I know that summer is knocking on the door and probably already getting pretty hot in some states but I wanted to share this great vest that I found at J.Crew Factory. Here in PA we have had some nice weather but the last few days have been kind of chilly.
This vest has been great for running and going to the park with my daughter. It is super bright but I think that it is important to wear bright vibrant colors especially when you are running even if you are on sidewalks. This one is great because it’s lightweight and has zipper pockets. I don’t think it was intended to be a workout piece since its from J.Crew but it has worked perfectly for me!
Even if it’s too hot for a vest where you live check them out now they come in a ton of other colors and are all on sale! Now is a great time to pick up staples for cooler weather and not have to pay full price! Don’t forget to use the code “freeship” today! This little cutie is my sister’s dog Biggie and he is such a gentleman and seriously gets cuter and cuter everyday! I know I have talked about these headphones a million times but they are so amazing to run in and I found them on sale at Target right now!
I really wanted to share with you guys a few of my fave running pieces that I have been getting a ton of use out of this winter!! Some of the things are super old (aka tech vest via the 9th grade!) and others are still available so I will link some of my current faves!
One of the best gifts I have received in a while are still my Solo HD head phones that my hubs picked out and surprised me with last Christmas. I literally use these all the time especially when I am running. I am one of those people who have a freak ear shape and can not for the life of me run with the apple ear buds they literally just jump out of my ear! So these have been a life-saver, they stay on and they are really comfy and actually make a huge difference in sound quality.
In the winter especially in PA where these pics were taken it gets really cold but I haven’t wanted to stop running because it can be so hard to get back into the routine again so I have just been bundling up and I actually have been loving the cooler weather to workout in! As I mentioned above this vest came from the depths of my childhood closet at my parents house and my sister tells me it looks like a giant maxi pad haha but it is super warm and perfect for running. It provides enough warmth without completely restricting your movement when you are running.
Along with a vest gloves are a must when braving the 30 degree temperature and I really love these Under Armour ones that my mom got me for Christmas a few years back. They have held up great and I just throw them in the washer with the rest of my workout gear. Target also has great lightweight workout gloves and are one of my husbands fave pairs. Then there is always Lululemon for workout gear which I really love, but it can be super pricey so I like to obviously shop the sale section and choose key pieces that really stand out like the head wrap or really great basics like the pants that I literally wear all the time! They wash really nicely, don’t fade, and I just hang them to dry!
So make sure to bundle up and get out there and run it out!
The main way I stay active with my toddler is to incorporate her into my workouts, wether you have twenty minutes or an hour there are great ways to workout and be with your baby at the same time.
The number one thing that we like to do is go to our local state parks, they are beautiful, free, and offer challenging trails to walk or run on. The great thing about going to a park is that you get a great hike or run in but your baby has so many different things to look at while getting some fresh air and enjoying nature. After I am done running then it’s time to get the babe out of the stroller and let her run around and get her exercise in too! She loves walking and running all over pointing out the trees, the ducks, and looking at all of the puppies that are there. If you have the time, I find this to be one of my favorite things to do with my daughter. We always pack plenty of snacks, water, and lunch so that she doesn’t get cranky and enjoy the nice weather!
If you don’t have time to get to a park then just head outside your front door, every night that it’s nice we try to do a family walk even if it’s only for fifteen minutes just to get out and spend quality time together.
Other types of exercise that I combine with my cardio are super simple basics like squats, lunges, and step-ups that you can do with just a bench or step. These are great for toning and if you add your toddler in with the squats you will torch even more calories. Start by holding your baby with both hands, squat down and tell them to jump and lift them all the way over your head. Trust me do 3 sets of 10 and your arms will be on fire the bigger they grow the more intense your workout 🙂
We are seriously in LOVE with our Bob Revolution stroller I don’t know what we would do without this!! It was the best baby gift we ever received, (thanks mom and dad!) if you ever plan to run or walk outside it is the only stroller you will need. It can take your baby from newborn (with a carseat attachment) up until they weigh 70lbs! The stroller itself weighs 25lbs and then the weight of your baby so its definitely an adjustment compared to running by yourself. Now after about a year and a half it’s become second nature to me and it just adds to my workout! This stroller has been everywhere with us and I have ran on many different surfaces like roads, sidewalks, and trails, we even take it to the beach and its amazing!
