06.29.2016

Wellness Wednesday: Why I’m Not Doing BBG Anymore + Committing To A Balanced and Active Summer

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

Well, I finished BBG (first review here). All 12 weeks of it, and thought I’d share some of my thoughts about the process. First off, I think it’s an excellent program for anyone. It combines resistance training, along with cardio, and provides a meal plan to follow to help and assist in toning up the body. It’s a great balance of working out and eating clean.

When I first started BBG I loved it. Having been a cardio gal (and incorporating weights a few days a week) for years, I found the level of intensity challenging and the different workouts invigorating. I noticed strength returning, as well as my overall endurance. It was something I could easily complete in the morning before Harper woke up, and if I went on vacation, I could complete a quick workout in the hotel room. The circuits were challenging, and I was definitely tired at the end.

Yet, as I started to reach the last 4 weeks of the program, something began to shift for me. I started feeling unmotivated… almost dreading the process. I, personally, felt that the circuits were becoming too repetitive, and I was no longer gaining from it mentally and emotionally. You see, for me, working out is about the mind clearing experience as well and the physical challenge. When I lace up my shoes for a run, or click my spin shoes in for a spin class, I expect to be able to get lost in my thoughts…. and when done, feel refreshed and ready for the day. While BBG does have a cardio component, I just started to realize that it was too regimented for me. It left little time to incorporate my love of yoga and free weights. So, two weeks ago, early Friday morning, I didn’t do it. I decided my body wasn’t feeling it, and opted for my favorite power yoga video (which left me equally as sore the next day as one of my first BBG circuits did). I felt reinvigorated.

I also felt as though I was committing so much of my time to BBG that I was forgetting about my one true love: running (that runner’s high is something you just can’t beat). When I was challenged by Old Navy to make a summer commitment to health and fitness, I decided now was as good as any time to recommit myself to another half marathon (you can read about my love of running here, here, here). After chatting with TJ about it, we decided to train together and registered for the Healdsburg half-marathon (up in Napa, where we can sip a little vino post run, duh) in October. I’ve committed myself to waking up 30 minutes earlier, 3 days a week to fit in a few longer runs…. and TJ and I will tackle some longer runs on the weekend as well. I feel inspired. I feel challenged. Most of all, I feel excited to be lacing up again. You can join the challenge to live an active, and balanced lifestyle too! I’d love to know what you’re doing to maintain that #balance in life (I mean, we have to balance out that rosé somehow, riiiiight??).

So…. for a quick Pro/Con review of BBG:

Pros:

1. Can do at home
2. Easy to complete the resistance trainings in 28 minutes
3. Provides a great meal plan to help assist in clean eating and strength training
4. It was a great program for me as I figured out how to balance being a new mom with a little one
5. Helped me figure out how to create my own HIIT workouts (which I can now incorporate once a week if I choose to do so)

Cons:

1. Became repetitive after a while (circuits started looking + feeling the same)
2. Resistance workouts are high intensity, which I equate to higher burnout… and hard on the joints (I was starting to feel very olllld)
3. If you like to choose your workout based on how you feel that day, this likely isn’t for you
4. For me, it did not incorporate enough free weights (my post-preggo legs and arms were yearning for this!)

As I mentioned above, I’d love to know what you’re doing to live an active and balanced lifestyle this summer!

_________________

{Outfit Details || Tank (wearing a small), Shorts (wearing a small), Sports Bra (wearing a small), Shoes (super comfortable), Sunglasses… I also have these floral shorts, mesh top, and leggings to keep me motivated all summer}

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

old navy activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

IMG_2688

Thank you to Old Navy for sponsoring this post 

06.01.2016

Wellness Wednesday: Summer Workout

itsy bitsy indulgences

Working out on vacation has always been something I have enjoyed. After an evening of champagne (and likely an indulgent meal) there is nothing I like more than a good sweat session…. and when I’m in Hawaii, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some time outside on the gorgeous beach. The other day Allison (my sister for those of you who don’t know) and I decided to create our own beach workout to work off those mai tais and pulled pork from the night before (back to clean eating when I return from vacation!). We wanted a full body workout…. something that would work the legs, abs, and arms. So we decided to incorporate exercises that would do just that…

I had every intention of taking pictures of myself doing the exercises as a tutorial, but when the workout was over I was too sweaty and beat to do anything that required any kind of thinking. So, I linked a few tutorials to demonstrate the moves that might need a little more explanation! You can do this workout anywhere… but the sand adds a tad bit more resistance. If you choose to do it, I’d love to know how you liked it!

