Do you have any suggestions on kettlebell workouts?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Monday + Kettlebell Weight Training

Happy Monday + Kettlebell Weight Training
Happy Monday!  I don't know about you, but this has been a long Monday for me.

I started out with 3.16 miles outside in the neighborhood.  That got me a little over 7,000 steps toward my new 13,000 daily step goal.  A long walk followed by a nice big fruit bowl for breakfast.  That's what I call a good start to the day.

After a busy day at work, I had to end the day with a sweaty kettlebell workout.

Tonight, I used a 25 pound kettlebell and it is no joke.  I'm not gonna lie - when I use this thing, my arms and legs just shake and I sweat so much.  My shirt is soaked through.  My arms just feel dead.  AND I LOVE IT!  Anybody with me on this?

Yes, I like to do my kettlebell workouts in my bathroom.  Kinda crazy?  I'm a mom - it's one of the few places I can get any privacy!

See the picture below? This is the heart rate monitor on my Fitbit Flex during my kettlebell workout today.  The kettlebell is NO JOKE.  It's hard work.

This was my workout tonight.

Warm-up then two sets of the following:

  1. Two-hand Kettlebell Swing - 20 reps
  2. Kettlebell Cleans - 10 reps left,  10 reps right
  3. Military Presses - 6 reps left, 6 reps right (My goal was 8, I could only do 6)
  4. Front Squats - 8 reps left, 8 reps right
  5. Renegade Lunges - 10 reps
  6. Kettlebell High Pull  - 20 reps (WOW!)
  7. One-leg Deadlift - 10 reps left, 10 reps right
  8. One-arm Rows - 10 reps left, 10 reps right

Then I did a bit of ab work - 20 rolling kettlebell situps, 15 kettlebell situps, 20 rolling kettlebell situps.


I'd never done the Kettlebell High Pull before.  I will probably be feeling that workout tomorrow. My shoulder is already feeling it.  Yikes.  I better go get my foam roller and pray for the best.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weekend Goal Results and a Walking Buddy

Weekend Goal Results and a Walking Buddy
Well, the weekend results are in and I crushed my step goal!  I was aiming for at least 30,000 steps over the two days and I hit just over 32,000 tonight.

My long walk tonight was with my daughter, Emily.  She's a great walking buddy and it gives us a nice opportunity to chat.  I'm not sure how much longer she'll be willing to go for walks with me, but I'll take it while I can get it.  You know what I'm saying?

Tonight, though, it was way too hot!  My MapMyRun app has been messing up so I don't know exactly how far we walked, but we were out for just about an hour.  We had to stop and take a break at this turret for a few minutes.  Luckily, we were able to find a spot out of the sun that had a pretty good breeze.  Yeah I'll take that wind on my face.

This week, I'm upping my step goal to 13k steps per day.  That's almost 2000 steps more than my current goal, but I think I can manage it.  My only concern is the heat - we're expected to see temps at or near 100 degrees most days this week.

What's your strategy for exercising outdoors in the heat?  Got any good tips?

Based on the shadow picture in this post, can you guess how old my daughter is?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Setting Exercise Goals for the Weekend

Setting Exercise Goals for the Weekend
Hi guys!  Happy weekend!

Don't you just love the weekends?

I love weekends because I get to spend more time with my family and I don't have to conform to my work-week routine.  But weekends are also harder from a diet and exercise standpoint because I don't have my routine to rely on to keep me on track.

During the week, I get up before 6am and put in 3 miles before I start my day.  But on the weekends I like to sleep in.  Once I get up, I usually fix a nice breakfast for the family and it's so easy to just skip my walk and go about my day.

I've been trying to set fitness goals for myself on the weekends to push myself to do more than I normally would. This weekend, I'm striving for a 30k step weekend.  I hit 20k steps today so I'm well on my way to my goal.

If I don't have a goal, I'm lucky if I get 10k steps over the weekend.  That's no good.

Are you a Fitbit user?  If so, which Fitbit do you have?

Find me on Fitbit.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hold The Phone

Hold The Phone
I don't know what it is about this week, but I just can't get it together.  This morning, I forgot my running belt when I headed out for my walk.  My capri pants didn't have any pockets so I had to carry my phone in my hand the entire three miles.

The good news is that I made it the entire three miles today.  By the end of the day, I had already met my step goal so I didn't have to get out and go for another walk. The weather has turned surprisingly cool here so it would have been a nice night for it.