Some of my fave workout gear would be any type of black crops these are fun with the zebra detail and I purchased them from Old Navy. I am obsessed with these Oakley Holbrook Polarized sunglasses which I purchased for my husband but he prefers his other pair so I kindly borrow them to workout in! They are great because they are polarized and they actually stay on great while running! I love Nike for tops, sweatshirts, and track jackets!
This is a post I couldn’t be more excited and really shocked to be writing about. Since I have been a kid weight has always been something that I have been super conscious about, I was never a girl who could just eat whatever they wanted and fit into my clothes. Although I constantly thought about what size I was wearing or what workouts I was going to do that week, it never was really a problem for me. I didn’t let it control my life if I wanted to eat something I would and I would just make sure to work it off. I played sports in High school and some of College, but I was always a member of a gym no matter where I lived. I enjoyed working out and never really thought of it as a chore or annoyance, it’s a great stress reliever for me. I have been so lucky that my friends from high school, college, and now always love to workout with me so it has been fun.
When we moved to Washington State it was a real transition from going from 21 credits in school and working to living in a new place with no friends, no job, and no second car. I was confined by the walls of our first apartment with my husband working long hours. Thankfully we had a small gym and I occasionally used it, but not like I worked out at home. Running was a no-go due to the lack of sidewalks and crazy dogs that were constantly loose around our neighborhood. Gradually I gained about 15lbs until I started working at Nordstrom about 6 months after moving to WA. I really enjoyed working there, I met a lot of great girls and stayed at a constant weight and tried to fit workouts in with my odd retail hours.
About a year later we unexpectedly found out that we were pregnant with our baby girl! We were definitely shocked but couldn’t be more excited to grow our small family! I worked until I was about 8 months pregnant and had gained about another 20lbs. After I stopped working we found out that Eric would be deploying to Afghanistan right around when the baby was due. I knew that a deployment was coming its part of the Army life, but I couldn’t believe he might miss the birth of our baby girl! So as you can imagine the stress set in and I literally ate whatever I wanted. You name it I was eating it, peanut M&M’s were my fave along with pizza, Mexican, and Bryer’s vanilla and chocolate ice cream!
7 months pregnant at my shower with my sisters and cousins
As the months progressed we found out the details of the deployment, decided I would move back to PA with my family and then Eric would leave. We started to pack up our house before the baby was born. On top of all that I was 10 days late and a giant whale and could not be more ready to have this baby! All in all I weighed 244lbs at my last doctors appointment before I had the baby, thankfully I had a very healthy pregnancy and no complications with the birth. She came out a perfectly healthy little nugget weighing a little over 7lbs. Eric and I could not have been any happier. We got extremely lucky and his deployment was pushed back a month and he was home for the delivery. We had everything packed and shipped and were living in a hotel until Eric had to leave which was a feat in itself with a new-born baby. Thankfully my mom had come to stay with us, helped us pack, helped with the baby and was with me to drop Eric off to deploy. Nothing was more difficult than that morning saying goodbye to my best friend and our baby only being a little over 4 weeks old.
So my mom and I made the 3,000 mile cross country flight from WA to PA and lived at home for 9 months while Eric was deployed. I cant express how crazy and weird it was to be a brand new mom with your husband in Afghanistan and living in your childhood room. I could not be more grateful for my family and friends it makes me want to cry just thinking about it! They have been there and dropped everything to help Eric and I, we are just so lucky! For the first couple of months I really just walked and did light activity and focused on the baby and breast feeding which was supposed to melt the pounds away. Not the case for this girl! At about 3 months post baby I had still only lost 18lbs and about half of that was the actual baby! I was getting frustrated, but I wasn’t watching what I was eating and thought that breast feeding and walking would get the weight off.