Complete each circuit 2xs, with each circuit being 7 minutes (complete as many sets as possible in that 7 minute timeframe, I got this idea from BBG). Once you have completed 7 minutes of circuit 1, move onto circuit 2, with a 30 second break in between.

Circuit 1:

24 X Jumps
2 100 yard sprints
30 jackknife sit-ups
30 walking lunges

Circuit 2:

15 push-ups
50 jumping jacks
30 lateral walking lunges
40 ab bikes

And… if you’re in the market for some summer fitness attire, I can’t recommend this mesh tank and biker shorts more! Excellent quality and price point… and zella is one of my favorite fitness brands for cute and sturdy pieces.

{Outfit Details || Tank: Zella | Shorts: Zella | Sports Bra: Zella (similar) | Sunglasses: Le Specs}

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy inndulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

IMG_9739

itsy bitsy indulgences

05.18.2016

Wellness Wednesday: 5 Day Meal Plan + Favorite Athleta-leisure Pieces

athletaleisure, itsy bitsy indulgences {Outfit Details || Leggings: Zella | Top: Allo | Shoes: c/o DC shoes (so comfortable) | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunglasses: Karen Walker}

 I was going to start this post by talking about my love of food. Yet, I scratched that and decided to share a few thoughts about where I am with some post-pregnancy things. Last week was a hard week. One I wasn’t really expecting. I was washing my hair and clumps started to fall out. Not just the few strands here and there. Like, “Oh, there is a knot in my hair… oh wait, that’s a whole chunk that came out.” Not pretty. A major shock. Then, I went bathing suit shopping for Hawaii. First mistake. I never shop for bathing suits in the store. Ever. So, why I did this time (after having a baby 4 months ago) is completely beyond me. #DumbChoice. I grew frustrated with the fact that I was eating so clean, waking up so early to work out, and didn’t feel like I was seeing results. Then I had to take a step back and remind myself what the goal of “food” and “working out” was. It’s to feel good. To feel strong. To nourish my body and challenge my mind. I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve recently received several e-mails about it all, so I decided I would simply be transparent about it, and share my own personal struggle as of late.

All that being said, I really do love food (as in when I go to bed at night I can’t wait to wake up and make breakfast). Always have and always will. I am just trying to be conscious about the choices I make and ensure that they are in line with my ultimate goal: to feel good and energized. I try to eat as many fruits, vegetables, lean meats (that are organic and hormone/antibiotic free), and healthy carbs as possible. I find that when this is my ultimate goal, I end up feeling good! So, below you will find just that… and on the weekends I enjoy my “itsy bitsy indulgences” and don’t worry too much! Oh, and if anyone has suggestions for the whole hair situation I would love to hear them!!

Monday: 

Breakfast: Oatmeal + some chopped perfect bar + honey + cinnamon + 1/2 sliced banana
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Super Spinach Salad (Trader Joe’s), sub dressing with 1 tbsp Annie’s Organic Lite Goddess Dressing, 1 can of tuna + side of carrots
Snack: Elemental Superfood Bar
Dinner: Cauliflower fried rice (Trader Joe’s has bags that have already been shredded!), 1 egg, shrimp, edamame, peas, carrots + tamari sauce
Dessert: 1 Justin’s mini peanut butter cup

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: 1 hard boiled egg
Lunch: Lite tuna spinach salad (ate out at Ivy’s)
Snack: Bowl of berries, 1/2 cup DF kite hill yogurt, 1/4 cup purely elizabeth granola
Dinner: Left over veggie pizza (3 slices)
Snack: Peanut butter cup

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: 1 medium apple sliced + topped with 1 tbsp Justin’s Peanut Butter
Lunch: Out with friend at Haute Cakes– salmon salad + veggies, dressing on side
Snack: DF Kite hill yogurt, raspberries, honey, sprinkle of granola
Dinner: Loaded Sweet Potato: 4oz ground turkey, 1/2 cup black beans, 1 tbsp guacamole, sautéed bell peppers, salsa
Dessert: Peanut Butter Cup

