Two Years Later: What do we deserve?

It's a surreal feeling waking up to 65,000 views on your blog that the day before averaged about 15 views a day... presumably my Mom hitting refresh to check for typos and trolls. 

It's a surreal feeling to wake up to an inbox flooded by shared stories of women experiencing sexual harassment all around the world. And choosing you to trust with their stories.

It's a surreal feeling to be inundated with interview requests from top publications like TIME, Huffington Post, Shape, SELF, various TV networks, and Runner's World... just to name a few.

But it was real. It was two years ago. And it will forever be the turning point in my life.

Two years ago I wrote a blog post What Do We Deserve?, while sitting at Stephi's on Tremont with my roommate, Julie by my side sharing lobster guacamole and red sangria on the hottest day in Boston... we were simply trying to escape our non-air conditioned third floor apartment. A scene I play over and over again in my head. I was mad. I was so frustrated I slammed down on my keys, face red with built up emotion, as words just poured out. And then I paused. I read what I wrote. And I sat with it for hours before I knew it was important enough to share. It was punchy. And something in me knew it was controversial enough that I might get some push back. I went to teach at EverybodyFights, came home, added images to the post, click 'save & publish' and went to bed.

Two years later that blog post now has over 5 million views and the whirlwind of unexpected events that arose since has taught me a thing or two:

1. Get out of your own way.

I almost never published that post. I didn't think I had the right to speak out, many women had experienced MUCH more severe harassment than I, they should say something. But what happened, was my words started the conversation. My words gave many women around the world the courage to speak out even if it was just to me. If we continue to be the ones to limit ourselves, who's going to be the one to speak out? Who's going to be left to make the change? If not you, who?

2. To act with courage is a practice.

No one is born innately courageous. Everyone has a little voice in their head saying "maybe don't do that, that sounds really scary." Some peoples voices might be a little louder than others, but that voice is in all of us. To act courageously, is a choice, it's a practice. To publish that blog post took an extra ounce of courage I didn't know I had. But that act of courage allowed me to get stronger. So a year later, I had enough courage to leave my job and start my own consulting business. And that took a crap ton of courage I didn't know I had. And now, I'm even stronger. And each time you choose to act with courage, each time you raise your own bar. 

3. You just got your first troll? That means you said something right.

I woke up the morning after the blog post went live to a man by the internet name of Timbuktu leaving comments on my blog aggressively refuting everything I had said in support of women. And not only did he leave his own opinions about how I was "asking for it" and "deserved worse harassment" than what I had shared, but he then proceeded to refute every positive comment I received on the post. 

I woke up freaked. Do I delete them? Do I block him? Do I take the post down? 

I called my mentor, friend and coworker who was our Director of Global Content at our company and written comedy and blogs for everyone asking all of these questions. And that's exactly what she said to me, "You just got your first internet troll? Congratulations Erin, that means you said something right. That means you said something worthwhile."

If you want to see change, if you want to create change, you're going to have to say and do some things people won't agree with. And you have to decide to be tough enough to take it. To stand by your words, and know you are strong enough to take the beating. You did something important. You did something right. You are a renegade.

4. Success doesn't stop with one victory.

Things go viral all the time. So yes, I wrote a post that over 5 million people around the world have read, but ya know what? Those 5 million people have read a lot of things. So no, that one post didn't mean I had made it. It meant I had just begun. It meant I had doors opened to me that I needed to choose which were best to walk through. It meant I had a taste of what social change I am capable of, and it was my responsibility to do something about that. It still is. 

5. Cliché, but yeah the world really is your oyster.

I used to see influential people whether they were CEO's, celebrities, entrepreneurs or social change makers as out of reach. I thought they had something different in their blood that meant they were destined for their success. That there was a divide between "them" and me. 

What I learned is that not only did I want to be one of "those people" but I could be. And I was becoming one. I had the potential. And not just myself, but you do too. What I began to learn about "those people" was that they did a few things:

  • They got out of their own way.
  • They practiced living their lives with courage.
  • They didn't let objection to their ideas or actions stop their momentum. 
  • They didn't settle at one success, but used it as a jumping off point.
  • They took life, and ran away with it.

Two years later and my life is different. It was like that blog post woke up my life. It shook me, and said "Erin, you my friend, are capable of more." 

Let this be the blog post to shake you. Let this be the post to wake you up. You my friend, are capable of more. Speak out. Act out. Live your life out loud. Your voice, your actions, your energy matters.

You have life, you have purpose.

Go live your life out loud.

All my love,

E.

The Leap.

So I left my full time job.

And then the scary reality sat in.

Salaried jobs come with an immense amount of security. You get benefits. You get a paycheck when you work. You get a paycheck when you don't work. You can take a sick day and still get paid. You can sit at home answer a few emails and still get paid. And then about once a year someone tells you you're going to get paid more money, because that's just how it works.

And for some crazy idea, I decided that life wasn't for me. And I left.

Now, I get paid when I work. I get paid based on the work I put in. I still haven't (fully) figured out my health insurance plan. And I'm currently working at least twice as many hours as I was and not getting paid as much.

But I've never felt more me

I've never felt more alive.

I've never felt more passionate.

Salaried jobs are wonderful for many people. But right now, for me, given what the past 9 months have been, I just felt like I couldn't do it. I couldn't devote myself fully to another company. I couldn't put so much time and effort into someone else's dreams. It was time to put that energy into my own.

I'd always dreamed of having my own online training program.

Women from around the world would message me for workout tips and I wanted a way to help people. They would share these incredible stories of drive and energy without results, I wanted to help them get those results. So I partnered up with my ultimate partner in crime, Meg, and created this 12-week online training program, Begin Again. I currently have my first round of women in and it's so amazing. I'm so humbled to work with each of them, and see them hungrily chase their fitness goals. Proud of you ladies!

I'd always dreamed of running my own Marketing Consulting business.

Over the past two years at in my role, I learned so much about what my 'sweet spots' were in marketing and what I could offer. I also learned about the types of brands and people I wanted to work with and represent. So I started E.Bailey Consulting (page coming soon) so that I could decide who I worked for and who I represented. The choice is mine. The effort is mine. I currently work with EverybodyFights helping them launch in NYC this summer. A company and team I have so much love and respect for. Grateful to be on the team.

I'd always dreamed of being a badass group fitness instructor.

Still a work in progress here, but now I have more time to devote to teaching and learning. To taking classes and learning from the real pros. To make kickass playlists, and practice my boxing combinations for class. I currently teach at two awesome gyms, EverybodyFights FiDi and Burn Fitness (Back Bay and South End). I love both, both unbelievably different and both equally wonderful.

I'd always dreamed of being a fitness model.

I wanted to work with and represent the brands that inspired me to get to where I am. The strong, ambitious women I would see in advertisements, the women that became role models. I'm lucky to have signed with two agencies, SLU (Sports Lifestyle Unlimited in Portland, OR) and Maggie (an awesome local Boston agency). I've sprinted, squatted, and snatched my way through Reebok photo and video shoots. And jumped, laughed, and strutted with my Crane & Lion family. Opportunities that weren't available to me with a "normal" job.

Now people have started to ask me what I do. What's my title? How did I get here?

