Just like the season for Christmas decorations and music seems to extend year after year, so too does the season for discounted shopping. I could take or leave Christmas music (okay, actually, I could just leave it), but the extended shopping discounts season is something I can 100% rally behind.
And today, TODAY ONLY, is a perfect chance to get a gift for the fitness-lover in your life that they’ll love AND that you can customize for them.
1. Build Your Own BOSU Flash Sale
Today only, BOSU is offering a flash sale (15% off!) their Build Your Own BOSU. That means you can customize colors to your heart’s content. It’s not often you can get a big ticket item that’s also customizable, so this BOSUis a perfect way to show your fitness loving special someone that you know their favorite sports team’s colors, or how important it is that their fitness gear matches their shoes or their car.
ActivMotion Bars are the ultimate in forcing your core to work harder—the hollow weighted bars are partially filled with shifting ball bearings, meaning you’re constantly having to stabilize the bar while you work out. It’s super efficient strength training.
3. Designer Protein
Designer Protein is offering daily deals until 12/6 as part of their 12 Days of Giving. Today’s deal:
Lite Mini Meal is the same low-calorie protein product you love, now in a meal replacement. Try it out today for 40% off! Use code: LITE40
Follow them on Facebook or check DesignerProtein.com each day for the daily deal! Best thing is, 12% of proceeds to go feed the homeless, so you’re doing good for your body and the world.
Or, you can also use the code SWEATPINK30 for 30% off everything. (Hint: the Gourmet Chocolate Whey is delicious.) So there, lots of options. 🙂
So GO, jump on it, cross off the fitness-lover on your list, and get back to jamming to your Christmas music, hanging up your lights, or practicing your grinch scowl.
Whew. You guys. I’m still coming down from a really lovely, relaxing Thanksgiving. This one was so different from years’ past, when Nathan and I hosted (and he cooked) the whole shebang. This year, we teamed up with my parents for a simpler version. We made things easy by transforming the day from a one-chef show into a potluck, switching to a smoked turkey (just heat’n’serve, peeps!), and organizing an unofficial Turkey Trot.
No parking hassles, no crowds, just our little gang of runners out on a crisp, clear morning by the lake.
After our Turkey Trot, we had everyone come back to my parents’ house for a simple breakfast. We made challah toast drizzled with sweetened condensed milk (sounds odd; tastes heavenly).
Coffee. Mimosas. And, my special Toffee Smoothie.
You see, every year, for as long as I can remember, my mom has made English Toffee for the holidays. I LOVE that stuff. I could eat it all day long.
Of course, now that I’m no longer 10 years old with a hardy stomach, I hurt myself if I eat it all day long. So I decided to bring those flavors into something that wouldn’t kill me with sugar overload, but would also help me feel like I was indulging in more toffee. TOFFEE ALL THE TIME TOFFEE.
I whipped up a decadent smoothie with my Designer Protein Gourmet Chocolate Whey, and was kind enough to share it with my fellow turkey trotters. Sharing was not easy, friends. I had to muster all my holiday generosity to not down the entire blender’s worth myself.
One of the great things about this recipe is that it uses all those almonds and chocolate chunks that fall off the toffee and can sometimes go to waste. We usually save those crumbles as ice cream toppers; they also (surprise!) make amazing smoothie toppers.
This Thanksgiving was exactly what the doctor ordered. What with our current chronic sleep deprivation and general fatigue, keeping it simple was just the thing. Even when we have this whole baby parenting / sleeping through the night thing figured out, I think we’ll stick to this lower stress version of the holiday.
Make it yourself:
Amazing discounts below. I couldn’t recommend the Gourmet Chocolate Whey highly enough; it’s got a nice creamy milk chocolate-y taste, has none of those downsides you usually associate with protein powders: it has a smooth texture, no weird aftertaste, and, BONUS, it’s really light on calories for the amount of protein you get.
Designer Protein is offering 30% off everything at DesignerProtein.com with the code SWEATPINK30
AND, check out their Facebook page for 12 days of giving, going on through 12/6/16. Each day, they have a special promotion, and 12% of proceeds will go to the San Diego Food Bank to help feed the homeless during the holidays.
I’ve never really gotten into video workouts. I mean, I’d so much rather go to a class. I like the accountability, the energy, and, mostly, somebody telling me what to do. At home, with just me and the computer screen, it’s so easy to get distracted. There’s always laundry to be done, a snack to be had, and a million other micro distractions that somehow get me pressing pause, moving on, and forgetting all about my 7 minutes to fab abs.
Since getting to classes is a lot harder these days, I’ve had to push myself to get creative and step outside my tried and true. To find a new tried and true, if you will.
