Category Archives: Fitness

Judgy dieting

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(Don’t let those little smiles fool you, they gag when told sweet potato chips and dried mangoes are substitutes for chips and dessert. They’re no dummies.)

Dieting. The word alone makes me cringe. That word also makes me want to open a bag of Cheetos and go to town. (On a side note: I was watching the Martha Stewart show many, many moons ago and she claimed she didn’t know what a Cheeto was. Really Martha? How out of touch can you be? You live in America and have never had a Cheeto? I digress…) So dieting…or as people in the business say, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Gag. I know that lifestyle of which you speak. If social media serves correctly (and doesn’t it always?) this “lifestyle” is full of TIGHT athletic wear showing off perfectly toned abs, green smoothies, mirror selfies, and yoga poses overlooking the Grand Canyon. Basically identical to my current life, except the opposite. Although I do love a green smoothie. Even if it has kale. Look at me, guys, I’m growing!

Anyway, when I attempt to make healthier food choices, I’ll admit I tend to become a bit of a judgy dieter. On my first day, I like to sit on top of my mountain on my high horse and look down on those eating their processed food. “How can they eat that Chick fil A sandwich and fries?! Don’t they know how bad that is for them? But I guess if they’re going to eat fried chicken, at least it’s the Lord’s chicken.” The whole time I’m thinking these things, I’m reminiscing about pounding a #1 with a half and half tea just the week before. Ahh, the good old days. I may even watch in horror as the person in the car next to me downs a milkshake from Sonic. Oh the sugar and the fat in those! Does she know what she’s doing to her body! And I drive off in all my self-righteousness, trying not to remember how smooth a peanut butter fudge shake goes down.

Day 1 is when I’m most judgy. I’m always good on day 1. Day 1 I can’t be tempted. What am I…WEAK? No. Day 1 I’m ALL IN!! I’ve got my meals planned out, my exercise on, and I can’t be stopped.

Fast forward to Day 4: I will cut you for a brownie. I’d give my right arm for a piece of pizza. I will try sneaking Hot Tamales out of my kids’ candy stash. I am JONESING for junk food. I had no idea that tall mountain I was on was actually a glass house…maybe I shouldn’t be throwing quite so many stones. And usually by Day 7 I’m bingeing on chips and I’ve gone to buy a cake in a cup from Puffy Muffin. This is my cycle. Until recently.

Just a few months ago I had a very hurtful experience. It had been going on for some time but I finally had to address it. My jeans were cutting into my stomach. They did it over and over, unapologetically, every day. The jerks. So I finally made the decision to start eating healthier. We don’t talk a lot about dieting in our house but we do talk about making “healthier food choices” which my children just adore. What kids don’t love when their moms start buying healthier snacks at the store?

“You want chips, honey? Oh sorry, we don’t have those but you should try one of these multigrain flax and chia seed crackers! It’s basically the same! And I know you like fruit roll ups but how about one of these tasty dried apricots? Yummmm!” At least I know my kids will not be played for fools when they get older. They don’t buy into this nonsense one bit.

So over the last month or two I’ve changed up my eating, knowing full well I could cave at any point, which has made me a little less judgmental. I’ve had a few hiccups (I went on a trip to Chicago with a girlfriend and enjoyed ALL. THE. FOOD. And it was magical. I feel certain they will serve the pasta and deep dish pizza inside the pearly gates. It was just that good.) but for the most part it’s been really good. And bonus: my jeans aren’t being such jerks anymore! For those of you who are dieting/making healthy food choices, press on. It’s not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of gut. May all your protein bars taste like chocolate chip cookies and your smoothies like milkshakes and may God have mercy on your waistline.

-Courtney

P.S. If you’re like me and don’t see much change in that number on the scale but have noticed your clothes fit better, you have my sympathies. The scale is a punk.