I do a lot. I guess I'm a "Fitness Professional"? I worked for it. I chased it. I didn't let myself say no.

I'm scared, a little bit everyday. But I also trust myself. I know I won't let myself fall. I know I will fail. I know I will learn from it. I know this current situation may not work out. But this is my reality.

And if I can be honest with you for a minute? This is my dream job.

I just made my dream job.

One step at a time. And here I am.

Chasing joy.

Now go find yours. Go chase yours. Go create yours.

This life is too short to feel stuck. This life is too wonderful to not embrace. This one life is meant to be lived, make your impact.

Chase your joy.

Ebaileyfitness.jpg

Follow the journey on Instagram! @ebailey_fitness

Marathon Monday (Week 3/16): Find Your Stryde.

Ok in an attempt to blog my marathon prep, I'm three weeks in and this the first real post. Good Erin, good. Life gets busy and I'm having a hard enough time making time for the runs let alone blogging about them, but I want to give you all an inside look at what it's like to train for a marathon as a "non-runner".

Now before I get my head chopped off for calling myself a non-runner, I'm simply sharing this because I don't love running. It's not my preferred form of exercise, it's something I do but typically no more than 3-4 miles at a time. So for me, 26.2 sounds like a heck ton. Because it is. This training is going to be quite difficult for me. Yes I am a "fitness professional," but I traditionally train for very different things and that will only help me so much when it comes to running for four hours straight. 

This week, week 3, was all about creating consistency for me. I'm back from holidays and work travel and out of excuses. Do the runs. Focus on how your body feels. Fuel your body for your runs. Stay in on Friday night (so you have energy for Saturday's long run). 

This week's schedule and results: (As created by my badass coach Steve Mura with NYRR)

  • Tuesday: 5 miles Fartlek (I chose to make this my MyStryde training day, more on this below)
  • Wednesday: Rest Day (I went to the gym for a circuit of wall balls, kettle bell swings, box jumps, and some shoulders)
  • Thursday: 4 miles (I only had time for two...weak Erin, weak. I also had my first boxing lesson with George Foreman III, so got in some cardio and tons of arms/core).
  • Friday: Rest Day (I did plyometrics and lots of core and stretching)
  • Saturday: 7 miles (Felt like a champ after this one! Listened to Rich Roll's podcast and ran slow and steady. I was practically surprised the 7 miles were up at the end, thank you podcasts).
  • Sunday: Rest Day/Pedicure Day (I had just gotten a massage on Saturday so I'm saving the pedicure for next week).
  • Monday: 4 miles (I did 5 because I didn't gauge the distance well and just felt great so why not. Plus I was listening to the Rich Roll podcast with David Goggins, OH MY GOD go listen now. It'll make you want to run 100 miles. Seriously.)

My biggest lesson this week was to find joy in the process. Something I PREACH often, but hadn't applied to my marathon training yet. If you've talked to me in person my attitude isn't all there. I've certainly not been excited about my runs, and been a massive baby about the cold. This week I dug deep and really reflected on the process and how I actually feel about it rather than how I think I should feel. I had this overwhelming realization that the runs I do look forward to are at MyStryde.

I mentioned before that I'm partnering with them for my training, but I honestly did it because I know it's freaking cold here and going to snow and I wanted a place I could train inside. What I didn't realize I was going to find was that MyStryde is where I feel like a runner. And that's a big statement. MyStryde is what gives me the confidence to know I can conquer the other 3-4 runs i have that week on my own. MyStryde is what makes me feel like I can freaking do this.

It's not about running on treadmills to loud music. It's about the badass coaches reminding you every step of the way that you have a why, find your why, dig deep, and add a little speed. Because you can. And then you do. It's about the people running beside you sweating it out that are keeping you going, because you're in it together. It's about the combination of tread work and floor work, keeping your full body engaged and strong. It's about the strategic programming of intervals and hills you hit at speeds you'd never dream of doing on your own. It's about walking in a little nervous, and walking out feeling like a freaking powerhouse. 

MyStryde is what adds joy to my training. So grateful for the awesome team there and letting me be a part of it. If you're in Boston and want to check it out just let me know! I know they'd be happy to have you :)

Now off to Week 4. Let's do this.

If there are any specific marathon training topics you want me to cover or questions you have just post them below! I'd love to hear your thoughts and want this to be as helpful for you as it is a journal of the process for me. Much love <3

2016: A Year of ME.

2016 was the year I learned it's OK to put myself first. We often feel obligations to others, friends, family, work. And yes, there is a certain amount of selflessness necessary to maintain relationships and contribute to your community, but you can't help others if you aren't fully yourself.

You can't pour from an empty cup.

2016 was the year I put myself first. I put my self doubt aside. I put my obligations on the (side) burner. And I chose me. I woke up each morning and made my mental to-do list based on what I wanted and needed. I chose to spend my time with those who meant the most to me, with those that supported and lifted me up and those I could do the same for. I chose to dedicate my (limited) free time to the thing that fueled my soul, teaching.

And you know what that did for me? It turned 2016 into my pivotal year. 2016 kind of rocked for me.

In 2016, I began to seek my true north and never have I felt closer (with still a long ways to go). I began teaching fitness classes with some of the top Boston fitness companies. Building a new fitness family here I'm truly proud of and inspired by everyday. 

One of my very first group fitness classes I ever taught! So happy to still be working with DareUFitness and see my Kensington kids every Tuesday night.&nbsp;

One of my very first group fitness classes I ever taught! So happy to still be working with DareUFitness and see my Kensington kids every Tuesday night. 

In 2016, I ran the Ragnar Cape Code race, 200 miles in 24 hrs with 12 complete strangers. Living in a van and continuing to be surprised by how far my legs could carry me (with no training). I created bonds with an amazing group of people supporting each other and pushing ourselves for the good of the team. We became fast family ending our adventure with Frosé and the sand between our toes.

My Reebok Ragnar team &lt;3&nbsp;

My Reebok Ragnar team <3 

In 2016, the company I work for got purchased, and we're fighting through this transition, becoming even closer as teammates and coworkers to love and support each other in our careers and tough decisions. I'm still fighting.

My Withings Marketing team, US and France, celebrating the acquisition on a roof top in Paris.

My Withings Marketing team, US and France, celebrating the acquisition on a roof top in Paris.

In 2016, I made a difficult decision to walk away from a loving and wonderful man to pursue my dreams. I'm lucky that he respected my selfish decision and we remain good friends (with cats!).

Brady &amp; Cleo &lt;3

Brady & Cleo <3

In 2016, I traveled to Europe by myself. I drank beer on the streets of Dublin with charming Irish men. I fell back in love with my favorite city, London reuniting with the people that made it feel like home to begin with. I danced through the streets of Barcelona on those warm summer nights. But ultimately, I had many meals in beautiful restaurants requesting a table for yes, just one. I sat alone with my thoughts, and felt at peace with myself. I felt proud. I felt overwhelmed. I felt alone. But I'd never felt more whole.

In 2016, I wrote a blog post that went viral overnight. I let go of my innate reaction to not push the boundaries, to not say anything too controversial. And it caught fire, my story was heard and hundreds of men and women reached out to share their stories with me as well. In the midst of this isolating digital world, we connected over a common passion, to speak out against street harassment. To change a societal norm.

