MONDAY MOTIVATION: FINDING YOUR FITNESS

There are lots of good excuses to avoid exercise and I would know because I used to be the queen of ‘em! I can’t tell you how many mornings I’d set my alarm a little early with the intentions of “hitting the gym before work” back in my early- and mid-twenties. Guess how many times I made it? Zero. Zilch. Seriously. Not once. If I made it there at all, it was after work where I’d do some half-assed spin class and I’d walk to Pinkberry immediately after to reward myself. What a joker!*

It wasn’t until I made my health a priority that I actually started rising and shining, beginning my day with a workout. Back in my SoulCycle “rooster” days, I remember how I’d walk out of the studio at 7:30am, freshly showered and amazed each time how incredible it felt to have such a jump start on my day.

I can only imagine some of you are where I once was – wanting to make a change but struggling to find the motivation to do so – so I thought I’d provide a little inspiration to finding your fitness.

I co-taught a workshop on chops and lifts to the new hires at our Equinox location a few weeks ago, and trainers introduced themself at the beginning. I was amazed at the sheer range of experience: bodybuilders, ex-competitive and college athletes, and one guy is even planning to go out for the 2020 Olympics! It was such a good reminder that there is something for everyone. There are so many ways to get in shape!

A few ideas for finding your fitness:

-       I think it goes without saying, but if you’re feeling stuck and have the resources to do so, HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER! A good trainer will challenge you, change you, hold you accountable and keep you motivated.

-       Start small. Walking is great cardio. I also love reading my iPad on a machine at the gym. There are no fussy pages to deal with, and I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone.

-       Staying at home? I like these workout videos by Andrea Orbeck.

-       Try something new. Check out these 2016 fitness trends.

My two non-negotiable rules:

1.     Your workout should leave you feeling both challenged and victorious.

2.     You have to enjoy it. Otherwise you won’t do it. Plain and simple.

How do you find your fitness?

*There is absolutely nothing wrong with working out after work, of course. I prefer mornings, but as long as you’re getting it done, that’s all that matters! I should also mention that I’m certain I still ate a full dinner – and probably another dessert – AFTER my post-gym Pinkberry snack. Lolz. Hot mess express.

P.S. Wearing some of my favorites in the photo above... Avocado tee, lululemon Free to Be bra, Beyond Yoga capris, Nike sneakers (less than $70) and MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote.

WHAT I DID/ATE IN A DAY AND THE BEST BOOKS I'VE READ THIS SUMMER

SPOILER ALERT: Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for! And by "we all" I definitely mean Perri. Okay and myself too. But I can't believe Nick Viall is The Bachelor. As a loyal Reality Steve reader, I actually can't believe it. Definitely didn't see it coming, but I'm psyched!

Anywhoodles. Yesterday started with a 5:30 wakeup call. I filled up my water bottle at home. I had four clients in the morning with two 15 minute breaks before and after my 3rd. I had a smoothie with plant protein for breakfast during the first break and answered a few emails during the second.

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After my last client of the morning, I stopped into my friend Nancy's office for a chat. She's a Membership Advisor (Equinox members, those are the people who work in the pretty little glass-walled offices) and she's my best friend at work. I also call her my Work Wife because she's just my Ride Or Die, whatever the hell that means. She's it. We sort of have a debrief of life everyday (or, at least every day that we're both in the club, which is most days...). I'm not currently in therapy but this is the closest thing. There's just no veils with her and I and I'm so grateful to have someone at work I can be brutally honest and 1000% myself with. While we were in there a new member popped in to say how grateful she was to have joined. She's going through a really tough time and in the midst of trying to change her life. I assured her she was in the right place and she cried a little. It was a really heart-warming moment. 

Afterward, I had a block of free time and decided to grab coffee and a manicure. I walked in, sat down and chose a color... and then I looked on the wall and saw a NexGen poster. I have been looking for a place to dip powder in NYC for months! So I went for it and I love it. (I got S22 - Maryland.) I'm excited to see how long it lasts...

It took longer than I expected and I had to be back at the club at 2, so I ran home to make lunch around 1. I was expecting to eat leftovers, but I walked in the door and realized that Ben was working from home... and had already eaten 'em! Luckily I keep a base chopped salad in the fridge that I can just add some protein to at any point during the work week, so I chopped up some sliced Applegate ham and a hard boiled egg white. 