Last week’s challenge with the Runtastic fitness channel helped me rethink video workouts, and approach them in a new way.
Right off the bat they were easier to get into than other video workouts I’ve tried, because I know and love Lunden – the instructor – in real life. So I pretended that I was right there in her class instead of separated by a whole ocean and, of course, a screen.
I also, by complete accident, figured out how to get around the distraction / lack of follow through. One of the days of the challenge required a pumpkin, and yes, I could have used the spaghetti squash at home, or some other heavy object, like, ahem, a baby, but I had this vision of how much better the pictures would turn out with an actual pumpkin. Plus, I hadn’t carved a jackolantern or anything this year, so I had an itch to get seasonal.
Off we went to Whole Foods to get a pumpkin. The original plan was to bring the gourd home, but in the spur of the moment, I decided to work out in the Whole Foods pumpkin patch.
Right in front of the main store entrance. It was like performing for the whole parking lot, something I usually feel kind of awkward about doing. (Somehow having nathan there to take photos made me feel less awkward. Like the fact I had a paparazzo somehow validated my strange public workout).
Anyway, the point of this is, I realized that having an audience made my ego kick in. I was so much more motivated to finish the whole thing, and to have good form while I was at it. The shoppers that day were my unwitting accountability partners.
Even though none of them stayed to watch (thank god!) so really, I could have crapped out early and no one would have been the wiser, just the mere fact of having an audience made me not want to look like a wuss or a quitter.
So there you have it: my own personal recipe for being successsful with video workouts. It’s super easy; just remember the three Ps.
Even though If Girls Ran the World is over, it’s kept me thinking hard about how I can continue to support equality and empowerment for women and girls around the world. And one super concrete way that I can better support women is through what clothing I choose to purchase.
The thing is, I’ve always been a sucker for fast fashion. It enables so many spur of the moment purchases, so many costume opportunities, and closes out so much room for regrets. Oops, I spilled red wine on this white top? NBD, it was only $7. Oh, I actually hate the way this skirt looks on me? Who cares, it was only $9.
You know the drill.
I started looking at the labels on all my clothes and there’s no way around it: I’m supporting the low wages and bad working conditions at garment factories in places like Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
I’ve decided to make an effort to shop more consciously—to stay away from the low-cost instant gratification of fast fashion. This literally happened yesterday, so I haven’t really been put to the test yet (aka, I haven’t been to the baby section at Target, where a cart full of adorable tiny nothings runs you about $14 …)
But, I did get a trial run of what wearing sustainable, worker-friendly clothing might feel like. As luck would have it, I got a chance to try Pavepara, an activewear brand made here in the USA, by people paid a living wage. And it’s actually cute, y’all. It doesn’t feel like a compromise; it feels like a win-win.
I’ve been wearing the hoodie everywhere: to the park with Mac, as a light layer to and from yoga, and tied around my waist for a little modesty when I’m out and about in spandex.
The neckline is purrr-fect: just low enough that you can show off your layer underneath, but high enough that you can safely wear it without a base layer.
The (long enough!) silk sleeves are such a luxe touch – this really is a crossover piece. I even layer it under a blazer (or will, once the weather dips below 70 – ha!).
The shorts are really nice, too, with a pretty silk trim. The waistband looks a little scrunchy in pictures but does lay flat on your hips (translation: no muffin top). Hooray!
The shorts are just a titch shorter than I usually wear, but I am absurdly tall, so they’re likely the perfect length for anyone under 6′, or who has been working out more than I have and wants to show off their legs o’ steel.
Everything from Pavepara is made of super soft, washable merino wool. (Which is better for the planet, and more breathable, than cotton or bamboo).
Overall, I’m such a fan, and I love clothing that makes me feel good while I’m wearing it, not only for how I look, but for supporting sustainable goods and living wages.
So this whole mom-ing thing is kind of a mind fuck. Each time you think you’ve got it down, you’ve got it locked and loaded, you have a plan and a system and you’re going to WIN the the whole “I can have it all!” myth, the baby just so casually changes her mind.
With no notice whatsoever.
And then all that carefully laid groundwork just goes to … crap. Down the drain. And then you understand that that cute toothless grin and the “Braaaahbabagah gah gah” actually means “Nice try, sucker!”
I thought I had this whole thing figured out. Okay, not actually this whole thing, but I had at least found a solution to consistently getting exercise and feeling human after yet another night during which no chunk of sleep dared cross the threshold of more-than-two-hours.