Thursday:
Breakfast: same as Monday
Snack: Same as Wednesday
Lunch: Veggie Burger, topped with 1/4 avocado, 1 egg and a handful of carrots + One hummus on side
Snack: 1 medium sweet potato + 1 tsp Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter + 1/4 cup blackberries (this has quickly become my new obsession)
Dinner: Spiralized zucchini noodles with homemade white wine sauce, topped with 2 Trader Joe’s Chicken Basil Sausages + side of asparagus
Snack: 3 cups popcorn

Friday:
Breakfast: Paleo Bread (2 slices and toasted) + 2 tbsp Justin’s Peanut Butter + 1/2 banana thinly sliced
Snack: 1 apple
Lunch: Out to lunch at Freesoul (vegan restaurant)- cup of potato leek soup + FSC salad
Snack: Green smoothie (link)
Dinner: Take-out: Poki Bowl with extra seaweed
Dessert: 3 cups of popcorn + 2 glasses of white wine

Weekend Indulgences:

Lunch: Chips + Guacamole with 3 Tacos (lobster, potato +black bean, cauliflower tacos)
Dinner: Hamburgers with all the fixings (ground bison meet, which is very lean) + sweet potato fries
Dessert: A big ol’ bowl of popcorn + wine (always!)

_____________

I also thought I would share with you a few of my favorite transitional work-out pieces. Sometimes, life is just easier when you rock the leggings and sweater you just worked out in (as long as it’s not sopping wet with sweat please… as in, you could literally wring water out of it…) so I like my pieces to be very transitional. This top is the perfect throw-on-and-go, and the mesh detailing makes it perfectly appropriate for coffee or a quick bite to eat with friends…. and the leggings… I’m such a sucker for an amazing pair that hugs in all the right places. These do just that for me… especially when finished off with kicks that make you feel like you’re walking on air (and come in fun color options too!).

athleta-leisure, itsy bitsy indulgences

athleta-leisure, itsy bitsy indulgences

mesh top, itsy bitsy indulgences

mesh top, itsy bitsy indulgences

athelta-leisure, itsy bitsy indulgences

dc shoe company, itsy bitsy indulgences

tory burch bag, itsy bitsy indulgences

04.20.2016

Wellness Wednesday: Bikini Body Guide (BBG) Update

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

When I mentioned here that I was going to be starting the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) as one of my post-pregnancy fitness routines, I received several inquires as to how I was liking it. Given that, I thought I would share my progress over the next few months, and begin with brief overview of what I like, don’t like, and the results I have seen thus far!

I’m also a huge fan of stylish workout gear… I feel like it helps with the motivation and makes you feel pretty “fly” all while huffing and puffing and working up a sweat. I’m loving this mesh top… it is super cozy and I’ve been all over anything with mesh as of late. It’s from Fabletics… which has some of the cutest pieces, which are also excellent quality. I have several pieces from them and have been extremely happy with all… especially this pullover sweater (which comes in 3 colors) and this open back tank (4 different color options).

Also, if you have any “Wellness Wednesday” requests, please feel free to e-mail me and let me know! I love knowing what you all like to see.

{Outfit Details || Tank: c/o Fabletics | Pants: c/o Fabletics | Sports Bra: c/o Anthropologie (size up one) | Shoes: c/o Anthropologie, available here | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Bracelet: c/o Gorjana | Stroller: BOB}

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

The Best Parts Of BBG: Let’s start with what I love about the program. The variability is wonderful. Based on how I am feeling for the day I can choose either a resistance workout (legs, arms & abs, or full body) or a 37 minute cardio session. There are enough workouts to take you through all 7 days of the week… so it has you covered there. The variability in the workouts keeps it interesting… and I’ve never felt bored. Additionally, the 28 minute resistance programs get the heart rate up, quickly, and at the end I feel as if I have gotten in a challenging workout. I love that there is a meal plan for every day of the week. I don’t follow it that closely, but there isn’t a particular reason as to why. Many of the items look extremely delicious… so, I should probably hop on that part of the program too (although I do maintain a relatively clean eating regime, so I guess that’s my excuse). It’s also portable. This past weekend in Sonoma, TJ and I decided  we wanted a challenging workout while Harper was napping, so we selected the “full body” option, found a few replacements for the necessary equipment (i.e. a laundry detergent jug and steps in front of the house), and went at it. I also love that I can complete this in my living room, first thing in the morning… no excuses for me.

