Fitness

barre headshot

I know, I know. No one is thrilled that I am writing this Fitness Friday post. I’m not even thrilled that I’m writing this Fitness Friday post. Consistency sucks. Our lives are inconsistent and nothing is worse than when things feel busy or out of control and then someone starts preaching the value of consistency in your face. You just want to shout “I’m doing the best I can!”

I know you are, babe.

But when you get into a consistent habit, it does actually feel so good. This is an anecdote that I share a lot, but several years ago I decided to prove to myself that I could build a habit… so I started making my bed every morning. And now, while parts of my morning routine will vary, making my bed is always a part of it. (Though I haven’t really taken this lesson forward to building other habits… maybe that’s a goal for this year!)

What does consistency have to do with Fitness Friday?

Okay, yes, that is kind of a facetious question – I feel like the answer is pretty self-evident if you know what “consistency” means.

Webster’s Dictionary defines consistency as “harmony of conduct or practice with profession”

Webster’s Dictionary

Since Webster’s is doing my job for me, I’ll provide context.

I am doing a barre challenge – in a studio! – for the first time in forever. (Barre West‘s 60 Day Heartbeat Challenge, to be specific.) The goal is to do either 30, 40, or 50 classes in 60 days, either online or in person. Y’all know that I love challenges and this balance between constraints but flexibility is perfect for me. I don’t have to try to go every single day (or else fall into a panic spiral), but it gives me inspiration to prioritize barre classes.

This is not a revelation – but it’s definitely working.

In yesterday’s class, my instructor (the incomparable Adriana, co-founder of Barre West and my former boss) gave a great quote from her husband. He said “working out is super fun when you’re in shape, but when you haven’t been working out it sucks” (paraphrased).

Yeah. That one really hit for me.

And that’s why consistency is awesome and terrible at the same time.

Fitness

Fitness Routine equipment

I have to admit that I didn’t exactly set out to brand myself as a non-fitness girl, but the more I think about it, the more accurate it seems. I’m just a girl who likes to move her body sometimes. (And always feels better when I do, as much as I don’t want to a medium percentage of the time.) And speaking of liking to move my body… I feel like a solid second Fitness Friday post is an old classic – my Fitness Routine.

Day-to-Day Fitness Routine

Psych! (Does anyone say that? Is it actually supposed to be “psych”? Like “psych you out”? Or is it “sike”? Why do I apparently think it’s 1999?)

Anyway, as if I have a day-to-day fitness routine.

Over time, I have learned that my life is too variable and if I try to make a pre-set, organized, rigid plan for each day, I will inevitably fail at it. And then I will be stressed out and beat myself up over it, which will ultimately lead no exercise at all because “why should I even try?!”. A classic shame spiral.

I have discovered that, while I love challenges (this is known), 30 classes in 30 days type things don’t really work for me. This is what growth looks like, my friends.

Okay, then what IS your fitness routine?

I’m glad you asked!

Though I won’t say “on Mondays I do this, on Tuesdays I do this”, I will say that I have favourite classes/instructors that I try to hit up every week, if I can. If I hit three of my favourite classes in a week? Ohhhh, that is a good week, my friends!

So, in a good week, this is what I would like to do:

  • 3 barre classes
    • I’ve been doing in person classes at Barre West, and I really like:
      • Jenn’s Wed 545 class
      • Janet’s 610 am class for weeks I have stuff after work on Wednesdays
      • Kate’s Fri 445 class for weeks when I go into work early on Fridays
      • Amy’s Sat 1030 pilates class
      • Morgan’s Wed noon class on weeks I’m not working – but there are lots of other good ones!
    • I also have some great online barre recommendations, but I think I will save that for another post
  • 1 spin class
    • I’d love to do more, but spin literally takes up your entire evening because of the sweat factor. Like, a 1-hr class becomes a three hour chunk of your night.
    • I go to Hotshop, mostly the Silverado location and I’m obsessed with:
      • Lindsay’s Sun 915 Spin & Reset (essentially a Spin & Yin yoga combo) – there’s also a Tues 700pm version of this class
      • the Sat 1145 Spin & Sculpt that Brenna used to teach – a good class to sweat out a night out
      • I usually go for the combos, but if I’m going to pure spin, I will always show up for Brenna, Amanda or Alex
    • I think Stax is going to start doing in person classes again soon and I could not be more excited
  • 1 yoga class
    • My hips lose their minds if I don’t do this.
    • I should probably get into a daily home practice but… I’m not there yet. Work in progress, baby!
    • I’m also not really in the habit of any go-to classes right now and the in-person yoga scene has changed so much in the past two years that I need to put some work into finding what I love again.
  • Walk daily
    • Again, I’m truly happiest if I walk for a bit every day.
    • Plus it’s a great way to feel like you worked out on days that you don’t want to or don’t have time to do a full workout.
    • Plus you get to listen to podcasts.
    • I recently read a blog post where someone talked about reading on the treadmill and I feel like I am all there for winter.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the first times I’ve ever sat down and tried to articulate what my perfect week would look like.

It’s fluid, it seems oddly achievable. It gives me space to try new things and not feel like I’m letting my plan down. If I decide I’m not chill with doing in person classes for a moment, that’s okay. In short, this “routine” works with my lifestyle. But it might not work with yours, so I highly encourage you to sit down and do this exercise too. (Ha! Exercise…)

So, speaking of new things… I want to try some new fitness things! New providers of things I like! So, you know what that means – give me your recommendations below!

Fitness

talking about fitness as a non-fitness girl

Well well well, my friends. Here we are, two weeks into January, and I return to my blog, full of inspiration and 24 spam comments to delete. What else is new?

I didn’t intend to take a break after Blogmas, but it was super nice and refreshing. Plus I probably should have expected it… the first two weeks back at work after the holidays are always crazy for me and this year was extra crazy, with the Omicron of it all. No matter how hard I work before the break to get ahead, there are always things that come up that I have to deal with when I get back. And I’m somehow always a little bit surprised by it.

Joey from Friends shocked gif
Shocking.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about…

Fitness!

Yes. I am, like so many bloggers before me, going to do Fitness Fridays. It’s going to be a limited run for now, until the end of February, but who knows where the inspiration will take me!

It might seem like a misstep that I haven’t done this before. After all, “Fitness” is one of the five categories I picked when I first started this blog six years ago. (Oh dear… I don’t love that math.) The number of fitness posts I’ve actually written can fit on one hand, if you don’t count the one about my barre studio closing down. However, there is a very good reason for this…

Continue Reading
Fitness

elevate barre program nutrition guide

Oof. Look at this girl go – restarting a blog and missing a week almost immediately. What can I say? I had a paper due last week. After doing a deep dive into reflexivity and the need for a community developed code of ethics for adult educators, my brain was toast. 3500 words is so many words. But anyway, I digress. I was gone, now I am back, and I want to talk about Elevate, a little program that I’ve been doing at my barre studio for the past month.

Continue Reading
Fitness

In a shocking turn of events, I’m delayed writing up my Week Two Recap and it’s already Wed, Oct 31. Halloween! I’m a deer! (If I get a cute picture and not just a poorly lit picture in my office, I’ll post it on the A Flimsy Plan insta.) With this spoooooky season coming to a close, let’s hit up another recap of my Fit Girls journey! (Syntax? What’s syntax? I’m not fixing that sentence!)

Continue Reading
Fitness, Life

If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I’m an actress. Oh no, wait, that’s not what this post is about… Let’s start over. If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I love challenges. Challenges are essentially the only way I actually achieve anything in life because I truly thrive on external validation. (Hashtag, maybe not the best quality? Hashtag love yourself?) Anyway, today is a not a deep dive into my psyche, today is a recap of the first week of my most recent challenge – Fit Girls Guide‘s 28 Day Jumpstart.

