Iceberg Right Ahead!

First off, sorry for disappearing! It has taken us a bit longer than planned to gain internet access on our vacation- this post has been waiting a week to go live!!! But we have it courtesy of the nice folks at Síminn!**

The last few day have been the most incredible days I’ve ever experienced! Greg and I are having the time of our lives in Iceland! And yes I know- blogging on vacation is crazy but we have lots of long drives, so I’m not missing out! ūüôā

If you had asked me a year ago if I was up for a vacation packed with hike after hike, up hills, along cliffs, along river beds, behind a waterfall, or even up a glacier, I would have laughed. For one, I physically wouldn’t have been able to. Two, and for me even more importantly, I didn’t enjoy activity or the outdoors all that much.

I am so thankful that’s changed because now I’ve been able to experience all this!!

 

 

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In front of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, June 7, 2013

 

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Behind Seljalandsfoss- yes BEHIND! It was an incredible, but slippery hike on a path behind the falls. Thank goodness for waterproof gear!

 

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We hiked up to a smaller waterfall next to Seljalandsfoss as well. Ignore the obnoxiously large bulge in my jacket. It is hard to look awesome in so many layers! Also, this was the trip of crazy hair and no makeup. #lowmaintenancehikes

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Crazy glacier walk up the Virkisj√∂kull glacier in Vatnaj√∂kull National Park. Not pictured: our crampons (spikey shoe caps) and ice picks! More on this, and the camera on Greg’s head, later.

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Virkisj√∂kull in all it’s glory

**Siminn kindly provided me with a USB 3G plug in to grab internet access along with a bit of free data. However, Greg and I have purchased our own additional data and were NOT asked to mention Siminn at all. We wanted to though because they were SO incredibly kind and helpful!

Sooner or Later.. It Has To Drop

Well my little lesson in moderation may have been a little too late. Working out and eating healthy certainly boosts your immune system but when you push too hard on too little sleep something has got to give.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends- waking up at 4:30 to hit the gym, driving my long commute, working a longer day to stay ahead at the office, coming home to cook dinner and still going to barre a few nights a week.

As Freddie Prinze Jr. would say, sooner or later, something has to drop.

C’mon.. you know you love She’s All That.

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Moderation is key

Moderation, moderation, moderation. It is a word I have been literally drilling in to my head over the last couple of weeks, for a couple of reasons.

Namely, because perhaps I have been pushing myself a wee bit too hard….and now, my body is telling me to moderate. After spending most of last summer and this fall rehabing a toe injury- I hyperextended my big toe OW OW OW- I thought I was ready to start running again. And, perhaps, I am. However, after several weeks of slowly gaining distance, including more than a couple of 5ks and 4 milers, a new pain came screaming my way. Out of nowhere a few weeks ago, my leg started to burn after a run. I am still awaiting a doctor’s appointment to sort it all out, but I suspect it is my IT band. Womp womp.

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ME, ME, ME, I, I, I!

Motivation… it doesn’t come in a bottle or and it’s not something you can download online. It’s really not something you can find outside yourself. I somewhat touched upon this in my last post, but it is truly something that you have to find within yourself.

I’ve had several conversations with friends this week about making changes and the theme has been the same with everyone. Change- at least when it comes to health- is extremely personal. It is a decision that you have to make for YOU, not your spouse, your parents, your friends. It’s perhaps something you have to be a little selfish about. Because when you make the change for you, it is a change that is more likely to stick.

It is so easy to feel pressure to get “skinny” and follow a trendy diet- it’s impossible not to feel it if you watch any television or ever stand waiting in line in front of a magazine rack at the grocery store, but for me, whenever I acted out of pressure, I failed.

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A Little Barre N9ne Fan Love

So I’ve referenced barre a few times but I haven’t really said a whole lot about Barre N9ne. It is far past time!

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Rain, Snow, or Shine… we get our burn on

Barre N9ne is way more than a fitness studio- it is an incredible community of women working together to live healthy. I really had no idea what to expect when I went in for my first class. I figured I would sweat, ache and work hard. I never expected to meet people willing to cheer me on, motivate me when I am losing steam, and to push me to things I never believed I was capable of. But that is what I have found.

The instructors at Barre N9ne are phenomenal. Each day they go above and beyond class- from a facebook group to keep those of us in the 60 day challenge on track, to a separate group to motivate those of us who are runners. They are always there with support and advice- it is incredible and invaluable.

I cannot say enough about the studio- and I would be remiss NOT to thank Ando at Mind Body Barre near my office for sending me to Barre N9ne. I started classes with Ando at my office, but since I work nearly an hour and a half from home, I couldn’t work out with her more often. She sent me to Barre N9ne, which is nearby my home. It was a perfect fit and I am so, so thankful.

If you are in my area and interested in trying out barre, come to Barre N9ne. You will absolutely not regret it!

Don’t Let the Snow Slow Ya Down

So this weekend…. we had a little visit from Nemo.