I also had a Garden Lites veggie muffin (I love these) with a tablespoon of strawberry jam.

After lunch, I headed back to the club to make some phone calls to prospective clients in the manager's office, but it was crazy busy in there so I decided to go back later this week instead. I head to my Physical Therapy appointment and did a strength workout with my PT after he checked out my back and said it's looking better. (Thank God.) On my walk from PT back to the club, I stopped at Juice Generation for a vegan pumpkin protein muffin. Yea, two muffins in one day. Weird. But this is so delicious with decent macros. I ate half on my walk to Equinox.

I bought a new book on my iPad, (The Perfect Neighbors - I love Sarah Pekkanen's books) and hopped on an elliptical. Ben showed up and got on the machine next to me. We talked a bit and I read a bit for 30 minutes. I walked home, ate the other half of the muffin, and showered before heading back to the club for my last session of the day. I also roasted a bunch of sugar snap peas for dinner. On weekdays when I have evening sessions, Ben and I divide and conquer dinner. I'll usually prep or start something and he'll do the rest before I get home for the night.

Dinner was chicken burgers with Sir Kensington's ketchup, roasted sugar snap peas and sauteed broccoli. 

Dessert was the remainder of my vanilla bean Halo Top with rainbow sprinkles while watching Bachelor in Paradise.

I've read quite a bit of books this summer and thought it'd be fun to share my favorites!

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer: My favorite book and a must-read. I have been following Amy Schumer's career since I saw her roast Charlie Sheen in 2011, and when I met Ben in 2012, I made him stop on her Comedy Central special "Mostly Sex Stuff" when he was flipping the channels one night early in our relationship. This was back when she was still doing smaller shows, and he got us tickets to see her live in September 2012. We saw Trainwreck the day it came out, and we're seeing her live again next month. We love her lots.

Elligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: This ties for first (with Amy's book, of course) for my favorite read this summer. I've been waiting YEARS for Curtis Sittenfeld to write another book after falling head over heels for both Prep and American Wife. This modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice was 1000% worth the wait!

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger: I read this in Greece and loved it. Perfect vacation read.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf: A great breakdown of the Paleo lifestyle for those of you interested in getting started.

And while I wasn't one of the best I've read, I do want to state for the record that I read Andi Dorfman's book and I believe everything she wrote about Josh Murray. Watching this season of Bach in Paradise, he seems SO different than I remember him being in Andi's season of The Bachelorette. He seemed like a total player, yes, but also cute and sweet. Now he comes across as disingenuous, bad-tempered and just gross, honestly. VIVA LA VIALL!

FRIDAY FIVE {8/26/2016}

This week started off on a frustrating note for me but definitely ended on a high one. My bulging disc is getting better, I have several new clients and all in all I'm vowing to have a positive attitude from here on out. One of my neighbors said something very wise to me today that I feel inclined to share with you all: from the womb to the tomb, we're all fighting battles and yet we are all lucky to be here and live each day we get. I see so much negativity out in the world. We all have setbacks, we all have tragedies, and we're all in charge of our own attitudes. I don't know WHY there are people in this world who are intent on being malicious, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to figure it out. Compliment a stranger, smile at everyone you see, and go put a little goodness in the world today. I decided that for the rest of the year I'm going to surprise someone different each week with a Starbucks gift card. Just sent my first one! Here are a few things I'm loving this week...

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Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer These days my highest commodities are sleep and concealer. This one definitely lives up to the name. 

AQUA Cashmere Miami Varsity Sweater My dad got me this! Thanks Dad! I can't wait to wear it when we're 'home' for the holidays this year!

S'Well Grey Malin Teal Ocean Water Bottle Too fab.

Beauty Blender Solid LOVE THIS. The solid bar stays sort of stuck in the container so all I have to do is wet my brushes, rub them against this and rinse them off. So easy!

Gorjana Candice Shimmer Ear Climbers I have a Gorjana gift card and I'm thinking of getting these. I love how they make a statement without hanging. (Drop earrings always get lost in my hair.)

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Linking up with Heather. Thanks for hosting!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Thanks for reading.

MONDAY MOTIVATION: 5 WAYS TO SHAKE UP YOUR DIET

Happy Monday! I woke up at 5, had a client at 6, and then walked home at 7. Ben was getting ready to head to the gym, so I quickly changed my shirt and walked to Starbucks with him, where his iced coffee was waiting for him, and he introduced me to his Starbucks 'Guy,' Matthew. WTF? Here I thought I was the Starbucks Star in our house... Apparently not...