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A Letter To My Belly

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(cartoon courtesy of http://www.newyorker.com)

Dear Tummy-Tum-Tum-

I’m writing to you to apologize. I have been horrible to you these last few weeks. I’m reminded of how ugly I’ve been to you every night when I’m getting ready for bed. As I peel off my skinny jeans, that will seemingly never go out of style much to my thighs disappointment, I look down at you. Oh, honey. It looks as if you’ve been tied up in bondage all day. My jeans have basically left rope burns all over you. I could cry for you, you sweet bowl of jelly. My jeans have been taking advantage of your squishiness and I’m tired of it. Being embarrassed of the red marks my jeans bestow upon you is no way to live. You are better than that and it’s about time I started treating you as such. So in efforts to make taking off my skinny jeans NOT resemble opening a can of biscuits, I will be making a few changes.

For starters, I’ll try not to eat every single thing my eyes see. It seems I’ve been doing this for the past month or so but I’m willing to stop for you, dear tummy. It will be a lot easier to stop considering we don’t have Christmas treats in the house anymore…because we ate them all. It’s fine. We can’t live in the past. Let’s shake off the shame and move on.

Secondly, I will try to eat more nutritious foods that don’t cause you to get bigger. Now, this will be difficult considering these are the not the foods we gravitate toward naturally. You and I are a bit addicted to the sugar, not the beets, unfortunately. Don’t worry; I won’t make you eat beets, I promise. But we will have to sacrifice beloved desserts for something less satisfying, like flavored water. I’m as torn up about it as you are.

And lastly, I will commit to exercising more. I know it hurts when we do this but just think about the bigger picture. Do you really want it to feel like a blunt object is impaling you every time you sit down with jeans on? That button on my jeans is like a dull knife cutting into you every time we are sitting. Is this what you want? No, what you really want is to wear elastic waistbands 24/7 but this is not always socially acceptable. But I take care of you don’t I? I give you your elastic waistband every night by 7:00, sometimes earlier. I care for you, little tummy, just not enough to go up a pant size.

So this is what we must do, Tummy-Tum-Tum. We must not eat everything in sight, eat healthier foods, and exercise more. This is not going to be easy but I’m tired of the skinny jeans abusing you. It’s not fair and it’s time for it to stop. We’ll make it through this together, one lean protein and vegetable at a time. Hopefully I won’t be writing you any more letters because, frankly, it’s a little weird but I wanted you to know, in the words of Zeke Braverman: “I see you and I hear you.”

-Courtney

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#Runningprobs

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Wanna go on a run with me? Great, let’s go!

Wow, it’s so cold out here. How can it still be this cold at 1:00?

I should’ve worn my running gloves, my knuckles are freezing.

Old man up ahead. Probably need to pass wide on the left so I don’t scare him. I don’t want to have to employ any of my nursing skills if I give this guy a heart attack by startling him.

I’m feeling good. My legs feel good. I could run all day.

These ear buds stink. Where are MY ear buds? Ugh, Paxton used them last so I need to ask him where they are when he gets home from school.

Is it bad that my toes are numb? Not like cold but like numb numb? Maybe I have poor circulation in my feet. Kyle says my feet are always cold. I should get that checked out. Who am I kidding; I’m probably not going to go see a doctor. Maybe I’ll look into those compression sock things. I’ll look like I’m wearing old lady knee-highs but what do I care? Lesbihonest, Court, nobody’s really honking anymore when you run by. I mean, if someone did honk I would pretend to ignore it and be mildly offended but deep down, I’d think I still got it. One honk would be nice. Wait! I just heard a honk! Oh, that minivan just cut off that car. Sigh.

Um, what happened to my music in my right ear? Are you kidding me right now? No sound. I feel so lopsided with only one ear bud working. This is terrible. The static every 10 seconds in my right ear isn’t helping.

Ok, we’re coming up on a stoplight. I need to press the crosswalk button. This is so awkward standing here while these cars are stopped right next to me. Maybe if I stretch that’ll make me look like a more legit runner. Just don’t lose your balance during the quad stretch, so embarrassing. And definitely no eye contact. Ok, run across.

