Setting My Intentions

I have been sick for the past (almost) 3 weeks. Yuck. And that means I haven’t worked out for pretty much 3 weeks.

It’s been so frustrating but this sickness is pretty much all respiratory so it makes a quick walk seem pretty taxing. The good news is that after fighting it for the first 2 weeks and trying to workout everyday still (unsuccessfully), I have given up and just slept in every morning, and I think it’s what is finally helping me beat this thing.

Who knew rest was good for a cold?

The terrible thing is that not only have I been not working out, but I have been eating without abandon. I have been eating like it is going out of style, like the world is about to end, like fried foods have no calories… you get the point.

BUT I am super excited because the Tone It Up BIKINI SERIES starts on Monday (technically Sunday for nutrition plan people!) And I am using it to really rocket me back into the healthy lifestyle that I miss and love.

If you haven’t heard of the Bikini Series, it’s an annual 8 week challenge to get Bikini Ready for summer. This will be my first year doing the Bikini Series, I found Tone It Up last year just as the series ended.

You can click on the picture above to find out more information and to sign up. It’s free to join the challenge or you can buy their nutrition plan (I love it) and right now it comes with a ton of other fun TIU stuff, so now is the time to buy the plan if you ever wanted to.

Okay, TIU commercial aside, the Bikini Series is all about setting your intentions. I feel like I started off my year REALLY STRONG with eating healthy, working out, journaling, and losing weight. Then I kinda fell of the wagon and haven’t been fully back on.

This weekend, I’m taking the time to reset my intentions from the beginning of the year. Here are a few things that really have helped me in the past, that I’m planning on doing during this challenge:

  • Journal about the day– surprisingly, this really helped keep me on track
  • Workout every single day– yes, still take rest days, but make them active rest days like with yoga or some light toning
  • Don’t treat myself with food– I just always go overboard, always.
  • Don’t be so hard on myself- not gonna lie, I can be a real b-i-t-c-h to myself sometimes. I have to focus on getting fit from loving myself, not from hating myself
  • Recruit friends- both real and social media. Checking in with friends has been a great way to keep me motivated and on track.

Currently, I am mourning the loss of my fitness level. Before I got sick I was doing pretty well with my running times, but now, I know that I will be starting from square 2 (not square 1).

I have a 10k next weekend, so, I guess we’ll see how that goes.

This bug seems to be getting EVERYONE. Anyone else been sick for-like-ever? How do you come back to working out after an illness?

My First Flywheel Class- Center City Philadelphia

This morning I found myself at Flywheel for my first class. The great thing about Flywheel is that they let you take your first class for free! So I just made an account and was able to book this class without putting in any credit card information (win!)

I’ve taken spin classes at a local gym in the past and loved them. That was about 2 years ago and I was riding my bike everyday as well as taking spin classes. AKA my butt had built up a resistance to the pain of sitting in the saddle (bike seat). This was not the case this time.

Warning: If you are taking your first spin class and do not regularly ride a bike, get ready for some serious butt pain. Like, serious.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t love Flywheel. Something just didn’t click for me. I think the instructor was great. The music was okay. The bikes were pretty awesome though! Let me start from the beginning.

First of all, I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when I go to a new gym/studio for the first time. I never really know what to expect, so let me share what the Center City Philadelphia Flywheel is like.

When you walk in you see a lot of merchandise you can buy.

I wasn’t really drawn to the merch. I’m much more all about bright colors and strappy tanks. I checked in with the front desk and told them it was my first time. If I’m being picky about it, I felt like the welcome wasn’t totally warm.

When trying out a new studio (that most people are paying $$$ for) I want some royal treatment. I want to be proudly shown around the studio and warmly welcomed. I want them to sell me on the studio. The staff was completely helpful and friendly, don’t get me wrong! But I just wish they could have put me at ease just a little bit more. But once again, I might be just a little picky.

I want to be the Katy Perry

The woman at the front desk signed me in and showed me the touch screen tablets that I would sign into if I were a regular (very high tech). She then gave me the pair of clip-in cycling shoes that had been put in my Bike 11 cubby (the bike I booked when I booked the class online). When you sign up for a class, they ask you for your shoe size, so they can hook you up with the shoes in your cubby when you come in.

I was then shown to the lockers (I don’t know if they have a locker room, I was just shown to some lockers that were in the main room/ waiting area). The lockers are the kind that you type a code into and that’s how you lock them. Somehow, I couldn’t figure them out, even while reading the directions and doing it step by step.

