Fit Mom // Pressures to Pack a Popular Lunch

Fit-Mom-MonikerCan you guys believe it’s almost September?!  Where in the world has the time gone?  It’s officially time for all the kids to head back to school and my little munchkin started first grade on Monday.  First grade!  I swear this kid was an infant just last week.  Now he’s a grade school kid with math homework!

Before Dev started kindergarten last year, he insisted on getting a cool lunchbox so that I could pack him a lunch every day.  That lasted about 5 days.  Actually, I’m pretty sure he told me he wanted to start eating school lunch after day two, but I talked him into finishing out the first week with packed lunches because I had already bought everything.  Honestly, I was kind of relieved he wanted to start eating school lunches because I was stressing out about what healthy options I could pack that he wouldn’t get sick of eating.  Plus, I reviewed the lunch menu and knew proper, balanced nutrition was very important to his school district, so I felt comfortable letting him eat their school lunch.

Well, this year Devin has requested packed lunches again so, once again, I’ve been stressing about what to pack.  I mean, have you seen some of the lunches parents are packing nowadays? They’re like works of art!  Check out these bento box lunches.

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Tips for Building Endurance

Hey guys!

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this here before but my husband, Aaron, was pretty discouraged when we first started CrossFit because he didn’t feel like his endurance was where it needed to be for the kind of fast (and furious!) workouts we were required to do. He had no problem with body weight exercises like pull-ups and push-ups, or even heavy weight for that matter but stringing those things together, adding a fast run and some burpees — for time — often made him feel discouraged because he’d have to stop and rest between sets and just generally felt winded fairly quickly.

I’ve seen my husband slowly build his endurance over the last year and half that we’ve been doing CrossFit and I gotta say: he’s rocking it out now! He can push himself further and longer than ever before! His success with the Spartan Super is a testament to that; while most participants finished in 6 hours, he finished in 4.5. Way to go babe!

Here are some tips we put together for building endurance. These things have helped us and we hope they’ll help you.

Don’t cherry pick your workouts:

Some boxes don’t post their workouts in advance and it’s for this very reason! If you cherry pick your workouts you’re likely not working on the things that need improvement.

Supplement CrossFit with other cardio workouts:

Go running, take a zumba class or take up spinning; all that cardio work will kick in when running or fast burpees is part of the WOD. This is especially important if you’re only attending 2-3 CrossFit workouts a week – supplement so each workout doesn’t feel like you’re starting from scratch.

Find the right pre-workout snack.

Aaron’s tried Cliff bars and pre-workout powders — recently he settled on bananas as the best pre-workout snack for him but it’s been a process of trial and error. Food matters so if you feel weak, tired, or slow during a WOD, it might be because you didn’t eat enough. Experiment with different pre-workout snacks to find the right food for you, and make sure you fuel up before go-time.

Be patient with yourself.

When I told Aaron a friend of mine wanted to build her endurance he said the most important thing to tell her was to be patient. It’s taken him over a year to begin to FINALLY feel comfortable with his endurance, and even still — there are times when he has to just stop and take a break during a WOD. It’s important to realize this is a process and nobody becomes a superstar overnight.

During a WOD, tell yourself to go non-stop.

For big picture – yes, be patient. Day-to-day –push yourself. This was some advice I gave Aaron early on and it’s helped! CrossFit workouts are short for a reason — you’re meant to go non-stop! If it’s an 8 minute or 10 minute or even 20 minute workout it’s not like you’ll be doing that work forever! Keep in mind that it’s short and sweet; fast and dirty! Grunt, sweat, push! Whatever you do: just. keep. going.

Don’t walk away from the bar.

Along those same lines, if you can help it, don’t walk away from the bar. This is easier said than done, but the moment you turn away from the barbell or begin pacing around your space you add a lot of time to your finish because you have to walk BACK to the bar and muster up the mental strength to get BACK on it. Sometimes this is inevitable (hey, I’ve been there!) but if you can, stay on it. If you do have to walk away, countdown from 3 and start back at 1 – 3, 2, 1 – go!

