Tag Archives: Fitness

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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Rio de I could never do that

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Can we talk about the Olympics? First of all, can I be honest and tell you I have no idea what it’s like to be the best at something? I don’t say that to get your pity, I’m just saying I wouldn’t consider myself the BEST at anything. Mainly because, typically, the term BEST is subjective. There’s no real contest to find out who the World’s Best Mom is but I’m pretty sure people still buy the mug. (And shame on you if it was not given to you by a child and you bought it for yourself.) It’s difficult to qualify someone as “the best” at something if there’s no clear-cut way to measure it.

I think this is why I’m so enamored with Olympians. These people have trained and competed until they basically beat everyone else in that field IN THEIR COUNTRY to get a spot on the Olympic team. Now, I know some countries are small and these are the places I would have to move to in order to have even a remote possibility of being called “the best” at something, but still. These people get up early and train. They maintain strict diet/exercise/sleep schedules in order to be better at their given sport. They practice the same thing over and over until it is no less than perfect. They will destroy their opponents with minimal effort. They are fierce and breathe tenacity. They are beasts. And I mean all those things in the most complimentary and awe-inspiring way. I’ve never been a beast at anything other than pounding chips and salsa. People that describe me as fierce and tenacious are mistaking me for someone else. I just LOOK like that Indian/Latin/Italian woman that really is fierce and tenacious. It’s an honest mistake.

I think all the Olympians are amazing but can we please discuss the US women’s gymnastics team for a moment? What in the heavens? Is God improving on the way He makes humans post 1995? The only thing that my body can do gymnastically is stand with my legs together and throw my hands in the air like they do at the end of a routine. We are identical at this, basically twins. Anything else and you would think I’m some sort of freak show trying to do what they do. They are the best. Those 5 girls beat out all the other female gymnasts in America to make that team. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of skill and sheer will power it takes to be a gymnast. The early mornings, long days at the gym, strict diets, injuries, pain, competition, and don’t forget, some of these girls also take classes for school. They are beasts, I tell you. I don’t have an ounce of the mental toughness these girls have. And let’s not forget those precious moments where they wait to be judged by people who are looking for every single imperfection in their routine. People just sitting there, lazily, looking for the flaws. If I hadn’t tapped out from the strict diet, this is what would get me. You’re deducting a whole point because I bent my elbows a little and had a tiny hop on my landing?! I would throw up deuces and peace out at that point. Buh-bye. The grit it must take to compete at this level is something I just don’t have; I think that’s why I love watching it.

I will always be amazed and astounded by what these athletes can do. Even the ping-pongers (How do they play the ball that fast?!) So I will be sad when the Olympics are over, but I will enjoy going to bed at a normal hour again. I don’t want to miss it, but my eyelids are sooo heavy come beach volleyball time.

So here’s to you, Olympians, for your incredible accomplishments!

Love,

All of us who are binge-eating junk food while watching you do your thing

P.S. Ryan Lochte, can we stop with all this tomfoolery? I don’t know what happened in Rio–Were you robbed? Were you making it up? I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, we’ve got enough shenanigans to deal with. I don’t know if you know, but Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are running for president. This is all the tomfoolery and shenanigans we can handle. The American people have their limit. Please, get it together.

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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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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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PSA for the Gym Rats

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As a fellow “gym-goer” (I’m pretty loose with that term), I feel it’s my duty to provide a public service announcement to the gym rats out there.

Here’s the announcement:

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT apply perfume/cologne before working out. That is all.

So I’m at the gym last week, you know, just workin on my fitness, and a girl sits down on the row machine next to me. She looks pretty in shape and is sweating so I assumed she had been working out for a while before she sat down by me. We don’t really acknowledge each other but continue with our workouts. I have my ear buds in and am trying to look super intense while I row so it will appear that I am a fierce workout girl. Little does everyone at the gym know, I will most likely be scarfing chips later and totally break even on any calories burned at the gym.

As I’m rowing, I start to smell something. It’s quite strong and begins filling all my air space. Perfume. The girl next to me apparently bathed in perfume before working out. Or she isn’t actually sweating and perfume is oozing out of her pores. I feel like I can’t breath. I might throw up from the smell. I row faster trying to get away from it, and then I remember I’m not actually in a canoe. So now I can’t breath and I’m sweating profusely. The smell of Estee Lauder and sweat from my upper lip almost takes me down. I look around; shocked that no one else looks like they’re about to pass out. I mean, they look “work out miserable”, not “I’m inhaling toxins and think I might die miserable”. Somehow I keep my composure and continue rowing. After about 5 minutes she gets up and leaves and the only thing I smell is the regular gym B.O. It’s like sniffing clean linen! I finish up about 5 minutes later and head to a 30-minute abs class. I’m getting my stuff all set up and am stretching when I notice someone walk in.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Estee Lauder just walked in. And of course the only open spot is next to yours truly. Naturally.

For the next 30 excruciating minutes, I try to mouth breath, which proved to be worse because it was like eating potpourri from grandma’s house. By the end of the class, I think I must have become immune to the smell or I just couldn’t focus on it because my abs felt like they had been ripped out of my body. Nonetheless, it was over and Estee Lauder went on her merry way.

After I left the gym, I wondered a while about why someone would put on perfume before working out. I do this also when I see women working out in full make-up at 8:30 am. To be fair, I do put on concealer and sometimes fill in the eyebrows before going to the gym. No need to scare off the good patrons of the Y. The only people that see me regularly with zero make-up are my neighbors at the bus stop in the morning. Apparently they don’t scare easily.

Anyway, after thinking about it a while, I concluded she must’ve been scoping dudes at the gym. I’m sure she thought, “Hmmm, what are guys more attracted to, the smell of sweat or perfume? I’ll go with perfume.” I totally get the logic behind that. She’s forgetting one thing though. People expect the gym to smell like B.O. So when Estee Lauder walks in, even if it smells good, it’s confusing to the senses. It’s not that we dislike it, per say, we just don’t want it to interfere with the B.O. smell we’ve become accustomed to. It’s like taking a swig of tea when you were expecting Coke. It’s not that tea is bad, you just wanted Coke. In short, ditch the perfume and just wear deodorant. The gym isn’t ready for fancy aromas yet. But who am I to judge? If I were single and didn’t like the bar scene, I’d probably be scoping dudes at the gym too. Or church. Sometimes that can be scarier than the bar scene but that’s another post for another day…

On a side note, when I got home from the abs workout, I immediately went to the mirror and lifted my shirt to see my new 6-pack. You can imagine my dismay when I see my stomach looks exactly the same. How is it I can FEEL every muscle in my stomach but can’t SEE any of them? #crushingdisappointment

What are some other gym faux pas? You know, like people wearing jeans when they work out. Feel free to share in the comment section!

-Courtney

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