It wasn’t until after a wedding I was in that August that I finally decided that I knew I could do better and this wasn’t the mom I wanted to be for my daughter. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family and I was a ticking time bomb. All of this extra weight was doing nothing positvie for me and I felt like I was trapped in a fat suit. So I joined LA Fitness and worked out after the baby was asleep thanks to my mom and sisters for always watching her! I hiked with my friends and sisters, and one of my best friends Alex worked out almost every single day with me! I started logging everything I ate with MyFitness Pal and could start to see the scale dropping!
Around November of 2012 Alex (above left) was a life saver and helped me fly back to WA find a condo and helped me move our entire storage unit into the new place unpacked everything by ourselves and indulged in Sushi the whole time we were there! I was still no where near my goal weight but had dropped about a total of 45lbs so I was back in actual jeans and not pajama pant jeans. I was squeezing into a size 12 and wearing spanx everyday. (best invention on the planet!)
Eric finally came home and we were living in WA for literally two months and then we moved to North Carolina! As you can see our lives are literally like a circus we never know what we are doing or where we will be living! This meant more travel, more hotels, and literally eating out 3x a day because we weren’t going to have a kitchen in the hotel.
After we moved into our new house in North Carolina and got settled and thankfully didn’t have to eat out for every meal is when I really started to take advantage of the amazing weather here. I ran more and more, but when I started even though I had lost weight I couldn’t run up the hill in our development without the stroller. Little by little I kept pushing myself. I would run then walk and run and walk for at least 30 mins. Finally after about a month of being consistent with my workouts I could run for 30 mins without stopping. Then I was running with the stroller and really starting to enjoy running again and the weight was dropping off.
I was consistently tracking everything that I ate, good or bad with My Fitness Pal and logging the calories I was burning with my heart rate monitor. I use a Polar heart rate monitor so there is no guessing how many calories I was burning. This is so important because when you use a machine at the gym or even a running app it just shows you what the average person should burn and doesn’t take into account your age, weight, and personal heart rate. I was definitely over estimating my calorie burn before I got this watch and it really opened up my eyes. I started to loose about 2lbs per week for the duration of the summer. I comfortably fit into my 12’s and was feeling a lot better. I then decided I was going to go back to being a Pescitarian where you only eat fish and dairy but no meat or poultry.
After I stopped eating meat and continued to run and use MyFitness Pal I was consistently hitting my goal weights that I was setting for myself. Once I was under 170, then I set it for 160 and so on. This way it didn’t seem like the number was too big to accomplish. Then over the summer my friends from Highschool signed up for the Philly marathon and I was so proud and inspired that I got my sister to sign up with me for the Half. Then I started my training plan with exactly 12 weeks to train. It was perfect it took me right through Thanksgiving and I didn’t gain my typical holiday 15lbs!
Now that its getting colder here in NC I have been loving hot yoga, and workout videos that I find on YouTube. I haven’t been to a gym in months because I workout with the baby or while she naps and I am in better shape than when I went to the gym everyday.
As of today I am at a solid 95lbs lost and could not be more excited and proud of myself. I feel like a new person my old clothes are actually getting big on me and I feel fit which has been my goal all along. As of the new year I set a goal to try to be Vegan for 21 days I am on day 3 and feeling great. Personally I just feel so much better when I don’t eat meat so this was a gradual transition for me. I am still logging everything that I eat to make sure that I stay on track. I am still not at my goal weight but I am getting closer everyday!
I am still in shock after going through a years worth of pictures how first of all I let myself get that overweight, but it didn’t happen over night and it took me over a year to get the majority of it off. Secondly how amazing the human body is and the changes that it is capable of, if I can do this anyone can. I didn’t take any weird supplements or go on any crazy fad diet, just healthy eating, body weight exercises, and tracking calories.
The smallest changes will help everyday towards the bigger picture. At my biggest I literally thought that I would never run again and now I run all the time and completed my first half marathon! Your body is capable of greatness its just getting your head to believe it was my biggest problem.