Challenges Of BBG: One of the only challenges I have faced thus far is in the area of equipment. I have some of it at home, but for the “challenges,” I found that I was unable to complete it because I didn’t have all the equipment… and it wasn’t equipment I could create an alternative for. If you’re interested in the program, I would definitely invest in a few of the pieces so that you can complete the workouts at home. Some of the pieces you will need include dumbbells (6-13lbs), a medicine ball, (13-26lbs) a step (which you could replace with a chair), bosu, a jump rope…. and I would recommend a heart rate monitor to see how much effort is being exerted.

Progress: I don’t weigh myself, instead I go off of how my clothes fit. After about 3 1/2 weeks of doing the program, I would have to say my jeans are fitting a little looser, and the muscle in my legs in beginning to come back (I really didn’t realize how much muscle mass I lost in the later pregnancy days and post-partum time frame). Am I where I want to be yet? Nope. Yet, I have seen the results with this program and so I am very hopeful!

Overall: As of right now, I would have to say that I recommend this program, for all the reasons I listed above. While the initial purchase of the program and some of the equipment may seem like a lot, I see it as an investment in my health, confidence, and happiness. So, for me, it was an easy decision, and one I’m happy I’ve invested in thus far! I’ll review more next month!

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

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fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

04.06.2016

Wellness Wednesday: 5 Days of Eats

itsy bitsy indulgences

For today’s wellness Wednesday post, I decided to return to a feature  that used to get a lot of traction on this blog: meal plans. Towards the end of my pregnancy and in the first few months of motherhood, it wasn’t always easy for me to write down exactly what I was eating in order to share… and let’s be honest, in the last month of my pregnancy I was just a constant #carbcraver. Yet, since starting BBG and getting back into my weekly runs, I’ve honed in on the eating as well. I am being sure to focus on filling with nutrient dense foods and lean proteins… and I just might become a sweet potato soon, they’re my newest obsession! I didn’t include the weekends here because those are the times most of my “itsy bitsy indulgences” creep in! Back in November, I did a post on my favorite healthy food products… if you’re curious be sure to check it out, as most of the items are available via Amazon or Trader Joe’s. I’ve also included a little fitness wear inspo below… because I know that always gets me inspired!

Monday:
Breakfast: 1 cup dried steel cut oats (Trader Joe’s, cooked accordingly) + 1/2 banana sliced, cinnamon, and a little honey
Snack: 1 apple + Chia Bar
Lunch: Trader Joe’s fresh minestrone soup + super spinach salad (I changed out the dressing to simple olive oil and lemon juice)
Snack: Favorite green smoothie
Dinner: 6oz salmon + roasted sweet potatoes + brussel sprouts (lightly tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic salt, roasted at 350 for 40 minutes).
Dessert: 3 cups of Boom Chicka Popcorn

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: 1 medium pear + 5-6 barnanas
Lunch:Lunch with a friend- Kale Salad at Cheesecake Factory
Snack: GoMacro Bar
Dinner: Halibut Tacos. On the side I have 1/2 cup of black beans and as many sautéed belle peppers and onions as I want!
Dessert: 3 cups of Boom Chicka Popcorn

Wednesday:
Breakfast: 1 medium sweet potato + 2 poached eggs + a lot of green beans (I purchased the package that can be microwaved from Trader Joe’s).
Snack: 1 apple + Chia Bar
Lunch: Nektar acai bowl (seen above)
Snack: Brown Rice cake + vegan cream cheese (another great option from Trader Joe’s) + sliced strawberries + drizzle of honey
Dinner: 5 oz grilled chicken breast + 1 cup of brown rice + all the asparagus that I wanted
Dessert: 1 Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup

Thursday:
Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Acai Bowl
Snack: 1 pear + 1 tbsp almond butter
Lunch: Loaded Vegetable Salad: lots of mixed power greens (Trader Joe’s), 2 medium sweet potatoes diced and roasted + left over asparagus spears + artichoke hearts (marinated option from Trader Joe’s) + date of palm (canned option from Trader Joe’s) + sliced cherry tomatoes + 1/4 avocado slices, all tossed in a little olive oil + lemon juice. On the side I had 1 cup of carrots.
Snack: GoMacro Bar
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner: Huge egg white omelet with artichoke hearts + spinach + almond milk cheese (Trader Joe’s option). Paired this with 1 Chicken Basil Sausage from Trader Joe’s.
Dessert: Popcorn

