making new habits, ditching some old ones

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You might be wondering, where has this blog even been?  

Or, you might not.  Anybody out there?  It's been January after all, time where our friends all either turn into hibernating bears or overactive resolutioners - I tend to fall into that latter camp!  January has always been a historically motivated month for me.  I get completely sucked into the promise of a fresh start, and I'm a little (a lot?) type A so I love a challenge.  I had already been doing Kayla Itsines' BBG (check that out here, not sponsored) which is way intense but when you combine it with a not so stellar holiday diet and some random 3 mile runs it wasn't like I was making any big fitness strides.  

My yoga studio does a January challenge called the "bender" and for $30, you can go to yoga every day in January and if you manage that, you get February for free.  I signed up and figured why not?  
Then I decided if I was going to do yoga every day I probably should try to keep my energy up and work on my nutrition, so I also decided to give up alcohol for the month of January.  

I could've stopped there, huh?  

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But......my running was getting a little boring and with the cold weather, it was getting hard to get motivated to hit the pavement, so I joined a training team that does long runs on Sundays.  I also continued with BBG.  Whew.  Am I really annoying yet?  

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You might think that after all this I'm getting ready to tell you I got completely burned out and that this all went up in flames, but weirdly, it didn't.  I did 30 days of yoga.  I ran twice a week, one speed run and one long run.  I continued with BBG until last week.  I nailed poses I'd never dreamed I'd actually get, like peacock pose shown above.  I didn't miss alcohol - not even really a little bit.  I also was probably the happiest I've ever been in the month of January - a month that is historically rough for all of us with its short days, cold temps, and lack of holiday gatherings!  I had ENDORPHINS to look forward to every day and it was kind of the best thing ever, and still is.  

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The biggest surprise?  How much I didn't miss booze.  I've not recently been a very heavy drinker per se, but a glass of wine or two on a weeknight wasn't unusual and neither was 4-5 on a weekend night.  I always kind of figured, what was the hurt if I was still getting in runs and BBG workouts 3-4 days a week?  At the core of it, there wasn't a big problem there, but there was the allure of what could be.  Truly, it was disappointing to my inner beer nerd/wino that.....I felt SO.  MUCH.  BETTER.  

Within a couple days I was practically bouncing out of bed at 5:30, with time to spare before Claire woke up every day.  I pushed further in my workouts and had more energy all day long.  Most apparently, I didn't lose a pound on the scale but my body fat percentage got a bit lower and my abs actually started to show up - something I've never seen before regardless of how much cardio I do or how much I restrict my calories.  On the last night of the month I actually went out to celebrate the end of the yoga bender, had a couple glasses of wine, didn't enjoy much past the second one and came home by 11:30.  It's official - I replaced wanting a cocktail with wanting to feel energized and clear headed all the time.  

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So what's my current plan?  Well, right now I'm following a mixture of the Progress Pure Curve Guide (which is straight up weight lifting) 4 days a week, some Tone It Up workouts as warm ups before my weight lifting sessions, running one speed run and one long run with the training group each week for half marathon training, and Yogahour classes 3 days a week.  Yes, that means that about 3 days a week I work out more than once, at least once very very early in the morning.  I also mix it up with a dance, boxing, barre, or some random new class once a week or so.  I'm loving the group runs more than I ever thought I would - it is so motivating to have a pace group that sticks together, and knowing they expect me to show up makes me want to wake up and run!  

While I was doing the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan for about 4 weeks, I quickly realized that my goal wasn't so much to lose weight as it was to gain muscle and reduce my body fat percentage (also, um, I was hungry ALL THE TIME on the Tone It Up nutrition plan, possibly because I'm still breastfeeding) so I switched over to tracking my macros.  You might have seen the hashtag #iifym?  My calculation has me eating a high protein/moderate carb/low fat diet- I learned how to calculate my macros to suit my goals this using THIS book, which I highly recommend.  I eat about 2000 calories a day and I lost 2 pounds this week.  Don't pay someone online to do it for you, btw.  It's silly, and there are plenty of easily accessible formulas for your goals (I'd be happy to do a post on it if anyone is interested!)  Once I've finished up the Curve Guide I'll be switching to the author's one year weight training program.  

So you might be wondering how I stayed motivated all month long and still now?  A couple of things.  For one, I feel great.  For another, I started a fitness related Instagram account.  I had been encouraged to do this by a number of online fitness gurus and had been hesitant for a quite a while, but there is an amazing fitness community online and through putting myself out there I even found the Tone It Up community in St Louis and got together with the girls for a meet up!  My fitness Instagram is here, separate from my family account that is mostly photos of Claire because I mostly post my workouts, food, and to be honest lots of sweaty selfies!  

So that's what I've been doing!  Along with a lot of being a wife, mother, daughter, and employee but I just thought I'd fill you in on what had been occupying the bit of time I previously spent blogging.  I know I've done a few fitness related posts before, but if you're interested in more, please let me know!  I'd love to write them - detailed workouts, what I ate, reviews of the gear or supplements I've bought lately, whatever!  We'll get back to the regularly scheduled baby photo programming later this week, cross my heart!  

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