Finding the right kind of accountability partner

Let’s talk about accountability. Specifically, about accountability partners. I’ve accepted the hard fact about myself that I NEED accountability to get anything done. I’m not one of those people who will work hard for the journey.

Oh, no.

I need deadlines, buddies, groups, classes, requirements, deliverables, and peer reviews to get into GSD mode. Even better if there’s a shiny reward at the end: grades, gold stars, and other meaningless markers of success are literally the wind beneath my wings.

I’ve learned that the best way for me to get to that shiny reward is to enlist some accountability partners to join me on the ride, and more importantly, to enlist the right kind of accountability partner for a given goal.

I divide accountability partners into two groups: there are motivating accountability partners, and there are irritating accountability partners.*

The health app telling me to stand up when I’ve been baby stuck for hours: irritating.

A coach on Gixo encouraging me to run faster to meet a goal: motivating.

My husband reminding me to drink more water: irritating.

Joining the Sweat Pink community and Gerolsteiner for a hydration challenge: motivating.

So as I work on getting myself back into healthy routines post-baby, I’m rounding up my accountability partners to help me get there. It’s NECESSARY, y’all, to resist the siren call of red vines and another nap.

Here’s who I’m leaning on, and for what goals:

Goal 1: drink more water

Accountability partner: Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and the Sweat Pink Community.

As I embark on the Gerolsteiner Sparkling Detox for the third year in a row, the support from my community is crucial. Giving up coffee is pretty much the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I know I could do it again thanks to going through that challenge with a supportive, engaged community around me.

If you’re new to The Sparkling Detox, here’s how it works: for one week, you replace all beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. It’s a fun way to really focus in on your hydration, plus you get all the extra benefits of the mineral content in Gerolsteiner (reader take note: not all sparkling waters are created equal!). A liter of Gerolsteiner contains 2,500 mg of essential minerals in total, which support the healthy function of your digestive and immune systems. To be honest, while I’m generally aware of how much protein, or how many servings of vegetables I’ve had in a given day, mineral intake just isn’t something I think about that often. It’s nice to know that Gerolsteiner has me covered with highly bioavailable minerals (since they’re in water, they’re more easily absorbed. Boom.)

There’s still time to register for Gerolsteiner’s Sparkling Detox (August 27-31) and you’ll be automatically entered to win a case of Gerolsteiner!

Hitting my stride with hydration is going to be key to tackling my next two goals, too. I see proper hydration as a catalyst for making my other fitness goals happen: being on top of my water intake is basically non-negotiable in the Austin heat, especially because I’m currently breastfeeding.

 

Goal 2: become a stronger runner

Accountability partner: my neighbor Kristina, Strava and the Sweat Pink community

Up until a few months ago, I had a regular weekly run date with my neighbor, and I can’t wait to jump back into our early morning runs. I so enjoy meeting her in the dark early hours of Monday morning and knocking out a short run to start the week. We each track our runs on different apps, and I loved watching our average time go down on the same route we did every week. Which leads me to…

Confession time. I’ve been a secret Strava user for years. I never made my runs public or even accepted follow requests because I was embarrassed by everything about my profile: my inconsistency, my low mileage, and my turtle speed.

Now I’m embarrassed to admit all those reasons out loud. It’s the opposite of what I believe in, and what our community stands for. So I’m officially coming out on Strava with a public profile and will be sharing my runs there. Because there is no shame in starting over, or in being right where you are.

Here’s my profile. Let’s connect!

 

Goal 3: easily fit fitness in wherever, whenever

Accountability partner: Gixo & Gixo Teammates

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Gixo app is the best thing that happened to new moms for getting back in shape. I took classes up until I was about 34 weeks pregnant (actually, I did join one at 38 weeks, but quickly realized that my jump squats ship had sailed, so I don’t really count that one), and I credit Gixo for helping me feel awesome through most of pregnancy.

I’m counting on it to help me feel awesome now that I’m cleared for exercise, and to help me gain my strength back after a few months of really low activity.

