Rose: Fashion Friday

This week hasn’t been terribly exciting in the world of fashion. I did snag two more shirts from Shop it To Me, but they weren’t what you’d call adventurous. I’ve just been a striped kind-of-mood lately when it comes to casual outings.

That said, I did jazz things up a bit one day at work by wearing of my favorite ModCloth dresses. I haven’t been able to wear this one in a while because it’s been so bitter cold, and this dress doesn’t welcome that. When it warmed up for just 24 hours on Monday, I put on some tights and boots and hit the road.

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Buying those brown booties was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I wear those things almost every chance I have. It’s been nice, too, since my other taller brown boots are broken. The zipper is jammed. It’s a shame, too, because they would have looked nice with this outfit — instead, I had to stick with my standby black boots:

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I questioned whether I should wear this outfit to work because technically those are yoga pants. I know. But it was a day in which I didn’t have meetings, and I was just so tired of professional clothes. I think this walks the line of casual and work appropriate. No one said anything, so I think I’m safe.

Perhaps more important than this week’s fashion choices might be my decision to curl my hair 4 out of 5 work days. I nearly forgot about curling wand, and I’m glad my hair is long enough again to change things up. I get this head of hair curled in 20 minutes flat (I time myself to make sure I’m not late for work). Not too shabby for someone who knows little about styling hair!

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Jenna: Just a glimpse

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to write about. I feel pressure to be ultra compelling, and not waste your time. I try to dig deep and write about something that you can connect with. 

Admittedly, I know a lot of people personally that read this blog. A lot of them are my friends that live really far away. I like to know that they have some sort of peak into what my life is like. But remember, like all types of media, this is only a glimpse. 

I think its important to realize that what we share here is what we think other people will find interesting or helpful. It’s not even close to the full story. The comparison trap is something we have discussed before, and I think its really important to remember how easy it is to hide behind a computer or phone. It’s easy to share moments that you know will make other people smile. Not so easy to share the raw and ugly moments. I find it commendable when people do, but I also know that is hard and judgement often follows. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. But just know if we went to lunch, or grabbed coffee you’d get a much different view. I’d talk a lot more about work, and how important it is to me. How it often makes me feel unfulfilled and so much of what happens just isn’t fair. I’d talk about how life can often seem lonely, and how stressful it is to have everything in my life on my shoulders; no partner to share the burden with. 

But this is life. My IS pretty darn awesome. We all have our cross to bear. I try to be defined by how I love others. How I put a lot into connecting with people, and I value my relationships. I try to always know I’m only given the full picture when someone opens up and trusts me enough to share it. That in itself is a beautiful thing: even if the story may be an ugly one.

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Rose: Saying “No.”

Lately, I’ve been feeling stretched thin. While doing some reflection for this post, I started thinking about all the things I’ve said yes to lately. Running challenge groups and health-inspired activities. Editing a new online literary journal. Running a half marathon again. Attending a book club at the yoga studio. Participating in a weekly live INSANITY class. Binding three handmade books. Writing freelance articles about science. Oh, and did I mention spending time with M and friends and going on trips? Add to that a jam-packed work schedule which has lately been leaving me exhausted. The list is starting to feel endless.

During times like these, when the anxiety really starts to set in, I ask myself: Why did you say yes to every little thing? I then start to look backwards, seeing how all the projects found their way to my door, and I start strategizing which to tackle first and when, creating a plan to successfully execute ALL THE THINGS. Always forward thinking, I forget to truly be present. But, a week ago, I found myself in a different situation. I was asked to do something, and my first response wasn’t a yes. Instead, it was, “Why?”

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I was asked to help out with something with which I had no desire. Blunt, yes. True, most definitely. But time is now becoming a commodity to me. Something in my gut told me to question this task. The hours in the evenings are so few, and the weekends go so fast. The entire day is most usually a blur. And this wasn’t something I truly wanted to do. I just felt pressured to say yes.

I think we live in a culture where it’s not really okay to say no. With the world whirling past, society puts pressure on us to do it all. At work, you may take on additional assignments because that’s what seems to be expected of you. At home, you may be required to help out, cook dinners, do laundry, clean, whatever. In terms of hobbies, you may be a person who, like me, enjoys many activities. Signing up for all of them seems like a good idea at the time. Or, again like me, you just hate saying no. You hate disappointing someone, and you want to be the super woman of the day.

I am done with this way of thinking. I cannot – and will not – do it all. And that will be okay. The goal? Rid myself of the unnecessary crazy.

I’m not cutting anything out of my current to-do list. That said, I’m not adding anything to it, either. When someone asks me to do something, I now question myself: Does this serve a greater purpose to my life, or those around me? Will this bring me joy? If either of those answers is no, then an rejection will soon follow.

I am still working through all of this, but the book I’m reading by Pema Chodron is really helping. How often I am not truly present … I try and control the world and situations around me when that is simply impossible. Instead, I want to try to better go with the ebb and flow of life, in whatever form that takes. I want to better trust my gut when it comes to decision making.