I had our routine buttoned up tight. At night, I prepped the stroller with the 10 million things you can’t leave the house without. I laid out my running clothes so there would be NO EXCUSES. In the morning, I’d get up, change the baby, brush my teeth, and go for a run. I bought the stroller, I committed to leaving the house without brushing my hair, and I even committed to running.
Need more proof? I even waited until AFTER the run to drink coffee.
And then. THEN.
Mackenzie decided she hates the stroller.
She screams bloody murder whenever I put her in it. And no matter how high I crank up the volume on my headphones, I can still hear her.
And even if I couldn’t hear her, and just kept my gaze up and on the road ahead, the concerned looks on fellow morning runners’ faces was evidence enough of the baby torture ensuing below. I’ll have a big heaping pile of mom guilt for breakfast, k thx.
I can’t tell you how many ‘runs’ have ended up with me carrying the baby in one hand, pushing the stroller with the other, and overall feeling like a not-even-sweaty chump.
So, clearly, Mackenzie doesn’t want me to run. And I gotta say, I secretly love her for it.
However, that does take me back to … not working out. At all. (Yeah, don’t believe what my Instagram tells you).
It’s insane to me that my whole job is about healthy living, and I can barely make a workout happen once a week. Yep, this week, I managed one actual workout. Yoga on Sunday morning, which perfectly coincided with Mac’s nap. And also Nathan wanted to take a nap. So I snuck away from my sleepy family for a quick hit of power vinyasa.
Where does that leave other women who have regular office, non-fitness jobs? How do they do it?
The thing is, I know all the information. I know that exercising makes me better at my business and a better mom, wife, etc. I know that it’s all about priorities. I know that failing to plan means planning to fail. I know to crank out a few squats while she pulls up to standing and to plank while she “reorganizes” her bookshelf. I know all those things, and I still can’t get ‘er done.
The truth is, when I have time without the baby, I prioritize work. Without fail. (Except that one time I collapsed on the couch and read gossip blogs for about 30 seconds before falling asleep, hard. That was a weird day).
The outline I started this post with ended with a neat little kicker. Here’s how I planned to wrap up this stream-of-consciousness white flag of despair:
I overcame my lack of exercise by doing X and Y to work out with my baby! After finished working out with this pumpkin, I transformed it into local organic baby food, and did I mention I’m crushing it at work?! #MomLife #WIN #LEANINBITCHES
I also intended this post to be a sponsored one, but all these feelings I didn’t realize I had derailed the whole plan. So after I finished venting my feelings here, I also wrote this sunnier post, with cuter clothes.
The truth is, there’s no nicely packaged little lesson I can tie a pretty bow on. This shit is hard. And I only have one kid, and a supportive partner. FUCK.
The one thing I keep coming back to is a little mantra a former yoga instructor used to tell us in class:
It’s never too late to start from scratch.
She’d say that in pretty much every class, usually while holding us hostage for at least 15 minutes. Sometimes her classes would run 30 or 45 minutes over. I used to resent how late she’d go—didn’t she know we all had somewhere to be?—but now I’m grateful that I COULD stay late in yoga, and for that nugget of wisdom that I might not have remembered otherwise.
I feel like I’m starting from scratch, every single day. So there you have it.
There’s so much going on this week I don’t even know where to start. Let’s just make a list, shall we?
Yesterday, I did yoga for the first time in probably 6 weeks. This is what not sleeping and not exercising will get you: a creaky, stiff body and a hankering for some twists. Luckily, yoga delivered. I feel light years more alive, and I’m determined not to let so much time pass before my next class.
Today is Halloween. Mackenzie is either going to be a unicorn or a great white shark. HOW DO I PICK BETWEEN MY TWO FAVORITE COSTUMES? HOW?
Today is the last day to save 15% off on prAna’s fall line. Code: PFS16AMB
Today is also the very last day of If Girls Ran the World. I’m squeezing in a few last miles to get us all toward our collective goal. Won’t you run /walk / jog a few, too?
Tomorrow, Aftershokz is doing a flash sale for 20% off EVERYTHING, plus free shipping. Whee! Get in on the action starting at 12am ET 11/1 with the code SWEAT20.
Tomorrow is also the start of not one, but TWO challenges. We’re getting sweaty with the Runtastic Fitness Channel and with Designer Protein. Get involved here, win prizes. Boom.
Not a bad week, eh? And it’s only Monday.
prAna, If Girls Ran the World, Runtastic, Designer Protein, and Aftershokz are all clients of Fit Approach. I so appreciate your support of the brands who support the #sweatpink community. You make my day.