Anything is possible you just have to put the work in, an hour a day and a healthy diet and you can do anything!
This past weekend we got to run a 12k with our friends down here in NC. The weather has been so nice the past couple of weeks and even got up to 70 degrees on Friday! Of course Saturday the day of our race the temp plummeted and started raining! Overall the race was pretty low-key compared to the Philly Half, but it was a lot of fun besides the constant drizzling of rain! The course was about 7.5 miles long and surprisingly pretty hilly. I didn’t mind the hills because it was a shorter race and it was fun to run around a new area.
I am happy that we signed up for the race because it gave me motivation to keep running through the cooler weather and pushed me to run a longer distance now that the half is over. It was really cool to have my mom at the finish line cheering us on with the babe, and it was nice to not have to push the stroller up those hills!
After the race we picked up lunch and headed home to warm up and take a much-needed nap! I can’t believe how tired we all were after this! Literally all four of us passed out on the couch! Later that night we headed over to Brittany and Steve’s house (pictured below) for a pizza party! They have an awesome wood burning pizza oven in their back yard and they made delish homemade pizzas and of course some wine! We had so much fun for such a gloomy weekend!
This past weekend marked one of the coolest and most challenging things I have done so far, the Philadelphia Half-Marathon! I actually can’t believe it’s already over I feel like we trained for months and now its all over! So rewind about three months ago I was in the middle of trying to get myself into shape and at first I just wanted to start running again because I really missed it. For me it is a great stress reliever and it is the quickest way to lose extra weight. A couple of my girlfriends from home who I have known since I was in elementary school had already signed up for the full marathon, so I was inspired to get it together and stop talking about doing a race and actually sign up for something. I have only ever done a couple 5k’s and a sprint Tri which was not pretty but another story haha, so I decided the half would be a challenging goal to set.
Obviously my next step was to convince one of my sisters to sign up with me! Kelsey said she would do and that was that we were signed up and now we just had to start running more seriously! I choose to follow a plan from myasics.com where you can set your pace and what goals you have and the website will generate a 12 week plan for you that you can actually sync to your phones calendar. This was awesome and really helped to keep me on track and I felt that I was being held accountable even though I was training by myself. There is also a corresponding app for smart phones that will track your runs and times for you!
I decided to find a new pair of shoes after the first couple of weeks and it was a great decision for me, I went to a couple shoes stores and tried on different brands and landed on a pair of Brooks. Honestly I thought they were the ugliest shoe and didn’t want to buy them, but it doesn’t matter what they look like if they perform for you. So I bought them and felt like a new person! They are so light weight, but still offer support, they come in a couple different colors but I picked black and am so happy with them!
After 12 weeks the race was here and I was super nervous!!! At this point I just wanted to get it over with! My sister and I went and stayed with Michelle in the city and had a great time making dinner and meeting her friend from work who was hilarious! Then we had an early wakeup of 3:45 in order to make it to the race and get through security in time for the race to officially start at 7:00am. I think that we were the only ones who took the 4:30am arrival time seriously as you can see there was no one else at LOVE Park when we got there!
Then in my opinion the worst part was just waiting for the race to start, we got super lucky because the weather was actually perfect. Then that was it we started and a little after two hours it was over for Kels and I! It was so amazing running through the city, everyone was so friendly and so encouraging from the volunteers to the spectators! It really was a magical feeling getting to run through Center City, South Philly, past the Zoo, and then back to the Art Museum where we finished. I am so happy that I choose the Philadelphia Marathon as my first race, there was so much to look at and just amazing people all around. It made me miss the City so much and I can’t wait to go back!
I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who ran in both races, you put in the training and know that your body can handle it, but it’s all mental and we all made it to the finish line and everyone did amazing!
I highly suggest finding a race and challenging yourself! It is so amazing what your body is capable of. The race was so inspiring and I hope that I can do it again next year, the verdict is still out if I would ever do a full I think I need to forget about that massive hill at mile 11 for a while!