Weekend Rewind + Upcoming Week

Fun weekend!

We had a relaxing evening on Friday and spent Saturday relaxing and avoiding crazy storms.  I did some shopping for the wedding and used up some gift cards we’ve been saving and then headed home to get ready to drive to Frederick, MD for the Frederick Keys baseball game.  When we moved to Leesburg we said we’d go to some games up there because we’ve heard it’s so much fun, and it didn’t disappoint.

We sat on the dugout and paid $11 a ticket.  Doesn’t get much better than that!

It was only a quick 30 minute drive to Frederick, so I think we’ll definitely do this again.  After the game, they did fireworks, so it was really fun.

Today, we hit the gym and it was a mess.  Kirsten had a boot camp workout for us and in the midst of the first circuit, I lost my cookies and threw up my breakfast.  GROSS.  Lesson learned:  No eating anything of substance less than 2 hours before an intense workout.  I went back to finish the workout, but it was lackluster at best.  I left feeling defeated for the day, but I understand that there are going to be good days and bad days.  Today was just a bad day.

My friend Lindsey blogs her workouts for the week and then wraps them up and this week, I thought I’d give it a shot, sooooo, here goes:

Monday:  Strength training class

Tuesday:  Elliptical cardio + swim

Wednesday:  Off night – Dinner for moms birthday

Thursday:  Training with Kirsten

Friday:  Off

Saturday:  Cardio class OR elliptical cardio

I can’t wait to recap this at the end of the week to sum up what we accomplished.

I have the Sunday grumpies and I’m not ready for the weekend to be over.

Away We Go

You know what the best thing is?  When you have a horrible week, but somehow end it on a super great note.

Today friends, we picked out our wedding rings!

I was so super excited to knock this one off of our list, and I couldn’t wait to see what style of ring Chris liked and what it would look like on him!  So, right after work, we met at Midtown Jewelers in Reston, and we got our shop on.

We started with Chris first and he was hilarious to watch.  There were so many options, and as we looked through them, he’d look at them, touch them and just respond with “I don’t know, I don’t know!”  After a few minutes, he relaxed a little bit and was able to identify a style he liked.  It came down to cobalt or titanium, but titanium was the winner.  Come October,  Chris can officially open beer bottles with his wedding ring.

My band was easy to pick out since the designer makes a matching band to go along with my engagement ring.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we decided to turn our little shopping adventure into an impromptu date night.  So, we walked around Reston Town Center and stumbled upon an awesome place called SweetGreen.  We had never heard of it, but it looked kind of healthy, so we thought we’d give it a shot.

Seriously friends, coolest place ever.  So many amazing + healthy options, locally grown food, no soda (only all natural soft drinks…as in made with sugar cane, no aspartame) and recycling/compost bins galore.  So neat!  I had a deconstructed guacamole salad with shrimp and Chris got some salad with chicken, watermelon and feta.  Everything was silly delicious and I want to go back asap.

After a healthy and fresh dinner, we treated ourselves to a tiny helping of gelato across the street.  I happen to love gelato and there is nowhere nearby to get it, so when we’re at Reston Town Center, I make it a point to stop for a treat.

I love how Chris goes for mango + pineapple and I go for vanilla chocolate chip + chocolate hazelnut.  Opposites totally attract.

After our dessert and people watching, Chris took me to my favorite shop in the town center, PaperSource.  I could spend hours in this store, friends.  Between the journals, the stationary, the unique cards and the stunning single sheet gift wrap, I’m in love.  We popped in for some wedding inspiration (I was hoping to get beautiful paper to wrap our bridal party gifts in, but at $7 a sheet, it’s not happening), and we left with a few cute and unexpected things.

After making our way through the town center, we were getting tired and ready to go home, but, we had to make one last stop at Barnes and Noble and Michaels to pick up some supplies for our crafting day on Sunday.  We have plans to get a lot knocked out this weekend with the help of some of our bridal party, so we’re excited to see how our ideas come to life.

We took these couple of pictures while at Barnes and Noble, and yes, it has to do with the wedding.  Are we crazy, or are we creative?

