On Living in the Moment

I think it’s obvious that the best part of my 2014 had nothing to do with this blog, fitness, food, or work.

Engagement in Gloucester

Engagement in Gloucester

July 4th 2014: Cake

Engagement BBQ: Girls

Engagement BBQ: Me and Tim

Tim and I got engaged smack in the middle of a year we’ve dubbed as our year of weddings. Even though we had 6 weddings in 2012 and 7 weddings in 2013, we had 8 in 2014 (one was in Missouri that only Tim could make it to). So much of last year was spent celebrating eight amazing couples, including some of my best friends in the whole world. It got a bit crazy at times, and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but I wouldn’t change it. We are lucky to have so many wonderful friends in our lives, and we created so many memories during all the showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings that filled our latter part of the year. I’m only sad that I didn’t have the chance to recap each wedding and wedding related event how I would have liked to on F&F!

2014 Bridal Showers

2014 Bachelorettes

Weddings 2014

Weddings 2014

Aside from all the wedding fun, some of my other favorite parts of last year include:

winter weekend getaway with Perfect Vermont,

Perfect Vermont: Tim and I

my April trip to Chicago with Ashley and Jen,

Chicago Bike Tour2

tons of other gym friend fun,

Gym Friends Hike

Gym Friends at BoMa

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Pink Party

Mango Porch Friday

Studio Empower

running my first obstacle 5k,

AHA 5k Heart Challenge 2014

a Memorial Day getaway to Falmouth,

Falmouth + Memorial Day 2014

multiple New Balance Girls Night Outs with blog friends and all the other fun blog stuff I got to do this year,

New Balance Girls Night Out

New Balance Girls Night Out

going to the Boston Magazine health and wellness retreat,

Boston Magazine's Health and Wellness Retreat

having a week off over the 4th of July to spend at home with each other,

Staycation: Kayaking

Staycation 2014: Wingaersheak Beach

becoming an official wellness coordinator at work,

Wellness Coordinator

spending my 29th birthday in Newburyport,

29th Birthday in Newburyport

picking our wedding venue,

Zorvino's

and spending some time in our happy place.

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

That’s what comes to mind first.

The time spent with Tim.

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Homemade Pretzel Night

Hopster's Brews and Boards

Apple Picking 2014

Tim and Me on a Fall Hike

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

Five Year Anniversary

The Lion King

Portsmouth NH 2014

Christmas

The time spent with all our friends.

Reuniting with Jess and Eileen

Erins 30th Birthday

Matt's Birthday

Jeff's Birthday

Boston Marathon 2014

Wilmington Friends

Coach of the Year

Harpoon Brewery Tour

Staycation: Geoffs 30th

Staycation: Pool with Slesh

Gather Boston

Halloween 2014

Wes's Baptism

Cate's 30th Bday

Thanksgiving 2014

Shannon's Christmas Party 2014

Wally World Christmas 2014

NYE 2014

And the time spent with family.

Layla's 5th birthday party

Papou's 85th birthday party

Greek Easter 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Gregs 15th Birthday Party

Red Sox

Father's Day 2014

Engagement BBQ: Lexa and Layla

July 4th 2014: Summer Shanty

Dads 60th Birthday

Oaktoberfest 5k Race & Taste

Thanksgiving 2014

New Bedford Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

The things that DON’T come to mind right away when I think about last year?

–The nights worrying about getting everything done

–The time spent feeling anxious about my messy apartment

–My type A to do lists

–All the stress and frustration from work

–Feeling like I *should* post something on F&F every day

You guys get the idea. And yet, I know that I wasted so many nights just worrying, worrying again, and then worrying some more. I get so wrapped up in this idea of perfection, being able to do it all, and being able to do it all RIGHT NOW. It’s crippling sometimes. When you look at someone else’s highlight reel and think they must have their shit so perfectly together and organized, let me tell you, it’s not always the case. So many people ask me how I do it all, and you know what? I don’t. I make sacrifices. I have bad days.

I mess up. 

So many of the pictures from last year capture the feelings we were feeling at the very moment the camera went off. They show us living in the moment. And I want to do more of that for the rest of 2015. I want to stop thinking about the next place I have to be, the next meal I need to prepare, and the next thing I have to do. I don’t want to feel bogged down by too many commitments, emails, and too many people asking me to do things. I want to put my phone down. I want to leave work undone if it’s too stressful at the moment. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and a let a blog post go unwritten.

I want to create more space and just enjoy being present. 

I want to plan our wedding and actually relish in the experience together, not rush it.

But I know I can’t have everything and do everything at the same time. 

I just need to remind myself that when I look back like I enjoy doing around this time each year, it’s not all the time spent worrying I’m going to remember.

