The magical fit circle (thanks Merrithew!)

Oh you guys, coming down from the high of vacation and the amazing blogfest, and back to reality, I got to try the Fitness Circle from http://www.merrithew.com/shop/accessories/circles !
Now, as someone who wanted (read: needed) to get into Pilates but never really made the time or money for it, this is perfect. At the blogfest, I received the http://www.merrithew.com/shop/ProductDetail/DV81234_Dvd–Strength-and-Endurance-Matwork-With-Props too! I WISHED I had the circle with me on my pre-blogfest vacation(snicker: that was when I fell, running in VA, and really bloodied and bruised my knees so I was out and now am finally getting back into running!)! It is a great piece of fitness gear to travel with the Fitness circle because it is lightweight and fits most bags. I haven’t taken it to the gym yet, but I certainly could.
One morning we had an errand to run so I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it to work, so I woke up, grabbed my lemon water, and popped in the DVD. We did get to stretch a little at blogfest with the fit circle but this was an excellent new 25minute workout for me, as it added variety and mixed up my mundane routine (run or the gym, I love both but sometimes need a shake up!)!
We warmed up, learned some great Pilates moves, and cooled down. They moved slowly enough that even I (uncoordinated!no Zumba here) could get the hang of it! I want to introduce it to my sisters or workout buds sometime too!
For more on fitness circles, go to http://pilates.about.com/od/buyingequipmentetc/bb/BuyExRing.htm

My only little dilemma is still my frustration with my beloved gym-pact.com When I can’t go to the gym and I try the “workout in home or office” I literally have to be moving so fast, that mat work, yoga, Pilates, good stretching, good Pinterest dumbbell workouts, don’t always count as movement:( so I have to run in place or do jumping jacks or something big and monstrous, just for it to register. In this case, the fit circle did about a good 15 minutes of movement but I was still having to move more for it to count(do other stuff, walk around house, etc) so I decided to not let it count and tried to walk on lunch so that it would still count. Now, wi things withings.comapp you have to carry your phone with you everywhere for it to count steps. It’s funny how some of my apps sync correctly with my fitbit.com and some don’t. I am still getting the hang of evrymove.com and the new underarmour.com heart rate monitor chest strap (I love it just am learning the apps). If I have wi things and fitbit synced, why doesn’t it count my steps from there? 🙂
See what I’m saying? It’s okay. Just laughing as I learn.
Go be a weekend warrior today! I’m taking my sister to the gym to try my most-fit.com yeahhh! #gettinswole

Disclosure: I received the Fit Circle at the IdeaWorld BlogFest. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the product for review. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Workout with my sis and then a workout with an Olympian!

Thursday night LAX was an absolute zoo. But I picked up my sister (ready to start her third year at biola.edu ) and we celebrated her 21st with Rose wine and Trader Joe’s cookie butter ice cream.
(Late night rare treats!)
So Friday morning came early and we were so tired but I was so excited for her to check out my favorite teacher’s Nike Training Bootcamp at 24 hour fitness.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?! It was super hard, even harder than usual, and we all wanted to just drop, pass out, or throw up. We did not quit, but it was super crazy! Jill(my beloved teacher) said, “If you think you aren’t good at burpees, come to my class where we do thousands!”& I looked over at my sis and said, “Um, they still don’t get any easier!” She loves intense HIIT like me, but we felt out of shape and sore yesterday. I came home from work Friday and she had really organized my kitchen, telling me she had napped, but no, she surprised me by cleaning, husband did laundry, and they made gluten free veggie pizza!
Yesterday I had a busy day but you wouldn’t know it by my step count. I went to spin and did a little weights, and I had a couple piano lessons, face timed my friend in Ireland and talked to my sis in Boston (she blogs at lavieurbane.com ). Then I fed my friend’s cats and we went down to Orange County for a friend’s goodbye party. I’m sad they are moving to TX, but thrilled at the same time for them.
This morning after church I made a yummy brunch and then I was off to the gym for a workout with personal trainer and Olympian athlete, J.R. Wilson.
When I saw this flyer at the gym, I just thought it was a short abs workout, figured it might be some hard crunches and such, but no!