I’m really excited to get through this weekend and see what we’ve accomplished by Sunday evening.  Hair + makeup trial tomorrow and projects on Sunday…we should be productive.

Wish us luck!  Away we go!

Tears and Strength

Today’s workout sucked.  Straight up sucked it.

I am still ridiculously sore from Monday’s strength training class, but I forced myself to go to tonights class as part of creating a routine.  Chris actually encouraged the hell out of me because I was going to come home and work out to that crazy bitch Jillian Michaels on demand, but class is better.  Class is accountability.  Class you can’t leave.

Just like last weeks Wednesday class, there were two of us.  Me, and one other lady who had never been before.  She was fit and skinny though, so I was immediately insecure.  At least during Monday’s class if I needed a second to breathe, I could pause for a minute without it being too noticeable.  With two people in the class, if you stop doing anything ,it’s like they have to stop and wait for you.  Bleh.

The instructor was okay.  She did a really good job of demonstrating the moves and counting which was good, but holy crap, not one time in the 50 minute workout did she tell us to break for a minute or get some water.  I finally got to the point where I had to just slow myself down and get water if need be.

I made it through the entire workout, but I felt shitty about myself the entire time.  I felt really inadequate because I couldn’t do a few of the moves (reverse push ups on steps, figure eight lunges) and it just made me feel awful.  Then, at the end of the class, the people attending the yoga session after our class started lining up outside and I felt like an exhibit at the zoo.  Imagine 30 people staring at you while you’re just trying to finish your awkward and uncomfortable workout.

When hell was done, I got Chris, we walked out of the gym, and I burst into tears.  I cried to him that I couldn’t do some of the stuff.  I cried that I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t keep up.  And then I cried because I was sore.  Good thing our drive home is only about two minutes long – I was able to cry it out and move on by the time we walked in the door.

Through all of my tears, Chris told me he was proud of me, that I did a good job, and that I was already halfway there just by showing up.  Getting in shape, getting stronger, and getting more coordinated is just going to take time.  Then, he made us spaghetti which was great because I just laid on the couch resting.  What a wonderful guy.

Tomorrow, Kirsten has our workout all planned out, and I’m looking forward to that.   She lets me go at my own pace (within reason) and I always feel like I get a good workout with her.

Is it Friday yet?

Challenging Discomfort

Seriously?  I thought the worst of getting into workout mode was over!  Nope, I was wrong.

The strength class we went to last week was not at all what tonight’s class was all about and I’m going to be paying for it tomorrow.

I walked into the class confident because I made it through last weeks class with the substitute instructor, so tonight would be no problem, right?  Yeah, no.

First of all, the instructor immediately recognized that it was my first time to the class and introduced herself in front of everyone.  Nice gesture, yes, but I get nervous in groups of people I don’t know (especially when I’m about to make an ass out of myself), so I got even more nervous.  Chris was working on cardio in the equipment room, so I just had to push through and be the new girl.

Class started with some warm up cardio of marching, movements from side to side, jumping around and other stuff that required coordination, therefor making me look like an idiot.   After a few steps I got the hang of it but I felt seriously awkward.

Then, the instructor dropped a bomb:  We had to get in pairs.  No joke, my stomach sank and I felt nauseated.  I didn’t know anyone.  I’m in horrible shape.  I don’t have any coordination.  The moves are so foreign to me.  The other girls are all so much more fit than me.  I wanted to run out of the room and get rid of the uncomfortable feeling.  But, I was in the front corner, so I would have had to run through the entire class to get out, so, I stayed.

My worst fears were realized when I was paired with the only other girl in the class who could have possibly taught the class.  I was mortified.  How was I going to keep up with her and her rock hard thighs and abs in her spandex shorts and sports bra?  What a disaster.  I almost felt more sorry for her than I did myself.

The first pairs activity was facing each other doing push ups and giving a high-five in between each push up.  Turns out, my partner has bad shoulders, so she had to take it easy on the push ups.  I exhaled a little.  I did take a few breaks in between sets (three minutes of that shit is hard), but so did my partner.  She was even encouraging, and when we finished, we did a few extra push ups by themselves just for good measure.