Stay positive! 

If you’re telling yourself you’re slow or weak during a workout your performance is likely going to reflect that. On the contrary, if you tell yourself you’re fast, you’re strong, and you’re going to crush this workout, you’ll go in with a lot better chances of doing just that.

There’s a lot of other things I tell myself, too: “Your heart loves this” — a reminder of how good cardiovascular work is for my heart. And I also tell myself, “You’re OK,” a lot. It’s easy to get worked up thinking, “OMG! I’m so tired. I’m gonna die!” (We’ve all been there right?) Try the opposite — “I’m OK. You’re OK. You got this!”

Finally, and most importantly: Embrace the suck. From Aaron –

You know that feeling of when you simply cannot do one more rep? Or that feeling after you have just dropped the bar and you’re thinking “OK, breathe a little, let’s get the heart rate down a bit, and then pick up the bar.” Or the feeling of being on death’s door and you cannot possibly pull once more on that rower?

That is the suck!

The suck is unique to you; only you know where it is and how it feels. It’s YOURS, EMBRACE IT. And what do we do when we embrace something? We bring it in closer to us, feel it, know it, sense it. You might THINK it’s physical and that your body can’t take anymore but I am here to tell you (and everyone else that has made gains is here to tell you) that your body MUST be pushed beyond what you THINK it can do.

The people you want to be like (on Instagram or at your gym) – those people put in work. They may make it look easy but I bet you that is because they have found their SUCK and now, they hunt for it. They seek it out.

You will not get better until you become a stalker of that SUCK, and when you find it, GIVE ME TWO MORE!! Remember: this is your life, your body, your suck. You will never get these seconds back, make them count!


The Reebok Spartan Super

When I said I had a busy weekend, I wasn’t kidding! After New York all day Friday, I headed to Charlottesville first thing Saturday. My husband, Aaron, was signed up for the Reebok Spartan Super, one of the most difficult obstacle races in VA!

Reebok Spartan Super

Some of you may have seen on Instagram how proud I was of Aaron for completing this race… it was seriously like nothing I’ve ever seen before!

Aaron has talked about Spartan races for awhile and having done a Tough Mudder, I thought I knew just what they were; wrong! The Spartan races are a lot more difficult and the “super” (the second level of three among Spartan races) is beyond difficult. The website describes them as “World’s best obstacle race. Period.” I might modify that to say “World’s most difficult obstacle race!”

Of course I acted like the paparazzi at the event, following Aaron around snapping pics! I couldn’t see him for most of the race but I did intercept him at the 7 mile mark, near the end. A lot of the obstacles were deep in the mountain and it was a really, really foggy day so unfortunately these photos don’t do it justice.

Check out more right here on the Spartan website.

Reebok Spartan SuperReebok Spartan Super Reebok Spartan Super



{Featured} The Fête Blog

Remember my good friend Stephanie, Editor of The Fête Blog and professional runner? Well, she’s starting a new series on her blog called “You Should Get to Know” and I feel so lucky, because she relaunched it with an interview of me this weekend!

Stephanie’s questions really made me think about why I started this blog and what I hope to accomplish with it in the future; I reposted part of the interview below. To see the full thing, visit The Fête Blog!

The Fête Blog

Thanks for the feature, Steph! 

What originally sparked your interest in blogging your fitness journey? How did your fitness journey start and where are you now?

I blogged every detail of my wedding planning journey as Ms. Brooch on Weddingbee, which opened me up to a really engaging and friendly community of women online. I fell in love with the camaraderie I found there and many of those women are still close friends today. After my wedding I knew I wasn’t ready to give up blogging and fitness was the new path I was on.

My fitness journey started in those months leading up to the wedding. I grew up overweight but I tried playing all sorts of sports as a child. I never made the team – I was always too slow or not skilled enough, but when I got older and joined a gym I realized there was fitness outside of organized sports. I started with running, which was great for me because if I could just push myself to keep going, I could do it; I could run! I really harnessed that mental willpower and found so much joy in making it further and further each time. I started with 5ks and 10ks, ran two 10 milers and eventually, six months after my wedding, I ran a full marathon. You can read FAQs: My Weight Loss Story for more about this.

