Things I’m Loving Lately

With spring finally here in Chicago the world around me has woken up from our winter slumber and I’m getting excited about the summer! With that come a lot of great new experiences, Chicago really comes alive when the weather warms up. Here are some things I’m loving lately:

 

1. Flowers! Finally the flowers are blooming (or being planted…) in Chicago and it’s really looking like spring around here!

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2. ALL THE COLORS!!! If you follow me on instagram, you know I wear black all winter. I swear I don’t do it on purpose! Anyway, now that it’s spring I love wearing bright clothing!

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3. ICED COFFEE! I love iced coffee soooooo much and it’s finally (okay occasionally) warm enough to order it!

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4. Lunchtime walks with Julie! My friend Julie works a block away from me and last summer we’d go on walks during our lunch breaks. Although I don’t have my designated hour anymore, I can still head out for a walk if things aren’t too crazy. Last week we walked past Pret A Manger where they were handing out free cups and ice coffee! #doublewin

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5. I know, I know I won’t stop talking about Beachbody, but I’ve been using OnDemand for workouts and it’s SO COOL. Netflix for workouts – seriously. And only $40/3 months (less if you’re a coach!). I can’t wait to try hip hop abs… haha

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6. POSITIVITY. I’ve always loved encouraging other people but with coaching and just my team in general I know I’m on the right path. I LOVE sharing positive or encouraging quotes and I seriously just can’t get enough right now!

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7. Prayer. My small group is reading a book about Prayer by Timothy Keller and I never, ever would have picked this up on my own. I love my fiction novels, but getting through other books can be tough for me so it’s nice to have a goal of 2 chapters a week and then being able to talk about them with my group. Although I take his suggestions with a grain of salt (as you should with anyone else’s interpretation of your faith!), it’s really opened my eyes up to the importance of prayer and sharing what’s on my heart with God. Yes, He knows what you’re thinking about, but it’s taking the time to sit down and tell Him that is both reverent to God and good for you so you can express your thoughts – even to yourself!

8. My readers! I know, I know – corny! BUT my readership dropped significantly over this past year as I began to talk less about running and more about my life and my faith. What I’ve realized is that those of you that still check in are the people that support ME and my voice and aren’t just “keeping up with the Joneses,” haha not that I consider myself that special. So thank you! And comment! I love to hear from you!

 

What are you loving lately? 

Over Your Oats #26

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Life

No One Talks About The Darkness: A Postpartum Conversation

My Favorite Mom/Life Hacks

How To Wake Up Happier

Acknowledge How Far You’ve Come

Health & Fitness

Burning Off the Cookies

Be Your Own Personal Trainer: Adjustments & Corrections

20 Minute Leg & Core Workout

The Comparison Trap

Why Diets Don’t Work YESSSSS!

When Eating Healthy Becomes An Obsession

5 Ways To Bounce Back

Overcoming the Obstacles to Exercise and Healthy Eating

Food

Cherry Banana Mug Cake

What I Learned From A Week of Barre Code

I learned that Barre is HARD!

I learned that I need to work on my glute strength!

I learned that it’s fun to be social at studios and take classes with other people.

I learned that Insanity Max 30 really kept up my cardio!

I learned that I love fitness geared towards women.

I learned that red fluffy socks are not my best look

I learned that no one cares what you look like in a workout class.

I learned that I loved the challenge of The Barre Code’s classes.

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But you know what else I learned?

Taking workout classes at a studio is SO TIME CONSUMING. Seriously, I feel like my whole week revolved around getting myself to and from those classes and making time for them. I think I’ve been spoiled by 30 minute at-home workouts because as much as I enjoyed the classes, it really cut into the time I spend doing other things, from working on my business to hanging out with friends.

I used to be one of those people who HAD to work out at the gym. If I wasn’t in a class or around other people then I just couldn’t motivate myself. Then I made a 180 change when I signed up for my first challenge group with my coach, Anna. I bought Piyo and committed myself to running or walking outside and following the Piyo program. Guess what? I never looked back.

I was shocked at how motivating it was to get in my workout when I knew that evening I’d be checking in with a group of women and telling them how I did with nutrition and exercise that day – rating myself 1-10. Knowing that pushed me harder and kept me in check. When I joined her challenge for people doing the 21 Day Fix I loved it even more because we were all doing the SAME workouts each day – haha even more motivation to get it done and check in. And then, of course, doing the Insanity Max 30 program with my accountability buddy, Alisha. No way was I going to try and explain to her why I “just didn’t feel like it” or couldn’t drag myself out of bed.