Ugh, more stopped cars at a stoplight. Be cool. No eye contact. Just pretend to stretch. Ok, go. Ohmuhguh, this hill is steep! I’m so walking when I get to the top. Made it. Watch out for that ice; slipping and breaking yourself when your 2.5 miles from your car would be an epic fail. Ok, we can run again, it’s all downhill.

What the WHA? No. This isn’t happening. No music in the left ear. The ear buds are dunzo. This is so bad. I’ve got probably 2 miles left. I’ve never run without music. I need the music. I’m not Zen enough for this! Now I’m just stuck with my thoughts and no soundtrack! Ok, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe I should think of potential blog posts. Note to self: you’ve wiped your drippy nose 58 times with your sleeve. You have GOT to wash this pullover.

Listening to myself breath and the occasional car passing by is the worst. It’s basically like Nash is breathing directly into my ear except that it’s me. I’m dog panting and it’s the only thing I hear. Maybe I should try out that voice memo thing on my phone and dictate blog ideas? This is going to sound horrible. I’m not sure even after dictating this I’ll be able to listen to it. It sounds like I’m being tortured. Maybe I’ll just remember what my ideas were. Yeah, because I’m known around my house for having an amazing memory. I’m basically the elephant that never forgets. Except that’s a lie.

Ok, is the back of my knee hurting or is it just because I don’t have music to distract me? My feet are killing. Court, get it together, it’s only like a half-mile left. I wonder if the cars passing me think I look like a wounded gazelle. Like she looks like someone who used to be fast but now she looks injured. It’s probably a good thing I don’t know what I look like when I run.

Hallelujah praise Jesus I made it!! There’s my beautiful, salt/snow/dirt-covered car! Maybe I should write about this run…

-Courtney

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A Sight to Behold

Summer has come and squashed my theory that our family could slow down and take a break. So far, our summer has been loaded with camps and a couple of weekend getaways with family. After this week we’ll be pretty much done with week long camps (Can I getta whoop whoop?) I have high hopes for July and the rest it will bring.

Judging from the first paragraph, it would seem this is a post about our summer. Well, I would hate to big time everyone with my tales of a trip to my parents’ house in Memphis and a weekend in Pigeon Forge. We lead a pretty glam life so I’d hate to make all of you jealous. No, I’m going to tell/warn you of something you should never do. Unless you’re a fitness instructor and your fitness is on point (cough, cough Beatbox instructors).

I’m going to skip my laundry list of excuses and just tell you it’s been a while since I worked out. Maybe a few weeks. I finally talked myself into going to Beatbox on Monday and much to my surprise the class was a bit small. Like “6 of us” small. Realizing there were only going to be 6 people in the class, the instructor decided we should move to the side of the room that had mirrors and do our workout facing the mirrors. (Let it be known that I am a back row workout girl and never, EVER, workout on the side of the room with mirrors.) She said when we watch ourselves work out it helps us perfect our form because we can actually see what we’re doing wrong. Oh, Kim. I promise you this is the least of my worries when I’m working out in front of a mirror.

