Last fall I saw Morgan post about the workout plan she had been doing. It didn’t take me long to become interested; BBG had all the things I was looking for in a workout routine! I could do it at home and with minimal (or no) extra equipment. I decided that I would try to incorporate the program into my life once I had the baby and was ready to get back into things.

My six week check-up fell perfectly in line with the launch of the January ’12 Week Challenge’. So I hopped on board with a bunch of other girls I know and many I don’t know to give it a whirl. After a few funny texts with some friends, I decided to make an honest fitness Instagram account that didn’t hide the fact that I eat McDonald’s and grunt like I’m giving birth when I do a sit-up. The fitness world can seem so fake and weird. I’m enjoying that I get to do this program from the comfort of my own home but alongside other women in the city and the world from all walks of life and encourage each other on the journey via Instagram. There’s also a lot of avocado toast and fashion sports bras (yeah, I didn’t know that was a thing, either).

Unexpected Benefits

By now you have likely learned that I’m not exactly a health nut. I love junk food and I eat it frequently, with abandon. I still do! However, working out regularly is changing me in ways I find a bit annoying because I LOVE CHIPS. Here are a few of the benefits I did not believe would happen, despite people telling me I should expect these changes:

  • I want to eat veggies and fruit. Veggies have always been a struggle for me. I don’t hate them, I’m just indifferent.
  • I sleep better at night, and I need a shorter (or no) nap during the day. I’ve been saying to Willy for awhile, “If I didn’t need to nap, I could get a whole lot more done during the day.” Well, now I should probably start cleaning my house because I actually have time to. Just kidding, I’ll find something else to do like blog more or read books.
  • I’m more productive. Because I have to fit more into my day, I’ve had to plan more. This, in turn, is making me more productive rather than reactive to things. Ideally, at least. I need to go back to the ol’ days of scheduling all of my life.

To be honest, I used to resent that exercise fixes many of my life problems. I still kind of resent it. I am pretty lazy and love laying around and I don’t (yet) enjoy the workouts. I’m like everyone else who wants an easy solution, but alas that’s not real life.

So if you’re interested in following my real life fitness journey, you can do so by following @realbbglife.

Resolutions: One month check-up

I’m looking for submissions for my first Guest Post Series featuring how YOU and other regular people have gone about accomplishing difficult or seemingly wild things. Check out this post for more details.

Guys, I have good things to report! In case you forgot, here’s a quick recap on my New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Read a book every two weeks. 
  2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.
  3. Start Sewing/Cross-stitching.

That’s on top of other regular things that I’ve been trying to keep up with like having a morning routine. So how’s it going? Pretty good on the Resolutions front.

I’ve got reading down pat into a habitual thing (I think?). I read on the metro to and from work and for 30 minutes a day (which I track on my Lift app). That alone usually means I can get through a book in faster than 2 weeks, but I’m still not planning on changing my resolution. I’d like to give some margin for regular life to be able to happen.

I’ve been exercising 3x a week, and this week I’m going to start playing with adding swimming once a week as some of that exercise.

Sewing/Cross-stitching has totally not happened at all yet. I’m OK with that as I’m still figuring out the first two and getting back into the habit of my morning routine, which is going quite well! I’ve been getting up at 6:45 the last two weeks. It’s changing my body rhythms a bit again. I need coffee at 10AM instead of 1PM now, and I’m quite tired by 9PM. I’ve also been trying to write regularly on top of all that. This means I’m watching a lot less TV, but I still have time for a short episode of something.

The Downside

all the thingsThough my Resolutions are going well, there are other things in my life that have been pushed to the back-burner to make room for more reading and exercise. Things like grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning. These things don’t really even take place at the same time of day but they are definitely suffering. I think February will need to be about doing ALL! the things well together.

How do I train on a budget?


Source: Kalleboo

One of the thing that interests me currently is how to train for a run on a budget. Like a lot of things in life we can tend to think that we can’t do them if we don’t have money. How do you train to run a spring race during the winter if you don’t have the money for a gym membership? Or if you don’t have the cash to drop on YakTrax or all the other gear that will help you run safely outside? Rather than being discouraged from starting right from the get-go, I want to look into how to do it on the really cheap. Here’s what I’ve found.

Living room workouts

Here are a few things you can do in your living room that get your heart rate up and give you that cardio workout you’re looking for. FitnessBlender has some videos on YouTube including this one that is a 17 minute cardio workout. Like they say in the YT comments, there’s no music so that they can keep the videos free, so turn this on and your favourite dance song and go for it. There are lots of other cardio options that you can find online if you’re looking for variety. This series from Shape.com gives you a warm-up of stretches, a bunch of cardio, and then a warm-down of stretches.

The local/municipal pool

If you’re in a city, you probably have a pool that has free swim hours for residents (click here for Montreal). I’m lucky to have one within a 5 minute walk of my house. You can swim laps or pool run (I’ve just learned about this). The best thing is, the worse you are as a swimmer, the better a workout it is for you! So go find out the hours for your local adult swim and get a work out.