I’m so looking forward to fall actually happening because:
1. OMG I can’t wear shorts anymore. My ‘tan’ is fading fast. These legs aren’t meant to be exposed so late in the year.
2. These pants are perrrfect. The length on the jeans are nothing short (pun intended) of amazing. I have so many pants that are supposed to be full length jeans that I just pretend are crops. The Kara jeans, god bless ‘em, are long enough to wear with a cuff (as they’re styled by prAna) or uncuffed, and either way, they look intentional.
Fear not, oh ye of normal height: the cut on these pants is straight enough I believe they could be easily hemmed without losing a flare, a skinny ankle, or anything in between.
I’m wearing the black color, which is not a true, true black, but more of a super dark denim black. Does that make sense? It’s actually a better color than a true black if you’re someone who tends to sit in the grass (mud?), spill on herself, and get spilled on.
Happy Friday! This month is all about PINK. I mean, literally, the sheriffs in our county are wearing pink badges. When I first saw one, I thought it was a toy badge. #oops. Any way… I love seeing so many people and organizations come out and wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. I mean, I wear pink all year round, so it’s nice to have some more company in my color.
Wearing pink is a fantastic first step toward promoting breast cancer awareness. But this month, I’m challenging you to do more than just wear pink. Take the next step, if you will, and work to end this stupid cancer once and for all.
Treat yo’self to some pink
Join our #AwareWithPink challenge (just do your thing, tag the tags, and get a chance to win a pair of pink Trekz Titanium headphones from Aftershokz. Best headphones I’ve ever tried, no contest). Or, just treat yourself to a pair. For every pair purchased this month, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education.
This virtual event aims to get people to collectively run around the world, fundraising for organizations that empower women and girls. It’s not too late to jump in and contribute the miles you’re running anyway toward something greater than yourself.
Don’t want to do it yourself? That’s cool. Help a girl out and contribute to my fundraising page. K thx. 🙂
Host a Beauty Drive
I’m obsessed with this Feel Beautiful Again program by the Breast Cancer Charities of America. They put together beauty swag bags for breast cancer patients to help them feel like themselves after losing their hair, breasts, eyelashes, and other traditional markers of femininity. I’m hosting a drive in my building, collecting beauty products; you can too. It’s an easy, low cost way to give back.
No, really, I’m serious. Prevention is the best kind of healthcare. Go for a run (around the world!!), eat your veggies, take time to destress. Do it for you, and do it because you never know who you’re inspiring to treat themselves with the love and respect they deserve, too.
In case you need some inspiration to get involved, or if you just want to experience all the feels AND read some exquisite writing, read this. My friend and yoga teacher Lindsay is currently battling breast cancer, and she writes about her journey in a way that makes you laugh and cry and feel what she’s going through… even as she resists dipping too far into the ugly details of her treatment. Warning: if you read this at work, there is a significant risk that you will also cry at work.
If you follow me anywhere on the internet, or know me in real life, you probably know, or have gathered, that I’m super ambivalent about running. On the one hand, it’s a really convenient way to get exercise, especially with a certain baby around. And I like the way I feel after I run, or when I have been running regularly.
On the other hand, I pretty much think it’s torture. All the time. No matter what.
My ambivalence means I dip in and out of regular running (okay, let’s be honest, running is a generous word; let’s call it a jog or a shuffle).
I’m not the person who can go out and spontaneously run a few miles with friends. I’m the person who has to build up in tiny increments, 60 seconds here, now 3 minutes there, until after weeks of walk/shuffle intervals, I can knock out 3 miles without stopping. I’ve started the Couch to 5K program countless times over the last 5 years, and I’ve actually completed it twice. Each time I jump back in is like starting from scratch.
It’s like a bad boyfriend who won’t put a ring on it, but I just can’t give up on, either.
Anyway, all this to say: in October, I’m willingly submitting myself to more torture, but it’s not just about me this time. I’m doing it to support Every Mother Counts, an organization that aims to make pregnancy and birth safe for women around the world. It’s a cause that feels really, really personal and meaningful right now.
If I hadn’t had access to amazing care while pregnant and while giving birth to Mackenzie, I honestly don’t know how things would have turned out for either of us.
I don’t mean to be melodramatic. We both made it through in perfect condition, but the outcome could have been so different had we not had access to care: around the world, a woman dies every 2 minutes from pregnancy or childbirth complications. And 98% of those are preventable.
I’m so grateful that we are healthy. I’m so grateful that my mom had the same access to care and was there not only through my childhood, but also at Mackenzie’s birth, and in those first few hazy, confusing, postpartum weeks.
Imagining becoming a mother without my own mother’s presence and support is basically unfathomable to me. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without her.