I WAS WRONG! It was the hardest CORE workout, not what I was expecting.
First, we warmed up with high knees and butt kicks. We did THREE rounds of the following with dumbbells:
– Bulgarian split squats
– Sumo squat jumps
– Partner squats with shoulder press
We weren’t quite done yet! We did the Abs Saw, partner plank with high five claps, and then we finally cooled down and stretched. I felt a little weak and queasy toward the end, but I was fine once I drank water.
I could barely walk down stairs and out to my car!
This evening we took a short stroll to the park because I needed to stretch and get a few more steps(my fitbit is charging now).
We relaxed a lot today, so I feel tired now.

But WAIT, don’t go! I still have lots to review from the fitness expo, yet tonight I have exciting news! Not only am I a sweat pink ambassador fitapproach.com , I am now joining Girls Gone Sporty girlsgonesporty.com and girlsrunfaster.com ! I am truly honored! Thanks all!

Being present in the midst of chaos

Mindful? Meaningful? Everyone is looking for meaning aren’t we?
We all want to slow down. We all need to breathe. We sometimes need a vacation after a vacation.
While I was on vacation, I did not sleep well nor did I get must rest. However, I spent quality family time with in-laws and met some terrific new friends.
One of them, my new blogger bud sportswithoutinjury.com just posted a wonderful review of our fabulous fitapproach.com sweatpink blogfest at IdeaWorld! He mentioned yours truly so that’s where I got my title from.
One of my inspirational friends Sarah at theseasonaldiet.com has been doing weekend cleanses or challenges here and there, and this is where I got inspired to write this post.
Now, in all honesty, I needed to write this post! I have been stressed out to the max. I am doing a lot! (My workouts and healthy cooking, and blogging, but also my piano lessons I teach, and mainly my full time job, then there’s social and community groups or book clubs sometimes, and this summer we pet sat often!). Mainly because my husband can’t find work, but he helps try to lighten the housework and such! I am prone to headaches, depression, anxiety panic attacks, and I think I have ADHD, and I can be very emotional and hormonally off balance sometimes. I am a doer who doesn’t have the patience for procrastination, who used to hate yoga because it made me sit still, and I am proud of my efficient multitasking skills.
Lately I had read or seen lots of articles or quotes about how multitasking is not a good thing. I was starting to feel guilty and overwhelmed that I am not centered, focused, or grounded (which is why my anchor ankle tattoo is there, to remind me to stay on track!). I want more girls’ nights or more time to relax, but I don’t make time for those.
Every morning, I try to give myself time to wake up by meditating or reading. I especially enjoy the guided meditations, free challenges that Oprah does with chopra.com or the mentorschannel.com. I like devotional plans on the You version Holy Bible app, but I also prefer staying unplugged and just reading or journaling in a quiet place too!
Here’s where the problem lies. After a good 15-30minutes, I go take my vitamin shake reliv.com, I get dressed in work out clothes, and then after my workout and shower, I’m at work. On lunch I like to walk, stretch, or read, but my dilemma is, I have forgotten all what the guide(the yogi, the Book, etc) said to me that morning! Other things take me through my day, busyness, rude people, motivating friends, yummy food, and other distractions like that! At night, I want to put dinner on the table, read or watch something mindless, stretch, and hit the hay.
I KNOW meditation works, I know I like it, I just want that “fully present” moment to last all throughout the day. My attitude goes up and down based on circumstances, which means I am still learning contentment.
I have read good books and articles on this subject. I should know!:)
I know many people who claim to be yogis, yoga practice peeps, yoga masters, and “all I do is yoga!” people. Yet they don’t seem fully aware or present, they seem uptight and busy, tense like a crazy squirrel.
I am worried I am becoming just that!
What tools do you use for slowing down, meditating, and getting RnR?
Light a candle or incense? Do you have a favorite essential oil? A tea or book or favorite locale? Bubble bath? Ocean? Hiking?
Anyway, I don’t want to worry about worrying either!
I look forward to Saturdays (in between piano students) where I can read in the sun or do yoga outside or rest at Descanso Gardens or the beach.
Anybody got a way to get a little peace&quiet during the week though?!
Thanks! I appreciate tips.

