As an adolescent, I was never really that into sports or fitness. I did play some team sports, like volleyball and tennis, and participated in one short-lived track season, but I wasn't very good at any of them. I mostly just joined because it was something to do. Plus I got to hang out with my friends!
But times were different then. As a teenager, I could eat 18 hotdogs, go play a game of volleyball, eat a bucket of fries from McDonald's on the bus ride home, and no only not gain an ounce, but also not shit my pants.
Remember buckets of fries?!
It wasn't until college that I started to get more into working out. This, I was good at. It's one thing to be coordinated with a ball and participate in team sports. It's another to get your ass on an elliptical machine first thing in the morning and work out your muscles exactly how you want to work them out.
Getting out of bed to sweat before the rest of the world wakes up doesn't require any hand-eye coordination. It's not easier if you're tall or naturally gifted with athleticism. It take a different set of skills. It takes willpower and the drive to be thin, which, as an adult, is something I have a little bit of.
Needless to say, I've enjoyed fitness much more as a grownup. Over the past 10 years, my habits have evolved from 6:00am solo sessions at Portland State University's rec center, to dropping by workout classes on campus that I hadn't paid for, to Jillian Michaels' workout DVDs, to Tracy Anderson's complete box set, to getting 10,000 steps in a day, to finally drinking the kool-aid and joining the cult culture of barre classes.
You don't have to be the most athletic person to be the star of a barre class. You just have to be someone who goes to a lot of the classes.
Anyway, towards the end of the summer, I was roped into a sweet ClassPass deal that got me going on a variety of barre classes. As I mentioned, the whole thing left me a bit conflicted about whether boutique workout studios are worth the chunk of change, all the while constantly jonesin' for my next class.
Spoiler alert: their sexy marketing worked.
For a little while, I just kept caughing up a few extra bucks to ClassPass here and there in order to get myself through the week. But then Pure Barre offered a deal of 2 months unlimited classes for $99. As most of these studios offer your first month for $99 and then charge around $175 each month thereafter, this was a pretty dope deal that I couldn't refuse. I purchased the 2 unlimited months in late September, which will get me through Thanksgiving. Now I feel content that I have unlimited barre access and won't have to shell out more money for a little bit.
So my Fall fitness routine has consisted mostly of attending Pure Barre classes at 6:00am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays before work and trying to get my daily steps in when it's not raining. I convinced one of my best friends to sign up for the Pure Barre deal too, so I have a buddy to sweat with, which definitely helps.
It's important to note that these workout classes are quite time-consuming. I mean, you have to drive there, of course. They want you to show up 10-15 minutes before the class starts. (I don't mind this part, 'cause I like to get a good spot at the bar, plus I'm kind of a teacher's pet.) You have to make sure you bring a change of clothes as well as makeup and toiletries if you go straight to work. And the classes are typically a full 60 minutes. So you're looking at almost 2 hours of of your day when everything is said and done. But, you know......we make time for the things we truly want, don't we?
Although time-consuming, I really really enjoy going to group fitness classes. Here's why:
- It gets me out of bed. If you don't show up for a class you signed up for, a lot of these studios will charge you a "motivation fee" of $10 or $15. This is obviously a great money-maker for them, but it also gets my butt out of bed.
- I like socializing with my friends and sisters at workout classes. Even if we don't get a ton of time to chat, it's nice to do something together that's heathy (as opposed to brunching or drinking, which can be great too, of course).
- I slimmed down super fast taking barre classes! My dedication to fitness was pretty hardcore leading up to taking my bridal measurements, and it paid off.
- I'm way more flexible than I used to be, which is something I was never that into, but it's not bad being bendy...
- The instructors are really nice and pretty. (I frequently stalk them on Instagram.)
- It's fun and I feel strong.
So that's what I've been doing to move my body recently. Now I'll tell you what I've been eating.
Don't worry. I haven't been experiencing any real famine. I just wanted to use an alliterative word that had to do with food in the title of this post. But speaking of famine, how 'bout opening your heart a little and donating a few bucks to those in need in Puerto Rico, hmmm?
As I've mentioned 8,733,109 times, I read Kelly Leveque's book, Body Love, and adopted some of her method into my eating habits. A few of my friends read the book too, and we frequently text about Kelly's food recommendations, specifically her smoothies.
So her method, the "FabFour" approach, suggests eating plenty of protein, fat, fiber, and greens in every meal and limiting your carb intake to one meal per day. Here's a breakdown of her recommendations:
- Have one of her special smoothies for breakfast (I'm not all about smoothies in the colder months, so sometimes I have protein pancakes instead)
- Don't eat until lunch (because you're so full on the hearty smoothie)
- Have a FabFour lunch of perhaps a kale caesar salad with grilled prawns (or whatever)
- Don't eat until dinner
- Have a FabFour dinner, PLUS your daily carb, whether it's in the form of taco shells, rice, or a side of bread
Have I been following this meal plan to a T? Of course not! I'm not a monster.
Have I been trying to watch what I eat while keeping Kelly's helpful parameters and "eat greens err' day" advice in mind? Yes. And that's all you gotta do, boo boo.
Don't be a crazy person. Don't beat yourself up over a pumpkin spice latte or a beautiful donut, for crying out loud. Embrace good food, embrace good-for-you food, embrace your curves, and embrace the fact that the chilly season is upon us and you can cover any extra wiggle with an all-black ensemble.
Additionally, I've attempted to cut dairy out of my diet. However, a couple friends and family members who read my blog felt that they needed to feed me only dairy-free foods at get-togethers. I want to convey here that I will eat dairy; I just choose not to most of the time. I believe in enjoying good food with people you love and being a polite dinner guest just as much as I believe in being a health nut. Balance, people.
And as a finishing touch to my Fall fitness routine, I have a reminder on my phone that annoyingly tells me every evening to take my vitamins, stretch, and lay out my work and workout clothes for the next day. Like I said, I annoy myself, but this helps me sleep better and you gotta do what you gotta do, you know?
In the spirit of keeping The Taboo Textbook a his & hers publication, I gotta tell you that this Fall, Joe has been getting back into playing basketball at the gym. He goes to these group meet-ups a few times a week and it's really cute how excited he is about it. He loves basketball. He played varsity in 8th grade. What a stud!
With that said, it's time to go cook dinner and start my old lady nighttime routine! Remember guys: a great butt and a head start to your day feels really nice, but drenching French bread in olive oil and flake salt feels damn good too. So be yourself, keep moving, and enjoy some family dinners this season, ya dig?