Everything You Would Want To Know About My Fitness Lately

Apparently being “on track” was a hot topic early this week!

I posted my thoughts on “getting back on track” after vacation on Monday. Paige posted “How to Bounce Back After Falling Off Track” on Monday. Colby posted “Staying On Track” on Sunday. (p.s. loved both of their posts! go check ’em out!)

Also hot this week? The TEMPERATURES.

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…for some people this is light cheese, but this is steamy for me.

These temperatures are making me feel perpetually sweaty. Not to mention how much my face sweats during my workouts, especially if I take them outdoors.

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I’m not a cat person, but this fella here is my spirit animal of the summer.

And that was the drawn-out transition to the real topic of today: how my fitness has been looking lately!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been posting more fitness videos in the past few months, ever since I officially joined Fit University.

I could say, “A bunch of people have been asking me about my workouts,” but that would be a big, fat lie. I think only my aunt has actually asked, but I thought I’d give you all a detailed post about my fitness in case you were curious!


How often do I work out? 

Right now, 4-6 times per week. I try to move in some way or another every day, but complete rest days are definitely in there every week.

What is a typical week of workouts for me?

  • 2-4 days of HIIT workouts OR strength/conditioning
  • 2-4 active rest days/lower intensity workouts (yoga, pilates, skill work, etc.)
  • 1-2 full rest days

I rarely do solely strength days these days, mostly because I don’t have time, but I also don’t currently have access to a lot of good, heavy strength equipment (read: a squat rack). If I do strength, there’s always some cardio/circuit training involved.

For example, here are last week’s workouts:

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sorry for the weird formatting — these are all screenshots

How do I decide what to do?

My workout depends on:

  • how much time I have
  • what kind of equipment is available/if I get to the gym or not
  • what I’m feeling that day (the #1 factor)

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sometimes I feel like this before and/or after the gym

Sometimes I write my workouts the day before if I have an idea of what my body will want/what I would like to work on. More often than not though, I just go with the flow. I love to challenge myself in order to improve, but I don’t strictly hold myself to a certain workout/rep scheme/weight if I’m really not feelin’ it. I’ve really learned to embrace modification.

I also like to add a lot of compound movements (like burpees!) to my workouts. I don’t usually like to dedicate any more than one hour to a structured workout, so compound movements help me work a bunch of different muscle groups in a short period of time!

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rowing is the only cardio machine I like these days

Lastly, I draw inspiration from so many different people around the internet. My favorites:

I love to do their workouts, but for the most part, I’ve been writing my own workouts based on their formats. Or sometimes I just come up with something completely new.

P.S. Most of the time, I end with stretching.

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Do I have any fitness goals?

I’m mostly just aiming to be consistent and to continuously challenge myself, but if I had to point out specific goals (which I have not written down until now):

  • handstand walks
  • one arm handstand hold with my legs together (against a wall for now)
  • strict toes to bar
  • increase pull-up reps
  • explosiveness

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I need to get back to these stairs sometime soon too.

How do I get better at a skill/exercise?

Do it over and over and over again. Use progressions (!!!), do drills, and focus on good form, but just practice. Take good rest days and eat enough too!

How do I decide whether I want to work out or not?

I do not work out when:

  • I’m absolutely exhausted, to the point where walking is difficult and I know I need sleep.
  • I have other fun plans that I cannot pass up.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve taken a rest day.
  • I just don’t have time.

I might work out OR do an active rest day if:

  • I’m sore.
  • I’m really craving a stretch.
  • I just want to work on yoga, pilates, mobility or skills.
  • I’m sleepy.
  • Sweating a lot would be inconvenient.

I do work out (i.e. circuit/HIIT/strength) when none of the above apply.

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Why do I work out?

It makes me happy. (Don’t roll your eyes at me yet!)

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No, working out did not always make me happy in the past. Yes, workouts can totally suck while I’m doing them.

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me between every round of last Thursday’s workout

That’s why I’m such a proponent of working out depending on how you feel. It’s important to challenge yourself and push past comfort if you want to improve, this is true. But if you’re making yourself miserable day in and day out, you’re damaging your relationship with fitness (and probably damaging your body too).

I still get nervous before some of my workouts, because I know they’ll be difficult. I still think of giving up after the first round sometimes.

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It’s an awesome feeling to be 100% spent after completing a workout, but not every day!

The difference between now and the past (when I obsessively exercised in tandem with my disordered eating habits) is that I don’t lift a weight just because someone else lifted that weight. I appreciate the progress that I make, but realize that some days are better than others. I no longer work out with the pressure of burning a certain number of calories. I am no longer ashamed of modifying. I am no longer afraid to fail.