So I walk myself over to the mirror and sigh. This is what I look like in workout clothes? I should burn these shorts. My hips are enormous in these shorts. Why do my legs look like tree trunks and my feet look tiny by comparison? It looks like I could tip over at any moment. Wow, I didn’t realize my baby leftovers were so evident in this top. Guess I’ll throw it in the burn pile with the shorts. My shoulder game is on point in this top though so maybe don’t burn it. I need to go easy on the tightness of my ponytail. Why does it look so severe? Must be the bobby pins giving me a facelift. This is not a good look. Uh oh, music’s coming on, I’m going to have to move these tree trunks. Oh my. Who knew it looked like my boobs were about to punch me in the face when I do high knees and sprint in place? It’s like they’re in a boxing match trying to knock out my face. (Note to self: get a bra that keeps these suckers stationary.) Now football sprints? Really? I always felt my whole body jiggle during these but to see it with my own eyes is a lot to process. My fat jiggles so fast! Surely that means it’s melting off. I also now understand why most people in these classes wear those yoga cropped legging things. Can’t see your thighs wave back at you in those. (Another note to self: when I sprint in place, I actually look like I’m going in slow motion. How is this possible? I feel like Flo Jo.) Burpees… I think Satan uses these in hell. I need to start closing my eyes when I have to jump. Watching it is too confidence deflating. Here I thought I was Michael Jordan and I’m actually only about 2 inches off the ground. How is it possible that I look so unathletic? Sigh. I really do look like I’m about to die. I wonder if they do a special cleaning of the floor area where I work out. I should offer to help pay the cleaning bill. The sweat is like a puddle underneath me. I can’t help it really, my genetics handed me head-sweating. I know at least one of my brothers’ suffers from it as well. It’s our cross to bear. (Note to self: remember to wash your nasty sweat towel.) Ok, last song before cool down. Oh crap, she’s playing Bad Blood. This means I’m supposed to hold plank for a solid 3 minutes while my arms take turns doing movements to make the 3 minutes even more torturous. I’m 15 seconds in and doing good. I got this. What are those spots on the ground? No worries, I’m about to pass out but it’ll be fine. I’ll drop a knee. Ok, plank again. More spots. Downward dog. Plank. Child’s pose. Plank with arm out. Spots. Drop both knees to the ground. Plank. Sit up and blink because I’m feeling dizzy. Plank. Song’s over. I can’t believe I held plank for 3 minutes!! Yeah right. Now the blessed cool down. Hallelujah, praise Jesus.

Even though I was critiquing myself during my workout something occurred to me. I may not look good doing this workout but at least I can do it…mostly. I am physically able to exercise and there have been times in my life where this was not the case because I was so sick. So as much as I hated watching my wobbly bits work it for an hour, I was reminded how blessed I am that I have the ability to work my wobbly bits at all. I’m also grateful I never invested in a full-length mirror for my bedroom. I used to want one and now I know better. I don’t. I really, really don’t.

PS If you missed my first post about Beatbox, you can find it here. if you haven’t tried Beatbox, please come!!

-Courtney

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Beatbox

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In life, I don’t like it when people make excuses. I think people nowadays (is that even a word?) like to place blame rather than accept responsibility. It’s epidemic in our culture. Everybody has an excuse/reason for whatever his/her shortcoming may be. And as much as I preach that I hate them, I have them too. None more than for working out and eating healthy.

 

I don’t have time.

I just took a shower.

I don’t have time to shower after.

I need a quick lunch.

I won’t know anyone at the class.

I have other errands to run.

Healthy food is too expensive.

I didn’t shave my legs.

I don’t want to get sweaty.

There’s no parking at the gym.

I forgot my earbuds.

I don’t have time to “fix” anything healthy.

But ice cream tastes sooo good.

 

And on and on it goes. For someone who hates excuses, I’ve got them in spades.

Since Elsa cast an eternal/6 week winter over Nashville, I definitely had my “no work-out” excuse. Dry-fit clothes and freezing temps aren’t meant to go together. Because of Elsa, I’ve neglected to exercise and have been eating lots of “comfort” food. My kids were out of school for 8 days. 8 DAYS!!! Mama needed comfort. Another word for comfort is carbs. I looked it up and they’re practically synonymous. So many carbs were consumed to provide the insulation needed to make it through this epic winter. You’ll be happy to know I’m alive and well now that it’s spring but the insulation has got to go.