Engagement in Gloucester

What I’m going to remember are all the times truly spent living in the moment.

Readers, let’s chat! What are your tips for being present and living in the moment? How do you control endless worrying or always thinking about what’s next on your to do list?

Advertisements

A Snowy Workout and Shoveling Safety Tips

Greetings from the blizzard of 2015!

Blizzard of 2015: Juno

Blizzard of 2015: Juno

Juno hit us Bostonians last night, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Normally I’m not one to get psyched for snow, but we haven’t really had a significant amount yet this winter, and this week’s timing isn’t terrible. I’m just excited to be hunkered down for at least a day. Tim and I definitely have enough wine and snacks essentials to make it through a few days, so I’m not going to lie, I kind of hope this blizzard lasts that long. There’s just something about being forced to stay home, slow down, and stay put for a bit, no?

Blizzard of 2015

^^ Rockin a theme outfit, obv.

Anyways, if you are also in the middle of a blizzard today, let’s take a second to talk about shoveling because inevitably there will be a point where we have to get ourselves outside to clear our driveways and cars. Just like I a get a little nervous seeing people with incorrect form at the gym, I always get a little nervous thinking about the amount of shoveling related injuries that are likely to happen when it snows. Shoveling might not be the most traditional form of exercise, but it’s a no joke workout, and there are some things you should keep in mind before picking up that shovel:

  • Even though it might be cold out, don’t go into it cold. Do a light warmup and some dynamic stretching first to avoid muscle strain.
  • Make sure to hydrate and drink a lot of water first as well. Again, even though it’s cold outside, you will break a sweat once you start moving out there.
  • Pace yourself. Don’t rush, and take breaks as necessary. There’s no need to overdo it all at once just for the sake of getting the job done. Listen to your body if you feel tired.
  • Don’t lift too much snow at once. Only fill up half your shovel, push the snow when you can, and try not to just huck the snow over your shoulder.
  • And my personal favorite, lift with your legs, not with your back. This is functional fitness at its best, people! And why I love deadlifts so much. They teach you how to properly lift things up and put them back down. While shoveling, make sure you hinge at the hips and keep a neutral spine instead of rounding your back. If you find that your back consistently rounds as you shovel, this is a sign of a weak core, and you might want to start doing some core focused exercises that stabilize your spine throughout the week.

Blizzard Nemo - Me Shoveling

For those of you who already have a bad back, a history of heart disease, or simply don’t want to risk it, this might be a time to splurge on just paying that neighborhood kid to shovel for you.

For those of you who are able-bodied, take a second to think about who on your street might need some extra help. A nice gesture can go a long way!

And for those of you who are next level and looking for a workout to do beyond the manual labor of shoveling today, I came up with this total body beauty to try. You do it as you shovel. Please note that the only exercises that your shovel should have snow in it as you lift the shovel are the underhand rows, and that’s just optional.

snow shoveling workout

Let me know if you try it! I want to see your shoveling and/or #sweatysnowday pics on social media, mmkay? Tag me @fitnessandfeta to make sure I can see and leave you a comment!

Readers, let’s chat! Are you getting a lot of snow where you live today? Shoveling – love it or hate it? What’s your go to workout for snow days?

For those of you looking for something sweaty to do INDOORS, here are some of my favorite at home workouts:

Not seeing one you like? Browse my Fitness tab for more fitspiration. Have fun, friends! Be safe!

My End of January Advice for January Joiners

This post was sponsored by Target® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Did anyone else see all the Facebook statuses and posts floating around last week about how historically the third week of January is when the highest percentage of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions commitments? What about comments from year round gym goers that things should be “back to normal” next week once all the January Joiners* give up?

*Urban dictionary definition of a January Joiner: “Someone who joins the gym in January as part of a New Year’s resolution but by February is back to being a couch potato.”

That’s not very encouraging, now is it?

My definition of January Joiner is a little different. To me, January Joiners are people who join the gym in January as part of a New Year’s goal to get healthier, with the potential to truly commit, stick around, become regulars, and change their lives.

Better?

Target® C9 outfit

Of course I’ve had moments this year when I’ve felt irritated with things like long class waiting lists and having to wait longer than usual to use the squat machine, but a friendly atmosphere goes a long way.

That said, I’ve observed a few things over the past couple of weeks that got me thinking about the reasons so many people lose motivation around this time of year, and I want to share some tips with the January Joiners today. My hope is that if you are someone who feels discouraged because your resolve has started to waver, because you haven’t lost that ten pounds yet, or because you feel bored, that some of these tips will dissuade you from giving up on your New Year’s goals.

