Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Goal Accomplished!

This morning I hit a huge goal of mine: running three miles with the double stroller with both girls. Three miles is the most I've run by myself post pregnancy, but the most I've run without stopping with the double stroller is a mile. We ran indoors at the gym, 24 laps. It was very difficult but we did it! 36 minutes. I wanted to get in an awesome cardio workout before our weekend away come Friday. My arms and ankles are really sore from pushing all the weight, but I'm glad I got in my Halloween workout.

I read a great quote today from Fitness Motivator, who I follow on Twitter :
" 30% gym, 70% diet. Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym."
VERY TRUE!!! One of my favorite snacks, which also helps control belly fat, are raw almonds. I constantly snack on them throughout the day and they definitely give me the energy I need. Another belly fat blaster is green tea. It is suppose to help with your metabolism. Go buy a box of green tea packs and a bag of raw almonds. They will both last you a long time and are great snacks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mid-Week Check-In!

Happy Halloween!  How's everyone's week going?  I know I ate some treats over the weekend, so I am trying extra hard to be good this week, but it is definitely hard with Halloween here!  Halloween takes on a whole new meaning once you have kids.  I've been making treats for Sonoma's class party, buying lots of candy in anticipation of trick-or-treaters, and whipping up some of the yummy fall recipes (damn you Pinterest!) that I've been wanting to make for my family.  We were so busy all weekend that I didn't have time to workout, so I worked out hard-core on Monday at the gym by myself.  Today I only had time to work-out at home for about 20 minutes while Cora took a cat-nap, but I made sure to use my time wisely. Even if you can't get to a class at the gym, or get that full workout in by yourself that you really wanted, it's important to just do SOMETHING whenever you can.  Today, I turned on some music, grabbed my free weights, and did intervals of weights mixed with jumping rope, planks, jumping jacks, squats and lunges.  Yes, I had to stop about a dozen times to stick the pacifier back in Cora's mouth, but I felt so much better after.  Not to mention, I cleaned the house which I am positive burned lots of calories!

Remember, once Thanksgiving and Christmas are here, it's a lot harder to be strict about diets and workouts with all of the hustle and bustle going on.  I'm trying hard to work my butt off now, so I can relax and enjoy myself during the end of November and throughout December.

My best friend Erin's wedding is this coming weekend and I am 8 pounds away from my pre-pregnacny weight. While I know I won't be there by this weekend, I will be close enough and that makes me pretty happy.  I know I have to work extra hard to lose the last of this weight, but being down in the single digits now has motivated me even more!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween and don't eat too much candy!  =)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Guest Blog: "Working Women"

Hello working women!  When my best friend, Lindy, asked me to write a guest blog for working women, I happily accepted the offer!  Like Lindy, fitness and health have always been a huge priority to me, but unlike Lindy, I work full time as an attorney at a large law firm in downtown Chicago.  “Big firm” working hours are notorious for being extremely long and filled with high levels of stress and pressure.  On an average week, I’m in the office by 9AM and if I’m lucky, I’m out by 7PM.  Often times I come home later, sometimes even as late as midnight or so.  The office environment is also full of unhealthy temptations such as donuts, cookies, cupcakes, etc.  Additionally, I also attend various recruiting and networking lunches and events that are centered around (FREE!) food and alcohol.  On top of my very crazy working schedule, I have also been gearing up for my wedding!  Through it all, I've been able to stay fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle by making smart choices.  And I want to help you career-minded women make smart choices too!  You’ll feel better about yourself and have more energy and brain power, so it’s a win win situation. :)

In my first guest post, I will provide tips for making your workouts a priority in the midst of a hectic work schedule.  Since my schedule is unpredictable and I often work late nights, the only way for me to guarantee a workout is by doing it in the mornings.  It was certainly challenging at first waking up so early and finding the energy to workout first thing in the morning, but I have been doing it for over 2 years now and I am honestly in better shape now than prior to starting my career.  Below is a list of tips that I practice and highly recommend:

  1. Lay out your workout clothes the night before.  A little pre-planning will make the morning workout go smoother.  Lay out your workout clothes on the ground by your bed the night before to minimize the time and effort it takes you to get to the gym!
  2. Put your alarm clock in a location where you have to get out of bed to turn it off.  We all know how easy it is to roll over and hit the snooze button, so if you put your alarm clock in an area (the bathroom, or the room next door, or even on the ground in your doorway) that forces you to get out of bed, then it forces you to wake up and get your body moving.
  3. Plan your snacks.  A big concern about working out in the morning is “But I’m hungry when I wake up!”  You can alleviate this concern by having a few bites of an energy boosting snack like a protein bar, a banana, a few spoonfuls of peanut butter, or a bit of a protein shake.  But I promise you, once you start working out and get your body moving, the hunger will subside.  Personally, I never eat anything prior to my morning workout.
  4. Work out smarter, not longer.  On average, my morning workouts are about 40 minutes.  You don’t need an hour+ in the gym to achieve great results.  Instead of doing a mindless 60 minutes on the elliptical, I encourage you to do intervals so that you can perform high intensity workouts for maximum results.  (For example, sprint on the treadmill for 4 minutes, then immediately go into lunges, push ups, tricep dips, and other resistance exercises, and then repeat the cycle so that you’re alternating between sprints and resistance exercises).  
  5. Make every workout count.  This tip goes along with #4 above, but I really want to hone in on the fact that you do not have to work out like a maniac and spend hours in the gym (who has time?!) in order to stay fit and see positive results in your body.  I work out approximately 4 times a week (3 during the week and 1 on the weekend) which is about every other day.  This schedule is completely sustainable because I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to get in the gym EVERY SINGLE DAY.  The key is that when I am in the gym, I bust my butt and go hard every time.  Even if you oversleep and only have an extra 20 minutes, then go outside and run a mile, or do 15 minutes of squats, lunges, burpees and push ups in your home.  NO EXCUSES!  Recently, I had to be in the office for a 7:30AM conference call, but I really wanted to workout that day so I made the decision that I wouldn’t make any excuse and I got up at 5AM to run 2 miles.  