Use the local skating rinks

I’m planning on lacing up my skates to get some regular ice time. There are plenty of outdoor skating rinks in Montreal that are free. I don’t think it should be a problem finding a time when no kids are playing shinny. Well, I’ll get back to you on that one. Anyways, you can try skating laps and build your stamina that way. The great thing about skating is that it’s low impact (though not as low as pool running, I imagine) so it should be easier on your legs/knees than running.

Do you have other ideas of how to stay fit for free during the winter? Share them in the comments here

Body Break!

bodybreakWow, I’m seriously, seriously loving The Power of Habit. It’s giving me huge insight into how I can develop the lifestyle I want that will help me reach a bunch of these goals. I’ll post about some of these things later, but one of the things it talked about was how people who are successful in changing lifestyles (recovering alcoholics, people doing physical rehab) are often more successful than their peers because they have a plan for their day/situation/year or whatever. This means that they have an exit strategy or they have mentally rehearsed what to do if a craving arises, or if stress gets piled on (in the case of the alcoholic) or for the physical rehabilitation patient they have a plan for what to do when pain arises that they just need to push through.

I’m pretty sure this the reason why I’m not super bummed right now about my lack of ‘training’ for my 5k at the end of April. This was more or less a part of the plan. Winter run if possible, if not figure something out. I’m definitely figuring something out. I’ve been doing some morning exercises from a DVD at home but I’m taking small steps towards swimming a few times a week in the neighbourhood pool a few blocks from my place.

An example

The other day it was bitter cold out. I had two main goals for the evening: get groceries and buy a bathing suit. It took me all day to psych myself up to drive the 10 minutes to Wal-mart Super Centre where I could buy a bathing suit and groceries at the same time. I’m not exactly at my height of motivation, these days. I almost convinced myself not to step out into the cold and that anyone would understand why I wouldn’t want to go. I did go. I survived and I bought a non-fancy bathing suit. I was one step closer to regular swimming. It turns out the suit didn’t fit me in the end. Wop wop. But at least I tried, right?

Little wins, people. 

Now I need to go back to Wal-Mart and I’m so much more motivated to exchange that suit and get one that fits me and hit the pool. I also have a plan. Thursday evening I had planned to go to the pool for a first swim but then I found out my suit didn’t fit. Instead of being bummed that I couldn’t go (but was also pretty uninterested in leaving the house due to icky temperatures) I made a plan to ensure success: I’d buy a combo lock, I’d visit the pool during free swim time today and figure out how the place actually works. That means that after work when I’m planning to go swim, I’ll already know the drill and I can just do it.

It’s kind of embarrassing how easily I can get bummed about something and then give up altogether. In this case, I’m determined enough to anticipate problems and pre-determine solutions so that I can reach my goal.

Guys, I’m kind of excited to flail around in a pool a few times a week! What’s up with that?

What about you? Do you try to plan in order to set yourself up for success? Or does winning not matter much to you? Click here to leave a comment.

New Year’s Resolutions

I drafted this post back in December and had meant to post it then. Work projects built up and then Christmas came. So here we are four days into the New Year. I haven’t actually started working on these yet, but that hasn’t deterred me from working towards them. My goal is to be still doing this when the hoards of new people in the gym have long left.

I have three simple resolutions for myself: Read a book every two weeks; find other exercise to do 3x a week until I can run again; start a craft I can do while I watch TV.

1. Read a book every 2 weeks.

A few years ago I decided to try to read a book a week and that worked for about four weeks. Then I let life get out of hand. This year I know I actually have more time on my hands than I did that year, but I don’t want my life to revolve around reading only (because currently I consume way too much Netflix!), either. I’ve heard the phrase “Readers are leaders” often. I’m not sure how convened I am with being a leader — I just like life (and myself) more when l’m reading (non-fiction). I’m thinking through things more, I have more things to talk about in conversation with people, and life is just more interesting. I have a stack of free books I got on Kindle so I have no shortage of books to read. So this year I’m only going to have the goal of reading a book every two weeks.

2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.

Everyone knows that exercise is an important aspect of living a healthy life. For me, I’m a better employee and person when I’m exercising. Life is just better. I’ve never done a good job of maintaining any exercise through the winter so I imagine this will be the hardest one for me.

3.Start a craft (sewing or cross-stitching)

I’ve had a cross-stitch pattern in my mind for the last few months. I’ve figured out how to take it, put into Photoshop and turn it into a cross-stitch pattern. Now I just need to actually do it. My mom refreshed my memory on how to do it when I was visiting for Christmas so the next steps are to buy the right colour of embroidery thread and get going.

Have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? Are you toying with an idea but aren’t yet ready to commit? Have you already started? Share in the comments here!

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