BeachBody

I was so hesitant to join BeachBody simply because of the name. I don’t think anyone should think their body is beach worthy or not. Everyone’s body is a beach body. And yet after many months of resistance I found myself joining the online community. I am here to shed light on all that it can offer you regardless of my internal struggle with the name.

SUPPORT

One of my best friends from college, Maia, became a coach, which is one of the reasons I decided to take the leap. I text her all the time about which programs to try, which packages to purchase, and for support. That’s what the coaches are there for, support. This may be in the form of an accountability group on Facebook with daily check-ins, email contact for questions, etc. You can have as much support as you want even none if you just want to do your thing!

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VARIETY/OPTIONS

There are so many workout programs and trainers. I bought a chromebook just so that I could filter the programs more easily to find ones that I enjoy for my own reasons rather than copying other people. I really enjoyed 80 Day Obsession especially since it was my first experience with BeachBody, but the workouts were long and the program itself was long. I do better with shorter workouts that are easy to fit around my unpredictable work schedule. I’ve also found that Shaun T is amazing and I really enjoy his workout style.

ACCESSIBILITY

I have been a member of many gyms. A gym a block from my apartment. A fancy gym. Gyms with workout classes. Gyms without workout classes. And I struggled to get myself to any gym on a consistent basis. I finally realized that this was because I felt forced to workout at times when I didn’t want to (after a long commute home from work). Or I would stop at home and not want to go back outside again. With BeachBody I can do a quick workout before getting ready for the day because there is no worry about transportation or bringing all my toiletries with me. I can easily change when I do my workout if something pops up unexpectedly. I can do the workouts anywhere. Sometimes I work out in the living room, but other times I may workout in the kitchen (it’s a bigger space and farther from the bedrooms in my apartment). I can also workout when I’m traveling!!

PROGRESS

I’m not new to working out. I loved going to workout classes in college, mostly spinning and TRX. I got into weight lifting once when my sister was dating a personal trainer (hello, free recommendations). I’ve even ran a marathon and committed so hard that I beat my goal time by less than 5 seconds! And yet I feel the strongest and most confident I have ever felt with BeachBody. I find that I look forward to (most of) the workouts. I don’t do this for weight loss (people can be healthy at many different sizes and the scale only tells you so much). I don’t do this for any specific result rather than wanting to improve my overall health and loving how my body feels after a workout. I recently did my first yoga and spin classes in a VERY long time and I felt in such better shape than when I used to do these workouts all the time. It was eye-opening.

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ADAPTABLE

There is a nutrition plan that corresponds to the workouts or can be done on its own, but you don’t have to follow that. There are supplements, but you don’t have to take these. I am a huge believer in everything in moderation (even moderation, because sometimes you may eat 1/2 a pizza and that happens). I don’t believe in strict diets because they aren’t sustainable. BUT I do believe that there are many different ways to make healthy changes and what works for some people may not work for others. I would rather find ways to fit a glass of wine into my diet rather than eliminate it all together. The same goes for chocolate.

Whatever you are looking for in regards to a fitness plan, BeachBody likely has an option for you. I do it for the workouts and never knew that 20-30 minutes 5-6 days a week could make me feel so confident in my own skin. I do it for the community because who doesn’t want to watch others make healthy changes? I do it because I can workout at home, when I want to, and not have to worry about what other people are doing. This is not sponsored by BeachBody. I felt motivated to write this to let people know that you don’t need to struggle to go to the gym every day if you don’t want to. You don’t need to spend lots of money on different memberships if you don’t want to. If you’re interested or have questions, definitely reach out to my coach and friend, Maia (maiabmenzel@gmail.com).

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One Day

If you had one day off after a very busy week, what would you do with that day? Sleep in and stay in your pajamas? Run all the errands? Scrap the errands and doing something spectacularly fun?!

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With my day off on Saturday I had a few goals.

Get out of my apartment.

Normally I am all about sleep, but with one day off I wanted to get up and get the day started. Gabby also chose an 8:30 am spin class so I had to be up at a certain time. I knew that I could rest later if need be.

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Exercise.

Gabby and I went to our first Turnstyle class and my life will never be the same. I have a love hate relationship with spinning. I love 45 minute classes and I hate 60+ minute classes. I love matching my ride to the beat of the music and I hate when I have to be at a certain speed, RPM, or difficulty. Turnstyle was 45 minutes and 100% beat-based. I felt like I was in a club with the lights, the adrenaline, the music, the instructor. It was out of this world. It amped me up so much that I came home and did the T25 ab workout that I missed the day before because of my spontaneity (scroll down to that section).