I promise you that the more you workout in the mornings, the easier it will become.  You’ll feel much more energized throughout the day, and a morning workout also jump starts your metabolism.  It’s also just nice to know that your workout is already checked off your to do list so you can focus on work-related tasks for the day instead of worrying about when you’re going to fit in your workout.  And ladies, if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Elle Woods:

Guest Bloggers Coming!

Thank you for all the positive feedback I've been receiving this past week! I'm really happy I've been able to help and motivate other women and moms out there.
I've decided to incorporate some guest bloggers into my blog from time to time. I have a lot of working women friends who have expressed concerns about fitting in workouts with their career, as well as avoiding the office junk food.
My best friend, Erin, has an extremely high stress career, yet she is one of the healthiest and fittest people that I know. I think you'll really enjoy her first guest blog. I know she has been working extra hard to stay healthy and in shape for her upcoming wedding next Saturday!

Stay tuned!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stuck in a Rut?

Are you stuck in a rut? For the past two weeks I felt like I wasn't making any progress. I wasn't eating any more or worse, I wasn't exercising any less, but I also wasn't losing any weight.
Just like the last time I was trying to lose my baby weight, I eventually plateaued and had to make some drastic changes to lose the last of the weight. For the past four days I made the changes and I have already lost 6 pounds. I knew it would work, but it was just a matter of getting motivated.

1.) Cut out all "bad" (simple) carbs. No white breads, pastas, rice. If I am going to eat carbs, I make sure they are the healthy, complex ones. Such as a whole wheat pasta or bread. I've also switched things up and have been eating a lot of  low-carb wraps filled with a scrambled egg, laughing cow cheese wedge and a fresh salsa. Wraps and eggs are a diet favorite of mine.

2.) No late night snacking/eating. If I have to eat something it's either a yogurt (have you tried the 90 calorie Yoplait Pumpkin Pie? SO yummy) or a diet hot chocolate made with water.

3.) Increase my daily water intake.

4.) Add a second workout. Even if it's just an extra walk at the end of the day with my dog, I do something more. Burn more calories. I also do random squats and planks throughout the day whenever I can squeeze them in.

5.) Cut out the desserts! For me, that also means the snack times with Sonoma. No more animal crackers, graham crackers, fruit snacks, etc. I will eventually add them back in, but not yet. If I need something sweet, it's the diet hot chocolate, a skinny latte, yogurt or a 60 calorie jello pudding cup.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today's Goal: GET OUTSIDE!

Are the temperatures unusually high for October where you live? If so, GET OUTSIDE!!! Grab your stroller if you can today during the day, or as soon as you get home from work! I think today ill take the kids to a park, so I can use that as a reward if Sonoma is good in the stroller. I also like to be near a park or somewhere that has benches, so I can stop along the way on my run or walk and do push-ups, tricep dips, planks, or step-ups on the benches. I also carry a couple of my resistance bands with me in my stroller, but they somehow got lost in our move this winter and I must find them ASAP!

The earlier you get your baby use to being in the stroller, the better off you will be in the long run. I started running and doing stroller fitness with Sonoma at 8 weeks and she started doing super long runs with me at 15 months when I began my half marathon training. She was usually always good for at least an hour in the stroller. However, now that she's in the terrible twos, I can only count on her for a happy 30 (45 if I'm lucky!) minutes with an extra special snack. The days of Cheerios are over!

When I worked full-time, I was really good about planning out my workouts every week and sticking to it. I also worked out on my lunch break which I HIGHLY recommend if you work full time. I can't tell you enough how efficient my lunchtime workouts were, how much more energy I had and how much quicker my days went by! However, life at home with a toddler and a newborn can be quite unpredictable, so I can't really plan out my workouts anymore. I try to throw on workout clothes every morning so I can be ready to exercise whenever my window of opportunity approaches. It's tiring trying to time my workouts after a nursing session and then packing everyone up to head out, but I know it will get easier and I always feel SO much better afterwards.

Try to enjoy this warm weather and take advantage of it while you can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I always notice the biggest difference when I do a variety of workouts.  Not to mention, it keeps things interesting for me!  Yesterday I incorporated a lot of my stroller fitness exercises into my workout.

