My Fitness Journey: Part II

My Fitness Journey: Part II

Sooo it's been just about 4 months since I last decided to venture into this uncomfortable {at least for me, 'cuz I am super awkward} territory of documenting my 'fitness journey'. 

Disclaimer: I put that in quotes because for me I don't think is so much a journey anymore than it is an actual lifestyle that I have been working hard at for the last year plus some. I have been trying to shift my thinking away from having an 'end goal' of toning, re-distributing some weight and looking baller in my wedding dress -- and rather I am focusing on learning how to properly fuel my body, without giving up all the fun colorful recipes I love, as well as evolving mentally and physically every. single. day. 

Quick lil' recap

The funny thing about me and fitness is that I was never really a fan. I was not an athletic child and forced myself to play soccer growing up, because all the cool kids in my town did. I sucked...I talk a little about that in Part I, here. I went through an ebb and flow of sorts; at one point I was basically addicted to cardio and the community I became a part of at my old gym in Rhode Island, then I pretty much gave up and lost motivation, before a year or so later joining a women's bootcamp with my old boss. I never quite found my fitness groove, it was always one extreme or another, no true balance. Then Michael an I got engaged in May of 2016 and everything changed...I freaked a bit and knew I had to get my ass in gear. But, with a 2 year engagement I didn't need a quick fix, I actually had the perfect time table to make lasting changes.

Fast forward a bit to last winter. Just before the holidays I picked back up with Kayla Itsines' BBG plan, downloaded the app and had myself a day...more like 180+ days, because I incorporated BBG workouts into my fitness regime over the course of 6-ish months before diving into more concentrated weight training. Last winter I also dabbled in some shakes, 'fixes' and accountability groups. I will never knock them, because they got the spark started, but for me they weren't what I needed OR wanted long term. As the novelty wore off for me and I was seeking more, I did my research and decided to give macro tracking a try and had a custom macros consultation from Pao, of Pao's Fit World. Again, I won't hash out all the deets, you can read up on Part I, but it was and still is a great tool for me. The connections I have made with some of the women who are a part of Pao's private Facebook Group are AHHHMAZING. 

Making gains, and taking names. #imadork

Making gains, and taking names. #imadork

Anyway, long story short, now that the holiday season is here once again I am doing A LOT of reflection. Although my 'journey' started the summer of 2016, it was really last winter, when I made the commitment to myself to back away from the journey and embrace a consistent, attainable and realistic lifestyle. 

So where am I at now, a few months later? 

Trying ALL the things

Yup, trying it all and loving it. 

If there's one thing I have learned there really is no such thing as linear progression in the fitness and healthy lifestyle world. Sure I dropped body fat like a boss, my first month of macros. I was leaning out more than I ever thought possible, while still making gains. I had the flatest stomach I've probably ever had, little to no bloating ever and even saw baby abs peeking out from time to time. 

I also suffered. I started noticing some pretty significant digestive issues {mainly due to adding in certain supplements and dairy to help hit my protein}, would occassionally double over with stomach cramps after a 'cheat meal' and found myself slipping into episodes of binge eating because 'one night' or 'one instance' wouldn't hurt...at least that's how my brain justified it. The only person to blame is myself, I was trying to do too much at once without stopping to listen to my body and see how it was adjusting and adapting. #realtalk ya'll.

Adding some fat back in {hello avocados and bulletproof coffee with all the ghee and coconut oil!} and taking time to address both my anxiety and stressors certainly did the trick though.

Along with that, here's what else I have been up to:

Yoga. I mentioned that I signed up for a beginner's series at Evoke Yoga of Cape Cod, and it has been such a positive influence in my life. Finally finding my yoga home and a studio that is truly authentic and welcoming has been a godsend. I am no devoted yogi {at least not yet!} but every time I step into the studio and onto my mat I do find a calming sense of peace and enjoy that quiet time slowly moving, stretching and challenging my body. My goal for 2018 is to attend a class at least 2x per month, if not once a week. I need the serenity of the studio, so although I like to work some flows in at home when I can, being present at Evoke is important to me and my mental health. 