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I loved the barre classes, but I just don’t have the time in my life right now to commit to them, and if I can’t commit then I’m not spending the $130+ on membership to their studio, or any other! I’ll stick to my $40/3 months of Beachbody On Demand workouts, thank you very much! Haha.

What I’m trying to get at is not only what works for ME but that it’s great every once and while to change things up. Try something new – commit to a week, or a month, of doing something different and see if it’s really what you thought!

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What kind of workouts do you do? 

What’s your biggest time priority right now? 

 

FYI – I run a challenge group EVERY MONTH! Email me at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com if you’re ever curious about how they work or if it’s right for you!

Thursday Thoughts

1. On Sunday I went to a Tone It Up Chicago meet up (any girls in Chicago can go – we spread the word through social media, #tiuchicago) at the Barre Code, which has Barre style workouts but a ton of others – I LOVED it! We got a free week so I’ve been going almost every day to try out different classes.

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2. I was contacted by Capitol Nutrition, who is having their 3rd annual charity run on June 6th in Orland Park, IL to raise awareness and funds for helping military veterans heal emotional wounds by pairing them up with a shelter dog (MY HEART!!!). The cost for the run is $30 and you can register at active.com. This is seriously pulling at my heartstrings!

 

3. I FINISHED INSANITY MAX 30!!!! Haha I am so proud of sticking to this for 8 weeks, it was tough! I’ll do a full review soon, but I’m so glad I can do other workouts now! HA.

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4. So I sent my friend Maddie a picture of a baby seal in San Francisco that was found wandering the streets. This is the conversation that ensued. For anyone who thinks I’m “normal,” I’m a weirdo. Haha we all are. This is a typical conversation:
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5. FYI I’m hosting a 21 Day Health & Fitness Challenge group starting May 18th! I NEED this myself! I’ve definitely been letting portion sizes slide when it comes to certain foods (like ALMONDS) haha and it’s keeping me from hitting my fitness goals. Trust me, I need these groups too! If you’re curious at all, leave a comment or send me an email at peaceloveandoats@gmail.com.

6. I am volunteering like crazy this weekend! Saturday my small group is going to Feed My Starving Children, where we’ll package up food to send to children in need. Then Sunday I’m volunteering in preschool Sunday school, which I do every week, but this week I have to attend an extra “refersher” training after. No, I didn’t do anything wrong… haha.

 

7. I know this has circled the internets this week, but on Sunday I was dying over this website. I have no idea why it kept putting my pictures in upside down, but I’m sure my dear friend Maddie did not appreciate the ones that I kept sending her… I don’t know why this is so horribly amusing!

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8. Have a WONDERFUL Thursday!

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Have you ever had someone you had to check in with to keep you accountable for a goal? 

What’s the last workout class you took? 

Describe A Time When You Felt Your Best

Last week was the third week in my April Challenge Group and for one day’s check in I included the question: “4. Describe a time or situation where you felt your BEST.” I’d gotten this question from my personal sponsor, Anna, and didn’t think much of it when I included it in that day’s check-in. That evening I checked in as well with the group and then found myself stumped.

First I thought – well fitness-wise I was definitely my best back in 2011/2012. I was my thinnest, my lowest weight and I was fit and marathon training. But then I thought, well I was thin and fit but I was so, so unhappy and depressed. So that can’t count. What about last summer, when I came to Christ and was baptized? That was pretty amazing, but as happy as I was in my faith I still had a lot of self-conscious feelings despite my best efforts not to. I was pretty happy, but not my best.

And then it hit me – the time in my life that I’ve felt my BEST is right now.

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After Friday’s post you may think I’m insane for saying this, but I’ve spent much of my life trying to figure out why in the world I’m here. What do I want to DO? What is my purpose? Where do I fit in here?

These past months of working on my coaching business on top of a full time job have been an emotional roller coaster. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But I have never felt so “right” about anything before and I’m working my hardest to make these dreams come true. I’m helping women individually more than I have in my life and it brings me so much joy. It can get tiring, emotionally draining, and even discouraging at times, but it’s what I love to do.

I challenge you to answer the same question today: “Describe a time or situation when you felt your BEST.”

Aren’t sure? Want to talk it out? Shoot me an email, because you know I’d love to help :)

peaceloveandoats@gmail.com