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Hyalogic (product review)

Ahhhh! I am breathing in and out “OM” in my hyalogic.com bath soak. It is so good to be home, back into routines, back in my own bed, cooking in my kitchen, and today back to my gym buddies and work family. At first, the Hyalogic’s scented soak powder was a little strong then I got used to it and eased into a relaxing bath. I liked the feel of it, it didn’t scratch my skin like a harsh crystal sugar or salt. It helps my joints like my bad back and knees!
They also gave me a supplement in the form of a lozenge, also for joint health. It tasted great!!
Last night I gave myself a facial and then used Hyalogic’s anti aging episilk serum to lock in moisture. It felt really good on my face! When it dried it almost felt a tiny bit tight like a peel, but in the end it made my skin very soft and supple. I woke feeling refreshed (no pimples or anything bad like red puffiness or noticeable reactions, since sometimes my skin can be sensitive). With a lot of moisturizers my combination skin tends to get clogged pores and blackheads when I use new products like this, but it feels great!
I got super excited meeting them at their booth at the IdeaWorld expo. Wanna know why? Alan Smiley at the booth said to me, “it’s what we put in our mouths that can come our in our skin”! I love that! So true! Garbage in, garbage out! Clean eats, clean skin! Yay for healthy joints!
Let’s go eat clean and train dirty today!

Disclosure: I received these samples at IdeaWorld fitness expo. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the product for review. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Mid week to end of week in a nutshell!

IdeaWorld Health and fitness expo! Vacation with in laws back east! Two wonderful reasons why I skipped the mid week post. We traveled home from VA Wednesday night and I got up eeeeeearrrrllllyyy Thursday for traveling with the wonderful thebalancedbrunette.com to a Idea Fit and fitapproach.com‘s blogfest! As sweatpink ambassadors we got to learn from the best all day Thursday and Friday, and received great promo products and sampled a variety at the Expo.
She stayed in a nearby hotel and I stayed at a friends home, and on Saturday and today we got to try some sessions and workshops with top fairness professionals. We networked, learned a lot, and laughed it up with people like Jillian Michaels and blogilates.com
A fabulous week all in all, so you will see a lot of product reviews and posts coming up!

My week thus far…

This is the one where I get to tell you about schedule changes, busy days, and mention how tired I am…

I used to exercise first thing in the morning to get it over with. Now that I work later, I workout in the morning because it would never happen after work! I have found morning gym classes I love, and I look forward to seeing my gym buddies in the morning. Getting there early means prime parking and first dibs on machines. (My 24 hour fitness gyms seem to be super busy in the after work rush hours). I was starting to get into a nice routine of trying to do my hair and makeup, jewelry and meals planned out also.

This summer we took a few pet sitting jobs which meant my schedule changed a little(I’d go back and forth to check on animals instead of showering at he gym or at my own place so I had less time at the gym, which is okay because I’d walk or hike the dog or I’d run a new trail).

Then boom! Monday until tomorrow I’ve had to do computer training at work, 7-11am classes, then go to my desk. Monday I was super bummed I didn’t get very far with my fitbit. I should have tied it onto my shoelace when I went on the elliptical on lunch. Even though we go to bed around 10-10:30pm, waking up before 7 is always hard for me. Do I shower at 5:30am? Do I shower at night? I have been doing well with meal planning! I just have had these super long, draining days! Yesterday I did the indoor bike. Today I had a great hard hilly run. Tomorrow I should do weights but I want it to be a tough(Pinterest maybe?) workout.

Then Friday, I wake up real early and jump on a plane for…

VACATION!

Oh by the way, do me a favor and go check out my sister’s new blog at my-life-is-true.com