Monday Motivation: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Last week I really wanted to get five full days of workouts in. All was going well until I ran out of time before my uncle’s Christmas party on Saturday morning. The second I realized that a workout was just not happening, not even a twenty-minute at home one, I started beating myself up over it. I got super grumpy and went on a huge rant. I couldn’t believe I didn’t plan better, I couldn’t fathom how I thought I’d really be able to do it all (how STUPID of me), and I just got so mad at myself. Despite my busy schedule, I barely ever use the “I don’t have time” excuse, and I just felt like a failure because that’s what ended up happening this weekend.

I think I was so dramatic about my missed workout because I indulged on Thursday night at a Christmas get together, and I knew I’d be eating a lot on Saturday at my family’s Christmas party too. Exercise is also my stress relief, and on Saturday I really could have used a solid sweat sesh to keep my stress levels in check for the day.

After a lot of grumbling, Tim finally intervened and said, “Athena, when you DO have to take an extra day off than planned, it’s OKAY. This is why you work so hard the rest of the time.”

And sometimes, I just need him to intervene and say something as SIMPLE as that to make me snap out of it.

“There is a huge difference between ALWAYS saying that you don’t have time versus having ONE weekend when you actually do run out of time.”

Okay, well when you say it like that…

After my conversation with Tim about it, I decided to stop dwelling and being so hard on myself. I told myself I was lucky to get the four solid workouts in that I did do, I told myself I was lucky to be alive and healthy and able to exercise as much as I do, and I told myself that I simply tried my best. And then I didn’t think about it for the rest of the day, enjoyed my family party, and got a great workout in on Sunday instead. One day does not define me. The entire journey does.

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts


Actually took a spin class at Oak Square for the first time in a LONG time. It felt nice to be back on the bike there!


Took Kickboxing, then taught my class with a mini circuit theme. Here’s the workout I taught:

Warm Right Up Winter Workout

Wednesday I did well with the whole “I don’t have time” thing. I knew I couldn’t work out after work, and I didn’t want to work out in the morning because I wanted to get a good night’s sleep, so I opted for an at lunch sweat sesh at work. I did my 3-2-1 treadmill workout (my favorite go to) for 25 minutes, but I upped the mph to 6.5, 7.5, and 8.5 for speeds since the last time I did this workout at 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0 I didn’t feel like I pushed myself hard. After the treadmill, I did five minutes of planks and called it a day.

Taught my 6am class with my go to upper body Tabata strength workout. In between rounds, we did lower body exercises such as squats, lunges, etc. with the format of 30 seconds highest intensity version (ie jump squat), 30 seconds regular move (squat), and 30 seconds of the pulsing version (squat pulse). We finished with a couple of core exercises, and I left sweaty and happy.


Off because I simply just didn’t have time (there, I said it). I was sad to miss Monique‘s kickboxing class, but it’s OKAY.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday: 20 minute treadmill workout + three rounds of five strength exercises
  • Monday: Cardio and core strength
  • Tuesday: Taking kickboxing, then teaching my Interval class with a holiday theme. I can’t believe it’s the last Tuesday night class of 2013!
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Teaching my 6am class. I’ll use my holiday playlist again!
  • Friday: Workout TBD
  • Saturday: Workout TBD

Are you ever hard on yourself for missing workouts or not exercising? How do you snap out of it and show yourself some self love instead of beating yourself up for it?

Monday Motivation & Weekly Workouts

Morning! I hope everyone 1) had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and 2) will be joining me today for the kick-off of Jingle Well Time, my winter wellness challenge. If you missed yesterday’s post, no worries. Just join the Facebook group and you’ll get all the details!

Monday Motivation: Getting Back on Track

I’ve received a few reader emails and Facebook messages this weekend asking for advice on how to “get back on track” after the holiday weekend. I want to remind everyone that Thanksgiving is only one day. Thanksgiving weekend is only a few. Letting yourself enjoy the holiday by eating foods you like is not the same thing as letting yourself get off track. One weekend will not reverse your healthy living progress. One weekend of treats is a lapse, not a relapse. What matters is the way you incorporate healthier choices, exercise, and clean eating into your lifestyle the rest of the time. If you let yourself “splurge” every day from Thanksgiving until January 1st just because “it’s that time of year,” well of course that’s different and we can talk about ways to get back on track then. But for those of you who ate your favorite family pie recipe on Thursday and truly enjoyed that heaping helping of stuffing with your turkey, then good for you. Today’s a new day, and Thanksgiving is over. Don’t eat pie for breakfast, make a plan for all your leftovers, and hit the gym. Back to our normal healthy selves it is!