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throwback to when Sarah’s Cyc class absolutely kicked my ass

It took me a long time to be okay with those things, but time is a great healer. I thank God for the gift of movement and its healing/therapeutic/confidence-boosting powers. I guess that’s why physical therapy is so attractive to me!

How do I motivate myself to work out?

Before the workout: The more I listen to my body and allow myself to do the workout I’m craving, the more motivated I am. On harder workout days, it does take a little bit more mental effort, but knowing that there is an opportunity to move, improve, and take care of my body is enough to get me to at least start the workout.

During the workout: I used to think of badass athletes for motivation when I worked out, but ever since starting work at the rehab hospital, I actually think of the patients when I work out. In my head, I hear the therapists saying things like, “You said you couldn’t do one more step ten steps ago! One more, c’mon.” People who are fighting to walk inspire me to fight during my workouts, as cheeeeeeee-zeeeeee as that sounds.

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How do I know when to push through workouts/How do I push through?

It takes time to truly listen to your body. I think each individual has to find out how to do that through trial and error. I’ve learned some nuggets of wisdom from great fitness role models that have helped me though:

  • Complete a good warmup and see how you feel if you are on the fence about working out or not.
  • The beginning of the workout is always the hardest…
  • …BUT if your form is failing (on exercises that you can normally do well) and you feel miserable after the first round, you probably need to stop and take a day off OR modify. Working out can do more damage than good on some days.
  • Focus on one exercise at a time.
  • Form and safety are most important.
  • You don’t have to push to failure every time. I don’t even think you should push to failure every time.
  • BREATHE.
  • You can often do more than your mind initially thinks you can do. (And if your body can’t, then at least you tried!)

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So there ya have it! Everything about my fitness that you didn’t even ask for. 🙂 But seriously, I hope some of you found this helpful for your own fitness journeys. Please remember that these are all things that have worked for me personally through experience. Everyone is different! And although I do my best to learn from credible sources, I am not an expert in anything.


So tell me:

How do you like to move on a weekly basis?

Do you have any fitness goals?

How do you listen to your body when it comes to working out or not?

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Spontaneity Can Lead to the Best Experiences

I’m not that adventurous.

If I say yes to doing something a little offbeat or spontaneous, it’s because I’m really going against my natural tendency. That natural tendency is to stick to plans or do productive things at home. Even in college, I can be a total homebody.

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my go-to excuse

However, during my last couple of days at home, I’ve agreed (sometimes reluctantly) to a few spontaneous ventures that I 100% loved.

It all started on Thursday morning with a spontaneous breakfast that I had never tried before: Julie’s egg white oatmeal protein pancake.

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I had been familiar with how much Julie loves this recipe for a long time, but I was always skeptical of it because the ingredients are egg whites, oats, stevia, and cinnamon. No blending involved. Hm.

Nevertheless, I branched out and made the monstrous pancake. First of all, just flipping the thing took 3 minutes. Secondly, I wasn’t very impressed at first bite, because it tasted like sweet egg whites… But the more I ate it, the more I enjoyed it. The peanut butter and banana helped, I’m sure.

Spontaneous breakfast — thumbs up!

My workout on Thursday was also spontaneous. I was kinda sore and really full for a long time from the mass of egg whites sitting in my stomach, so I bundled up, walked outside (per Amanda’s suggestion!) and headed towards the playground. When I got there I ended up doing a fun circuit workout using the bench!

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Spontaneous workout — thumbs up!

Lunch wasn’t spontaneous, but it was at a weird time of day (like, 4pm?) since I slept in and ate breakfast really late that day.

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flatout wrap with avocado, greens, honey mustard chicken, and artichokes (!!!)

I attended modern dance class at my old dance school on Thursday night, which was so fun. My good friend Susie (who was in dance company with me in high school) also attended the class asked if I wanted to join her for dinner afterwards.

My thought process: “I could go home and do some things on my to-do list. But that would be stupid and boring because COME ON, of course I want to catch up with Susie!!”

So we ate and chatted, and it was absolutely wonderful.

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We also ordered the same grilled vegetable sandwich, which was delicious.

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Spontaneous dinner date — thumbs up!

Yesterday brought about a few more spontaneous events. One was a lovely lunch date and walk with Madre! She wanted to take me to a cute patisserie in Greenwich, CT (where I spotted Food Network superstar Geoffrey Zakarian, who ignored me) called Aux Delices.

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It’s a pricey little place (classic Greenwich), but the food was well worth it.

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salmon salad, golden beets, wheat berry salad, and Italian tuna salad (#FishFriday)

Then we walked/jammed out/danced/snacked together.

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Spontaneous mother-daughter date — thumbs up!