So there you have it, friends. My plan for roping in my accountability partners and reclaiming my fitness. It’s everything I need to jump start a return to regular fitness and to really feel confident and healthy

*There is also a third kind of accountability partner: the fun, no-accountability partner. Long ago, my friend Jackie and I were workout buddies who regularly talked ourselves into brunching and shopping instead of going to the gym. She’s now an Ironman triathlete, and I can only imagine how much sooner she would have crossed that finish line without my “help”.

Bringing that champagne energy

There was a time when champagne was my drink of choice. I’d order it everywhere, no matter how unlikely a place to drink bubbles. It was my choice at happy hour, at dinner, even late night at clubs in Vegas.

Because why not?

Oh, youth. This is from a Vegas trip when I drank exclusively champagne.

What I remember most about my champagne era was an overwhelming sense of joie de vivre. A constant undercurrent of this is fun. I ordered champagne because it matched the way I felt: I was joyful, carefree, and above all, present.

I had just started a new business and was full of the heady energy of new beginnings and big dreams. Every moment and every small win felt like a celebration, and I was more than happy to jump in with a toast and starry eyed look to the future.

As that new business demanded more and more of me, that energy waned and chronic stress and anxiety stepped in. I wanted so badly to be taken seriously that I became too serious. I was tired of being dismissed as ‘girl’ and my ideas being labeled ‘cute’ or ‘female-targeted’ before I’d even had a chance to open my mouth. I was tired of showing up only to learn that I was yet again, a token, or worse, entertainment.

Those years were some of the unhealthiest of my life, primarily because of the toll the stress took on my body and my mental health. I was never present, never able to truly disconnect. I sacrificed every other aspect of my life—my relationships, my hobbies, any chance to relax and unwind. ‘Balance’ meant going on that girls weekend away, but spending that beautiful Sunday inside a bookstore, poaching their wifi, working, while all my friends relaxed on a lovely patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

I remember thinking, this is not worth it, but it took a couple more years before I found a way to change my reality. 

Looking back, I wish that I had found a way to carry some of that champagne energy forward, and found ways to be joyful and present despite the stress. I wish I’d found a way to maintain my own sense of self even when it felt like what I had to offer wasn’t good enough.

These days I’m leaning back toward bubbles, for a lot of reasons. I have way more balance in my life, and beyond that, I’m also not trying to pass as something I’m not.

Instead, I’m embracing that I’m a woman, that I need time for myself, and that I’m a working mom, and I won’t apologize for any of that. I won’t hide or downplay what I’m juggling or how I prioritize.

Memories of how alive I felt during my champagne era, and all the girl power feels, surged anew when Anna, one of our Sweat Pink sisters, reached out to share her new business: Fit & Flirty, a line of champagne & fitness themed apparel

How cute is this tank

I connected immediately to the brand, because bubbles and fitness together are a perfect symbol of that elusive balance—not to mention presentness and joy—I’m seeking right now.

Why yes, it does look cute as casual wear OR athletic apparel. 👌

Whereas I used to be too busy (read: too stressed) to take care of myself, I now know all too well that no one wins when I don’t make time. However I’m moving or sweating, whether the vehicle is burpees or running or yoga, the purpose is the same: it’s about putting in the work, and seizing the now so that I can be joyful, present, and grateful, no matter how tough the workout or how challenging the day.

I think I just expressed gratitude for burpees. #WhatIsWrongWithMe

And I’ll happily order champagne at every opportunity, knowing this moment and these bubbles are worth celebrating precisely because they won’t last forever. These days, my priority is to be present, here in this moment, whether that’s doing burpees, playing dump trucks with my toddler, spending hours nursing, or raising a glass in celebration.

Cheers to RIGHT NOW. 

How sweet it is to enjoy these moments before my knees give out, the snuggles must be coaxed out instead of soaked up, and the champagne falls flat. 