It might help to start by thinking of your week’s workout plan. 😉

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week I was able to get six days of workouts in. A lot of them were cardio focused, which is unusual for me because normally I’m more about strength. But it was nice to switch things up.

Rest day

I did my 3-2-1 treadmill workout, followed by a little core circuit using all my new stability ball exercises I posted about last week. I think the 6, 7, and 8mph settings might be getting a little easy for me. Next time I do this on the treadmill, I’m going to try to take it up a notch.

3-2-1 Treadmill Workout

Two A Day! I took Liz’s Kickboxing class and then taught my Interval class. We did a lot of fun partner combinations.

I did the 3-2-1 cardio workout again, but this time adapted it to the elliptical. Three minutes at resistance 10, two at resistance 12, and one minute at resistance 14. All with a ten incline.

Thanksgiving sweat sesh with my fellow gym crazies! Liz taught 45 minutes of Kickboxing, and I did a 45 minute muscle blast on the step. So fun.

25 minutes of steady cardio on the elliptical, followed by a couple of rounds of the total body circuit workout I posted on Saturday. Tim and I did this one together. It was nice to have a workout buddy!

Total Body Circuit Workout

Made it to the gym in the afternoon and did a 25 minute treadmill workout that looked like this:

  • 5 minute walking warmup
  • 5 minutes steady cardio at 6mph
  • 5 minutes of 20 second sprints at 8mph with a 40 second recovery at 7mph
  • 5 minutes of steady cardio at 6mph again
  • 5 minute walking cooldown

I finished out my workout with a bench total body strength circuit. I did 10 exercises, 3 rounds.

Bench Mats and Weights

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday: Rest day
  • Monday: Cardio intervals + a lower body stability ball workout
  • Tuesday: Taking Liz’s Kickboxing class, then teaching my class with an upper body stability ball focus
  • Wednesday: Cardio intervals + core strength circuit
  • Thursday: Teaching my morning class with a total body focus
  • Friday: Hoping to get to the gym before work, workout TBD
  • Saturday: Rest day – will be in NYC!

What was your favorite indulgence on Thanksgiving this year? How are you getting back to your regular healthy lifestyle today?

Monday Motivation: Thankfulness

There is always something to be thankful for.

Now that we’re into the month of November, I’ve seen a few “Be Thankful” challenges pop up in the blog world and on social media where people share at least one thing a day that they are thankful for throughout the entire month of November. I think that too often we focus on the things that we don’t have and lose sight of what we actually do. These types of challenges are a nice way to remember the little things and show appreciation, don’t you think?

This week I’m going to start my week by listing five things I am thankful for this week.

1. I am thankful for having the day off today, but more importantly, I am thankful for all the veterans who have served our country. I also want to take a second to remember our family friend, Chris Crosby, who was killed during the time he served.

2. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to plan and organize a health fair for my entire company. I can’t believe it’s actually happening this Thursday. Work friends, please stop by to support us! We have lots of fun things planned like nutrition trivia, fitness demonstrations, and a plank contest. We also have 30+ vendors that will be present to talk to staff, raffle off prizes, do health screenings, and more.


3. I am thankful for Boston Mania coming up next weekend. I am lucky to be able to participate in an event that is so perfectly tailored to my passions.

Boston Mania:  Bosu HIIT Extreme

4. I am thankful that Tim will actually be home this week and not traveling for work again!

Portsmouth 2013

5.  And finally, I am thankful for my friend Jen who just “gets me,” even millions of miles away. Last week we emailed a lot, and it made me feel a lot better about some things going on!

Jen's Bachelorette

How’s that for Monday Motivation? Maybe we shouldn’t just focus on what we’re thankful for during November and around Thanksgiving. Maybe we should be more mindful of the things we have all year long.

Are you participating in any “Be Thankful” challenges this month? What are five things you are thankful for this week?

If you are looking for a good one, I really like the 28 Day Count Your Blessings one featured on Olive to Run. Check it out!