So, I've been home from Greece exactly a week today, and I'm just now STARTING to feel I'm getting back into the swing of things, with one major exception. I'm dealing with a setback right now. I haven't talked about this on the blog, but I have mild scoliosis and live mostly pain-free, but every few years it seems to rear its ugly head. In college, I had bad back pain and went to the clinic, where the doctor there gave me some mysterious medicine shrink wrapped in plastic, like candy. To this day I have no idea what the hell it was, but I took it and the pain disappeared. In 2012, when I was doing a lot of SoulCycle, the pain came back and I went to a chiropractor for 6 weeks, and the pain went away again. In 2014, right after my mom died, I had so much neck and shoulder pain from the grief; there were days I literally couldn't pick my head up. I went to physical therapy for 6 weeks, and voila, better.

So there's definitely a pattern when it comes to my back, and I'm always careful. But shit happens, and now I have a bulging disc in my lumbar spine. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I just finished my pack of high dosage anti-inflammatory steroids and I'm in physical therapy. This could be so much worse and I'm grateful that the issue is solvable without surgery. But it definitely put a damper on our vacation and it's putting a serious cramp in my style. I haven't been exercising because I'd rather wait until I get clearance from my doctor. It's not worth it to me. But I'm going a little crazy right now. 

Getting to or being at your idea weight comes from two factors: diet and exercise. So if you're not seeing the scale budge but feel like you're giving it your all in the gym, here are 5 ways to shake up your diet.

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1. Eliminate something. At the beginning of this year, I cut out grains for two weeks and it pretty much changed my life. I have since learned that my body much prefers to live without gluten. I'm not celiac but there's no denying how much my joints ache after having bread or most any other kind of grain. I feel awful! Currently I'm trying to live without dairy as well which is much more challenging for me. If you're thinking of going Paleo, trying Whole30, or something else along those lines, consider eliminating one thing (grains, dairy, or gluten perhaps) for two weeks and seeing how you feel.

2. Redefine your 'healthy' choices. Health is subjective, and the foods you choose should reflect what you want in your life, whether that's to sleep better, lose weight or gain mass. The more I talk to clients, the more I realize that we could all stand to scrutinize what we're eating (how on earth did Kind bars and avocado toast get the reps of "superfoods"...) and rethink some of our choices. Personally, I'm no longer buying gluten-free cereals because I realized it was a mindless food for me and wasn't really giving me anything other than something to munch on when I was bored. What foods in your refrigerator or pantry could you stand to replace?

3. Change your meal scheme. Right now I'm trying to focus on eating three square meals, because I feel like when I eat mini meals, I end up eating more than I need because I'm eating every few hours.

4. Cut out alcohol. This is everyone's least favorite, but I highly recommend trying this. Give yourself a set amount of time. If you're not quite ready to delve into Whole30, make your own 'Semi30' and cut out alcohol and one other thing for a month. Chances are you'll see a difference in how you look, feel and perform in 30 days!

5. Follow me on Snapchat. Here's the shameless plug you've been waiting for! I post most of my meals on Snapchat (username = teddisetgo). I see that some of you have been screen-shotting my meals which excites me. That's awesome. I eat a lot of different things (mostly Paleo/Paleo-ish) that I hope will inspire you in your own kitchen. Screen shot away! But if you screen shot a selfie of me, like someone did on Saturday, I will block you. Because that's just odd.

P.S. The first photo is the view we had from breakfast each day at our resort in Santorini and the second photo is takeout from Pitogyros (and the best tzatziki I've ever had!). I miss pita, but I do not miss how sluggish I felt after eating it... 

Gluten. You bastard.

FRIDAY FIVE {8/19/2016}

I'm baaa-aaack! I have SO much to tell you guys but for now I'll just chat about my five favorite beauty related items this week (all products I brought to Greece) and next week I'll try to get my head on straight and get back to our (somewhat) regularly scheduled programming.

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1. Redken Beach Envy Wave Aid This saved me in Greece! I didn't bring any electric styling tools with me for fear that it'd be a waste of space (Perri once ruined an expensive flat iron abroad, and none of my tools worked in Israel). It also just felt like a way for me to sort of unwind and not worry about what my hair looked like. This (paired with the travel sized shampoo and conditioner) gave my hair a little bit of life in a VERY humid climate.

2. Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes I've talked about these before but have to reiterate my love. I use these to remove face makeup and to scrub off the remainders of an old spray tan. It works MUCH better than an exfoliator. 

3. Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner & Double Ended Liner Brush I don't wear mascara or any makeup on my top lid because of my eyelash extensions, but putting a thin line of this on my lower lash line makes a WORLD of difference and stays in put during long days on the gym floor.

4. SCUNCI Headbands These are my latest secret hair weapon, and I can't believe it took me almost 32 years to figure out this hack. *hangs head in shame* If I don't have time to heat style my hair, the first thing I do after combing through my wet hair is slip on one of these headbands. The product I use varies (sometimes it's the Wave Aid, other times I layer Bumble & bumble Defrizz, Don't Blow It and Surf Infusion) but keeping on the headband until my hair dries ensures the top and front of my hair is smooth and frizz free. UGH why did it take so long for me to figure that out?!

5. Sephora Eyebrow Editor Complete Brow Kit I love this brow kit because it houses everything you need in one neat little compact - perfect for throwing into your gym bag or daily tote!

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Linking up with Heather. Thanks for hosting!

Happy Friday! Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see ya next week.

P.S. The winner of my Super Saturday giveaway has been drawn and contacted. Congrats, Caitlin!

FRIDAY FIVE {8/5/2016}

Wow! What a difference a week makes! This was a great one and I'm excited to see what August and the end of summer brings. Almost 10 months to the day after our wedding, Ben and I are taking a much-anticipated honeymoon, so be sure to follow along on Instagram and Snapchat (username is teddisetgo). 

Here are my favs this week...

1. Nike 'Pro - Classic' Sports Bra Even though I'm a full-fledged member of the IBTC, I LOVE how supported this bra makes me feel. I usually don't use the pads that these came with, but I do like having the option. (Psst...I pair this bra with this top that is also included in the Nordstrom sale right now!)

2. Michael Stars Cami Open Back Dress I scored this at Super Saturday (in purple) and found it at an awesome sale price for you, too!

3. Gorjana 'Mika' Crystal Ear Jackets Have you entered my giveaway yet? The gift bag may or may not include a gorgeous pair of earrings that look like these...

4. Pintrill I'm kind of obsessing over these little enamel pins I keep seeing everywhere. My dad and Perri picked up a few at Urban Outfitters last weekend, and then I received one in my POPSUGAR Must Have Box. I put it on my denim jacket...too cute.

5. Leith Ruffle Tank I bought this over the weekend. Blush pink + ruffles = can't go wrong.

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Linking up with Heather. Thanks for hosting!

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

SUMMER STYLE: SUPER SATURDAY {GIVEAWAY!!!}

Super Saturday is hands down one of my favorite weekends of the year. This year was the first year that I stopped and noticed all the little kids there and thought about bringing my own baby with me some year. It's an incredible charity event that's become a tradition in our family and a part of our lives. (Read about my experience there last year.)

It was extra fun for me this year to decide what to wear, as I spend 95% of my time in either black spandex or pajamas. (Honestly I prefer to sleep sans PJs in the summer like the true Floridian I am, but Ben keeps it so cold in our apartment that I'm forced to wear the whole enchilada, including socks. Yes, SOCKS!) I settled on a fun top and shorts set, comfortable wedges and a cross body bag for easy movement.

{On me: Top, Shorts, Earrings, Bag, Shoes. On Perri: Romper, Bag.}

I think the food may have been my favorite part of the day. Sant Ambroeus caters and it's just fantastic. If the buffet line hadn't been so long, I definitely would've gone back for seconds (and thirds). Instead, I hightailed it to the dessert table after this plate below was finished and had a grand ole time.

My dad was kind enough to donate his VIP gift bag (thanks, Dad!) to TSG, which means, yes, one of you lucky ladies (or lads) will be winning the amazing swag bag Perri is holding in the picture below!

The gift bag has tons of fun stuff in it including products from Carolee, Donna KaranDr. HauschkaGorjana, John Masters Organics, Sol de Janeiro and more.

So what are you waiting for? Enter below!

US residents only, please. This bag is HEAVY and will be costly to ship. Thanks for understanding!