SOUL CYCLE: OBSESSED!

OBSESSED

I was given the opportunity recently to try two free weeks of Soul Cycle in D.C., thanks to the Washington Women in Public Relations group I belong to.

I have been a few times in the past, but never consistently (because its a bit pricey) but found myself being SOUL obsessed!

For me Soul Cycle adds that little bit of motivation/inspiration that I usually get from a yoga class into spin.

Each Soul Instructor brings their own flair to helping you find your soul and have a fun  and challenging workout throughout the class.  (My favorites at 14th Street Studio in DC: Rachel R., Jared, and Sunny Mae).

Its a no brainer: A good work out plus a little spiritual replenishing is one powerful combination.

My first class of the two weeks, was the Saturday after I was offered a new job ( we will get to that in the coming weeks) but the instructor told everyone to let themselves just feel how we were feeling for the next 45 minutes.

So for the first time in way to long, I let myself actually feel fully happy. Crazy, how sometimes its harder to let yourself just feel happy but I did for 45 minutes and it was exactly what I needed.

Sometimes you just need someone to remind you its okay feel something, good or bad. To remind you that its okay to take 45 minutes out of your day, JUST FOR YOU.

So don’t be scared to try it! They always impress me with how they make sure new people are set up on their bike’s and make sure they feel comfortable and good to enjoy the class.

Another perk: If you were a dancer growing up, an extra bonus is all the rides are to the beat of the songs played, and kinda gives you that dance class feel as well. If you weren’t, they don’t care, they just want you to ride and have fun!

So I would highly suggest it! If anything, it is just a good way to re-motivate yourself to getting back into the gym!

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NIKE You Sure Know How to Put On A Half Marathon

I mean how can running 13.1 miles at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning be fun right?

Most people groan when they hear even the thought of it.. but NIKE sure knows how to make it an experience you will never forget!

This past weekend, three of my sorority sisters flew in to run the NIKE Half Marathon in D.C. with me and we had a blast. NIKE goes all out to make the experience full of surprises.

Here is a glimpse into the race and our weekend!

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Us outside of the Expo on the waterfront in Georgetown. Since the race is for women, the expo is filled with a bunch of fun girly surprises!

When you walked into the EXPO you bib prompted a skin to welcome you to the expo by name and wish you good luck! Totally a marketers dream, it was very cool!

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They have cute sayings and quotes all over the expo and race like this, which makes it fun!

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After touring the EXPO, it was off to the NIKE store to find all the fun race day apparel but on the way they posted a huge board outside the store that had everyone’s name who is running on it!

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Found mine!

Colorado shirts

Race day morning, we put on our Colorado gear, ate a good breakfast and made it to the race. I must say bag drop- off and the bathroom situation is so organized and efficient, it is a racers dream!

National Anthem

Nothing beats the national anthem being sung on a gorgeous Sunday morning, with the Capital in front of you. All 15,000 runners were pumped and ready to start racing after that!

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My friend managed to snap some pictures while she was running (not sure how she didn’t fall while doing it) but just shows the amazing views and fun surprises NIKE has for all the racers that day!

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One of the best parts of the race is when you cross the finish line and a cute man, dressed in a tux offers you a nicely wrapped Tiffany’s box with your new NIKE necklace in it! WORTH IT!

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After the race, we changed into our ‘We Run DC’ shirts and headed to Matchbox for a delicious brunch!

I finished the race with my best time ever. running 13.1 miles in one hour and 57 minutes!

The entire way I couldn’t help but think how appreciative I was of the body I had been given, that carry me that far and that fast. It was hard at times but the sensation of accomplishing something you weren’t sure you could do, is an incredible feeling!

Thank you NIKE for reminding me of my capabilities and abilities, giving us an experience we will never forget and pushing me to my limits!

Until next year…

Smoothie to Start The Day!

I am in LOVE with smoothies in the morning.

They are quick, easy, healthy and most importantly delicious!!

A quick blend in the magic bullet and I can walk around enjoying my breakfast as I get ready in the morning, or lounge and catch a bit of the Today show (my favorite!).

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This morning’s smoothie: 

handful of blueberries

spinach

one scoop of protein powder

dash of cinnamon

splash of almond milk

water

YES IT IS THAT EASY and DELICIOUS! 

Tone It Up has some amazing smoothie recipes, here are some of my favorites:

Morning Mocha Smoothie

Green Monster Smoothie 

Chocolate Almond Banana Smoothie

Antioxidant Smoothie

Sooo yummy!

I am also quite obsessed with quotes these days, so here is my quote of the day!

believe in yourself

Happy Hump Day! 

Yoga on the National Mall

This weekend I attended one of my favorite DC traditions..

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(photo by the Washingtonian)

Morning yoga, outside on the National Mall.

Every year during the Cherry Blossom Festival, Lululemon hosts an outside morning class right next to the Washington Monument.

Let me tell you something, it is quite the sight to come up from your downward dog, to see hundreds of yogis in the same pose, not to mention, U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument in the distance..

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I find doing yoga outside to be so peaceful and humbling.. it astonishes me outside classes aren’t more prominent, at least during the summer.

I recently have been finding my way back to my yoga practice.