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We got around two feet… and the snow drifts were crazy (see the perplexed kitty)? Note that the second mark was done at midnight on Friday and the second mark was just seven hours later. It was CRAZY.

Since I couldn’t run, I got to do a lot of this:

Dry erase marker + ever growing snow drift = cabin fever fun!

Dry erase marker + ever growing snow drift = cabin fever fun!

It’s pretty fantastic though. Trudging through waist deep snow to clear a deck is one heck of a workout! I have to say, while it didn’t make up for missing a class at¬†Barre N9ne, it certainly made my legs and arms burn!\

This was up to my waist when I started!

This was up to my waist when I started!

 

Later in the day, to break the cabin fever, we finished off the night with a killer Xbox dance party. 5,000 steps in just 45 minutes! Pretty intense.

So if you are stuck inside this weekend, think outside the barre- you can still be active and have a blast, even in the snow.

And if you need a laugh, snow angels!!!!

Happy Sweat

Major 2013 goal completed. On February 1st!

Just completed my first 5k. Not a registered one, but I ran outside for 5k and didn’t die. Victory!

Behold happy sweat!

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Rocking out with POUND

Holy Crap.

There are really no other words to describe POUND Rockout Workout. I tried a class this past weekend with the wonderful Ando from Mind Body Barre at Barre N9ne in Danvers. It’s been two days and I can still feel the workout my body got drumming to the music. My thighs are screaming, my shoulders are aching- and it feels amazing.

The class uses weighted drumsticks to work your arms, legs, and core to a pounding rhythym. I have always loved music. For me, the best workouts are the ones I can count along to the music to. When beats are off, it drives me crazy. So basically, POUND is perfect for me. I loved how each set was timed along to a song. It was fantastic.

Take a look at this craziness.

POUND Rockout Workout

I NEED to do this again.

Has anyone seen my toddler?

I may be home sick with some vague flu-like mystery illness (it cannot be the flu, I got my flu shot dammit! Grr), but I’ve been smiling all day.

Why? Because today I officially lost myself a toddler. No it’s not the cold medicine talking….

Even though I am not supposed to weigh-in during my Barre challenge, I got curious this morning (the scale called to me, blame it). I was brushing my teeth and there it sat on the floor, all sleek and shiny and lonely. I figured stepping on quickly was harmless. No one would know. Only I could tell, right??

Welp- now it’s out there. I weighed in. And guess what? Today I am officially 30 pounds less than I was on January 5, 2010, the day I officially started losing weight for my wedding.

BAM. 30. Pounds.

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Yes, this photo is from 2009 and I talk about losing 30 from Jan 2010. I cannot seem to find a photo from Jan 2010. However, I know that between the Florida trip (above) and when I started my weight loss journey, i only gained. Probably around 2-5 pounds. So the photo is mostly accurate ūüôā

Raising the Barre

I mean.. what could really happen in 30 days? In 60 days even?

Apparently a lot when you work really hard.

Like I said before, I may have lost the extra weight but even as late as last summer, I still wasn’t feeling healthy or strong. Then in September, I stumbled across an amazing fitness method- Barre. My office was offering classes one day a week in house, after work, with the incredibly talented owner of Mind Body Barre.

Within a class or two, I knew I had hit gold for me. This program worked for me, not because it was working my body, but because it was challenging it! The more I challenged my body, the more I challenged my mind. It was an odd realization- for me, peace of mind, release of stress, came through pouring sweat once a week in my office’s cafeteria. I needed more. Stat.

Because I work so far from home, I needed to find more classes closer to home. And I really lucked out. My wonderful instructor from Mind Body Barre was great friends with the owner of a similar studio just 15 minutes from my house. Within a week or two, I was up to 2-3 classes a week between work and home.

Starting on December 1, I decided to up the ante, not to lose weight or tone, but to see simply if I could do it. I signed up for a 60 day challenge- 4 classes a week for 60 days at the amazing Barre N9ne Studio. In addition to classes, we were challenged to try and get in 10,000 steps a day and to watch our calories. This part scared me. I was sure this meant I would be starving and on some crazy diet. To my surprise, the calorie count I was given led to me eating more every day! I was thrilled!

Of course, this has been a lot of work, but it hasn’t been stressful, or boring, or taxing. Instead it has been rejuvenating, exciting, and massively effective. It has caused me to stop stressing about what I eat, but instead enjoy myself and my food again. I find myself wanting to make healthier choices because the more healthy choices I make, the better I feel. My acid reflux and stomach issues? Nearly gone. My old stress induced insomnia? Going away. My inability to relax? Fading.

In 30 days… I dropped 4.4 pounds, 7.5 inches… and years of body stress.

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I have to stress this next point: The peace has not come because of the scale or tape measure. The peace came when I realized that I could do it. I could push myself. I could run 2 miles without giving up. I could drop and give you 10 (not 20 yet) without falling over.

I. Can. Do. It.

Because I want to.

It’s an incredibly empowering feeling.