I've had a big 'ol blister on my big toe for the last few days.  Today, it became too painful to wear shoes.  I poked some holes in it and drained it earlier.  Are you supposed to pop them?  I don't know, but I have a hard time not picking at things like that. I just hope it's better in the morning so that I can get my walk in.

Oh, by the way? That selfie that I added to this post? That is definitely not what I look like on my morning walks.  I usually have the worst bedhead and I'm a sweaty mess by the time I get back. I'm just sayin!

What do you do when you get a blister?  Pop or no pop?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mapping my Walks and Runs

Mapping my Walks and Runs
Well, this day did not go as planned.  Does anyone else have days that just start off wrong and never get better?

I woke up about 10 minutes late and only got in a 2.73 mile walk this morning. My morning walks are dictated by time and not distance - I've need to be back home in time to get the kids ready to go.

My work day was fairly busy and I had to run an errand on my lunch break.  By this evening, I was still a little over 1000 steps from my step goal so I had to go hit the pavement to finish up.

I hit my 11,111 step goal after about a half mile, but it felt so good to get out where it was warm and stretch my legs that I just kept going.  I ended up going a total of 2.44 miles.

I use the MapMyRun iPhone app to track my walks or runs.  There is also a MapMyWalk app, but both apps work the same and the data from one is available in the other. I could use either or both, but I just chose MapMyRun app.  It tracks miles, duration, pace and estimated steps.  Looking at my stats and seeing how I'm improving motivates me to keep moving and keep improving.

It's a vicious cycle, but somebody's gotta do it.

Do you use MapMyRun or any other walk/run statistic apps?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Healthy Eats: Fruit Bowl

Healthy Eats: Fruit Bowl
Can we just talk about breakfast for a minute?  Let me start by saying that I've been loving my breakfasts lately.

I recently started a new job where I work from home and it has allowed me more time in the mornings to fix breakfast.  I used to be a grab-and-go breakfast bar kind of girl.  Not going to lie - I used to sit on the couch with my smartphone in hand and peruse all the news apps while I ate my breakfast every morning before rushing off to the office.

Now that I have more time, I like to fix myself a fresh fruit bowl.  My current crush is red and green apples, fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, cantaloupe, and grapes.

Healthy Fruit Bowl

I top my fruit bowl with a cream cheese fruit dip.  I tried to make my own fruit dip with yogurt and light cream cheese and some cinnamon, but it was not my favorite.  I plan to try a different recipe soon, but for now I've been using the Marzetti Cream Cheese Fruit Dip.  It's 70 calories for 2 Tbsp.  I'll take that!

What do you eat for breakfast?

What's your favorite type of fresh fruit?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Well, Hello There ...

Well, Hello There ...
Hi there!  Please allow me to introduce myself - I'm Jennifer.   I'm just a tech-savvy girl who is trying to get healthy.  So far, I've lost 110 pounds and I'm working on losing 20 more to get to my healthy weight.  I'll share more about my weight loss journey and the tools I use soon.  But for now, I want to start off with my daily health and fitness routine.

I'm a big believer in doing what works best for you. Your health is yours alone.  Nobody can make you get healthy.  Nobody can do it for you.

What works best for me at this stage of my life is getting up early and working out before I start my day.  I get out of bed a few minutes before 6am, change into my workout clothes and out the door I go for a 3 mile walk/run around the neighborhood.  I knowwwwww that's early!  But it's the coolest part of the day.  I don't want to wait to get out until it's super hot and the sun is beating down on me.

Here are three simple tips that I use to help ensure that I get up and get moving:

  1. Lay out workout clothes the night before.  This includes socks, shoes, headphones, etc.  I change clothes in the bathroom so I keep everything I need in the bathroom
  2. Keep those headphones charged up.  See #1 - I charge mine in the bathroom at night.
  3. Put a ball cap over that bedhead.  I struggled with this at first. I have short hair and my hair still sticks out of the ball cap like a crazy person.  But what's more important?  Sexy hair or a healthy body?  Okay, don't answer that!
I'm a big FitBit user and I've made my step goal a non-negotiable part of my day.  A 3-mile morning walk goes a long way toward meeting my 10,000 daily step goal.  If I don't get that walk in, I will have a hard time meeting my goal unless I get out and take a walk in the heat of the day or in the evening.  And who wants to do that?  Wouldn't you rather lay on the couch and watch some reality TV?  Or is that just me?

Any other FitBit users out there?  What's your step goal?

What does your current fitness routine look like?

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