What’s been your greatest challenge when it comes to fitness? What’s helped you work through it?

Hm, this is a tough question! I would have to say not focusing on the scale. I grew up overweight so I’m programmed to think “weight loss” constantly. CrossFit has helped change that perception a lot (thank God!) to where I’m focusing more on getting stronger or overcoming the fear of trying a cartwheel (or things of that nature). CrossFit has really helped me realize fitness isn’t about how much you weigh.

The other tough challenge (they’re coming to me now!) has been consistency. Everyone says moderation is key and I believe that, but I also think consistency is key. I tend to do really well for a few weeks (eating-wise) and then have an off week where I find myself back to old habits: going through a drive-through, indulging in ice cream, or eating a calorie-dense, nutrition-less meal at a restaurant. It happens to all of us, I know. It’s human nature, but consistency is a challenge I continue to try to work on.

With that, I think having friends and family involved helps a ton. My husband recently started logging his food and trying to change his diet and now that he’s doing it, I’m finding it a lot easier to stay consistent! I recently hosted a weight loss challenge with friends and now we all try to make better choices when we meet for dinner. Changing habits and getting consistent is easier when your friends and family are supportive.

The name of your site is “Fit for a Bride”— tell us how the wedding industry comes into your life and blogging! What do you love most about the wedding world? How do you plan on expanding your relationship with the industry?

When I started Fit for a Bride I wanted to share weight loss stories from brides but it the site has evolved into so much more since then. Since I started CrossFit, I’ve been exposed to a whole new community of CrossFit couples (and I happen to be one — my husband CrossFits) and I absolutely love it.

CrossFit couples are sharing their love each other and the sport in their wedding details, whether by having a CrossFit-themed engagement shoot or a wedding workout and I am so honored to be a portal for sharing these couples stories. It’s obviously not what we’re all used to seeing in the wedding world, but I think that’s what makes it pretty awesome!

FFAB_CoupleImage by Our Two Hearts

What is your dream creative project AND your dream fitness achievement?

My dream creative project actually has more to do with blogging than fitness or weddings! I’d love to host a seminar! I’ve always wanted to develop a self-confidence seminar or, a seminar to help blogging entrepreneurs. This WILL happen one day. I’m speaking it into existence! (Hold me to it, Stephanie!)

My dream fitness achievement would be to be able to do a walking handstand. I hate being inverted and just getting a handstand was frightening! I’d love to overcome that and have a lot more control over my body weight. (I’d be equally as happy to get a strict pull-up, a muscle-up, or handstand push-up.)

To read the rest of my interview with Stephanie, visit The Fête Blog!

On Set with Dr. Oz

Morning friends! I hope you had a fab weekend — mine was a packed one!

My best friends invited me to go with them to New York to sit in on a tapping of the Dr. Oz show. They’ve been fans of his for awhile now and they’re always sharing tips from his show. I’ve been a skeptic, taking those tips with a grain of salt. Never having watched the show regularly and, having heard a few not-so-good things about the man, I hesitated to jump on the Dr. Oz bandwagon (although, my mom, grandmother, sister-in-law, and other friends are fans, too).

Anyway, seeing a show in person turned my perceptions upside down! I had a blast and I learned a lot! It was a fun and informative. I can’t wait to see my episode air and start watching the show more regularly.

Dr. Oz in New York Pier One CafeDr. Oz in New York Pier One Cafe

Thankfully, New York is just a bus ride from VA. We bought same-day roundtrip tickets on Vamoose and headed out at 7am Friday morning.

We made excellent time, arriving in New York around 11:30 am. We didn’t have to report to ABC headquarters until 1:45 so we hailed a cab across town (to be near our destination) and then turned to Yelp to find food – of course we took a group selfie first!

Dr. Oz in New York Pier One Cafe


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