Five Minute Friday #16: Fitness is More Than Skills and Numbers

I just watched the US men’s gymnastics Olympic Trials, and I’m still speechless about it.

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I’m convinced that they’re not humans.

I’m also really sore from Wednesday’s workout as I type this, so anything that looks remotely strenuous sends pain waves to my brain.

4 rounds:
  • 10 squat cleans (55-65#)
  • 15 box jumps
 3 rounds each:
  • 12 curtsy lunges each leg (55#) ← died.
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 10 deadlifts (135#) ← died again. I don’t think I had deadlifted 135 in my life.
  • 20 jump lunges
Finisher: 5 min AMRAP
  • 16 alternating single arm DB swings (20#)
  • 15 goblet squats (15#)
  • 30 mountain climbers

On the food front, I was obsessed with this lunch salad this week:

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mixed greens, chopped Thai basil, mint, and cilantro, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, fish or chicken, peanut sauce

The fresh herbs are…

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^^^This photo is very obnoxious if you don’t understand the reference, I’m sorry. Actually, it’s obnoxious regardless.

Today I have a Five Minute Friday vlog! It’s been a hot minute. This week I’m talking about three lessons I’ve learned at work so far, including the lesson that fitness is more than skills and numbers.

Sure, competitive athletes measure fitness/performance based on race times, weight lifted, and reps accomplished (and I am a proponent of the attitude that what you can do > how you look when it comes to fitness), but let’s take it one step deeper…

link to the video in case it doesn’t work here!

Yes, there are baseline levels of fitness that we measure and need for health, but those little steps to get there are indispensable and worth celebrating! 

Happy weekend, friends! I’m going to be hanging out with a couple friends in NYC tomorrow, and I’m STOKED.

So tell me:

What are your thoughts on the “fitness journey”? What does it mean to you?

What is the best thing you ate for lunch this week?

Have you ever had a secretarial job?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

Meet One of My Closest Blog Friends: Colby Triolo

I don’t know if you’re ready for this.

I am bubbling over with excitement, because today you all get to meet one of my best blog buddies! Allow me to introduce Miss Colby Triolo!

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Technically, I’ve introduced her before a couple times on the blog. I met this cool chick at Blend last summer. We were cabin mates, and we were also two of maybe three people under 20 on the retreat, so we connected on that level. Confession: I stalked her Instagram beforehand and was very intimidated — so many followers, so much success, so many ab muscles— but that was all nonsense on my part, because Colby is one of the most genuine and caring souls I’ve met through the blog world (and life in general)!

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I also had the privilege of meeting up with her earlier this year for lunch + carrot cake (our true love).

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Colby’s motto is “You Make You,” which is evident through her dynamite Instagram account, blog, Youtube channel, and personal training business. Boom boom, fire power.

Some of my favorite things about Colby:

  • She takes her work seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
  • She has a passion for healthy food and fitness, but she doesn’t let fitness take over her life (← READ THIS!)
  • Most importantly, she cares for others and works hard to make sure people know their worth and know that they are capable of not only overcoming setbacks, but also going above and beyond what they could have imagined.

Now why don’t I let Colby tell you about herself!? 🙂


What is your favorite breakfast? 

No question—scones w/ a cappuccino (all hail Lactaid).

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What is your favorite way to move? 

Call me crazy (you’re crazy -A), but I LOVE stadium workouts. ➔ Like this one!

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*Rocky music*

What is your favorite word (just one!)? Why did you pick that word? 

Can.”

About a year ago, when I was going through my chronic pain issues, I decided to take the word “cannot” out of my vocabulary. I was constantly being told that I can’t run, I can’t sit without my back perfectly straight, I can’t go away to college, I can’t live ‘normally’, I can’t

And for over two years I believed these things. However, the day that I removed “cannot” from my mind and replaced it with “can”, I stopped giving pain power, I gained my life back, and I proved that if you want something bad enough—you can achieve it by setting your mind to it.  Anything and everything is yours to take.

 

A photo posted by Colby Triolo • YouMakeYou® (@colbytriolo_youmakeyou) on May 4, 2016 at 2:28pm PDT

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Tell us about why you started your blog/Instagram account.

On a sad note, I started them in high school when I got a really bad concussion. After my concussion healed, post concussion syndrome set in and all I could do was work out and cook (and clean, yay). That was all my body could handle.  So I decided to put it to good use and start a blog!

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her pancake towers more appealing than the NYC skyline, honestly

What does your blog mean to you? What can we find on your blog? Has your blog evolved at all?  

I have had many ups and downs with blogging/social media.  There was a point where it was just a place for my mind to go, and then it took over my life, so I removed myself over the past year and now I can say I am back at a nice place of balance.

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are you drooling like I am right now???

My blog is a place for me to go to share my knowledge and interact with you lovely people.  It is also the reason I know this beautiful soul of a person, Alison! (Awww. I can say the same about you! ♥︎ -A)  On my blog, you can find healthy recipes, workouts, and general empowering articles.  I like to think of it as an online community for empowering others to empower themselves!  There is a also a motivational wall where readers can anonymously post their goals/dreams to work towards!