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Rest.

Resting later was a must because my body and my brain was so tired. I laid in my bed most of the latter part of the afternoon and caught up on some of my TV shows, primarily Chicago Fire and Chicago Med. I also finished the book for a book club that I am going to this week!

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Spend time with friends.

After our spin class Gabby and I went to The Friendly Toast right next door for breakfast. I went with an iced coffee (because I was so hot) and the avocado toast! I ate the slice topped with corn and cotija, it was so good! We caught up about our personal lives, work, etc. It’s truly amazing that you can meet people and immediately feel like you’ve known each other forever. Days off are meant to be spent with people who you feel the utmost comfort with. Why would you want to put in “work” on a day off.

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Be spontaneous.

Friday after work I planned to get one beer…which turned into 3 (or four?). I think it was 3. Of course this girl got super talkative and gave lots of hugs like I do whenever alcohol enters my bloodstream. Rather than go straight home my friend and I decided to head to Inman Square for pizza…not sure how we ended up with the idea of All Star Pizza Bar, but it hit the spot. Having lived a few blocks from there I am amazed that I never went given my insane love of pizza. I’m also amazed that we ordered two full pizzas…for two girls. It felt amazing to just let go and see where the night took me without having to be in bed by a certain time or remember to do x, y, or z.

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Look forward to something fun!

My mom and I booked our trip to South Africa!!!! CUE FREAK OUT. The plane rides are long and the credit card bills are high but all this excitement is 100% worth it! Cannot wait to safari (is that a verb?).

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And so that’s a snap shot into my Friday evening and Saturday off. All in all it was a pretty great weekend, even spending a day at work. I also meal prepped, hung out with my roommate, talked to my parents, and purchased some gifts for myself (a back pack!). Sometimes working a little extra makes me truly appreciate the time that I have for myself.

When Life Gives You Stress Make Time For Yourself

I used to be the type of person to drink all the wine and eat all the sweets when life got stressful. It was that instant satisfaction that I longed for. Now don’t get me wrong, I still do that every now and then, but I’ve found some other coping mechanisms. I’ve learned that I need to put myself first and truly participate in self care in order to be my best self. 

This past week (and I’m sure for the next few weeks) my stress level is running higher than normal as we are in a transition period at work. I was talking to my parents explaining my frustration that I felt like I had regressed back to the anxious ridden young women I was about a year ago. I’ve worked so hard to improve my mental health and did not want to lose that. Both parents (via separate text messages) told me to make a plan about how I can keep myself grounded and sane in the near future. Theyre right, I need to plan, prioritize, and just plain breathe.

Plan the work day the night before.

It’s hard in the healthcare field to know what you’re walking into each day. Luckily I at least know my follow ups and can chart review and prioritize the day before.  

 

Listen to upbeat music on the walk to work.  

I listened to the playlist confidence boost last Friday on the way to work and had one of my best days yet. It may have been a placebo effect but I don’t care, it worked for me. 

Exercise. 

It’s taken me so long to find workouts I enjoy and at home workouts are where it’s at! I can workout whenever I want and I can do it while doing my laundry or cooking! 

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Cook food and take time to sit down and eat it.  

The whole sit down at a table thing is harder than it sounds. I find myself eating on the couch or in bed (gasp) while watching Netflix and not truly enjoying the meal. I want to slow down and savor what I’ve cooked even if I did just throw it all together. 

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Self care to the max.  

I’ve been prioritizing this. For me it looks like: 

  • bathrobe
  • happy light
  • face masks or scrubs
  • candles or aroma therapy
  • sheep’s skin texture
  • long hot showers
  • David’s tea (yes it has to be David’s) 
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Unwind after 8pm. 

I’ve put a time limit on social media, 45 minutes. This stops the scrolling before bed which ultimately would lead to comparison, self doubt, etc. Instead I take the hour or so before bed to read a book and slow down my brain. I’ve also set a “bedtime” on my phone so that my body is in a steady rhythm throughout the week.  

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Writing all of this down has made me realize that’s I already do a lot of things for my mental health. I’ve grown to take care of myself in ways that don’t revolve around chocolate or a glass of wine. But I don’t restrict those things either (can’t wait for my winc box delivery). Sometimes stress and anxiety is higher for whatever reason and you just have to ride it out. Throw on a face mask and light a candle and you’ll feel better, trust me. 

Weekend Balance

Every weekend is a struggle between needing copious amounts of rest and wanting to get sh*t done. It’s also a struggle between wanting to do all the things but also wanting to stick to my health goals. I know some people out there can relate.