Locker- 1; Sarah- 0

Once it was time to go into the room, one of the women from the front desk helped me adjust my bike and clip my shoes in. I had never used clip-in shoes and it took me (and the woman) an embarrassingly long time to clip in.

I felt a little embarrassed because it screamed “NEWBIE” to everyone. Noticing that I was new, the instructor came over once I was clipped in and showed me the different part of the bike.

Each bike has a kind of speedometer (Torq meter I think they call it???) that tells you your resistance, your RPM, your place in class, and your total energy (or something like that). Each class has a TV screen that updates the stats of the top 10 bikers in each class (if you choose to sign up for the board).

I’m not going to lie, getting to the start of class felt a little daunting. Once class started it was fun, but it was tough! Flywheel says it’s for all fitness levels, but I will say, if you don’t have some type of cardiovascular conditioning, it might be really hard for you. Sure, you can always turn your Torq (resistance) down to make it easier, but that felt like a cop-out to me.

The drills went along with the music, which is typical for most spin classes, but I just didn’t feel the same intensity that I used to feel in my old spin classes. The instructor also stayed on her bike the whole time, which, I’m not sure if that’s the norm for Flywheel, but I really liked when my old spin instructor would walk around the room (and kinda yell in your face to motivate you).

I will say that I got a great workout in! I sweated like crazy and I would definitely make sure you grab a towel before you start!

I was super happy about getting in a great workout this morning, but I can’t see myself craving to go back anytime soon. Flywheel carries the hefty price tag of $25 a class, which just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Oh well, I will continue my search of more fun fitness classes in Philly!

Have you ever tried Flywheel? Or another cycling studio? What are your thoughts?

Visiting an Old Favorite & Trying New Things

This morning was AWESOME! Why, do you ask? Because I started off my morning with a Lithe Method class. If you’ve been a looooong time reader of the blog, then you know that I used to do Lithe Method religiously. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I did a blog post on it here. But, Lithe is expensive $$$$$ and I just couldn’t swing the price tag anymore, so I stopped and instead moved on to Tone It Up and then added in Kayla Itsines’s BBG and Ballet Beautiful.

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My new trainers

But last night I had A MOMENT. I’ve been running around town looking for a dress to wear to my friend’s wedding, and I have hated how I look in EVERYTHING. I was feeling especially low about myself last night and decided that it was time to make a change.

First, I decided to do the Tone It Up 7 Day Slim Down from the nutrition plan. This is a pretty rigid diet plan, but you see extreme results. Last time I did it, I lost 4 lbs. I know that it’s not always healthy to lose that much weight that quickly (and the plan mirrors that message) but I have been at a weight loss plateau (and an eating funk) for about a month now, and I decided it was time to recommit!

Next, I started looking up local fitness classes I could sign up for. I usually workout from home. I have everything I need and it’s nice to not have to travel to get my workout in. Plus the best part is that I don’t pay any membership fees (save for the monthly fee I am paying now to try out Ballet Beautiful’s full streaming library, which I am LOVING).

The things that I don’t always like about working out from home are:

1. Needing to be quiet– I live on a 3rd floor apartment and I don’t want my downstairs neighbor to completely hate me (though he’s been known to play his music at unreasonably loud levels, so it would even out ;) )

2. Not always pushing myself hard enough– I usually push myself harder when I am in front of a class of people.

So I decided to sign up for a few classes around town to give me that extra workout edge. First, I signed up for a Flywheel class because your first class is free! Next I signed up for a Body Cycle class because your first ride is free there too! Double yay!

Then I perused a few other Philadelphia studios and decided that I would definitely be trying Thrive Pilates and Focus Barre and Yoga eventually. But then I found my way back to Lithe.

I decided to scope out their workout schedule and saw that my favorite instructor, Meredith, was teaching one of my favorite classes, Freestyle, at my favorite time to take a class, 7:00AM. Plus, where I am living now is a 5 minute walk away from Lithe! I wavered about paying the (steep to me) $22 single class fee, but eventually decided to treat myself to it.

And I’m so glad I did.

It felt great getting back into the Lithe studio today. The class this morning was a fun, challenging, toning, dance-y workout that combined two of my favorite classes:

Cinch– which had my legs shaking and my abs burning

Barlesque– a sexy, high cardio dance/toning hybrid

I was dripping sweat by the end of class and felt reinvigorated. There’s nothing quite like a great workout to make you want to eat well and stay active for the rest of the day!

I won’t be a Lithe regular again anytime soon (my paycheck wouldn’t permit that anyway). But it’s great knowing that every so often, I can splurge, and treat myself to a class. It’s also great knowing that I still got it ;)

Do you have any studios or classes that you treat yourself to?