What is one major lesson you’ve learned through blogging/your presence on social media?  

As awesome as social media is and how amazing the relationships you can form are—social media is ~not~ real life.  There is a distinct difference between being behind a computer screen and out enjoying the real world.  In the same sense, it is essential to ~not~ compare yourself to what you see on social media because you are seeing such a small fraction of the real story.

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What is one goal, and how do you plan to achieve it? 

I have this dream of making the words “YouMakeYou”  have an influence on millions of peoples lives.  It saved my life, and it is so simple to integrate into your life that it can make a world of difference. When you realize that the answer is simply changing your mindset and believing in yourself/aligning your actions the right way, what can happen is amazing! I plan to achieve this by taking small steps on my blog and social media daily, and just sharing my knowledge while being true to myself and my story.

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WHAT A WOMAN.

I am honestly honored and #blessed to know you, Colby. Thank you for your refreshing and honest presence in the healthy living social media community. You make the world a happier place.

For more of Colby’s fantastic recipes, killer workout challenges, fun vlogs, and empowering motivation, check out:

Also, head over to her blog to read her interview of me if you want!

Hope you all have a kick-butt day! Make a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how small.

So tell me:

Are you going to follow Colby!?

What is your one favorite word and why? 

Who are some of your favorite positive influences in the healthy living social media community? 

Motivating Myself to Work Out at Home

Boston, here I come!

Today is the day I go back up to Boston to settle in for second semester. I’m pumped and nervous at the same time. I’m definitely not as nervous as I was going into first semester (for obvious reasons), but I still get anxious about new schedules and professors, but the unknown is what makes life thrilling, right?

My last day at home was productive again! It started with a delicious and filling breakfast of course. I ended up making Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach blended in) — not a new one, but certainly a great one.

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with Greek yogurt on the side for dippin’!

What do you think of THAT green color greeting you in the morning!?

After picking up my laptop (fitted with a brand new hard drive, hooray!) from the Apple Store, mom and I spent some last girl time together at the nail salon. I’m going to miss my parents.

Then it was time to come home and do some moves, which was butt-kicking at its finest.

full body supersets workout

Some of the exercises that may be unfamiliar: bench sitswalking pushups, (Bulgarian) split squatsin and out abscrab toe toucheslow jacksmodified V-ups

I used my ratchet, makeshift 25# “sandbag” (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of little free weights) and a 10# dumbbell for some of the exercises. Also, I did this while watching Aly Raisman’s documentary, which was very motivational. Some days are harder than others to motivate myself to work out when I’m at home, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that:

a) I don’t have a workout buddy.

b) I currently don’t go to a gym when I’m staying at home.

c) I don’t go to fitness classes, a CrossFit box, etc. where there is a community of people pushing one another during the workout.

I’m not complaining in the slightest bit— I have an awesome healthy living blogger community (and Instagram) to help me get moving when I’m feeling in a slump, and I tend to be intrinsically motivated.

However, it’s not quite the same as working out with other people. Thus, I turned on Aly Raisman’s documentary because it was almost like I was working hard with someone. Actually, it was probably more that I was just plain inspired by her. Sometimes I might even put on another workout video on Youtube, even if it’s not the workout I’m doing. I just like the fact that someone else is sweating next to me…virtually.

I’M WEIRD, I KNOW. Many times I am indeed normal and I just blast some good pump up music.

I guess that’s another reason I’m looking forward to going back to Boston. There are runners everywhere and there’s always energy at the gym!

Moving on… Lunch tasted extra delicious after this workout. I found some leftover banana pancakes in the fridge, so I had three of those with sunflower seed butter and half a sliced banana. Accompaniments were two eggs with sriracha and veggies with hummus.

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Breakfast for lunch

I cooked last night too! It was salmon— my favorite fish to eat and one of the only non-breakfast foods I can cook decently. Mom bought a gigantic filet o’ salmon from Sam’s Club, so I cut that into portions and gave the fish a massage with a combo of garlic salt, cracked black pepper, spicy brown mustard, honey, lemon juice, and parsley.

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Baked at 400F in our toaster oven for 9 minutes. That probably sounds like our fish was still sushi-raw, but the smaller space in the toaster oven speeds up the cooking time, and we like our salmon “medium-rare.” It’s 10x more tender that way!

And as a “sending-off celebration” in Pop’s words, we ate this ice cream extravaganza that I created:

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Vanilla bean ice cream topped with banana slices, pomegranate arils, and graham cracker crumbs

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Yum yum yum yummm (sung to the Tums tune.)

Catch ya in Boston! The start of school means that posts will probably be on the back burner. Bear with me, I love you all and I want to blog as often as I can 🙂

So tell me: How do you motivate yourself to work out at home/when you’re by yourself? 

7 Random Facts About Me {Inspiring Blogger Award}

Fancy checking in with you this Saturday!

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but I’m making an exception on this last (!!!) full week before I head to Boston. I literally just started hyperventilating, so excuse me as I just INHALE….exhale….