In 2016, I was approached by Reebok to join them in a fitness photoshoot for their Spring/Summer functional training line. While it wasn't ideal timing for me to take off work for the shoot, I had to jump at the opportunity. And because of it, I'm proud to say I've now signed with an agency, SLU as a fitness model.

In 2016, I made new friends who changed the way I think about the world. Friends who challenged my thoughts, my ambition. Friends who support me endlessly. Friends who sat with me and held my hand when my blog comments section became personal attacks. Friends who donated to my Boston Marathon fund challenging me to endless burpees. Friends for life.

In 2016, I found some incredible mentors. People who have opened up a world I didn't know I could dream of being a part of. People who see greatness and lift it up. People who are so smart and caring, I'm honored to be in their life.

In 2016, I set out to run the 2017 Boston Marathon and am honored to be running it for Horizons For Homeless Children. Fighting through 26.2 miles for them.

And as always, forever grateful for my family who stuck with me through all of it. Who supported each crazy decision I made. Who brought me back down to earth in the midst of the hurricanes. Who immediately booked tickets to Boston to be there at the finish line. Who love me unconditionally. How lucky am I to have these wonderful people be my family. <3

I made a lot of selfish decisions. And each of those decisions opened up opportunities for me to meet new people, to help others in a way I couldn't have before. In a shocking way, being selfish made me more connected to others. It made me more aware of how I can help the world. It made me more compassionate, more honest, more engaged. I've never felt more myself, more excited for each day, and more eager to continue moving forward.

Putting yourself first isn't a bad thing. It's a necessary thing. You can't be everything to all people. Be selfish. Be true to you.

In 2017, I have some pretty lofty goals set. Goals I'm going to be selfish with and not share with you just yet. But good things are coming, big things are coming.

My mantra of 2016:

Shut it down.

And my mantra for 2017:

Chase Joy.

"Discovering more joy does not, I'm sorry to say, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet, as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without being hard. We have heartbreak without being broken." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy.

Faster. Stronger. Smarter.

My senior year of high school I took Krav Maga classes three nights a week (with Dad! #bonding) for my senior project. While it was beneficial for me to learn self defense maneuvers, the majority of the class was actually fitness conditioning. The philosophy behind this idea was the better trained you are physically the better chance you have to protect yourself and get away if necessary. You need to be faster, stronger and smarter.

My last blog post hit a chord with thousands, and it's because so many of us have been exposed to harassment in one capacity or another. At one point we've felt our lives were threatened. It's sparked a conversation not many were willing to have. And now what do we do? Now we're admitting harassment is an issue, how do we stop it?

I don't know. Speaking out is one thing, but protecting ourselves is another. Many people reached out to me directly sharing their stories of being victimized, whether it was through words or physical action. It's heartbreaking. It's appalling. It's wrong.

How do we stop it?

This is not a self defense post, but simply a let's get faster, stronger, smarter together. Women I want you to keep running, keep working out, keep living. I want you to feel safe and empowered. So together, let's get stronger.

Today I'm sharing a quick workout you can do anywhere using just your body weight. It will increase your stamina and your strength. Full workout and tunes to match are posted below!

5 moves, 60 seconds each, 4 rounds 

  • Squat jumps
  • Walkouts
  • Plyometric lunges w/ pause
  • Frog planks
  • Plank dips

And hey in case you needed some jams to go with your workout today, here are my recent song obsessions:

"I can be changed by what happens to me. I refuse to be reduced by it." - Maya Angelou <3

For more workouts and tips follow me on Instagram @ebailey_fitness!

What do we deserve?

I am a 25 year old female living in Boston. I'm 5'8" tall and weigh 132 lbs. I have dark brown medium long hair and green/hazel eyes. I'm flat chested and the curves I have are built by hours, months and years I spent working in the gym. 

I wear a size small in my Nike compression shorts that I like to wear when I workout because I push myself hard enough for every pore on my body to sweat. So I'm sticky, gross and smelly and looser baggy clothing just gets in my way of my workout.

I often run in just a sports bra because it's 85 degrees with 50% humidity and I'm training for a half marathon and so 7-10 miles in that heat with layers is plain brutal.

So now tell me, what do I deserve?

Earlier this summer I headed to a local park in the South End of Boston to push myself in an outdoor bootcamp workout I was testing for the upcoming week of classes I teach. It was a hot Saturday afternoon and halfway through my workout I had a guy come over to me from across the park and start talking to me from a few feet away. I took my headphones out thinking he was asking me something, instead my ears were filled with profane things he "wanted to do to me".  

Last week I was going for a run before work to clock four miles for my half marathon training. I ran past a parking garage that has an attendant in the front to direct traffic between cars exiting and people crossing. A thankless job, I smiled gave him a wave to thank him and kept running. I took two steps before he yelled after me a "MM HMMMM". Like he was salivating over a steak.

Yesterday I was walking to the laundromat to drop off clothes before heading out to teach a class. Walking out of the laundromat I decided to sneak in the 7Eleven next door to see if they carried my new favorite ice cream brand so that I could come grab some after class. A man so kindly held the door open for me, I thanked him and walked inside. They didn't have the brand so just 60 seconds later I walked back out and he was sitting on the other side of the street watching me come out. I turned down the side walk and he crossed the street to follow me. He even yelled at me to stop and wait for him.

So now you tell me, what do I deserve?

Because this is about 5% of the harassment I have been a victim of this year. And this isn't even the worst of it. What about the nights I'm out with my friends and just because I have heels on and am at a bar it gives anyone the right to hiss, yell or even grab me or my friends. 

Or what about the gym. Or what I like to think is my safe zone. The one place I feel men should respect me most because there I feel like we're on the same playing field. There I feel the most empowered. There I feel the most belittled by the comments, by the glares and by the entitlement.

I had a man come up to me a couple months ago at the water fountain in the gym as I was filling up my water bottle he waited patiently. He then told me he liked my leggings, that they made my ass look great, and they'd look better off.

Don't ask me what I was wearing. That's not the question. 

If we stopped doing things that felt or seemed dangerous, we wouldn't live.

Am I supposed to stop going to the park? Am I supposed to not run in downtown Boston in the broad daylight? Am I supposed to not go to 7Eleven or the laundromat at 6PM on a Wednesday night? Am I supposed to not go to the gym?

I am careful. I don't go to dangerous places alone. I don't run in dodgy areas by myself. I carry keys on me, and soon pepper spray to put my Moms mind at ease. But that's not the point.

What do I deserve? 

I deserve to be treated like a human, not just a woman, because that means something different these days. 

And us women, what do we deserve?

We deserve not to feel silenced by your yells.

We deserve to feel empowered for bettering ourselves.

We deserve to feel sexy in our own skin without feeling like we're here to bait you.

We deserve to speak out without the threat of you lingering on our minds.

We deserve to run outside.

We deserve to be judged on our merits, not our outfits.

We deserve more. A whole lot more.

I've told these stories to many friends. And the more I shared the more my female friends shared too. And so many of their stories are worse. So much worse.

I want you to speak out. I want you to break your silence. I want to hear your stories. 

What do we deserve? More.