I think the real kicker is this one. Our neighbors had two tickets to see Blind Boys of Alabama last night, but they offered the tickets to us since something came up and they couldn’t attend. I was about to say, “Aw thank you, but we have plans for dinner tonight.” But Madre quickly answered, “Oh! Thank you! Alison, you can go with Dad!”

Oooookay.

So we all ate a nice dinner at home together, and then Pop and I went to see this group that I had never heard of before.

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last sunny side eggs on avocado/cheese toast for a while! (drizzled with sriracha post-pic)

If you haven’t heard of Blind Boys of Alabama (like I hadn’t before last night), they’re a group of men who met at the Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, where they first started singing together. They toured when Jim Crow laws were still in place, and they even performed for Martin Luther King Jr. benefits (how appropriate for this weekend in America!). HOW COOL!?

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I’d describe their style as bluesy gospel with a big dose of soul and a sprinkle of funk. They’re incredibly talented people!

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Verdict? Well, I was smiling and dancing in my seat the whole time if that says anything. I might have been the youngest one in the audience, but I was clapping and bopping my head just like the rest of ’em.

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Overall, I adored their music and their fun-loving, soulful character. Check out their grooviness.

Spontaneous concert — thumbs up!

Pop and I finished off the evening with classic yogurt bowls back at home.

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No-bake treat sampler on the side, compliments of Arman!

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Throwback to last year when Pop and I ate dessert together…

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Why did we decide on Greek yogurt over ice cream this year??? Beats me.

I’m going back to Boston today! Sad to be leaving home and blogging more than once a week, but stoked to be seeing friends and diving into the semester (← also nervous about the latter).

Happy Saturday!

So tell me:

Do you like spontaneity?

What was the last spontaneous thing you did and loved?

What was the last concert you attended?

Overnight Breakfast Obsession

God bless refrigerators.

Some of you might know how much I love overnight oats (<— I need to update that recipe a little!), but in the past couple years I’ve discovered some other overnight breakfasts that are making me dance before I’m fully cognizant in the morning.

Not only are these breakfasts delicious (thanks to the breakfast trifecta), but they require little to no effort in the morning when you’re running late so ready to eat breakfast. Here’s a look at some of the overnight breakfasts I’ve been loving lately.

“Banana Pudding for Breakfast” via Yeah…Imma Eat That

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One of the most ingenious and impressive-looking breakfasts ever. It’s basically a peanut butter oatmeal cookie – yogurt parfait. Praaaaise.

Next up is this banana bread “custard” oatmeal, inspired by The Big Man’s World.

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Get this: You cook oatmeal on the stovetop the night before, and you add a whole egg and some coconut flour to make it the most doughy, fluffy oatmeal ever. Then you chill it in the fridge overnight, which makes it this dense, cake-like dish.

The night before, I cooked 1/2 c. rolled oats in 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. milk. Then I stirred in half a very ripe banana, 1 tbsp. coconut flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of honey. Once it was thickened, I turned off the heat and whisked in a whole egg.

Optional: eat with a side of plain Greek yogurt for some more texture and creamy dreaminess.

Last one is something you’ve often seen: overnight oat smoothies, inspired by Kath Eats.

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This is what I ate this morning, and it was the most luscious smoothie ever. I’m sad it’s gone.

In the blender last night:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. plain greek yogurt
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • pinch of salt

Pop it in the fridge. Then in the morning, add half a frozen banana and half a frozen peach (~1.5 c. frozen fruit total). Add more milk as needed to blend your concoction into a magical cloud of peachy, peanut buttery goodness.

The chia seeds and frozen fruit MAKE this smoothie.

I’m done fan-girling over my breakfasts.

(for today.)

Now onto Weekly Moves and Grooves! I’m still keeping workouts low-key and feeling pretty awesome. I’ve loved working on mobility and skills such as handstands this summer.

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: handstands and mobility in the hotel
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 8 minute abs
  • Tuesday: 45 minute yoga
  • Wednesday: 1 mile walk, (probably too many) air squats and other bodyweight leg exercises, handstands
  • Thursday: Rest

Today is my last day at my physical therapy internship! It’s been an amazing learning experience, and I’m grateful for the people with whom I’ve worked.

Tomorrow starts early for Dad and I, since we’re driving up to Ontariooooo. It’s been a hot minute since we visited our relatives in Canada, so I’m stoked!

Happy Friday! Let your hair loose, let your foot loose, don’t let your dog loose.

So tell me:

Do you like overnight breakfasts? Any favorites?

How did you move this week?

What are you doing this weekend?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXI {Living Life Can Be a Workout}

Thanks for making my heart explode with your love, support and prayers on Thursday’s post ♥ 

What is GOOD?