Moving on. The lovely Katherine @ The Peanut Butter Lover and Jess @ Story of a Girl nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award, and I think it’s about time I posted my facts! Thank you so much, ladies! ♥ If you have not yet, you gotta check out their blogs. They’re both so witty and thoughtful. I just want to be their BFFs.

Here’s how it works:

Link the blogger(s) that nominated you 
List 7 facts about yourself
Tag 5 other bloggers

So let’s jump into these crazy, exciting facts, shall we?

1) Becoming a nun is not out of the question for me.

All my friends know I’m a devout Catholic, so there are jokes thrown around that I could become a nun one day, but little do people realize that…yeah, I could become a nun one day! Whichever vocation to which God is calling me is where I want to go. I mean, can we get a woot woot for Mother Teresa? I think yes.

2) I have a crooked pinky.

Most of my friends know this as well, but all you friends through the inter webs might not know about it.

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It’s not terribly crooked, but it’s noticeable for sure. I got it from my mama’s genes and I like it. The pinky has character.

3) I do not know how to knit, garden, or use a sewing machine.

Help. I need these skills if I want to be that mother/grandmother/nun. My mom taught me how to knit when I was little, but I’ve forgotten how. As for the other two, we cannot garden in our little NY backyard right now, and sewing machines just scares me.

4) I kind of wish I continued gymnastics.

Out of all the performance sports in which I’ve been involved (figure skating, gymnastics, and dance, which I plan to continue), I kind of wish I continued gymnastics. I do wish I continued because the sport encompasses so many skills and strengths. On the other hand, I’m happy I did not because it requires an incredible amount of time and dedication, and I don’t think I would want to devote my life to a sport.

Some of my favorite athletes are gymnasts though! Shawn Johnson is amazing.

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5) I’ve always been headstrong and competitive about accomplishing athletic feats.

When I was a little competitive figure skater, I would do Pilates and yoga with my mom and get quite frustrated when I couldn’t do the moves/positions like the lady in the video, so I would practice over and over until I could do it with ease. Also, my friends and I used to have contests for how long we could hold a supine flexed arm hang on the playground bar, and I would keep trying to beat the next person.

I’m definitely less competitive now, but I’m still quite determined to do things on my own. Working on that darn handstand now…

6) Before becoming obsessed with blogs, I was obsessed with beauty gurus on YouTube.

My friend Kristi introduced me to the vast world of beauty vloggers a while ago, and I was hooked throughout freshman and sophomore year of high school. Some favorites: MacBarbie07 (now the mega-famous Bethany Mota), Arden Rose (Kristi and I even went to her meet-up in NYC), and HelloKatyxo.

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I’m happy I went through that makeup/beauty/fashion phase (I can put on eyeshadow without looking like a panda bear}, but I’m happier that it has faded and that blogs have taken its place! Except the blog phase has stuck a little longer 😉

Actually, I’m watching Bethany Mota now. Reminiscing. She’s still my favorite.

7) I carry a water bottle with me everywhere.

If I don’t have it with me, I start feeling as if I don’t have my phone with me. I don’t really need it, but in a case of minor dehydration, I might start panicking a little. Then when I have it with me, I end up not drinking a sip from it. It’s like my security blanket.

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Along with me on my walk yesterday

There ya have it! 7 very random facts about Alison. Hope you enjoyed knowing about my past, present, and possible future.

I now nominate:

Ashley @ Miles on Oats

Jo @ Living Mint Green

Julianna @ Julianna Bananna

Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me

Linda @ Fit, Fed and Happy

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! Another post is coming tomorrow hopefully!

So tell me:

A super random fact about yourself!

Do you have any extraordinary physical features?

What is one skill you’d like to learn? 

Favorites Vlog with Daliza

Good morning!

My cousins left early this morning, so now it’s just Daliza, my parents, and me in Florida for now. I’m gonna miss those cuties! We had a laid-back day yesterday— the dads hit the golf course while the rest of us hit the outlet mall.

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 Breakfast was a peach, peanut butter, banana, yogurt smoothie + toast with sunflower seed butter

Perfect fuel for walking all over the mall 😉

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However, I think filming and editing the video you are about to watch was the best part of yesterday. Daliza and I found so many little things in it that made us laugh hysterically. I thought I was gonna pee my pants, I was laughing so hard.

We’re definitely the only ones that think it’s so funny.

I had seen several bloggers (like Julianna and Amanda and Brittany) do this favorites tag in a blog post, but I decided to do it in a video with Daliza, whom you’ve seen a lot of on the blog recently!

So here goes nothing:

The link in case you can’t see the video here: http://youtu.be/w7KPf7OMnTs

Notes:

*Edited by the amazing Daliza.

*Daliza’s not blind.

*Note the costume change.

*4:07 I am a donkey.

*Sweaters and BOOTS at 6:05

*#IGuessSo

*Daliza should make a blog called “50 Shades of Laughs”

We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about us! And perhaps laughing at us.

I leave you with a photo my uncle took last night:

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“From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.” — Psalm 113:3

So tell me:

Some of your favorites!

Do you like Daliza’s sunglasses?

Should she start a blog?!