UPDATE: This post has struck a chord with so many of you and I am so grateful. Your voices are being heard. I have read every comment even if I have not been able to respond. Keep commenting, keep sharing and keep spreading the love!

Unfortunately I had to disable the comments section. It went to an extremely rude and offensive place. For all of you that took this seriously, thank you. Your voices were heard. <3

And for more more fitness inspiration and tips, join me on Instagram @ebailey_fitness !

VIDEO: My Top 6 Ab Exercises

Per request (I love requests) this weeks video is all about those abs! I love core workouts, but honestly don't do enough of them myself. During prep for my show I hardly ever did isolated core workouts. When you're lifting especially heavy, your core is (has to be) engaged the whole time which gives you a great core workout in itself. However post show I'm back to ab workouts because I think they're fun, weird I know.

So here are my top 6 favorite ab exercises. Go through the first round of each of them with me, give yourself a 90 second break and then you've got two more rounds! Get to it!

Abs

10 Crunches
10 Leg Lifts
10 Weighted Toe Touches
10 Weighted Sit-Ups
5 Reverse Crunch --> Pike
10 Plank Jacks

Let me know what else you guys want to see!

VIDEO: Lunch Time = Sweat Time

Week two of video taping our Tuesday Leg Day lunch time workouts, so I'll get right to it! This week I added a few moves in-between just to keep our heart rate up. If we were to be honest with ourselves, none of us do enough cardio (us being the leg day crew). We like to focus on lifting so this Tuesday workout has become a 45 min HIIT workout, lifting and cardio. We all win. 

The lovely Ala agreed to stay and run through the circuit one more time with me for the video, so props to her for the additional round!! and BONUS, we added some abs in this week, so here we go!

Leg Day 10.27.15

15 Step-ups on each leg (elbow to knee for an added ab crunch)
25 Jumping Jacks
10 In-N-Out Jump Squats (narrow to wide stances)
15 Bulgarian Squats (10 sec hold on the last rep)
25 Jumping Jacks in-between sets with each leg
10 Clean&Press (10 lbs on each side of bar)

Bonus Round: Abs

15 Spider Crunches (opposite elbow to same elbow)
10 Side Twists (on each side)
10 Pikes

Now run through this circuit 3-5 times depends on how much time you have and how much you want to challenge yourself. Ready. Set. Go!

Look in the mirror. That's your competition.

VIDEO: Tuesday's are Leg Days

In case you didn't know by now, on Tuesday's I teach a bootcamp class for my coworkers at lunch. We call it Leg Day, because it originated from one of my coworkers Carlos asking for a few leg exercises to switch up his routine, and it snowballed into lots wanting to join in! Now it's a staple and I love it.

I've realized I love teaching and inspiring others to push themselves and I feed off of all the awesome positive energy that transpires. Lately I've had lots of people (outside of my office) reaching out and asking for workouts, I wish I could help everyone individually (head to my online training tab if you're interested in customized plans!), but until then here is our leg day session from this week. Follow along with me for the first circuit and then I'm challenging you to complete four more, that's right I said FOUR! You got this!

For equipment this week we used a bar with 10lbs on each side, and a step platform with five risers on each side:

You can substitute the bar for dumbbells and the risers for anything elevated and sturdy, could be a chair, your stairs or a couch. I'll leave that up to you.   

Leg Day 10.20.15

10 Step-ups (each leg)

10 Step-ups w/ jump (each leg)

10 Deadlifts

10 Rows

10 Bicep curls

12 Curl&Press

Ready. Set. GO!

Let me know how it goes for you, and did you end up challenging yourself to five rounds?!

You're a rock star.

About last night ... #NikeBoston

I love Nike. I've always loved Nike. It's a brand I can't get enough of, from their motivational social posts, to sleek gym wear, and now their classes. 

On Monday night at 8:04 PM Nike Town hosts a bootcamp style workout class for free here in Boston. I found out about it because a few of my Boston trainer idols were selected to be Nike Trainers and lead the classes.

Let's also just preface this by saying that's my dream, to be a Nike Trainer.  

If you know me at all, you'll know I'm in bed by 10PM at the latest on week nights, so a class ending at 9 is LATE! (which is why it took me months to go!). I even signed up for one three weeks ago, and ended up locking myself out of my apt and with both my roommates and bf gone I was stranded for a while and thus missed the class. Literally everything was keeping me from trying this class, until last Monday. 

Group huddle to start class

Group huddle to start class

I was tired, but I'd had an indulgent weekend so I thought I could use the second workout on this particular Monday. I headed there a little early knowing that if I sat on the couch any longer I wasn't getting back up. I got there, checked in, and then re-introduced myself to one of the trainers, Dustin, that was leading that night.

Dustin and Christina

Dustin and Christina

He owns the Barry's Bootcamp in Boston and had kicked my ass a little while back (luckily still remembered me!). Then class got started, we began with a group huddle and got ready for an awesome class. It was filled with body weight exercises and plenty to get your heart rate up. I was SWEATING about 15 min in. I love that. 

About half way in we had to get a partner for a few moves, the woman beside me asked me be my partner, her name was Jen and little did she know but she was one of my Boston trainer idols. She's also a Nike Trainer but just came this week to do the workout. She was actually supposed to run the class the week before when I had locked myself out and missed it. She also recognized me because of social media, and was wonderful to chat with as we went through the partner section.

Jen and I doing pistol squats as part of the partner workout.

Jen and I doing pistol squats as part of the partner workout.

At the end of the class I of course had to go re-introduce myself to the other trainer there, Christina, who teaches at FlyWheel. I had taken a class with her a while ago because of a mutual friend Lisa, who was holding a charity event there. We ended the night with me admitting I stalk all three (Jen, Christina and Dustin) on Instagram. 

My Boston trainer idols: Jen, Dustin, Christina

My Boston trainer idols: Jen, Dustin, Christina

I felt so inspired, that even after getting home late yesterday from work, I quickly changed and ran to Nike to make sure I made it in time for class. It's one of those things that sets a great tone for my week, and adds the cardio into my workouts that I neeeeeddddddd but hate doing on my own. 


It's been a while since I posted, I didn't know what was next for me (in terms of fitness) after my bikini show. I had kept up my workouts, but then had a knee injury, then I was invited to run the NYC Marathon with only 8 weeks to prep (decided it wasn't smart). I've been all over the place. I've been flirting with the idea of getting spin certified, and have also started teaching a bootcamp for my coworkers on Tuesdays, and I realized I love it.

Challenge accepted: Get hired to teach group fitness classes. Still figuring out if that's spin or a bootcamp...I don't have all the answers yet :)

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." - Pualo Coelho.

Let's Talk About Food.

Um now I know why diets don't work. The amount of food I ate after my show is unreal. It has taken me the past two weeks to finally level out. For about a week I ate anything and everything I could just because I hadn't had it for at least 3 months. It was pathetic. And ironic considering the entire point of my prep was to demonstrate self discipline and then as soon as it was over I had NONE! But I loved all of it.

Let's take it back a night, Ryan and I had to prepare for the big feast ahead (Ryan got a head start as I raided the candy isle)...