Maternal mortality one of those big, scary problems that I want so urgently to do something about. I’m not a clinician. I can’t go volunteer, save lives, make a difference in the field. What I can do is raise funds and awareness.
It’s happening in a heated political climate in which I find myself newly horrified by the sexism and misogyny still so rampant and so accepted in the US and around the world. That, too, feels so big and so beyond my reach.
So I’m going to run. I’m going to run, and I’m going to make a dent, however small, in the care and opportunities available to women and girls.
This post was sponsored by everydayhero. I’m honored to be part of this incredible event, and as always, all opinions, running hatred, and political commentary are my own. I so appreciate your support of me, the sweat pink community, and our amazing partners.
One of the hardest things about transitioning from independent lady to a mom has been the loss of my autonomy. I always knew I valued my independence (case in point: the day I got my driver’s license remains one of the best days of my life, even though I now hate driving), but I never realized how much stuff I did until I needed someone else to enable me to do it.
Curl up with the latest New Yorker and a cup of coffee on Saturday morning? Not happening.
Squeeze in a pedicure between conference calls? Yeah, right.
Spontaneously dash off to a yoga class? Puh-lease.
I found myself sliding into a deep dark pool of woe is me. This little mommy is trapped at home and will never, ever, engage with society again or have a moment to herself.
It’s a scary place down there. I admit, I spent some time wallowing. I still occasionally dip in for another good cry now and again.
But in between wallow sessions, I put myself to the task of finding ways to enable my freedom again. Even if it was an assisted / modified freedom, it was better than hanging out in my pajamas on the floor of my apartment in last week’s makeup wondering how I’d gotten myself into this situation.
Here’s what’s helped me scratch the surface of those pre-baby freedoms in ways that help me get out and do stuff.
(Spoiler alert: the stroller is next on this list!) Since they’re open-ear headphones, I can still hear things around me, like cars approaching, or bikers trying to pass our wide load on the trail, or I can chat up fellow stroller-pushing moms.
Gotta make those mom friends, y’all.
Before we had regular childcare, I used to take a lot of calls with the baby on board. Once she was aware of her hands, she discovered that playing with headphone cords is really, really fun. And by playing with, I mean yanking them out of my ears.
Going wireless has saved me many a “sorry, can you repeat that?” and scored me many a new brand partner.
Outdoor yoga is awesome. Outdoor yoga with music is even more awesome. But you know what’s the awesomest?
Outdoor yoga with music that you don’t have to lug around a stereo for, rely on your pathetic phone speakers for, or bother your neighbors with.
2. BOB stroller
After asking the Sweat Pink community for jogging stroller recommendations, I bit the bullet, bought the stroller, and hid the credit card receipt from my husband. Hot damn it’s expensive. But in terms of liberation, it’s been amazing. I take Mac out almost every morning for a walk / jog along the lake in Austin.
Or, at least, I used to, back when sleep was a little more consistent. We’re working on getting back into a good morning routine.
I still don’t particularly like running, but it’s such a convenient way to get some exercise without having to arrange childcare. Also, I’ve realized that exercising with a stroller is AWESOME because it holds all those items you used to try to stuff into the waistband pocket of your shorts or running tights. I got the cupholder attachment because, cupholders. The surprise benefit of that attachment is that the zip pocket holds my phone, chapstick, wallet, and sunnies within easy reach.
Second reason running with a stroller is awesome: if you find yourself short of breath and about to DIE and needing to stop or slow down, you can save face by pretending to check on the baby.
3. Ergobaby 360
I use this carrier all the time.
It’s the only way laundry gets done, and it’s the reason I have done my hair 1.5 times since Mac was born.
It’s currently also the only way she’ll nap, so there’s that.
The one thing I don’t love about this carrier is that Mac overwhelmingly prefers the outward-facing carry, and the straps dig into her arms and leave big red marks. I know it’s really designed for inward carry, so the straps aren’t really built for outward carry. I also know that inward is better for her hips, but you know, whatever makes baby happy is what baby gets.
There you have it. My top 3 post-baby freedom finders. I still miss my autonomy like woah. I yearn for the days when I didn’t have to make elaborate childcare arrangements and a bulletproof pumping schedule so I can get a fucking haircut already. My great life goal is to binge watch something on Netflix. I don’t even care what it is.
But… as my dance teacher in college always said, when you feel like something is too hard or out of reach or just.not.happening, CHANGE YOUR MIND.
I’m working on it. Like, literally, right now, while I’m nursing and taking a call and writing this post. #mompower
This post is sponsored by Aftershokz. All opinions are my own, and these headphones really have been game changing for me. If you want a chance to win your own, join us for the #AwarewithPink Instagram challenge this October!