It is funny how you can slowly drift away from it and not notice the benefits it gives you until you return to it.  Practicing yoga isn’t just about being able to touch your toes or being able to hold insanely odd looking poses… for me its about an hour or 90 minutes of selfishly focusing on myself.

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Returning to yoga after a short break, has shown me elements I have drifted back to, the difference a short period of time can make and how truly important it is to take time our of your busy schedule to quite your mind, look inward and assess yourself.

Hope everyone has a Happy Monday and if you have been neglecting your yoga practice lately, this is a reminder that you should pick it back up and take a class!

Arms & Abs… Tone It Up Style

Ya know those spring dresses and tank tops are coming sooner then you think… Don’t let the snow and frigged weather fool you.

So this morning as I was doing Tone It Up’s ‘Love Your Body Arms & Abs’ routine, I thought I should share the wealth!

I know you all already know my obsession with this community, the workouts and the trainers but if you are looking for motivation or just workouts you can do at home or at the gym, checkout Tone It Up’s website or YouTube channel..

Now on to cute arms and abs!

Oh and it can’t be Hump Day… without the camel commercial… so smile!

 

HAPPY HUMP DAY! 

Slim Down for Santa

Alright we have three week’s  until Santa comes, which means we have three week’s until yet again the eating, drinking and attempting to fit in workouts during the holiday commences. 

I am making a challenge to myself to be more strict about working out and eating healthy for the next three weeks before Christmas, who is with me?

It’s only three weeks, I think we can do it! 

So thanks to Tone It Up, here are some motivational stories that always inspire me that working hard and committing to a healthy lifestyle does in fact work! 

Meet: Katrina’s Mom

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“My story is a little bit different, because Katrina, from Tone It Up is my daughter. She never tried to talk me into losing weight, she just kept talking about a healthy lifestyle and Tone It Up.

I actually didn’t think I was over weight by much and I wasn’t unhappy with my appearance, but I just kept buying larger clothes each year until I was buying a size 20! The before picture is from June 2010 when I weighed 205 lbs. The moment I realized I needed to make a change was when I realized I weighed the same as my husband, Katrina’s father – and he wanted to lose 15 lbs! What? That was my ‘AH-HA moment!’

Read her story here.

MEET: KRISTI

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The first picture is in 2010 at close to my heaviest weight. Over the next 2 years I lost about 40 pounds, until I hit a plateau that lasted over a year. I was tired of counting calories and boring workouts. After I discovered Tone It Up, I broke through the plateau and lost about 15 more pounds since this year’s BIKINI SERIES. The after picture is my first time EVER confidently wearing a bikini in such a public place. I was in Cabo, Mexico this September.

Read the rest of her story here.

MEET: REBECCA

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I’d gotten up to 180 after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and put on steroids. It caused me to put on a lot of weight, but I was always told that once I ceased steroid usage, it would all just slough off. I was weened off the steroids and to my surprise (and horror) the weight didn’t budge. I joined a gym and signed up for personal training– the weight still didn’t budge. It took MONTHS after that before I realized that the issue was my diet. The steroid usage had ramped my appetite and I hadn’t properly adjusted when I went off them. After a couple more months of knowing what I needed to do but not having the guts to actually do it, I had a pivotal “Ok, that’s enough” moment. My boyfriend at the time stepped on the scale and weighed about 40 pounds LESS than me…and he’s a foot taller. That was it, I was done messing around and actually finally applied myself to the calorie-restricted diet that got me down to 105. That was all good and fine from the weight loss perspective, but it did nothing for me health-wise and long term.

 Read more of Rebecca’s story here.
MEET: KARLEE
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I vividly remember getting ready for a Cowboys & Indians costume party with my friends sophomore year of college. I was so upset I couldn’t wear the same cute outfits they were wearing and I was so self-conscious. I started to hate going out because I was unhappy with myself. Soon after that night I just started working on what I was eating. It was a gradual process, but I noticed changes in my body within a couple weeks. They were little, but they were there!
Read more of Karlee’s story here.

 

Sometimes a little reminder that although health changes are usually slow and gradual, they do work and it is worth it!

Thanks to Tone It Up for always being such an inspiration and motivational tool to me to stay healthy, fit and HAPPY! 

Hope this helps inspire you to eat healthy and get some exercise before Santa comes this year! 

Holy Barre!

Alright I am going to give you all a tip…

if you haven’t tried a barre class.. YOU MUST!

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Last night, I tried my very first barre class with a group of girlfriends at Lava Barre in Clarendon.Needless to say, it was fantastic and actually a GREAT workout!

Being a former gymnast and avid runner and yogi, I hadn’t given much thought to how great a dance inspired work out could be.

Within the first ten minutes of the workout, my inner thighs, butt and abs were burning and that lasted throughout the entire hour of the class! The instructor blasted fun music and was so upbeat and motivating!

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At the end of the class, I was already feeling the soreness of muscles that hadn’t been used in years, which I considered a complete SUCCESS! 

Plus you get to wear these cute socks!

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After our workout the girls and I headed across the street to Northside Social, a  coffee and wine restaurant, that I have been wanting to try for quite sometime.

We order mint tea and quiche and spent sometime catching up! So much fun!

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This morning, I must say… I am SORE and it feels so GOOD!

I will definitely be back for a few more barre workouts!