The night of the show we went out to Precinct (Jen also brought us post-show donuts) and I had an Alagash which is what I had been CRAVING like crazy. Plus I had sliders including pork belly, lobster and crab cakes. YUM! Then Ryan had stock up on all my favorite things including carrot cake, coffee cake, half baked ice cream, guac, wine and beer. It was heavenly.

The next morning I had my Dad's famous cookies for breakfast because ya know...why not :) Then I took Ryan to the Four Season buffet brunch to thank him for being so supportive throughout the whole journey. We ate the place clean. Blueberry pancakes, eggs, bacon, oats, poached eggs, waffles, caramelized bananas, omelettes, meat and cheese plates, then desserts GALORE!!

That afternoon we recuperated from stuffing our faces... then went to dinner at the Salty Pig and had garlic knots, meatballs, and PIZZA!

The next day we walked around Boston and ended up stopping by Anna's Taqueria which is Ryan's all time favorite meal. It was my first time there so we split a MASSIVE quesadilla...

Then hung around all afternoon drinking Rosé until we headed to Barcelona for white wine and tapas. (I also finished the carrot cake and a second pint of half baked this night...it wasn't pretty).

Coach Johnny sent me a reverse diet plan on Monday which I loosely followed. It's basically used to help rebuild your metabolism so you don't eat everything in sight like I did and gain 6 pounds immediately.

I don't even feel bad about it though. It has been really nice not feeling guilty about ordering Indian food when I don't want to cook, or be able to say YES to unlimited sushi night with friends and always order a glass of white wine with dinner. 

I'm back tracking my food, just good to be slightly aware of what I'm eating but I'm enjoying my ice cream nights all the same! I've even started to throw in a little morning cardio a few times a week just because I actually like starting my day like that now. It's amazing what you find out you like doing when it's not something you have to do...or eat. Like egg whites, I still start my days with egg whites and salsa. Just because I like them.

It does feel weird not to have my next goal set up. So any ideas please let me know!

The Show. (Part 1)

The countdown is over, the show happened, and my tummy hurts. I did it. I competed in a bikini fitness competition, the Jay Cutler Classic here in Boston on Saturday. I don't even know where to start!

So peak week, the week leading up to the competition was one of the funnest parts. The diet was changing every few hours, I was in constant contact with my coach to manipulate water intake and food plans depending on how my body was reacting. It was so cool. Workouts were limited and the week was all about preparing for Saturday. Hair appointments, nail appointments, 7-Eleven runs (to get candy for the big day!) and grocery shopping to prepare my meals for Saturday which consisted of:

  • 2oz chicken and white rice
  • rice cakes
  • blueberry jam
  • peanut butter
  • bananas
  • Detour bar
  • Reese
  • Pretzel M&Ms
  • Twix bars
  • Wine :)

Then came Saturday. I was 126 lbs. and 10% body fat. I had hit my goals, I was ready. My water levels were depleted, I had two coats of tan on and I headed to the John Hancock Theatre to check in. I was immediately overwhelmed. I've never seen so many orange people with big hair and big muscles. I felt totally out of my element. Then I found one of my teammates, Zhubin, who was also competing in his first show, and Jen, another teammate, and the day got better!

The thing about shows is it's really a waiting game. I got there at 8:15AM and didn't step on stage until 5PM. Needless to say we had time on time to kill. Jen and I were backstage together all day and we had and awesome time! She did my makeup, we practiced posing, checked in with our coach Johnny every two hours so he could tell us what to eat next and the excitement built! Right before we went on my boyfriend Ryan showed up with BEAUTIFUL flowers, funny signs, and much needed wine to calm our nerves :) Jen and I ran backstage, chugged our mini wine bottles (first drinks for us in MONTHS) snagged our favorite candies and headed to line up. We "pumped Up' with resistance bands so my baby arms and shoulders could be seen on stage and waited. We ended up waiting for a while before we got on stage. I was in two classes, Novice D (the tall girls) and Open F (the really tall girls). Jen and I were both in Novice D so it was fun to be on stage together. 

The first time we walk on stage you hit all your poses, front, side, back, front and a wave. I walked on stage and I honestly have no idea what I did. It's like I blacked out. I got so nervous. So many lights. So many people! So many judges. For each class everyone walks out alone and does their poses, then the groups are split in two for comparisons where you're all lined up together and the judges tell you what pose to hit. Then everyone is put on the edge of the stage and calls outs happen. You want to be in the first call outs (those are the best) I was in the first-ish...the called our 5 girls, sent 3 away and then called 3 more, basically trying to figure out the 5th place (top 5 get trophies).

The second time on stage I felt much better and more confident. I knew what to expect. The nerves were gone.

After pre-judging they have a break and then finals. At finals everyone gets introduced and walks on stage and they call the first 5 places. By the time we went on stage for finals it was 10:30PM and we were tired and mostly just over it. So we did our final walk, met up with our team and celebrated an awesome day, and our huge accomplishments. We might have walked away without trophies but that wasn't the point. It was a huge show, with stiff competition, and I felt so proud of the journey I had taken and the progress I made. That's what it was about. I just felt great.

We took the party to Precinct and I got my beer (YUM) and sliders and fries. It ended up to be a pretty awesome day.

After a couple days of reflecting, I'm not sure I'll ever do another show. But I didn't completely hate it as much as I thought. It gave me a goal to work towards and dedicate myself to. I'm really looking forward to enjoying my summer without measuring food and feeling guilty about cookies and cold beer. Maybe come fall I'll be looking for that challenge again or maybe I'll have found a new one. But I'm so grateful I did it. I'm so proud of myself for doing it.

Results: I ended up coming in 8th out of 19 in Novice (my goal was to be in the top half) and 6th in my Open class, just one place away from a trophy. So I'm happy :)

Stay tuned for Thank You's, updates, and my food splurges :)

8 Days.

Happy Friday world! I woke up jumping out of bed this morning. The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and I had energy to get after my fasted cardio. This week (2 weeks out) has been a really important week of my prep, it's the last big push before the show. In addition to my normal five workouts, I have three days of cardio and four mornings of fasted cardio.

Fasted cardio = my personal hell.

I've mentioned before that I don't like morning workouts, and morning workouts where I have to keep my heart rate high for 30 minutes when my body is sore all over from yesterday's workout and on no food...the worst. However, fasted cardio is really effective for me. Jump starts my metabolism in the morning and I feel it burning all day. And today it wasn't so bad! I've been feeling minor shin splints this week so instead of my usual run I did some HIIT in Copley Square instead. Then ya know what happened? These babies were poppin!

For a good reason. In addition to the extra workouts I've had this week, my diet has also changed. All week I'm slowly depleting carbs (as Johnny tells me to), every two days the diet changes. I'm hovering around 1200 calories, with my protein intake remaining high and as my carbs are cut my fat intake raises (YAY peanut butter!). 

I had to go two days this week without peanut butter and I honestly think it was the first time in YEARS I hadn't had it. Thank goodness that's over.

Basically I'm tricking my body to burn all of the existing fat to use for energy opposed to the carbs I'd be feeding it. Then early next week (peak week!) I'll get a MAJOR re-feed day where I eat a ton of carbs (clean carbs) for my muscles to fill out again. They're working in overdrive this week so we gotta keep them happy before the big day.