Challenges are the Only Way I Ever Achieve Anything
Continue Reading
Fitness

running wet

For the past few months, I’ve been quietly training for a 5k Night Race, using the Couch to 5K program. During May Long Weekend, my lovely and beautiful (and very fast marathon running) friend Lynn texted me to ask if I wanted to do the Night Race with her and, if there is one thing I’ve learned from my constant announcements that I was going to start running it is that I need external motivation to do anything, so I immediately said yes.

And then immediately panicked.

I’ve been announcing that I was going to start running for forever, but my cardiovascular fitness is not awesome and I still get mini-PTSD from childhood activity-induced asthma. What if I couldn’t do it? What if my cardio limit was the little 2-3 minute cardio bursts in barre classes? Yeah, I can elliptical and recumbent bike with the best of them and I can make my way through a 50 minute spin class only sort of turning bright red, but that is all totally different.

had to do it, though, because there was an end event. And someone else involved. So I quietly threw myself into the training program, without telling many people just in case I fell flat on my face.

The Couch to 5K program is awesome, though. It builds up your cardiovascular fitness in such a consistent, subtle way that you don’t even realize that you’ve improved until suddenly it tells you to run for 20 minutes straight and you can do it. It never stops being just a little challenging, which is great, because that is how you keep getting better… and also what appeals to my competitive nature.

So, I no longer dread running days. That is awesome! (I still like to wear my “I Hate Running” shirt while I run though.)

It wasn’t all fun and light – I did used to get some really serious runner’s rage at the beginning, until one of my friends at work who is an incredible runner, pointed out that I was probably running too fast and not long enough to burn off all my aggression and stress. I spent a few runs on the treadmill, figuring out what my ideal pace actually felt like, then I was ready to take it outside again.

On Thursday, the beautiful Lynn and I hit Prince’s Island Park to run a sample 5K. Full disclosure, we only managed 4.8 km before all the Pokemon Go-ers got in our way and we had to walk. Still! We were ready to go for our 5K!

Yesterday, we met at around 6pm, grabbed our race packs, picked up a ton of glowsticks (so much fun) and enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Chopped Leaf. We were double ready to go!

And then the monsoon hit, lighting so bright that it was like daylight and thunder directly overhead. We got so soaked walking to the race booth to see if it got cancelled that my mascara made me unable to see. Obviously, the race was cancelled.

So I still haven’t run a 5k.

running lame
Fitness, YYCEats

Juice Cleanse

As those of you who follow me on social media have undoubtably already seen, on Monday I did a petite one day juice cleanse. With the Calgary Stampede looming on the horizon and a booze-soaked girls weekend in Kimberley behind me, it just seemed like a good choice to try to get my system a little bit back in line. (Why yes, we did purchase 11 bottles of wine for three girls. We didn’t drink all of them, though, I swear! Seriously. That sounds like a made up swear, but it’s true! Anyway… moving on…)

In the past, I’ve only done three day cleanses and the one day cleanse was a walk in the park, by comparison. I did take a late night “Barre, Core, Stretch” class at Barre Body Studio on Monday and, though I was a little bit hungry after Lindsay put us through an insane tricep/oblique series, it was so refreshing to know that I had a juice waiting for me at home and even if it didn’t completely quench my hunger it didn’t matter because I got to eat on Tuesday morning. I even did my meal prep for the week on Monday night and my food monster remained in check! So, without further ado – my petite review of my petite cleanse.

Where did my cleanse come from?
Great question! (That I asked myself… maybe I shouldn’t reveal the conceit. Anyway…) In the past, I’ve purchased three day cleanses from an old A Flimsy Plan favourite, Cru Juice, but this time I decided to go for something a little shorter and a little bit cheaper. The one day cleanse from Cherry Pit, located at The Calgary Farmers’ Market fit the bill – super easy to pick up since I was already there and only $40 for one day! Apparently you can also order cleanses ahead of time online by emailing in, but I am clearly far too impetuous for that.