Friday:
Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: Fruit bowl- cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries
Lunch: Ate out, ordered a vegetable sandwich (avocado, sprouts, spinach, tomato, shredded carrotts, and sunflower seeds with dijon mustard) on squaw bread.
Snack: Green smoothie (different than one above)
Dinner: Ordered in- Poke bowl with extra cucumbers + seaweed
Dessert: 2 glasses of champagne + popcorn

Now for a little fitness inspo…

{Blue Sneakers | Grey Sneakers | Purple Top | Blue Leggings | Multi-Colored Leggings | White Open Back Tank | Yellow Tank | Sports Bra}

03.30.2016

Wellness Wednesday: At Home Workout Videos

free people fitness, itsy bitsy indulgences

Today is the first of a new series I have been wanting to start called “Wellness Wednesday.” This blog has always incorporated aspects of healthy living, but I thought this new series would be a great opportunity to incorporate it with an increased frequency. I’m thinking of including mini workouts, ideas on self-care, as well as recipes and meal plans. If there is anything in particular you would like to see, please let me know and I will make every attempt to include it!

With all that being said, I thought I would kickoff the series with a review of a few fitness videos that have been on serious rotation as of late. Before Harper came along, my fitness regime was exclusively a run outside, a studio class, or the gym. Since though, I’ve found it so much easier to pop in a video… given recent time constraints and convenience.  Yet, I have always been skeptical of videos. My main reservation? How effective can a workout video really be? So, I decided to try a few out and give it a go. After doing each of these videos once, my muscles were sore in places they hadn’t been in a while (I guess that’s what a 6 week hiatus will do to you…). I opted for a combination of HIIT and more joint friendly versions, including two power yoga videos. As I write this, I am realizing that most of these videos are by Jillian Michales…. so in an honest self-diclosure, I used to love Biggest Loser (#guiltyindulgence). I also find her to be very motivating, while at the same time challenging you to really understand what your motivation is for getting fit. I feel as if I know why I am doing a workout, then I am more likely to stick with it… so in that light, I want to feel empowered to take charge of my fitness at any point in my life… and if it’s with a video and an at home workout right now, then so be it!

{Outfit Details || Top: Free People | Leggings: Alo | Sports Bra: c/o Anthropologie | Shoes: c/o Anthropologie (available here) | Stroller: Bob}

free people fitness, itsy bitsy indulgences

1. Tracy Anderson Method: Post Pregnancy: I used Tracy Anderson’s Pregnancy Project video throughout my entire pregnancy and loved it. So, it was only natural that I decided to try out one of her post-pregnancy videos. I really like that she is sensitive to the post-pregnancy body… and encouraging at the same time. She is open and honest about her weight gain and provides logic as to why each move is important. The majority of the video focuses on strengthening the core (amen!) and then there are several moves to target the glutes and legs, as well as the arms. It is easy on the joints and I definitely feel like I got a good workout in when I am finished. My only con is that it doesn’t necessarily increase my heart rate, which is something I always like from my workouts. approximately 38 minutes

2. Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno: I was an avid user of this video pre-pregnancy, so once I was cleared to workout again I couldn’t wait to return to this power yoga series. The DVD has two different power yoga workouts. One utilizes body resistance and the other incorporates weights (3-5lbs). Both offer an advanced and beginner level, and I find both videos to be challenging as they throw in moves to get your heart rate up, since it is more of a yoga fusion. Cardio intervals include mountain climbers, plank jacks, and jumping lunges (yes, I know, not very yoga-esq). I can never decide which video I like better… the body resistant one or the weights version… because each time I go back to the other I fall in love with it again. If you are an avid yoga participant simply beware that this is not a traditional form of practice. Other than that I don’t really have any complaints! approximately 30 minutes each

3. Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred: Alright, so the name is what roped me in here. 30-days…. to be shredded?? Sign me up please (especially since I’ll be forced into a bathing suit come May…)!! This workout is for sure one that will get your heart rate up and moving. There are three videos, each 20 minutes long. There is a short warm-up, followed by 3 minutes of weight training, 2 minutes of intense cardio, and 1 minute of ab work. There are 3 circuits in each video… and believe me, if you don’t rest, it’s a workout! It is divided into three different levels and meant to progress from level 1-level 3 based on your fitness aptitude. My favorites are level 2 and level 3…. and some days I do both levels. approximately 20 minutes each

4. Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown: This is another video I found pre-pregnancy. I was actually in Switzerland and was craving some sort of healthy activity (that was one indulgent trip…). I found this on youtube and loved the video. It utilizes all body resistance, but I love the flow and sequence. approximately 35 minutes

That’s it! I just purchased a 3 month membership to try out Bikini Body Guide… anyone else done this?? I’ll share my experience along the way!!

free people fitness, itsy bitsy indulgences
free people fitness, itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

wellness wednesday, itsy bitsy indulgences

03.24.2016

Transitional Activewear: Move Seamlessly From Yoga To Mimosa Sipping!

activewear with anthropologie, itsy bitsy indulgences

While I like love a fabulous pair of jeans, I have an equally passionate love for activewear. In high school and college, my activewear consisted pretty much of t-shirt shorts, a Hanes tee, and a bandanna tied in my hair (hey, I think that was the trend back then… cut me some slack…)… nothing that I would really wear out and about post workout. As I got older, and entered the work-force, I began to appreciate those off-duty weekend looks that consisted mainly of yoga pants and tops… so I started to invest in some quality activewear.

My main goal was to find pieces that would easily transition from a morning yoga/spin/run session to a trip to the mall, brunch with friends, or a day full of errands. I wanted pieces that would look stylish, yet hold everything in place during my workout. I found that the investment was worth it, as these pieces lasted and looked on trend…. meaning I didn’t need to buy a lot of items since the ones I had lasted. When it came time to update my activewear wardrobe, I found so many amazing pieces in Anthropologie’s new activewear collection. They carry so many brands that I love…. including Alo Yoga, Beyond Yoga (some of the coziest pants), New Balance, and Stella McCartney. The selection has so many pieces that fit my fitness wear criteria: comfortable, stylish, and mutli-functional.

I shared more about my fitness routine, and how I live a balanced life over on the Anthropologie blog today! Check it out to find out my favorite cheat meal (just thinking about it makes my mouth water), fitness routine, and which sport I wanted to go to the Olympics in when I was young!

{Outfit Details 1 || Sports Bra: c/o Anthropologie  | Leggings: c/o Anthropologie  (seriously, so comfortable) | Wrap: c/o Anthropologie (Beyond Yoga) | Shoes: c/o Anthropologie (New Balance) (like walking on air!)}

{Outfit Details 2 || Leggings: c/o Anthropologie (Beyond Yoga) | Top: c/o Anthropologie (Alo) | Jacket: c/o Anthropologie (Stella McCartney) | Shoes: c/o Anthropologie (Stella McCartney)

march8th-0006

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

anthropologie activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

Photos by Taylor Cole

03.16.2016

Musings On Post-Pregnancy Balance

fabletics, itsybitsyindulgences

I have started this post two different times. Two different times I have deleted this post. Why? Well, the first time, I was alone at home, with a fussy little miss who simply wouldn’t nap. My post sounded like a tirade. The second? I was at my parent’s house with help from my sister and mom. The post sounded like life was all unicorns and roses. Now, is my third attempt… and it is at this point that I feel I am in the most realistic state. TJ is home, little one is down for the night, and I’m enjoying a bowl of popcorn and getting ready to watch the OJ Simpson series. In all honesty though, I wanted to take time in today’s post to be honest about that post-pregnancy body and fitness balance….

I had a moment the other day when I was having lunch with TJ. I started to tear up over my kale salad. I felt like a five year old. Trying to hold back my tears, as we were at a restaurant, I told him that I was frustrated. That I had never needed to “eat” or “work-out” to lose weight. I wanted the sandwich, but didn’t want the carbs (…. even though Oprah ate carbs and still lost the weight…). Then I was upset because I didn’t allow myself to order the sandwich. Yeah, it wasn’t a pretty scene. I think I have small moments like this a few times a week. Where I avoid the mirror, or when I’m nursing Harper and look down at my stomach. Not too happy with what I see. It’s a daily struggle between cutting myself a break and at the same time making those healthy lifestyle choices (especially when you’re tired and hangry from breastfeeding). I told myself that I would be happy when I was able to button my jeans. Once that happened, it wasn’t enough. I needed to look exactly how I did pre-pregnancy.

