The Trials and Tribulations of Trimester Three

Hi Everyone!

I know Flex and Shout has been pretty quiet lately, so I wanted to just give everyone a little update. School started 2 weeks ago and it’s been pretty busy. I guess I knew starting the year at the beginning of my third trimester wouldn’t be a breeze, but I wasn’t really prepared for how it would actually feel.

I feel tired. Super duper tired. Like, “putting my shoes on takes too much effort” tired. My workouts have been reduced to some walking and some very basic weight training. I’ve been using the nautilus machines at the gym, which helps balance the weight and focuses the exercise on each body part. Plus, I’ve been experiencing terrible reflux and a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, especially when I work out, which have slowed me down even more. So overall…the third trimester hasn’t been my cutest.

In other news, my girlfriends threw me the loveliest little baby shower this past weekend! My friends came in from all over the country including Texas, New York, New Hampshire and Indiana! Talk about a loved baby and mama! It was a nice distraction from the heartburn and fatigue.Β IMG_9837

Another thing I’ve noticed in the third trimester is a serious amount of body growth. I went from “pretty pregnant” to “enormously pregnant” seemingly overnight. I even outgrew my shoes…which was cool… Oy!

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Remember that pic on the left? That was literally RIGHT before I found out I was pregnant and at the peak of my physical fitness. Well, things are certainly looking different these days, but I have to say I still feel pretty confident and strong, regardless of the negative symptoms I’ve been experiencing. It really is cool to see your body change and grow and know the baby is changing and growing inside! Sure, it would be nice to fit into my normal shoes and not struggle to bend my fingers when it’s humid…but I think it’ll be worth it (I’m pretty sure it will!).

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10 more weeks until we meet this little monster. Hope everyone’s having a fabulous week!

xoR

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HIIT and Pancakes: A Weekend in the Life

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! We had a super busy couple of days with two nights of Passover and Easter with our families. So fun, so full, feelin’ great!

With the eat-a-thon we experienced this weekend, I was looking for some quick, full-body sweat sesh’s to ward off that icky sloth feeling. No, these weren’t workouts to make excuses for eating, these were workouts to help me stay on track and feel my best! The following is an awesome Full-Body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that I did on SundayΒ  morning before eating my body weight in stuffed shells:

Full Body HIIT

  • Time: approx. 40 minutes
  • Print

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This workout was modified from THIS Buzzfeed article. I also added a warm up and cool down from FitnessBlender.com, which are not only fun, but super important to avoid injury!

I also wanted to share my new favorite pancake recipe, modified from This Foodie Fiasco post. These bad boys are grain free, gluten free, low sugar, and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL DAY!

Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

IMG_5552Ingredients:

  • 2T Coconut Flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites or 1/4C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add whisked eggs and almond milk to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Add blueberries and additional almond milk if necessary (I usually do!). Spoon 1/3C into pancake shapes on griddle, frying pan or pancake pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fruit, syrup, nuts, peanut butter…whatever you want!

Let me know how they turn out! Sometimes I sub the blueberries for banana and they’re also super yum!

Have a fab week!

xoR

1 Year Flex and Shout Blog-iversary!

Hello! Today is Flex and Shout’s 1 year blog-iversary! I’m so proud of how Flex and Shout has evolved over the year (which of course means how I have evolved over the year), so I wanted to revisit some of my favorite posts from our inaugural year!

mod-1yearMy Favorite Workout Post:

Tabata remains one of my favorite HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. This post was also published on the HuffPost Blog (which was another fab perk of blogging this year!)

Favorite Educational Post:

GO LIFT NOW! I’m looking at you females that are still afraid of getting big (you won’t).

Favorite Recovery Centric Post:

Chalk full of .jif’s and real talk. Listen: recovery is a long and winding road. But once you’re there…it’s so worth it.

Favorite Group Fitness Post:

I still get barfy when I think about that humid workout. Woof!

Favorite Nutrition Post:

Carbs = good

Favorite Real Talk Post:

WHAT. A. YEAR. I am feeling awesome about the direction Flex and Shout is headed this year and I hope you’ll stick around to see where we land in a year!