Let me just tell you for a minute how much I LOVE my gym.  A lot of stroller mommies love working out with their kiddos when the weather is nice but struggle when it starts getting darker earlier and when the weather gets colder.  I just assumed that strollers were not allowed in my gym and boy did I assume wrong! I recently found out that strollers are allowed on the bottom track and basketball courts.  I've been dropping my oldest daughter, Sonoma, off at the gym daycare, and taking the double jogging stroller and my newborn, Cora, to the downstairs track.  It's AWESOME!  Yesterday I had three basketball courts and an entire track all to myself.  I have been trying to ease into things and here was my workout yesterday:

* 1 mile running at a fast pace
* 1/2 mile of sprinting the straight-a-ways and jogging the turns
* 1 lap of walking lunges with a glute squeeze lift, up on to your toe on the straight-a-ways
* 30 seconds of wall sits alternating 30 seconds of wall jumps  ( The goal is to get my intervals back to at   least 60 seconds )
* 1 lap of walking lunges with a glute squeeze lift, up on to your toe on the straight-a-ways
* 30 seconds of wall sits alternating 30 seconds of wall jumps
* 1/2 mile cool down

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, so my husband, Marcus, and I indulged in a delicious dinner of take-out from a nearby restaurant, along with wine and dessert, so I've been trying to make up for it by eating extra healthy today.

Since some of you have asked, here is an excerpt from last week out of my shared food and workout diary so you can see an example of what it looks like for one day:

Breakfast: 90 cal yogurt mixed w/ maple walnut chia & quinoa granola & coffee w/ Splenda & sugar-free creamer
Lunch: quesadillas - low carb wrap, black beans, cheese, yellow peppers, salsa, EVOO, blue chips & salsa
Snack: diet hot chocolate w/ h2O & ff whipped cream
Dinner: baked chicken breast, orzo blend with carrots, peppers, spinach and chick peas
Workout: 1 hour cardio cross train class - intervals of cardio followed by intervals of strength training with light weights and body resistance (aka boot camp)


It's Go Time!

As much as I'd love to lay on the couch and snuggle my sweet newborn every minute of downtime I get, I realize that now I need to start using my time wisely so I can kiss that sweet baby weight goodbye.

After I had my first baby almost two and a half years ago, I realized I had a lot of work to do in order to lose the 50 pounds I gained while I was pregnant. I started taking Stroller Fitness classes and ended up loving the workouts so much, that I became a Stroller Fitness instructor and started teaching the classes.  Stroller Fitness was a perfect job for me, because I was doing something I loved, during the workday, WITH my daughter, AND I got paid for it!  It consisted of a 60 minute workout of intervals - high intensity cardio, alternated with strengthening moves.  We pushed our kiddos in the strollers and stopped at different stations along the way and used resistance bands too.  Unfortunately the Stroller Fitness program shut down last year, so I was without my part-time job, but I still do stroller fitness as a part of my workout regimen.  I've learned that once I hit a plateau with my normal workouts of running, Zumba, Pilates and lifting, that I really needed that interval training to lose those last 5-10 pounds.

I was featured in American Baby magazine after I lost the 50 pounds of pregnancy weight and pulling out this article the other day, really motivated me to lose the baby weight again the second time around.

My youngest daughter just turned 8 weeks old and two weeks ago I was cleared by my doctor to start working out again.  I figured if I blogged a little about my weight loss journey as a full time Mommy, then it would help keep me on track and focused. I know that last year when I ran my first half marathon, I posted all of my runs on Facebook and Twitter via the Nike running app, and I only did that so I wouldn't give up.  I knew if all of my friends and family and also all of the world could see my runs and times then I wouldn't want to quit or be posting really slow, pathetic times.  It  made me more competitive and it worked -  I hit my time goal of almost all my long runs and I also hit my time goal in the half marathon.  If you let people know (especially your closest friends and family ) that you have important diet or fitness goals in your life then you will have just that much more support.

With my sister after we finished our half marathon last November

I gained 43 pounds with my second pregnancy and at 8 weeks postpartum I am down 30 
pounds.  I have 13 pounds to go.  I've already started filling out my food and workout diary every day that I have been doing for many years with my best friend.  Ever since we were NFL Cheerleaders together, we have kept a shared Google document on and off over the 
years of our food and workouts.  

I went to my first group exercise class at the gym last week.  It was cardio cross-train that was set up like a boot camp.  I hesitated going to a group class so early on because I knew I would only be able to go at about 70%.  I usually love the group classes and challenge myself against others and try to race the guys!  However, I left this class feeling extremely out of shape and sore.  5 days later the soreness is wearing off....


Hi! Many friends have requested that I post a blog entry with some of my fitness tips for losing the baby weight and for just getting into shape in general. I don't want to bore our family blog followers with workout and diet posts, so I figured I would start a separate fitness blog for all those interested and who have been asking over the years.  Now that my dear daughter number 2 has arrived and is 8 weeks old, it's time to kick things into high gear! Here you go, enjoy!