One of my fave arm finishers from @fitlinz_727

One of my fave arm finishers from @fitlinz_727

Back on the macros train. But loosely right now - and by loosely I mean, I am following my macros to-a-t Monday through Friday afternoon + Sunday {Friday nights tend to be date night, aka cheat meal and no tracking!}. I am giving myself some wiggle room on Saturdays right now, 'cuz balance but also HOLIDAYS. I have family dinners, work outings, parties, etc. and I won't be going overboard this year, but certainly going to enjoy my most favorite time of the year. I'm still continuing with my body recomp macros, but plan to re-evaluate in February and am considering a fat loss calculation so I can start to lean out again before my wedding and a spring full of bridal fun! Plus I wanna see what may be hiding under the extra fluff since I've been upping the intensity of my weight training.

Scheduling for consistency. Before I used to workout because I thought I had to. Now, I actually want to. And I LOVE to. So scheduling has become my BFF. I have about 5 billion notes in my phone with various workouts and circuits I have cobbled together from some of my main sources of #fitfam inspo {i.e. check out these babes: @fitlinz_727, @corebyliz/ @lizmcelaney, @laurengleisberg, @mandynicolefit, @tinyliftertor, etc. the list could go on, but these are real bad ass women doing REAListic things and giving me all the motivation I need!} so alongside planing workouts via my notes app, I have also been easing myself into a routine where I hit some early morning lifting a few times a week to supplement my post-work evening lifting. I just can't have Michael waiting to eat dinner until 8:30pm every night, so if I want to reach my goals I need to get that booootay out of bed early some mornings. And ya know what, it ain't that bad. I gotta nice little routine of wake-up, mix up some Vital Proteins Lavender Lemon Beauty Water, sweat, shower off and then mix up a creamy, dreamy Bulletproof coffee to hold me over while I get ready for work. Pretty sweet deal if ya ask me!

Added the squat rack into my routine! Quads on fire, always. 

Added the squat rack into my routine! Quads on fire, always. 

Whole 30, I'm coming for ya round 2! After the hustle and bustle of the holidays I am going to embark on my second round of Whole 30. It's been about 18 months since I first did a Whole 30 {holy shit, time flies} and I think that the new year - and it  marking 6 months until my wedding! - is the perfect reason to complete the program again. So yup, no alcohol, grains, dairy, added sugar, legumes, MSG, sulfites, etc. Learn about the entire protocol and review FAQs here, but if my first experience with it is worth anything, it really is an incredible program and it has shaped much of how I fuel my body now. Yes, I have added some grains back into my current diet, and beans/select dairy occassionally...but the Whole 30 taught me just how little I can and cannot tolerate of certain foods and how absolutely hands down incredible you'll feel following the Whole 30 guidelines. If anyone's interested in joining along in January, be sure to let me know!

A RARE photo of me bearing my legs, mainly because I had a spray tan and love this romper. #selflove is the best love!

A RARE photo of me bearing my legs, mainly because I had a spray tan and love this romper. #selflove is the best love!

Lastly, practicing self love and gratitude. This is definitely still a work in progress for me and it ain't easy. Coming from someone who is brutually self critical and self conscious, self love can feel like a chore. But it's worth it. Of course I still have days where I compare myself to others, want to see results faster, feel deflated, etc. but I've also had days where I feel like a total rockstar, where I look in the mirror and am like daaayum, your make up came out stellar today or wow, look at those quads poppin'...and those days are happening more and more regulary. No matter where you are in your journey or lifestyle, remember:

"There is no competition when you're manifesting your own lane."

Truer words have never been spoken, or written for that matter.

What have you been reflecting on lately? What are your goals for 2018? I'd love to hear and to connect on Instagram so we can cheer each other on!

- Xo Kelly

GF Egg-in-a-Hole

GF Egg-in-a-Hole

Vegan, GF Apple Cran Crisp

Vegan, GF Apple Cran Crisp