So I'll leave ya with highs and lows for the week:

Highs:

  • ABS!
  • I have a whole new love for food since I've been so hungry this week.
  • Matcha. My afternoon pick-me-up.
  • Everything Hoodie Allen.
  • Low energy but high spirits!

Lows:

  • Fasted cardio. Ew.
  • I skipped fasted cardio yesterday. I was a little disappointed in myself but my body was telling me no.
  • No posing practice yet. I need to learn how to walk on stage now. Crunch time people!
  • My hands are torn up from my arms/back days. Ouch!
  • Low energy levels, but big spirits!

Huge final shout out to my boyfriend who has saved me this week. I forgot my lunches at home one day (grabbed the wrong tupperware) and he drove them to me at work. LIFE SAVER!!! Second shout out to my parents who have given me some great pep talks supporting from afar! Then finally my coworkers...sorry you have to sit with HANGRY Erin all day, but keeping me away from the unlimited kid cereal and M&M's is crucial. Couldn't do this without you guys. 

A final BIG THANK YOU to all the social media love. This is honestly one of the toughest things I've done and the messages, texts, Instagram likes and comments truly mean the world to me. When I need extra motivation, that's what keeps me going. Thank you.

"People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do something difficult." - John Porter.


Stepping OFF the Scale.

Some weeks are better than others, and some weeks are better than you think. I stopped stepping on my scale about ten days ago because the number kept going up. At first little by little, and then I was three pounds higher than where I wanted to be. That messes with you head.

When you're dedicating months of your life, to achieve a goal, you make benchmarks you want to hit. Your daily schedule is dictated by this one goal, and when you stop hitting those benchmarks....it messes with your head. 

I've been trying to lean out and I have been feeling leaner and my "abs" make small appearances here and there, but that damn number on the scale is going up!? So I walked into last nights workout/checkin with my coach feeling just kinda womp. Ya know?

So we took body fat measurements, the true test. And let me tell you, that womp feeling was turned right around!! I haven't tested body fat in six weeks, so at eight weeks out I was at 14.6% body fat which was honestly an awesome starting point. I was worried about getting that down, I'm naturally lean, would my body lean out that much more?

I am so proud to say at 15 days out I am at 11% body fat. 11%! I've never been 11%. 11% feels good on me.

Right before we started the caliber measurements I asked Johnny what we were hoping for. He said 11.5% would be great and that was his guess to what I was at. Well take that 11.5%! I'm 11%.

So let's talk numbers. I'm really glad I stopped weighing myself daily, it's good to check in every few days but you cannot dictate your success based on a number on a scale. In the six weeks since my last body fat check in, I had GAINED 1.5 pounds of muscle (which is kinda rare and really exciting because that's when I've  been "cutting" and normally when people lose muscle mass) and LOST 5 pounds of fat! Whoop!

I was frustrated that the scale wasn't changing the way I wanted it to but I was getting leaner which now all makes sense! While I was losing fat (good thing) I was gaining muscle (GREAT thing). So see?? The scale is not all it's cracked up to be.

New goals: Lose 1 pound of fat, and sit at 10% body fat when I walk on stage.

Other really exciting developments...

I did my first pull-up last night!

Do you know how hard it is to do a pull-up? Really hard. It was one of my resolutions. Nailed it.

So ya see, sometimes a womp kind of week just really turns around.

Also I had some really yummy meals this week.

15 Days. Get. At. Me.

21 Days: Highs and Lows

I'm exactly three weeks out from the Jay Cutler Classic Boston today. THREE WEEKS!! Hard to believe it's so soon. I'm making progress that I feel really proud about. It was a tough week this week, kicking my training into another gear, adding morning cardio sessions, and have three extra depleted carb days. This was the first week I really felt like my diet was taking a toll on my body. Coach saw it too, so today I got a high carb day!! Whoop Whoop!! Pancakes on pancakes for me!

For this weeks' check-in I thought I'd share my highs and lows for the week. Always starting with the lows so we can end on the high notes!


Lows:

- My diet was TOUGH this week. I've been sitting at 1359 calories for a couple weeks now. This week on my non-lifting days (two cardio days and one plyometrics day) my carbs were almost entirely taken away putting me at 1189. Hard to stick to and hard to maintain energy to get through the day.

Energy levels were at an all time low. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday I had a hard time keeping my eyes awake and my body moving! Just felt like a slug.

Huge apology to my coworkers who felt that wrath (Sorry Steph!). I was Hangry Erin.

- Morning Cardio. I'm a morning person in the sense that I like to wake up early and lounge in my Pjs and drink coffee on the couch for an hour before I start my day. I don't like morning workouts. But to jump start my metabolism for the day, coach gave me two days to do morning cardio. 30 minutes of hills. Just how we all like to start our days.


Highs:

- Leg day. This should probably be a high and a low. KILLER leg day on Monday. My body responds best to high reps and this workout was all supersets, high reps (15-20), 3-4 sets, lunges lunges and more lunges. OUCH!! But a really good ouch. My glutes were sore for 3 days. 

Nike Outlet. A new shopping center just north of the city opened a while ago but my world revolves around where I can get on two feet, thus I hadn't been yet. Ryan and I ventured out there and HELLO NIKE OUTLET!!! It was beautiful. Too exciting really. I got red shorts, a couple t-shirts, a cute striped sports bra and new shoes!!

- High Carb days. Enough said.

- My favorite songs for the week!

  • "Steal My Sunshine" - Len (throwback!)
  • "Peanut Butter Jelly" - Galantis 
  • "Unbreakable Smile" - Tori Kelly
  • "Say My Name (feat. Zyra) - RAC Mix - ODESZA (on repeat!!)
  • "Trampoline" - Kalin and Myles
  • "America's Sweetheart" - Elle King (currently loving everything by her)

- PROGRESS!!! I've felt great this week. Strong, fierce, and more and more ready everyday.

"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." - Fred Devito.

4 Weeks...What did I get myself into?

I have a tendency to jump into things without researching them or even fully thinking them through. It usually works for me in the end and I end up with some experiences I'd never take back but I do feel like I'm back there again. 

I'd actually never been to a bikini fitness competition until last weekend (five weeks out). One of the girls on Team Anthrofit was doing a "pre-show" (she's competiting with me in four weeks but wanted a little stage practice first), so a few of us road tripped down to the south shore to support Jenn.

Jenn is the brunette smokeshow right in the middle. She looked amazing and so comfortable on stage. When I get up there, I hope I have half the grace a poise she did. Well done lady!

So I'm sitting in this auditorium with my coach Johnny, two of my teammates, Ashely and Loren, and Jenn's BF Ryan and all the sudden it hits me like a ton of bricks. That's going to be me in five (now four) weeks. Excuse my language but I just had this..

OH SHIT

kind of moment. Know what I mean??

I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize it but actually standing on stage, in a bedazzled bikini, clear plastic heels, 14 shades of tan, and posing in front of judges, had never actually really settled with me. I've been so focused on the prep that the end result wasn't in the front of my mind. Like at all.

It was a good moment though. This challenge, this journey has never been about a stage and a bikini, it's been about the process and the challenge of it. It's been about testing myself physically and mentally. It's about picking a goal and sticking to it. Five months of intense training and strict eating guidelines, could I even do it??

