Merry Christmas!

I wanted to take a quick moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! This is truly the season of giving, and though I don’t know many of you personally, I’m so grateful for the support and suggestions I receive from so many of you. It’s been amazing to see this little blog that could grow into something so rewarding!

Hopefully you are spending your holiday among friends and family. I’m back home in Illinois for the first time since last Christmas, and though I’m reminded why I left (10 degrees is NOT habitable for my always cold body), it has served to prove once again that family truly is the most important thing. So, go sing some carols, open some presents, maybe even eat a couple cookies (you can work them off tomorrow). I’m going to head down for my dad’s not likely healthy breakfast, open some gifts, and watch “Christmas Vacation.” And no, I’m not planning on changing out of my pajamas.

Merry Christmas!

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Back From Paradise …

Yesterday was one of my least favorite days of the year … the end of vacation. After eight amazing days of sun, sand and fun with the family, I made the seven hour drive back to reality.

It was so nice to see the family and have the time to catch up with everyone. We have been going to South Carolina with my dad’s brother and his family for 19 years now (crazy to think it’s been so long!), and it has never gotten old (though we have). Though my brothers opted out of the trip for the second year in a row, we did still have a couple extra faces this year – my cousin’s wife’s parents decided to join the party! We had a great time, the weather was almost perfect, and my cousin Julia and I continually discussed how we’d be able to find jobs as beach bums (if only such a thing existed. If you know of a way to make this happen, please let us know. Because we’re in.)

I had a lot of time to think during the trip, which, if you know anything about me, is both a good and bad thing. If you read Monday’s post, you know that I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’m not where I want to be in my life – in just about every facet – and I’m working through several difficult conflicts, so it was nice to have the opportunity to watch the waves, feel the sand beneath my feet, and be with my thoughts. There is something about the smells and sounds of the ocean … I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders the second I saw and heard the waves. There really is nothing more relaxing and comforting to me.

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I also had the opportunity to play my first 18 holes of golf with my dad, uncle and cousin Bryant. It was … interesting. While I have to say that I did better than I expected, I also have to admit that I played almost every single shot with a 7 iron. It was the club that I used in my lessons, and clearly I need a little practice with the other clubs. But after I tried to use the driver the first hole (and dug up half of the tee area), I figured I needed to stick with what I knew. Seriously, other than the putter, nothing came out of that bag. But at least I didn’t have the ranger yelling at me to stay on the cart path every other hole (that was my dad) and I didn’t almost lose my club in the woods when it went flying along with the ball on a shot (that was my uncle). I have to admit, seeing how bad the other three were, too, made me feel a little better about my remedial golf skills. But check it out … at least I looked the part!

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But now it’s back to reality. Taught my first two classes post-vacation this morning, and surprisingly they felt pretty good (and, also surprisingly, the scale was not my enemy this morning … not sure how that happened but I’m NOT going to argue that one). I’m planning on enjoying the rest of what is technically the last day of my vacation. Until next year…

Vacation Time is Finally Here!

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Today begins my absolute favorite week of the year – vacation time! My family has been going to North Myrtle Beach, SC for almost 20 years, and I have to say, it’s never gotten old (though we certainly have)! I’m hitting the road early, in hopes of missing as much traffic as possible, and getting to the beach around 1 p.m. or so … early enough to still hit prime sun time!

Perhaps one of the most important things about my annual beach trip is that is gives me a reason to do something I’m not so good about throughout most of the year – rest and relax. I know that my body is craving a break about now, and with workouts only as strenuous as a daily walk down the beach, I’m sure I’ll come home nice and recovered, re-energized, and ready to take on some new challenges. I’ve been feeling a little tired physically lately, and I have had so much on my mind that I’m certainly overdue for a mental break, too (running is great, but it really only goes so far in turning my brain off sometimes … and the older I get, the more I ache the next day after a nice, hard run).

For my XSport Alexandria folks, here’s who you can look forward to seeing in my absence this week (note that some of the formats will be different than you are used to, so apologies in advance):

Sunday: 9:30 Piloxing will be BodyCombat with Leah this week. Beth will be stepping in for my 10:45 Pilates class.
Wednesday: Leah will be back for Piloxing at 6:00, and instead of Pilates, you will have BodyFlow with Allison at 7:15 this week.
Thursday: Jen will be covering my 5:45 cycle class.

I’ll be back in town next Saturday evening, so I’ll be home in time for Piloxing and Pilates again on July 21. Though a word of warning … after a week of sleeping in and taking it easy, it might be kind of scary (though that may be a good thing for you)!

Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I’m taking a blog break, though! You can look forward to a couple of guest posts, some inspiration, and maybe a few random thoughts or exercises throughout the week. Hopefully after nine days of family time, I’ll come up with some new ideas for upcoming posts, because I’ve found that every time I’m with the family, I’m answering questions about nutrition or exercises or something health related.

Until next time … here’s to my favorite day of the year!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are enjoying the holiday with family and friends.

Just a reminder to take a little time off to be thankful for all we have today. At the end of the day, our health and the speciL people in our lives are the most important things. Take time for good company and good food … and worry about getting back to exercise and good food tomorrow. Everyone deserves a cookie or two on Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Hope Santa treats you well this year 🙂

Vacation Time!

Today starts my absolute favorite day of the year – the annual week (okay, it’s technically 9 days) at the beach with the family! It got me thinking about what I love most about this week, and I think there are three things: the company, the beach itself, and the fact that this is the one week in the entire year that I let myself completely rest, decompress and fully recover.

I know I’ve touched on the concept of rest in the past, but it’s not exactly something I’ve excelled in (it’s kind of a forced – an I know I have to take one day a week off kind of thing). In fact, the thought of taking more than one day in a row off from the gym practically gives me hives. But I do know it’s good for me, and this week is all about rest. I’ll be sitting in my beach chair, book in hand, for somewhere between 6-8 hours a day, and loving every second of it. The most strenuous exercise I plan on partaking in is a long walk along the coast … or wrestling the beach chairs/coolers/bags/whatever else I end up stuck carrying down from the condo down to the beach.

That said, I know vacation is supposed to be all about relaxation, but I have a couple of goals as I hit the road this week:

  • Keep up the nutrition end of the bargain. My family been taking this trip for 18 years. I know we’ll eat out every night – which means I have to be conscious of what I’m consuming during the day. Not to mention think about what I’m ordering at dinner each night (and keeping my fingers crossed that I can pull off the impossible – talking the family out of this particularly horrendous seafood buffet they insist on going to despite its outrageous cost and food that doesn’t even taste good, most of which is fried … but I digress).
  • Educate mom and dad a little on the food front. Here’s the thing – I think they do try, but my dad assumes that “low fat” means good for you (it certainly does not), and my mom is an “I don’t miss it if I don’t see it” type … but my dad will buy her food he knows she likes (and is trying to avoid). So I’m predicting a few chats about label reading, sugar, protein and portion control in my future.
  • RELAX! My full-time job has been kicking my butt the last few weeks (I swear, I don’t think I’ve been as busy as I have been lately in my nearly three years with the company – I earned this vacation!) I train hard. I teach five classes a week (and the occasional extra class here and there). I’m usually ready to collapse by the time Friday rolls around. My body needs a break – and I’m pretty sure my mind, my soul and my sanity need it, too.

So, though I’m planning on spending as much time as possible on the beach (practicing safe sun, naturally … though mom and dad would beg to differ), I am still planning on doing some blogging while I’m gone, so stay tuned for some inspiration, exercises and ideas still to come while I relax and rejeuvenate!