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Saturday I let go of all expectations. What was going to happen would happen and nothing more. I slept through the spin class that I wanted to go to and didn’t get any errands done. I woke up at 10am and then laid in bed for another hour before venturing to the living room to continue my lazy streak. Finally, around 1pm I managed to do a quick and dirty workout before walking down the street to get the best cup of coffee of my life. Seriously, Zume’s has the best coffee.

The afternoon was a bit more productive. I put real clothes and makeup on only to take it off when my plans fell through because of the rain. With my comfiest sweats on I surprised myself by finishing the curtains that I’ve been making for the apartment. It felt great to finish that project so that it’s not looming over my head and the living room looks finished!

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After that project I decided to cook the meal that I bought ingredients for on Monday but kept putting off, spaghetti squash pad thai. My instant pot cooked the spaghetti squash PERFECTLY, but would not have accommodated any larger of a squash. It was mixed with homemade sauce, bean sprouts (which may have gone bad…), bell pepper, carrots, tofu, scallions, and peanuts. Super tasty and will definitely be made again. All enjoyed with a glass of wine which turned into two when my roommate and I decided to watch Bird Box.

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Sunday I was still tired and wanted to have a lazy morning, but I had tickets to Tap Room Yoga at Night Shift Brewery. This is the brewery that I have been searching for in Boston. I actually feel like I’m back in Vermont when I’m there. AND there are so many IPAs to try! Not to mention the yoga class was incredible from the flow to the music to the instructor. It’s the first time I truly felt strong during yoga and I think I owe that all to BeachBody.  

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Christine and Molly me after the yoga class for the beer part. We are Vermonters at heart (even though none of us are truly from Vermont). It’s so nice to all have different lives in the city but still be able to come together like nothing has changed. Molly and Christine are both kicking butt and I am so proud of them. Grateful for the times that we get to have together despite our busy lives. Hoping Night Shift becomes out new brewery spot to hang out just like Zero Gravity was in Vermont.  

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Just because you make goals towards health such as eating more vegetables, cooking more, or exercising more doesn’t mean that you have to be a shut in and miss out on experiences. I enjoyed yoga with beer and made sure to eat a hearty breakfast beforehand. When I did get hungry while running errands I opted for a salad from Sweetgreen. It’s not about avoiding situations, it’s about knowing how to act in certain situations while still having the experiences that bring you joy.

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OATMEAL

Come to the oat side with me.

 

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Whole grains. 

Fiber. 

Heart health. 

Regularity (you know what I mean). 

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This past weekend Greg was asking for oatmeal advice. Which oats do you use? Do you use milk or water? I have years of oatmeal experience so I’m here to share it.  

Type of oats

Quick oats are the best for microwaving when you’re on the run or need something ASAP. These definitely taste the best with milk. I do a 1:1:1 ratio. For example if I use ⅓ cup oats then I use ⅓ cup milk and ⅓ cup water. 

Rolled oats are my favorite because they’re chewy and you still get a heaping bowl of oatmeal. These can be made with water since they’re still chewy or milk. I tend to heat water while I’m getting ready in the morning and add it to the oats right before I leave. By the time I get to work the oatmeal is cooked! If I’m making with milk I cook them on the stovetop because it will take forever in the microwave and you have to watch it to prevent spilling over.  If you’re doing the former method add a little less liquid because it won’t absorb it all!

Steel cut oats are the chewiest and take the longest to cook. They are delicious but if you have a big appetite like myself and prefer quantity over quality these may not be for you because a serving is about half as much as quick or rolled. Then again you create your own servings! It’s just a guideline after all.  

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Method

Microwave if you’re using quick oats. It’s fast and easy.  

Stovetop if you’re using rolled oats or steel cut oats. 

Crock pot or Instant pot if you’re lazy and want steel cut oats or rolled oats. 

Lazy heat (aka boil water and let it sit) with rolled oats. 

Overnight oats. 

Baked oats.  

All the freaking oats. 

 

Mix Ins

I prefer peanut butter or almond butter for staying power. Sometimes I add in cinnamon or hot cocoa powder for flavor. Usually enjoyed with fruit on the side. 

Weekends I may cook it on the stovetop and slice in a banana if I have it and let it cook together. Then I mix in peanut butter and maple syrup.  

Mother options:

  • peanut butter and jam
  • raisins and cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • pumpkin pie filling   
  • Coffee creamer (I use a splash if I don’t have milk and only have quick oats) 

The possibilities are endless! Yet another reason to love oatmeal.