I'm going to give myself a little pat on the back right now because I am doing it. I'm more than doing it I'm thriving in it and that's something I've never thought I'd be able to say.

I have truly enjoyed this process and learning about my body and what it's capable of. I'm not sure I would've been able to learn the same things if I hadn't decided to do this competition. The competition gave me a date to work towards, but in the end it taught me about a lifestyle and a new way to approach health and fitness. 

I've honestly gone back and forth about whether I'm actually going to step on stage, not because I don't think I'll be ready, but more because it's not really me. The posing, the stage, the bikini, that's not the part I've been excited about at all. But I keep going back to the fact, that it's one day and one more experience I'll have. I might totally hate it and that's OK. I also might love it and that's OK too. But it's a journey I started, I might as well finish it with the intended plan. 

So here's my progress at four weeks. I set PRs this week in my squats, got a little creative with my cooking, and met with a fabulous posing coach Geri to start figuring out what the heck I'm going to do when I'm actually on stage.


Thanks for all the love and support! I've realized what an isolating journey this can be and all of your encouraging words are so helpful and much needed.

"Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua J. Marine.

Instagram(Inspirations).

I love Instagram. I'm on it all the time. Whether I'm shamelessly uploading gym selfies or browsing through posts at lunch, I love it all. What I love most about Instagram is the health and fitness community I've found. I often need an extra push to go to the gym, or a small reminder to stay on diet. That's what Instagram has been for me, an added tool to connect with like-minded people and stay on track!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite people/pages that I follow and you should follow too!


@katefit_

Meet Kate! She's wonderful. We connected back in the fall as we both went through the NASM training to be personal trainers simultaneously. Since then she has launched her own training business and website you can check out here! I really like her page because she posts quick workouts you can do at home, beginner yoga challenges and her adorable husky. 


@rawfigure

Meet Cathee! We actually met randomly at the gym (Equinox), I had seen her around for a few weeks and she absolutely crushes it. She's wonderful, extremely determined and traveled international to compete in figure competitions. It's great seeing her lovely, familiar face in the gym. I love her Instagram because her abs are insane (amazing motivation) and she often posts simple clean recipes that I love to help switch up my normal diet. She also introduced me to #BuffButter so God bless her for that! Check out her website here.


@emmakate_92

Meet Emma! I randomly found her but I really like her page because of her authenticity. She's currently in college studying accounting and training/prepping for NPC competitions. Knowing how hard it is to stay on track with a career, I can' imagine how much will power it must take to do it in college! She's so cute and not afraid to tell you about her crazy cravings and fights through them!! Plus I love all her Nike gear, duh. Her next show is in one week so good luck to you lady!!


@fitmissdani

Meet Dani! She's a college student at my alma mater, UNCW! She teaches several classes at the college gym (which I always thought was a cool job and wish I had done!). I love her page because like Emma, she does a great job of balancing the healthy life with the college life. My favorite though is she posts amazing and simple recipes that are so yum. Her sesame tofu recipe is bomb!


Then I of course wanted to share the pages of the girls on my Anthrofit Team! They are a constant source of support and inspiration!

@lorenpete1991 @ashley_hatcher @jcfitness4u @nicole_kulma @johnny_loreti


And don't forget to follow my page! @ebailey_fitness

Temptation.

I’m currently on the plane (ok this was four days ago, its been a busy week!) on the way back to Boston from a wonderful weekend away with my family in Wrightsville Beach (my first love). It was so wonderful having the four of us together for a long weekend, the more we grow up the harder it becomes. 

Last week having such a low really lit a fire under my butt. I have seven weeks left, and in the grand scheme of life that is nothing! I have to keep remembering that. I chose this. I dedicated myself to this. If I don’t give it my best, I’ll only let down myself. However, with that said, TEMPTATION was EVERYWHERE. We got a three bedroom oceanfront condo (instead of a hotel) so that I could have a full kitchen to cook. A HUGE thank you to my mom and dad for changing their plans to support me in this journey…but it wouldn’t be a family vacation with a test or two for me. So here we go:

  1. I flew down to Raleigh and got to spend the night with one of my best friends from college and we got a yummy vegan dinner (high on carbs but totally clean so I didn’t feel bad!).
  2. Wendy’s: My parents picked me up in the morning and we stopped and got lunch at Wendy’s. Shouldn’t be a huge shock that eating clean is just about impossible through fast food. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and ate just the patty with a side salad (no dressing).
  3. Oceanic: One of the yummy restaurants right on the ocean. It’s known for is southern spin on fish. They bring hot fresh hushpuppies to your table with fresh butter to start. Mom saved me and just ripped me off a bite of hers, YUM! I got a grilled salmon salad with citrus dressing (I should’ve taken more pics!).
  4. Mexican: Saturday night were the big basketball games and my Dad and sister are HUGE fans. The family ordered Mexican (my favorite) and I made my broccoli and grilled chicken. I did save a couple carbs and fats so I could have a chip of guac!
  5. Easter: Thank goodness the Easter bunny found us all the way down in Wrightsville Beach and brought us goodie bags filled with candy. I think the Easter bunny wanted to save a trip because he also brought one for my roommate and boyfriend so now I have THREE BAGS STUFFED WITH CANDY sitting at my feet and I’m dying to dig in. They even included the Reese shaped like eggs. Those are the best. This is my resisting. 7 weeks.

I have to say I couldn’t have stayed on track this weekend without a few things:

  • My supportive family: Yes they might have teased me some, but they made sure I had plenty of healthy food. As soon as we got to the beach my Dad jumped back in the car with me (after a 6 hour drive) to go to the grocery store and get food because I was starving after just two meals for the day. They even let me cook one of my go to dinners (grilled chicken, veg and brown rice) for dinner and loved my every day breakfasts of egg whites, Ezekiel toast and salsa. You guys are the best!
  • Natalie: She’s one of my very best friends and my complete inspiration to do this competition. I spoke about her in my first post. She drove two hours to some spend the afternoon with me, going through a glutes workout, and giving me endless tips for the journey. Honestly seeing her really helped me remember how driven and motivated she was (and is) and that I can do it too. She was impressed with how much I can lift (as I never lifted when we were in college together) and that was all the confidence I needed.
  • Froyo: I don’t know why I can’t find this in Boston, but Wilmington has a froyo place that carries Newberry froyo thats clean and only 8 CALORIES an oz. 8!!! It’s amazing. Just amazing. I went twice.
  • Ashley in her first comp: One of the girls Johnny also trains competed in her first competition this Saturday and ROCKED it!! She placed in three of her divisions and looked stunned. She even made her own suit. Like what?! Well done lady!

Such an awesome weekend. I’m really proud I stayed on track. I even packed a ziplock of grilled chicken and broccoli to snack on on the drive from Wilmington to Charlotte to fly back. I never in my life thought I’d be car snacking on broccoli. Who am I?! The purpose of this post was to share temptations and then share craving and how to get through it. So sorry for the monologue but let’s finish strong!