Hopefully a lot of things are good in your world right now. I’m on spring break right now, so I’m back home in New York currently! More on the hip happenings tomorrow, but let’s get into some…

weekly moves and grooves

It seriously amazes me how much college students (at least at Boston University) need to move in order to get through their days. Walking to the dining halls, to class, to the gym, here, there, and everywhere. I’m planning on putting up a post about ways to stay active in college, but just living life can be great exercise. We walk around with book bags all the darn day and I’m sure some of us cover at least 2-3 miles every day!

So besides the general walking and stair climbing, here’s how I moved and grooved this week:

Sunday

Rest

Monday

100 jumping jacks + gymnastics warmup + pistol burpee ladder + 12 minute interval workout

All in the dorm!

The pistol squat-burpee ladder used this rep scheme from Jen at Peanut Butter Runner. I just went down the ladder, not up!

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And then I did Lori and Michelle’s 12 minute interval workout which further smoked my legs!

I had quite a sore butt and lower back (not the bad kind of sore lower back) the next day.

Tuesday

Rest

Wednesday

5 min. row warmup + circuit workouts

First was 5 rounds of:

Then 4 rounds of (using a 10# plate):

  • 10 weighted pushups
  • 20 weighted Russian twists each side
  • 20 weighted jump squats

Thursday

jog to the gym + foam rolling and stretching + leg workout

  • Squats! 4×8 (115#) and 2×5 (120#) // 10 squat jumps between each set
  • 5×6 lying hamstring curls (100#) // 20 jump lunges between each set
  • 1×20, 3×15 sumo deadlift high pulls (40#) // 20 side jump lunges between each set
  • 3×20 hamstring ball curls // 30 low jacks between each set

In case this looks cryptic to you, something like “4×8” means 4 sets of 8 repetitions.

Plus more foam rolling 🙂

Friday

gymnastics warmup + arm and core workout in the dorm // lots of walking!

Something quick and low impact was what I needed on Friday morning, so of course I did another one of Lori and Michelle’s amazing, kick-butt workouts in the dorm.

I also did lots of walking since I was traveling, going up stairs, walking to and from my brother’s apartment, etc. Never underestimate the workout that is LIFE.

Saturday

planks + 200 high knees + gymnastics warmup (I’m obsessed) + Dirty 30 Workout + handstand pushups

Back on the ranch at home for a workout! I warmed up in our cold basement before doing Jess’ Dirty 30 workout, which I finished in 13:23. I used bodyweight for all the exercises except the sumo squats, for which I held a 24# makeshift sandbag (a canvas bag filled with dumbbells).

Maybe I’ll go out and run this at some point this week, but you know me and running…

Hope you all have a sunny Sunday! Even if there’s no sun 🙂

So tell me:

What are some ways you move and groove in daily life activities? 

Weekly Moves and Grooves XX {Minimal Time to Work Out}

OHHH MY GOODNESS.

I cannot believe how crazy last week was, but obviously it was crazy enough for me to not post again after Monday. And yes, I have a billion and one things to share with you all. I don’t how y’all feel, but I certainly missed YOU. As always though, I love catching up during the week and leaving Sundays for Weekly Moves and Grooves!

Since last week was so busy, I only made it to the gym twice, and the rest of the days involved short dorm workouts or active rest. Making it to the gym just wasn’t my priority, and that’s okay. My body has enough to do throughout the day even without the formal workout!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

random burpees // rest

Monday

hotel room workout tabata from Fit Foodie Finds

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Those squat jumps and jump lunges killed my quads! I also had to start doing pushups on my knees because tabata pushups = “about to fall on my face because I can’t push back up anymore”

Tuesday

100 jumping jacks + gymnastics warmup20 min. AMRAP workout from Purely Twins

I think I got through 6 rounds + 14 reps of the workout.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

gymnastics warmup + weighted (backup) pushups and tricep dips + 16 minute interval workout

I had fun finding objects in my dorm room to add resistance to some exercises! I put my anatomy textbook into my backpack (seriously the only way I’ve used that textbook) and…I even used my large Costco-sized jar of peanut butter for the interval workout. See how versatile peanut butter is? Reason #19849 to love it.

Friday

upper body workout + 8 minute ab tabata

I don’t remember exactly how many reps and sets I did for my upper body workout, but the workout definitely involved:

The 8 minute ab tabata was 4 rounds of 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds work of:

My whole upper body was surely sore the next day.

Saturday

5 min. row warmup + circuit workout

For the circuit workout, I did 5 rounds of:

100 high knees // 15 goblet squats // 10 burpees

then straight into 5 rounds of:

100 high knees // 20 hamstring ball curls // 10 burpees

This left me red in the face and not wanting to wear my winter jacket when I walked back to my dorm!

Alrighty. Tomorrow. Post. Look out for it. Love you.

Happy Sunday!

So tell me:

How was your week?

What was your favorite workout of the week?