Instead of robotically saying yes, I want to be guided by the natural rhythm of this world.

Jenna: Getting there

We finally had some good weather here over the weekend! I’m still recovering from this awful cold, so I tried to ease into activities this weekend. Saturday I finally got down to the river trail, which is where I plan to do a majority of my training for the Broad Street Run.

Saturday night was the latest I’ve been up in a long time! One of my besties turned 30, so you have to just man up! There was a cheesesteak consumed and lots of vodka. Thanks to the cheesesteak as a base, and lots of water, I felt pretty good Sunday morning.

Sunday I headed out to the mall and to run some errands, including a trip to my favorite grocery store Wegmans. I still wanted to get outside, so I snuck in a bike ride.

jennabike2I don’t know what it is about riding my bike (especially in this city) but it always puts me in the best mood. It’s so much fun, and a great workout. Here’s another great view I captured:

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After all the excitement, and still getting over this cold, I fell asleep around 8:30pm Sunday night! It felt glorious. Its interesting how your body adjusts and needs so much rest when its sick. However, I was craving movement and can’t wait to get back on it.

Rose & Jenna: 21-Day Fix Preview

As we gear up to officially begin the 21-Day Fix, we wanted to provide a preview of what’s ahead for us both over the next three weeks. We will be leading a challenge group of 8 dedicated, focused individuals who want to break through weight-loss plateaus, jumpstart their weight loss and consistently eat whole, nutrient-dense foods in proper portions.

The 21-Day Fix is different than food plans we’ve followed before. It combines the principles of clean eating with portion control. There is no counting calories or measuring food, and the formula devised is simple: use the colored containers as a guide of what to eat and how much. We love the way Autumn breaks it down in her easy-to-read instructions manual. You hit all the food groups in a day based on a target calorie range — without actually counting the calories.

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But, like with any fitness program or eating plan, we’re bound to have apprehensions. While we coach and run challenge groups, it doesn’t mean we’re super human. We experience the same kinds of anxiety as our challengers. That said, we want to be transparent with our 21-Day Fix results and experience. For the next three weeks, we will post a Q&A recap of our week with the Fix. At the end, we’ll post our results.

Q. Why are you embarking upon the 21-Day Fix?

Rose: I’ve known for quite some time that portion control is my issue. I work out. I eat clean. But I don’t measure food. The peanut butter I consume with my evening apple is definitely more than 2 tablespoons. And my wine glasses hold more than 4.0 ounces at a time. I find portion control to be extremely difficult, and I wanted to engage in a program that would address this. Beyond toning up and losing weight, I’d like to gain a deeper sense of understanding when it comes to food. What best fuels my body? How can I get the nutrients I need without sacrificing my health?

Jenna: I mean, its common sense, right? You can eat whatever you want…in moderation! I like that the program has that focus. I hate to get hung up on numbers, but I’m about 4 pounds away from my “pie in the sky” goal weight, and I’ve plateaued. I’d like to shed some more fat on my midsection, and I know nutrition is where this starts. The 21 Day Fix seems pretty easy to follow, and I’m excited to see the visual of what portions should be for different foods and see where I’m missing the mark on my own.

Q. What reservations, if any, do you have?

Rose: The Fix requires a lot of planning. While I don’t mind that, I’m also unsure of what I’ll need on specific days. For example, I take an Insanity class on Thursdays. Will I be super hungry after the class? Have I planned my dinner well for that evening? It is going to take some practice and trial-and-error. I’m confident that by the start of Week 2, my plan will work. Likewise, I also have a dinner out planned. How do I navigate that? I have a plan in place for the evening, but I may veer of course. Fingers crossed I can stick with it.

Jenna: Dining out is a pretty big part of my social life, and it will be hard to figure this in. I’m going to do my best to stick with it, and plan accordingly. Like Rose mentioned, it does require a lot of planning. Since you are only suppose to consume a certain number of containers per food group, you can’t really “wing it” and stay on the program. This type of planning is important, so I’m glad to get in the habit, but a little nervous about it. I’m also nervous that I’ll need more food, since I like to get in a good hour workout when I do.

Q. What most excites you about the Fix? And what are your overall goals for the program?

Rose: The portion control, as noted earlier. But also, the results! Everyone is seeing incredible transformations. Some members on our team have already gotten a head start and are dropping stubborn pounds. Moreover, they all keep saying how satiated they feel by eating more frequently. I can just tell this is the solution to breaking through my weight-loss plateau and getting in the best shape of my life.

Jenna: I’m really excited to visually see what portions should be. I’m also excited to see results, because I know I will. I am ALSO excited about the workouts, because they look great and I like the 30 minute sessions. My goal is to drop these last 3-4 pounds and get past my plateau.

Are you interested in joining one of our challenge groups? Or having us coach you through the 21-Day Fix or another fitness program? Leave a comment in the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch with you.