I was definitely hungry sometimes this weekend. It was an active weekend making sure I completed my workouts, long walks on the beach with mom, a couple beach runs, and beach volleyball! Things I needed to stay on track:

  • Crystal Light (sweetened with Truvia): First, beach water is gross. But second having my 24oz water bottle filled with watered down crystal light at all times helped me stay satisfied when I was hungry. Often times your body telling you your hungry is really just you dehydrated. I’m definitely not dehydrated because I can’t even sleep through the night anymore because I have to get up to pee. Twice. But, keep your water bottles filled and drink up!
  • Green Tea: I think I just get bored with water and then want a flavor, green tea helps.
  • Coffee: Hot. Cold. Blended. I don’t care I’ll take a large! Coffee is a god send for me. It filled me up or at least prolongs my hunger until I can get a good meal.
  • Apples: Yes they’ve got a few carbs, but they’re also delicious and crunchy and make me feel like I’m eating a lot!
  • Get up and go! Lots of times I think I’m hungry but I’m really just bored. The more active I am and busy my mind is the less I find myself wanting food. Talk a walk. Read a book. Take a nap. Who cares, just get out of the kitchen!

I won’t bore you anymore for now! Again, just a wonderful weekend and I’m ready to get back home (Boston) and see my love, train hard, and eat well. 

Do you all have any good craving curbers? I’m always looking for more! Any good clean recipes too are always helpful!

Thanks for the constant support, you all have been wonderful! Happy Easter!

…maybe just like one Reese egg? Is that Ok?! 

When it rains, it pours.

It was a really rainy week, figuratively and literally.

Ok. I'm not proud of everything I'm about to say, actually most of what I'm about to say. But this week I had the conversation to quit prepping for the bikini fitness competition too many times. It was all too much. My head wasn't in it. My heart wasn't in it. My stomach definitely wasn't in it. I had all but given up.

A couple weeks ago I started [two] new jobs. The past six months I've really been looking for a new challenge and thus had started to purse several different avenues to see what stuck. The problem was ironically, they all stuck. The fitness competition started as a way to give myself a new challenge and a new focus. I had time to learn about different workout techniques. I had time to meal prep and try new recipes. I had time to workout at lunch and made time to workout with my trainer. But two jobs later, I lost all of that time and something had to give.

I recently became a part-time trainer which was honestly my perfect scenario that I was thinking about when I was going through my NASM CPT training. I didn't want to be a full-time trainer, I wanted a marketing career in health/fitness and have a couple clients on the side. Turns out that sweet gig is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find. Until I found this position and got my couple clients on the side. But now those hours after work that I had for my training have become quite limited. That same week, I got my new job, which also happened to be my current "dream job." You never turn those opportunities down. 

So here we are. I just finished week one at my new job, which is going really well! I'm the new Social Media Manager at Withings, a connected health company based in Paris with our North American office in Cambridge. Like anything new, it shakes up your life a bit, shakes up your routine. My world was centralized in one area, my apartment, gym, and office were all within a mile of each other. I worked a very 9-5 job and my gym was literally next door. I had no excuses.

Now I walk 1.8 miles every day to/from work, in the opposite direction of my gym, and polar opposite direction of my trainer. My new office supplies snacks, which is so generous, but they aren't in my diet plan and end up as added temptation. So this week work wise was great! I am definitely working longer hours [I'm new, and social media never sleeps], but I really feel like I am doing what I want to do. But sometimes somethings gotta give...and this week it was my fitness competition.

I only had time to do two of my five workouts this week and only one of my two cardio days. And neither of those workouts felt good, nor satisfying. My body wasn't moving. My mind wasn't in it.

Then Wednesday we hosted an even at the Apple Store on Bolyston to train Apple employees on our new products and demo some for customers. The day at Apple ended up being from 1:30-8:00PM. I cracked. Halfway through I got a venti black tea [and a chocolate chip cookie] and after ended up ordering dinner [pizza]. Then Thursday it was supposed to by my workout with Johnny but late into the day I felt swamped and being new couldn't leave in time to meet him. So I cancelled my workout [again, SORRY Johnny!!!] and was later peer pressured into grabbing drinks with a few new coworkers. I cracked. I came home and thought I couldn't do it. It just [again] wasn't the right time.

I was wrong. It is the right time. It's exactly the right time. I was blessed before to have such a conducive schedule to work my fitness competition prepping around, but that's obviously not always going to be the case. This fitness comp was so black and white for me. I was all in or all out. Which is great, except that life isn't going to tee it up for me, I have to create the opportunity and stick to my commitments. I'm allowed to cave without failing. I'm allowed to have a crazy week, and do my best within it. They won't always be that crazy, I'm not here to quit.

I love to workout out. I love eating well and feeling those benefits. I love the community I've become a part of because of this fitness passion. But just because I love it, doesn't mean I'm going to feel that same love and passion everyday. This week I needed to be reminded of that, and most of all reminded of why I'm doing this. I need motivation too, I'm only human. 

Such truly perfect timing for my motivation occurred on Thursday. I was at Commonwealth with coworkers last night finishing my one beer getting pressured for the second and I get a Facebook message from a girl I went to college with. I girl I looked up to because she was on our collegiate tennis team at UNCW. I knew her through the tennis community, no one I was ever super close with but someone I really admired. She's got a killer backhand, and I had literally just seen that she finished a marathon this weekend before I got her message. She expressed how impressed she was with what I was doing and how I was inspiring people. I wrote back explaining the coincidental timing of her message and how much I needed it. She left me with this:

I have had a few weeks where it becomes more of a hassle to train then anything, but it definitely pays off!

We're all just human. We all need motivation, love and support. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Sometimes life tests you, and sometimes life wins. But it only made my mental game stronger. I just left the gym after a great cardio and leg session. My boyfriend and I have salmon and brussel sprouts in the oven and I'm back at it.

8 weeks baby. This week I thought I failed, but I think I just got stronger.

"Failure doesn't come from falling down. Failure comes from not getting up."

Check-in: 9 Weeks Out!

Today I am officially 9 weeks out from my first bikini fitness competition. It's really exciting and mostly still scary but I'm feeling more and more ready everyday. I'm still on the 2100 calorie diet plan which has meant I've bene stuffing my face with carbs (good carbs though, not the delicious ones). It's tough eating 230grams of carbs a day! I'm at a midpoint right now in my training, but just about to start "cutting" for my diet. So below I wanted to include a beginning point for my measurements and body fat percentage, and of course a few pics!

Body Fat: 14.6%

BMI: 20

Measurements (in inches):

Arm: 9.5

Forearm: 9

Waist: 26.75

Abdominal: 28.5

Hip: 37

Thigh: 21.5

Calf: 14

It was an arm day...

It was an arm day...

and my triceps are definitely my weakest muscle....probably overall

and my triceps are definitely my weakest muscle....probably overall

Wooo! Love seeing my back progress, you don't see your back often so it's always like a surprise when I see gains there!

Wooo! Love seeing my back progress, you don't see your back often so it's always like a surprise when I see gains there!

Classic ab shot.

Classic ab shot.

So 9 weeks out, it's crunch time! I'm lucky that I naturally have a high metabolism thus I carry a lean frame. I haven't had to start "cutting" yet but that will start next week. No more sugar, dairy or alcohol. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to challenge myself, to better myself.

These fabulous pants I got courtesy of Liquido Active :)