Stop doing too much too soon.
I think one of the biggest reasons people start to waver around the third week of January is because too often people go balls to the wall on their first day back at the gym, or even worse, their first day at gym ever. Trying to start a consistent running routine but finding yourself on the couch more often than running that 5k? Stop aiming for the full 5k out of the gate. Instead, start with some short walk/run intervals. Trying to add some strength training into your life? If you haven’t picked up a weight in over a year, don’t bust out high intensity circuits in your first month. Instead, choose some bodyweight exercises like incline pushups, squats, lunges, or planks to ease into it. Gradually add weight instead of going too heavy too soon. If you start small with something you know that you absolutely are able to do, you’ll have a higher chance of following through and not burning out.

Target® C9 outfit

Start asking for help
I have noticed a lot of scary stuff in the gym this month (bad form, puzzled faces, lack of general fitness knowledge), and I never know whether to offer my help or just stay to myself. If you aren’t sure about how to properly execute an exercise, how to work a certain machine, or something just doesn’t feel right, please find a trainer and ask for their help. That’s what they are there for! I promise you that someone else has asked a weirder question than you. Remember that everyone starts somewhere, and asking for help is a better option than either 1) getting hurt and unable to stick with your goals because of an injury, or 2) just giving up because you feel self-conscious about what to do.

Stop standing in the back of class.
Was your New Year’s goal to try Zumba or spin? To find a group exercise class that you can start taking regularly? Aside from recommending that you introduce yourself to the instructor if you haven’t already, try switching up your spot in class. You definitely don’t have to be in the front row (I know, I know, all the scary regulars are standing in their spots there), but it’s important that you can see yourself in the mirror to check your form. It’s also important for not only the instructor to be able to see you, but for you to be able to see them so you can follow along without getting lost! If you tried a class and couldn’t keep up, try going back and standing somewhere else instead. Trust me as an instructor on this one! Side note: my friend Monique wrote a whole post recently sharing her tips for group ex newbies. This tip is one of them, along with a lot more!

Target® C9 outfit + Spin Class

Brush up on your gym’s rules, guidelines, and policies.
If you’ve felt uncomfortable or unsure of yourself while working out this month, try paying more attention to what some of your gym’s guidelines are. For example, one of my goals this year is to be more consistent with my morning workout times (so far, so good!). One of the classes that keeps me on track is my friend Emily’s Wednesday morning spin class, but the waiting list has been INSANE. It’s a serious battle for the saddle. For the past three weeks, people have either flat-out refused to admit they were on the wait list or they just don’t understand the sign up process. My friend at work also recently told me about someone at her gym who keeps using the Planet Fitness circuit machines for individual exercises when the instructions to use them for circuit purposes only are pretty much right in front of him. Just being more aware of things like wait list policies or machine rules can go a long way and help you feel more confident among the regulars.

Change something.
If you’ve done all the above and still something isn’t clicking for you, take some time to reflect on what it is you can change. Not everything will happen overnight, and any healthy living journey or goal that’s worth reaching will need several tweaks before you get it right. Think about whether what you are doing makes sense for you. Not getting to the gym because you’re trying to go after work? Maybe it’s not working because you always have to work late. Could you try to go just one morning instead and see what happens? Maybe you just need some extra motivation, like a buddy to keep you on track or a new playlist to pump you up. Heck, maybe you just need to go buy yourself an awesome outfit that you feel badass in to give you a reason to wear it! Target® has a ton of cute, colorful, and affordable workout clothes in their C9 by Champion collection to help you with this. That magenta tech fleece pullover definitely helps keep me warm on the cold mornings I’m waking up to this month! You get the idea.

Target® C9 outfit

I know a lot of you January Joiners feel like you’re being judged at the gym at this time of year. I get it. It’s hard. But I want you to ask yourselves something.

Are you giving up or are you just warming up?

Don’t call it quits. It takes about 66 days to form a habit. And if you stick with it, you won’t have to be a January Joiner ever again. ❤

Readers, let’s chat! Do you feel like your motivation is waning now that we’re nearing the end of January? Do you think there are any tweaks you could make to help get you back on track? What do you think of my picks from the Target® C9 collection?

To be fully transparent with you guys, along with being compensated to write this post, I also received $50 to shop the Target® C9 collection with. I picked out the women’s premium capri leggings in stately blue (they are SO flattering!) and the women’s performance tee in green berry to go with the fleece I’m sporting in the pictures throughout this post. I’m psyched to add dark blue workout pants to my collection, and the wicking material of the tee is perfect to hide how sweaty I can get.

Oh yeah, and here’s a blog shoutout to my gym friends Jen, Mary, and Jess for snapping these photos at 6am last week! They’re the best.