Thank you all SO much for reading my little blog and for all the amazing feedback I’ve received this year. You all mean so much to me and if I was able to inspire even one person this year…then I’ve done my job.

xoR

2015: New Year, New Attitude

Hi! Welcome to post #1 of 2015! Yay! I hope everyone had a fabulous, fun, safe and memorable New Years πŸ™‚

We spent NYE in Chicago with some of our best friends, then spent 3 days hungover. Guess we’re not 21 anymore…Oh well! We still had a blast drinking champagne, dancing and prancing around in fancy outfits. Here are a few pics from our epic NYE celebration at Highline in Chicago. Professional pics are c/o Glitter Guts Photo booth:

Yes, I’m wearing a jumpsuit. Also, I had a little meltdown about how big my arms look in those pictures. The only way I was able to chill myself out was by looking at pictures of fellow fitchicks and realizing that those of us that lift weights have a little more meat on our arms. Oh, and also, no one else cares. Seriously. No one else is spending their evening staring at my arms and wishing they were smaller. I certainly didn’t do that to anyone else present that evening, or ever in my life for that matter. So…I’m making a deal with myself to be more realistic in 2015. I constantly strive to better myself toward a more balanced lifestyle, and that includes being nicer to myself. 2015 is the year of body kindness and acceptance. Who’s with me?!

Anyway, yesterday I had my first workout of 2015. It was following a 4 day bender of champagne, pizza, and shopping, so it wasn’t exactly my best sweat-sesh. Here’s the workout from Fitness Blender (my current obsession):

I don’t think I burned 1000 calories, nor did I intend to, but it was time for a good detox. Speaking of Fitness Blender, Daniel and Kelli (the founders, trainers and stars of the videos) are debuting a new 8 week challenge today! Chris and I have decided to give it a try, as we are going to Cancun in 6 weeks! We need a little extra motivation this time of year, and these workouts never let us down. It’s $10 and you can order it here! Join us and keep us updated on your progress!

In addition to our workout challenge, we are REALLY trying to be better about cooking our meals at home. So this weekend I collected up tons of pinterest recipes and last night began our homecooked challenge with this Skinnytaste recipe:

SO MUCH YUM!

Ok, that’s enough from me. Have a super fabulous week!

xoR

Holiday Cheer Without Any Fear

Good morning! Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday πŸ™‚

Chris and I are on vacation until January 5, which is pretty awesome. As you probably know, sometimes too much free time can be pretty stressful for me. 12 days off is really nice, but also a bit daunting for someone like me. So…what to do? Make a really strict vacation schedule and compulsively stick to it? Throw all structure to the wind and say “F it”? Maybe not…maybe find some middle ground…there in lies the difficult part.

This winter break, I’m taking time to reevaluate my “healthy life plan” and figure out how it fits into this busy life of mine. I’ve been thinking about healthy flexibility and how I can stay fit and healthy and still enjoy being a human being. So that being said, did I over-indulge on latkes on Chanukah and cookies on Christmas? Maybe. Did I force myself to workout for 3 hours the next day? Nope. I’ve been talking about my new plan to fit in good workouts in less time, and I recently found this 5 day workout plan on FitnessBlender which I LOVE. The workouts are all less than an hour and provide all kinds of modifications for increased and decreased intensity. Here’s day 1, which I completed on Friday:

Instead of completing day 2 on Saturday, Chris and I took Gloria for a long hike. She absolutely loved it and was a zombie the rest of the day, which is really hard to achieve.

photo(1)Otherwise, we’re just hangin’ around with family and will travel to Chicago on Wednesday for New Years with some of our bests! I bought a jumpsuit for New Years Eve, which is definitely a fashion risk for me, and instead of freaking out about how my body will look in it (which is my go-to), I’m getting a spray tan, wearing some HUGE hair, and moving on. I am all done with body shame and putting myself down. 2015 is the year of body pride and happy living for me. I will not say that that’s a resolution, per say, but rather an agreement to be nicer to myself. Check out this Buzzfeed article for more about body shaming in 2014. How are you going to fight back in 2015?