I think it is hard for women. We want to be the best mothers that we can, yet at the same time we want to feel good about ourselves. I have found that there is immense pressure as a mother, not only from yourself, but sadly, other moms, to be “perfect.” Don’t make mistakes, don’t be negligent (believe me, I’ve seen negligent parenting in my 9-5 job… forgetting to give your child vitamin D one evening does not constitute negligence.), and always give of yourself. Yet, I’ve found that in the times when I give and give and don’t take a moment for myself, those are the moments where I’m not at my best. Not fully present. Frustrated. Feeling overwhelmed. I think these feelings are normal… at least they are from the friends I have talked to (and thank goodness I have those friends who can genuinely tell it to me straight).

So, I thought I would share just a little bit of how I have been practicing “me” time over these past few weeks… and how I hope to combat those negative thoughts that come in regarding my self-image.

1.Carve out me time: I know that give or take 10 minutes, Harper will be waking up at 7am. So, I squeeze my workout in before that. I set my alarm for 5:45am and get moving. Am I tired? Oh yes.  Would I rather be sleeping? For Sure. Do I have the same amount of time as I used to? Not really. Yet, I’ve found that after my workout I feel more energized for the day and fulfilled that I allowed myself the time to do something good for myself.

2.Alter my expectations: Post-pregnancy, I was able to workout however long I wanted. That often involved an hour long spin class, yoga class, or lengthy run. While I know I will get back to those longer workouts soon, right now I have needed to modify my expectations. I have found multiple at home fitness videos that are time friendly (as in, 30 minutes) and very challenging. I’m in the process of reviewing them for a future post, but if you’re wanting to check them out on your own here they are: Yoga Inferno, Tracy Anderson (longer video), Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred.

3.Cut myself some slack: I try to remember that it took 9 months to grow a baby and it will take more than 3 weeks post doctor’s clearance to get it back. I also try to avoid comparison. When I was pregnant I read this quote from Kerry Washington and thought it was actually really profound: “I’ve been really focused on not being ‘back’ to anything, but being the best version of myself right now. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don’t want to be pre-miracle.”

4. Remind myself of what I am working towards: I have to ask myself, what is my ultimate goal? What example do I want to set for my daughter when it comes to body image and food. The answer is simple: I want to be strong. I want to show her that strength is more important than fitting into the smallest pair of jeans. Yet, it’s not enough for me to tell her that. I have to live that by example. I have started to tie my goals to smaller, more tangible outcomes…. like, post pregnancy I had zero core strength. Getting up off of the couch, while holding Harper, required that I push myself up and off. Now, I’ve met my goal of increasing core strength by being able to stand up without any assistance. It may sound small, but it’s something that isn’t tied to physical appearance, and I think that’s a more positive outlook to have… and demonstrate.

5. Have a healthy perspective towards food: I know that when I am tired and hungry, my inclination can always be to reach for chocolate (I’m a gal with an intense sweet tooth). To combat this, I keep healthy options on hand (as seen in this post). As opposed to limiting my intake, I am fueling my body with lean, clean, and green foods… with small indulgences when I see fit (a bowl of popcorn, or a piece of chocolate at the end of the evening… wine on the weekends…). I want the message that I give to Harper to be that food is good. Food gives you energy. Food gives you strength.

I guess what this all boils down to is finding the #balance. I think the post digressed from my initial topic of talking about how I want to get my body back, but more towards how I’m finding the balance and navigating the journey…. because this whole parenting thing is one big journey!

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{Outfit Details || Leggings: c/o Fabletics | Top: c/o Fabletics (3 different colors) | Sports Bra: Target | Shoes: Nike | BabyBjorn Carrier | Sunglasses: Karen Walker}

strong is the new skinny, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

IMG_4033

fabletics, itsy bitsy indulgences

02.06.2016

A January Instagram Roundup: Post Pregnancy Style

itsy bitsy indulgences {Top | Jeans}

Looking back on the past month postpartum (yes, tomorrow marks 1 month since Harper arrived!!), I didn’t realize how many times I mixed pieces in my closet on a daily basis. Maybe it was the need to find something quickly, or maybe it was the need for a constant ensemble that was both comfortable and chic… either way, I’ve certainly found myself in a heavy rotation of sneakers, ripped denim, leggings, and basic tees. They’re the perfect “grab-n-go” pieces for those days when you just don’t have hours to get ready. Below, you’ll find an instagram roundup of my recent everyday looks… my “momiform” if you will!