If you need some champagne energy in your life, Anna’s new business, Fit & Flirty, just launched this week, and you can save 15% with the code SWEATPINK21 .  There are a ton of cute options (see Nic’s tank in action here), including a crop top I’m going to treat myself to once I’m ready to show off my belly again.

There’s also a buy one get one 50% off promo going on this week if you need two tops. Maybe one for your bff, if sharing is your thing.

Sizing: I’m usually a medium in all things, but since I’m carrying an extra 20 pounds on my post-baby bod, I sized up to a large, and it’s nice and slouchy / comfy. All this to say, I think they run true to size. 🙂

This post is sponsored by Fit & Flirty. All opinions are my own, of course. Here’s to supporting women-owned businesses, and embracing right now. 


Pregnant no more: how to get your labor started today!

Hey pregnant goddesses!

Are you:

  • Pregnant and want to not be pregnant anymore?
  • Tired of trying spicy foods, sex, red raspberry leaf tea, and other so called “labor starters” with no results?
  • Worried that your baby is cooking too long and getting too big?
  • Feeling like you’ll be pregnant forever?

Well, preggo, I’m happy to say that I’ve got the program to fix all your problems! 

Keep reading to learn all about this innovative, one-of-a-kind program with a 100% success rate of making your baby come out of your body within 24 hours.*

Yes, within 24 hours!

This time tomorrow, you could be NOT pregnant anymore!

There are so many old wives tales out there that promise to kick start your labor. What they all have in common is that they’re myths, and they don’t help you have that baby already. 

You need something different.

You need something that works! 

I want to show you how to get your labor started in the next 24 hours. No gimmicks, no stair climbing, no weird foods. 

I am SO EXCITED to share that for a limited time only, you can get my exclusive, proven labor starter boot camp completely FREE!

This program is perfect for you if you are pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant any more! 

Post-date mamas, I’m looking at YOU! 

That’s right, today is the day YOU take control over your body, and show that baby the door. 

Just think, you could be holding your sweet bundle of joy in your arms tomorrow!!

Let’s get started!

* sample size: 1 

** Hopefully this is glaringly obvious, but in today’s climate you can’t be too careful: this post, this video, this whole concept is NOT SERIOUS. Don’t sue me, thanks.

How I became a stronger runner while pregnant

Well, the bar wasn’t that high, to be honest. I’m a chronic dabbler in short-form running. How many times have I started the Couch to 5K program? Too many to count. How many times have I finished it? A handful. How consistent have I been about running, even short distances? Not at all.

Up until last year, that is, when two beautiful life events colluded to make me a more consistent runner.

  1. A friend and neighbor asked me to run with her every Monday morning before work, and assured me she not much of a runner—aka not too fast.
  2. Fit Approach started partnering with Gixo, which offers live coached fitness classes, including runs, and I felt compelled to give all the class formats a try. Because it’s for work. 

I guess there’s really a third life event that is important to this story, and it’s that I got pregnant, and the first trimester was unpleasant but nowhere near the evil mistress she was with my first.

Anyway, thanks to the happy coincidence of these things, I’ve made a dramatic shift in a few habits: I’m running way more consistently than I ever have before—to the tune of 3-4 times per week—and believe it or not, up until third trimester hit, I was actually getting faster and stronger. As I got more pregnant.

So fucking weird I almost can’t believe I’m writing those words.

Not weird, I guess, to everyone out there who recognizes, that duh, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to fitness or any other skill you’re working to develop.

And, guess what, I don’t hate it. Running, that is. Or, I am distracted enough by either my run buddy or by the Gixo coaches that I can actually not focus on counting down the seconds or the tenths of a mile until I can stop.

It’s also been the perfect solution to my #momlife crisis of finding time for myself and for fitness. Another weird (for me) habit I’ve developed is getting up early most weekday mornings. I do a 6 am run or workout, shower, drink coffee, and even have a few minutes to myself before the rest of the house is awake. Life-changing, that pre-sunrise quiet is.