In an attempt to start working out again, I decided to try out a Beatbox class with my friend, G. G had gone many times and loved it and was still alive. She said it’s an intense whole body workout that burns a ton of calories. Since my whole body partook in the comfort food, my whole body needed to be worked out. This sounded perfect. She did warn me the specific class (Beatbox Mat) we were going to was the hardest so keep an open mind. I asked her to describe the class and she literally said, “I can’t. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before.” Sweet. I should probably go ahead and kiss the hubs and kids goodbye because chances are I will die in this class.

And die I did.

Ya’ll.

This class was no joke. I know the girl that teaches the class from church and when I walked in she smiled real big and had this look in her eye. G told her it was my first time and she did this laugh thing. Not like a haha funny laugh; it was more like a pity/bless your heart laugh. Then I realized what the look in her eye meant. It was that “I know something you don’t know” look which I’m quite certain meant she knew exactly what I was in for and clearly, I did not. Bless my heart.

It started with a warm-up. I’ve done my fair share of work out classes in the past and they all usually start with a warm-up of some kind to get your muscles ready. This, my friends, was no warm-up. By the end of it, my heart was beating out of my chest and I was panting like a dog. It had only been 5 minutes. I’m in trouble.

The rest of the class was a combination of me sweating, dog-breathing, and cursing the clock for not making time go faster. I also made my “You’ve got to be kidding face” A LOT. I couldn’t help it. I mean, at one point during the class Ellen, the instructor, lunged herself forward into a handstand and donkey-kicked her legs out. I’m sorry, what? I think I stood there and blinked for a whole minute. Even though I was nervous and pretty sure I did every move wrong, I was certain at the end of the class my body had done all it could do. Except donkey kicks. Sorry, Ellen.

Because I had heard Beatbox Fit was “easier” I tried it out the next week. “Easy” isn’t a word I would use to describe this class but it was at the very least, the cardio and plyometrics I’d done before. I was still a puddle when I left. I was still dog-breathing. But I did it. And now that I’ve done it a couple of times it’s getting better and I’m getting stronger. Something I may never be good at is any exercise that involves my legs and arms doing things simultaneously. My brain literally can’t do it. It’s like the whole patting your head while rubbing your stomach thing. This class has a couple of workouts that have my legs jumping while my arms do something else. I look like an uncoordinated fool but no one seems to care.

If I’m being honest, classes like these are the ones I tend to make excuses for because they’re hard. They leave my body feeling so ragged I don’t want to do them. But ya’ll this class was different. I’ve never taken a fitness class that was so motivating. Ellen makes you want to be the best version of yourself. She makes a point to say that her classes are not about making people skinny, they’re about making people healthy. She actually makes you say it every class. She also told us our bodies are to be trained and they can do more than we think. It’s inspiring to watch someone who lives out her passion. Ellen is passionate about fitness and health but she’s also passionate about God. She’s uniquely combined these things and produced Beatbox. She knows God cares more about our health than our body type and she makes sure the people in her class know that too. No one is there to judge or compare. Everyone is so focused on making it through the workout alive there’s no time to look at anyone else, much less make a judgment about her. I’m usually the one looking around sizing everyone up to make sure I’m not the most out of shape person in the room. I know, my shallowness is disappointing on so many levels. But, in this class, there’s no time for those shenanigans. For the love, we’re just trying to survive the planks and burpees! (Sidenote: I think burpees may be one of the plagues not mentioned in the Bible. I’m doing some research on it now.)

 

Yes, there’s definitely something different about Beatbox. It’s based on a truth I can get behind. Train your body. Funny thing, the Bible never talks about being skinny. Isn’t that something? My brain has got a ways to go to switch from “skinny” to “healthy” but I’m glad to know there’s a place that advocates for it. Thanks Ellen, for being brave and sharing your passion. The world needs it.

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Me and the amazing Ellen…post workout, obvi.

Go check out the Beatbox website and find out more about the classes they offer!

www.beatboxfit.com

(Sorry, out-of-towners, it’s only offered locally. Insert sad faces here.)

If you go check the classes, let me know what you think!

 

-Courtney

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