The second pairs activity made me want to jump off a cliff and end it all.  Slide lunges.  Totally new concept to me, but you put one foot out, and the other back on a slippery disk to help your leg go behind you.  After 10, you go lower, then lower, then almost to the ground.  Eff.  Oh, and you have to pass an object while you’re doing all of this.  I can’t even rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time – WTF?!  I had a really hard time concentrating on this exercise, and it freaking hurt.  I struggled with the lunges in general, I struggled with the coordination of the movement, and I struggled keeping balance.  My partner was pretty much doing the splits effortlessly as I fought with myself to not fall over, but, I made it.

The last partner exercise, we had to get in a plank position with our asses in the air and slide the disc to one another without looking.  The point was to balance in a plank and grab the sliding disc when it was in eyesight.  My arms are still shaking from that exercise.

We did a bunch of individual stuff, too.  Lots of stuff with the body bar and dumbbells and the dreaded S word (squats), we did lots and lots of those.  I hurt worse than I have in a week which means I’m going to be in a world of hurt tomorrow.

With about ten minutes left in the class, I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to return.  I felt horrible about myself because I couldn’t keep up 100% with the rest of the girls.  I hated the idea of facing these gym rats with infinite energy and strength again only to be the red-faced girl huffing and puffing to the side.  I just felt like I needed more time to get into better shape before tackling the class again.

But then, something happened.  We were putting our equipment away and I was thinking to myself how I couldn’t wait to get out of that classroom.  My partner approached me as I was reaching for my water bottle and told me how great it was to meet me.  She gave me lots of encouragement and said I did a great job.  This coming from rock hard thighs and abs?  I smiled.

When I put my body bar and mat away, the girl I saw in last weeks class was quick to say hi and how happy she was that I came to this weeks class.  I smiled a little more.

Rock hard thighs and abs called out as I left “So nice to see you Natalie, hope to see you again next week!”  I can’t let her down, can I?

I found Chris and told him we needed to leave before I threw up in front of my new workout friends (seriously, another one of those moments), and we headed to the car.  We saw the girl from last week again where she was even more encouraging and even offered to partner up next week.

With that much encouragement, why wouldn’t I go back?

I never thought I’d be a workout class kind of girl.  Never.  But, there is something about accountability, and motivation that you just can’t get from going in circles on the elliptical everyday.  Yeah, I’ll still do cardio on the machines, but I like the idea of adding in a class a few days a week to really help push me.  Plus, the girls are so nice and welcoming it makes the insecurities I’m facing a little easier to deal with.  It’s not always about keeping up, it’s about showing up.

Not only did tonight’s class push me physically, it pushed me even further mentally and forced me to challenge myself to be uncomfortable, and you know what?  I survived.

Fun Fitness Friday

Fun Friday!  At the gym.

Kirsten came super prepared tonight with a plyometrics workout that kicked my ass.

We started with 10 minutes of cardio, but this time, she made us pick one machine we don’t use frequently.  We had to split our 10 minutes into two different machines, so I did five minutes on the stairmaster (kill me) and then finished my last five minutes on the treadmill.

We made our way into an auxiliary room which was cool because we had it all to ourselves and could really spread out.  Kirsten produced pieces of paper which she put on the floor around the room, each with two different exercises listed.  The goal was to perform the exercises for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between. Let me just say I’m going to be sore tomorrow, my arms are still shaky.

Hardest exercises for me?  The mountain climbers and the squats.  The rest were just challenging, but not difficult coordinate wise.  Overall it was really good.  On a few of the breaks I definitely needed more than 15 seconds to get it together, but A for effort.  We ended the session with some suicides carrying dumbbells and two sets of planks.  I was a hot and sweaty mess and it was awesome.

Oh, and remember my post the other day about recycling?  Kirs bought the large recycling bin we had our eye on, but it was too large for the space they wanted to use it.  Guess who has inherited said recycling bin?  Hooray!  Our recylcing efforts look much nicer with the white bin as opposed to the hideous blue bin.