8:00 am – “The Hulk”
Kale, Apple, Celery, Lemon, Ginger

Starting off my day with a glass of hot lemon water and a green juice felt oh-so-virtuous. I really think it set me up with a positive frame of mind for my day. This juice was sweeter than I expected (a nice surprise for a green juice!) and I could definitely sense the celery in the after-taste, though not at all in an unpleasant way.

10:00 am – “Tropical Paradise”
Green apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Mint

A variation of this juice seems to be a standby in most cleanses (Blueprint Cleanse calls it “PAM”, Cru offers the “Pumped Up Kicks” which is similar but includes aloe vera) and with good cause – it’s nice to have something a little bit sweet to help pump up your blood sugar when mid-morning hits and it suddenly becomes very real that you will not be eating today, my friend. My morning at work was quite busy and the juice was sweet enough that I was able to alternate this guy with sips of water and spread it out over about an hour and a half until it was almost time for the next juice!

12:00 pm – “Carrot”
Carrot, Orange, Apple

Again, in the fall, Cru Juice offers a similar carrot juice that I just do not love… their variation includes yam and a few spices that I can’t remember at the moment – so either I really like orange or I really don’t like the spice I can’t remember, because I loved this carrot juice! I also appreciate the vegetable based juices during a cleanse because they seem a little “thicker”, and therefore more filling, which this one definitely did. As a note, I was developing such a headache by this point.

1:30 pm

The headache was still there. Maybe it was a caffeine headache, as I had tried to be good and not have any coffee that morning? Maybe. I drank two cups of David’s Tea’s “Cream of Earl Grey” and it did help some. It was probably a caffeine headache.

3:30 pm – “Heart Beet”
Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Lemon

Can we talk about how cute the name of this juice is, even if it took me awhile to get it?
I am one of those weirdos who absolutely loves beets, but this was probably my least favourite juice of the cleanse. I know that beet juice is super good for you, but I just couldn’t get on board. Maybe my tastebuds were attuned to the sweet after my previous few juices? Maybe it was because I drank it during that dreaded late afternoon slump? I also drank it about an hour and a half later than the suggested time, so maybe that was a part of it? I’m not sure, but I just knew I couldn’t wait to be done with it.

5:30 pm – “The Popeye”
Spinach, Cucumber, Apple, Pear, Lemon

To be honest, I barely remember drinking this juice. I got home late from work because I had to run a few errands and I downed this guy while meal-prepping. I don’t remember anything distasteful about it and I do remember the cucumber taste being prominent. If you are looking for a standard juice to get a lot of nutrients in for very little work, I think this would do the trick.

9:00 pm – “Wonderwoman”
Watermelon, Pineapple, Coconut Water, Lime, Mint

Like the “Heart Beet”, I drank this juice waaaaay too late (the barre class! I have explained!) but unlike the “Heart Beet”, I loved it! It was like dessert! And it was brilliant, because the coconut water was the perfect thing to restore my water and electrolyte levels after the workout.

Final Thoughts?
I would absolutely do a one day cleanse again. I felt virtuous, I felt energetic, I was proud of myself. I also would probably have a cup of tea in the morning to stave off the headache.

The main difference I felt between the Cru Cleanse and this one, was the lack of a nut mylk included in the cleanse. I usually had the nut mylk after a workout to get some protein/sugar in as a recovery and I may have needed that if I did a more vigorous barre workout or continued the cleanse for longer. Cherry Pit juices are also more pure fruit/veg blends with less additional spices to add flavour.

I will note that I felt awful for much of Tuesday (the day after the cleanse). I went for a walk at lunch and almost passed out. This could have been a cleanse response, but it also could have been because I took an Advil that morning and I very rarely take any type of medication. I think I will have to do another one day cleanse, maybe after Stampede, and see how I feel the day after for comparison.

loved the price of the Cherry Pit cleanse, I loved that I could purchase a day of juice and still be within my grocery budget for the week with a little clever finagling.

(Note from 2020 Erin: Cru Juice was acquired by Jusu Bar. I haven’t yet tried their juice cleanses… maybe time for some new content?)