Have a fab week!

xoR

Are You Gonna Eat That? A Thanksgiving Reflection

Hi! Happy Day After Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a fabulous turkey day!

I am in the midst of a post-thanksgiving revelation. Last night was a game changer for my recovery. On the ride home, Chris and I were discussing how fun dinner was and how great it was to see everyone, and how good everything tasted. I realized that none of my thoughts or comments were related to feeling too full, feeling guilty about something I ate, or how I needed to hit the gym. That feels like recovery to me. Being completely present, laughing with my family, enjoying time together and eating what I want to eat.

This year I am thankful for so much. Our family had a pretty rough year, but persevered together. I am so incredibly thankful for my strong and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a beautiful new home, a husband that supports all my wacky ideas, two enormous orange cats and my goofy puppy. I am thankful for a body that gets up and does it’s job every day and doesn’t battle with my mind anymore.

With that, here are some pictures of the silliest Thanksgiving ever, where the house was filled with puppies, the disposal broke and the turkey might have been raw!

Real Talk: Recovery Sucks (but mostly so good!)

Gooood Morning! What a weekend! Woo!

Let’s talk weekends, summer and recovery. This past weekend was super busy between Rachel’s Boston Bridal Shower, a surprise party for my aunt and uncle and Chris’ family reunion. By the time I hit the couch last night for some HBO, I was exhausted. No, I was something more than exhausted. I was a disaster. My anxiety had gone from a little elevated last week to full fledged crazy person and my body image was nearing absolute zero. There were a lot of factors leading up it: being off my schedule with too much free time, lots of events with lots of food, being around a lot of beautiful girls that happen to be my best friends, drinking too much champagne. The list goes on. If you’ve been reading F&S, you know that summer tends to be a difficult time for me, but I’ve been talking about how successful I’ve been this summer and how awesome I’ve been feeling. Well…real talk: it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Sure, I’m much improved from past summers and I do not want to diminish my progress, but I think recovery ebbs and flows (although I do believe in true recovery), and right now I need to continue working on body image and mindfulness.

Chris caught me staring at pictures of myself yesterday and critiquing every inch of my body. It’s embarrassing when other people pick up on that, but also a good reminder that people love me even if a photo isn’t all that flattering. I think you’re only as recovered as you feel. So while some days I feel super recovered, some days I feel bummed about not being recovered enough. However, it all still rides on how you react to the feelings. You can act on the feelings by using destructive behaviors, or you can use strategies to help you get over the hump. Sometimes it’s a bummer to have call on old strategies, but knowing that they’re there for me can be really helpful.

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This is the picture I was examining. First of all: it’s so cute. Second, I’m wearing black, so you can’t tell where I start and end. Isn’t that the point of wearing black?! OMG it sounds so crazy the next day.

Another thing I try to remember is mindfulness. I find myself doing what in the biz call “pre-freaking out”. For example, I’m going to Miami in a few weeks with 7 other super hot ladies. I’ve been losing my mind about being in pictures in my bikini with all the other girls and I’m not even in Florida yet. I have NO idea how things are going to pan out there, or how I’m going to feel or how the other girls are going to feel, for that matter. I’m planting the idea of anxiety and body consciousness in my brain to use when I’m laying by the pool. It’s basically ED-inception and there’s no time for that while I’m hanging with my friends celebrating our favorite bride! So, instead, I’m trying to think about right here, right now. I’m taking care of my body and treating it in a non-abusive way and trying to give myself some compliments even when it’s hard.

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Could I have a better best friend?

Today, I’m going back to basics. I’m eating meals at meal times, staying busy with things that I enjoy, and not scrutinizing pictures that literally everyone else would think are adorable. And speaking of adorable pictures, here are some cuties from the weekend:

A few things: I was super uncomfortable in that green dress, which made me self-conscious the whole day. Not worth it. Also, I went a spin class this morning that Amanda (pictured above) taught. She kicked my ass. More on that tomorrow!

I’m off to do whatever I damn well please today (which does not include listening to ED). Have a fab day!

xoR