Staying Motivated

I was recently asked by another teacher at my school, how I find the time to workout each day. It is tricky. I can honestly say, I’m probably not the most attentive wife or friend. I would much rather attend a Friday night Pilates class than an after work happy hour. I never cook dinner. Sometimes I forget to feed the cat. I should probably vaccum more. I plan my weekend activities around my workouts. My husband thinks I’m nuts.

To help my social life, I try to get my friends involved in my workouts as much as possible. Since I’d much rather attend a pilates class than an after work happy hour, when people ask me to grab a drink after work, I say, “Sure, but let’s hit a Pilates class first.” Or I tell them to bring their gym shoes, and we can jog to the bar. I am constantly trying to convince my friends to join me for a Saturday morning workout with the lure of having brunch afterwards. Yup, maybe I am nuts.

I make working out a priority. That’s what you need to do to get it done. It’s part of my day just like getting my morning coffee from Robust Coffee Lounge or going to work. It’s a nonnegotiable. I make a point to try to leave work by 5. I mean, I’ve been there since 7:30. That’s not too much to ask right? I save work that I can do from my couch for when I get home, and only work on things at school that need to get done there.

I also try to sign up for 2-3 classes each week. It breaks up the monotony of the gym, and if you’re going to spend your hard earned money on a $30 Pilates class, you are going to show up whether you feel like it or not! And now that the weather is getting nicer, there is no excuse not to throw on your running shoes and go for an easy 3 miler…or even a walk. Just get yourself moving, that’s most important! I love MapMyRun for finding new paths around Chicago. One of my favorite runs takes me through Soldier Field and around the Planetarium down the lake. I avoid this path at dusk though because spiders like it as much as I do.

And it doesn’t hurt to have some cute clothes to do it in. I would live in Zella and Lululemon if I could. I just purchased this, this, this and these thanks to my generous Mother-in-law and husband. If you’re a runner, replace your running shoes every 6 months to avoid shin splints, and foot, knee and ankle pain. I have bad knees and ankles already from years of beating up my joints in Gymnastics. My favorite running shoes are the Asics GEL-Kayano. To me, no other shoe compares.

Make yourself a workout schedule that changes each day. And don’t work so much! If you’ve been at work 10 hours, it’s time to leave. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t make nearly enough money for the amount of hours I work.

Here’s how I mix up my workout week. Give it a try. It will not disappoint.

Sunday: 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace.
Monday: 60 minute sculpt class. Check out local studios for this. My favorites are SixPax and Posture Perfect Pilates.
Tuesday: Treadmill Tuesday interval run. STRETCH!
Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace. Three, 3 min. planks, 40 pushups, 40 squats. Or, a 60 minute Pilates equipment class. I like to switch up these two depending on my energy levels.
Thursday: Treadmill interval run. STRETCH!
Friday: Pilates mat class. RELAX.
Saturday: Kettlebells studio class and an easy 3 mile run.

Don’t forget to fill your IPad with some upbeat tunes. Here are some recent additions to my playlist. Love me some throwbacks.

  • Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson
  • Boyfriend by Ashlee Simpson
  • Bringin’ Da Noise by ‘NSync
  • Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers
  • Hangover by Taio Cruz featuring Flo Rida
  • I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys
  • Titanium by David Guetta & Sia
  • Two Black Cadillacs by Carrie Underwood

How was your Monday?

My car got towed at work today. At least it wasn’t stolen. That was definitely my first thought. Gotta love Chicago.

SixPax Saturdays


I woke up sick this morning. AGAIN. I just got over a horrendous cold that left me without a voice for a week. When I say I just got over it, I mean I literally just got over it. It’s been about a week since I’ve been feeling back to normal. Now here I am, coughing and blowing my nose all over again. What is wrong with me? Oh wait, I teach six year olds. The germs are unavoidable. At least no one pooped in their pants this week.

Despite not feeling quite myself, I got out of bed, stuffed my pockets full of Kleenex and made it to my favorite workout class of the week – Bells and Bosu with Joanna at SixPax. Bells and Bosu primarily incorporates a Bosu ball and a Kettlebell but also uses a Pilates ball, a resistance band, and 2 lb hand weights. You alternate between Kettlebell swings, and planks, jumps, squats, and even running – all on the Bosu. We also use the Bosu as an unstable surface to balance on while we do arm exercises with the 2 lb hand weights.

Kettlebells work your entire body. They incorporate cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility all in one. They tone your glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, and arms. The movements are quite simple to learn and they get your heart rate pumping. In order to control the Kettlebell during your workout, you need to use stabilizing muscles in your abs, thighs, and glutes. These muscles tend to get neglected when we’re “eating steel”. Since Kettlebells increase your overall muscle mass, you will see an increase in your metabolism, and ultimately, weight loss. Most importantly, Kettlebells are fun, make you sweat, and burn tons of calories!

After my workout, I headed over to Waffles where I met Dean for brunch. Waffles is right next to our condo, and I love to treat myself to eggs on the weekends. I had two over-easy eggs, one slice of wheat toast, and a large plate of fruit. Whenever I go out for brunch, I always replace the potato side with fruit. Waffles does a great job with this! No cantaloupe or honeydew here. At Waffles you get watermelon and orange slices, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and green grapes. Such a refreshing mix! I even had a few bites of Dean’s bacon. He also had a plate full of delicious looking seasoned waffle fries. I gave fries up for Lent but that didn’t stop Dean from trying to get me to eat his.

For the rest of the day I’ll be nursing my cold. I might even make it over to Lululemon to spend the gift card that’s burning a hole in my pocket.

What do you do for yourself when you’re feeling under the weather?