itsy bitsy indulgences {c/o Leggings | Shoes | Top | Vest (on sale!)}

itsy bitsy indulgences {Top | Jeans | Booties}

itsy bitsy indulgences

{c/o Jacket | Shoes | Jeans | Ring}

itsy bitsy indulgences {Jeans | Tee | Booties | Sweater | Purse}

itsy bitsy indulgences {Jeans | Tee | Jacket | Shoes | Harper’s Headband}

itsy btisy indulgences {Jeans | Scarf | Sweater | Shoes}

IMG_7378{Jeans | Shoes | Beanie | Sunglasses}

IMG_6755{Leggings | Sweater | Top | Hat | Shoes}

itsy bitsy indulgences{Sweater (on sale!) | Leggings | Vest | Faux Fur Wrap | Shoes}

itsy bitsy indulgences{Leggings | Tee | Vest | Shoes | Stroller}IMG_7390{Shoes | Sweater | Diaper Bag | Beanie}

01.26.2016

Post- Pregnancy Health and Balance with Albion Fit

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

Being sidelined for the next four weeks as I recover from delivery hasn’t been easy. Always being one to get up and out in the morning for a refreshing workout, this new “only walking” thing has me feeling a bit blah (for lack of a better word). I likely had unreasonable expectations that I would be able to zip up those pre-pregnancy jeans… so, I’ve started to modify my expectations and be a little nicer to myself (and post-pregnancy body). It’s not always easy at times, I have negative thoughts and avoid mirrors somedays… but I remind myself that it took 9 months to grow our beautiful little girl, so it’s okay that after two and a half weeks I’m still wearing a bellaband here and there.

Yet, despite being on the bench from strenuous activities, I’ve still found ways that I can feel in control of my health without the activity level I’m used to. First on the list was finding some cute fitness gear to help me feel motivated. I’ve always been a fan of Albion Fit (last seen here) for so many different reasons, but I particularly love that the pieces are transitional. You can wear them in the yoga studio and then out to lunch with friends… or to run errands… or to simply relax at home. These jogger pants are super chic and comfortable. When combined with the flowy top, the two make for the perfect morning walk + relaxing Saturday (or any day) ensemble. I’ll be giving away two $50 gift certificates to Albion Fit over on instagram later this evening, so be sure to follow along to enter!

Here are some of my quick tips, if you’re injury sidelined, or post-pregnancy sidelined like me, for taking control of your health:

1. Walk: I’ve never considered “walking” to be intense enough for me, but I’ve found myself enjoying my cool morning walks. They help me to clear my head, work off some of the new mommy stress, and keep me feeling active.

2. Healthy snacking: Since breastfeeding leaves me absolutely famished, I’ve found that having healthy snacks on hand helps me to satisfy my hunger and feel good about the choices I am making. I love dried pineapple slices from Trader Joe’s, these peanut butter covered banana slices, pure organics peanut butter bars, bounce peanut cacao protein blast, pre-pakaged trail mix from Trader Joe’s (in the correct serving size… I can go a bit crazy with nuts!!), and apples, tangerines, and carrot slices.

3. Hydrate: Water, water, water. I drink copious amounts to help me feel like I am detoxing from the pregnancy days. My skin has also become dry after delivery, so hydrating makes it feel like I am quenching my skin’s thirst.

4. Sleep: Since my sleeping patterns have taken a pretty drastic shift as of late, I am trying to be better at napping when I can. I am still terrible at it… I feel like when she sleeps, it’s my opportunity to do all the things I’ve been wanting to do… wash my hair, catch up with girlfriends, etc… Yet, I know that when I nap, I’m taking care of myself … so I’m trying to commit to a few a week (see what I mean??).

5. Self-care: I think this is one of the biggest factors that women neglect. We give so much and forget to take care of ourselves. I am making daily attempts to be diligent about asking for help to get a few minutes to myself… whether that’s to wash my hair, take a longer than usual hot shower, or to grab a coffee by myself I find that when I get those small opportunities I am happier and better able to be a fully present mom!

{Outfit Details || Pants: c/o Albion | Top: c/o Albion | Shoes: New Balance | Beanie: Nordstrom (identical) | Scarf: Nordstrom}

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit, itsy bitsy indulgences

albion fit city jogger, itsy bitsy indulgences