None of these results are revolutionary, of course— so many people in my community figured this basic shit out years and years before I did, and have been singing its praises for forever. It just took the lifestyle crimp of toddlerhood + chronic excess of competing top priorities (#workingmom) to push me into trying something new.

If you want to join me, the training program I’m following is free, and you can get a 7-day free trial of Gixo to try the classes that are part of the program, or to participate in race day on May 5. Full disclosure: I’m getting free access to Gixo classes because they’re a partner, but the subscription price is one I’d pay in a heartbeat.

Speaking of working motherhood, this interview with Selina Tobaccowala  is the best I’ve read on the topic. There are no generic platitudes about priorities and self-care; just honest, practical examples of what sacrifices and decisions she makes as she wins at both business and parenthood. Reading her example about what she chooses to say yes or no to was a liberating moment for me: there’s no capitulating to the ‘should’ or the mommy guilt; she just makes decisions that work for her and her family. Now that’s #girlboss.

Breakfast burrito recipe swap

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m no recipe whiz. I consider myself more of an assembler of food more than a cook. Occasionally I’m a baker, too, but that seems to be a whole different category of making.

Every year, it seems like, my goal is to improve my kitchen skills, introduce a few new recipes into my highly limited repertoire, and also get better at meal planning and prepping. The results have been middling.

So, when we decided to do a community recipe swap presented by Eggland’s Best eggs, I gamely signed up, knowing that participating would be just the accountability I needed to inch myself closer to those goals. I got paired up with Sara from Nymph in the Woods, an amazing blogger, jewelry designer, and human being, who I had the pleasure of meeting at BlogFest last year. <3

Sara sent me exactly what I needed (she’s clearly psychic): a not-too-complicated recipe chock full of protein that also nets you a ton of freezer meals.

Her recipe for breakfast burritos is here. I mostly stuck to it, with a few edits: this being Texas, I made tacos instead of burritos, because I don’t think I’ve even seen burrito-size tortillas here. I also had to halve the recipe, more or less, because I didn’t realize until midway through that there was no way my largest pan could accommodate 24 eggs. I did, however, use 100% of the cheese the original recipe called for. 🙂

It’s an easy recipe that yields a ton of returns: you do a bunch of chopping, cook the egg mixture with all the delicious fillings you desire, including sausage, peppers, onions, cheese, and salsa, and then wrap and freeze burritos / tacos to your heart’s content.

I used this kitchen adventure as an excuse to test out some of my new food photography skills (here’s the free course I took).

My biggest challenge with food photography is lighting. My kitchen lighting is, well, just plain awful. Look at what should be a bright, fresh pan full of bell peppers and onions, made sickly and fuzzy in the fluorescent light:

egglands best

Don’t let the lighting fool you: these nutrient-rich Eggland’s Best yolks are vibrant and beautiful!

I’ll spare you other pictures of the prep work; the food and recipe are beautiful, and my kitchen lights do not do them justice!

Once my burritos were prepped, I staged a few on our patio where I could at least get some natural light and a non-shiny background:

I’m still no professional but at least the lighting is much improved.

Sara recommends letting the whole mixture cool before you wrap and freeze, so during that downtime, I served my family breakfast. They were a hit! Everyone from my parents (especially my dad) to my 2-year-old loved them.

breakfast taco recipe

And since we were eating them fresh, we added some avocado we had on hand. Big bonus: the avocado added some extra color for photos.

Once the mixture cooled, I started wrapping them… and promptly got fired from the job. My dad said, you know, I could do that better. And I was all too happy to let him finish wrapping up and freezing tacos. 🙂

Even after halving the recipe and feeding 5 people breakfast, I still ended up with about 15 tacos in my freezer—a pretty amazing return for just an hour or so of work. I’ll definitely be making these again, and experimenting with fillings; it seems so easy to customize the recipe based on what you have on hand.  I think I’ll definitely make a batch or four of these before the baby comes—what a perfect breakfast to have on hand.

Thanks, Sara, for this delicious kitchen adventure, and Eggland’s Best, for encouraging the community to connect this way! 🙂