Checking More Things off My List

My “do one thing a day I’ve been procrastinating” streak continues…

April 4:  (Re)sync my Pebble watch

Last year I bought a Pebble watch because the magic little thing will show you text messages, phone calls, and any other sort of notification you choose…all while counting your steps or tracking your sleep.  It’s the cool kid underground alternative to the Apple watch.


When it originally arrived, I was pretty proud of myself for syncing it with my phone all on my own.  Being married to a tech expert has made me basically incapable of handling any electronic device on my own, but, Chris was on a 10 day hunting extravaganza on a mountain top in Colorado when the watch arrived last year and I wanted him to think I was so cool for buying it and syncing it all on my own.

Fast forward to a few months ago…I got a new iPhone which meant I needed to resync my Pebble watch.  Suddenly, I told myself it was too complicated or that I’d “do it this weekend” and all I’ve done is see the watch on my night stand every night and occasionally charge it when I see the battery is low.

Today I opened the Pebble app on my phone, hit “sync” and cancel and “sync” again until it found my watch, and anywhere from 3-4 minutes later I was up and running again.

4 months of procrastinating something that took me 4 minutes total.

April 5:  Print photos

Last summer-ish, Chris and I had photos taken together just ’cause (reference previous posts about my advocacy for professional photos just ’cause).  I posted those puppies on Facebook, Instagram, and text them to anyone who would look at them.  I had this dream that I’d have them printed and framed…one for Chris’ work desk (to replace the 8 year old photo I know he has up), one for my work desk (to replace the same 8 year old photo I have up), some to send our parents and grandparents, and then some to strategically place in 4×6 frames around the house in the perfect spot in between a candle and some sort of table book.

Chris and Brooke

So here we are in April.  Not a single photo was printed.

As I was shutting down at work tonight I decided to stay behind for another 20 minutes to upload my pictures on the Walgreen’s website.  I figured I’d upload them and then swing by after work one night this week to pick them up.

What took me the longest amount of time was just figuring out if I wanted 4×6 or 5×7 and how many of each to get since I was planning to send some to family members.  20 minutes later I had a Walgreens login, a virtual basket full of photos, and a coupon code that I found on google and took a 50/50 chance that I’d get a virus on my work laptop when I clicked “show coupon code.”  I saved $12 thanks to my risky behavior.  $22 and a paypal login later I was not only ordering said pictures, I was selecting “ship” and avoiding having to stop to pick them up altogether.

Maybe next summer I’ll by some frames.

April 6:  Order BELONG tour tickets

I have been going to the Women of Faith Conference for the last 4 or 5 years.  I always love it and I always go by myself (except one year I took my mom and Grandma) because it’s a good way to recharge, listen to amazing music, listen to amazing speakers, and take notes in my phone on things I hear and reference all year.  Last year was the “Farewell Tour” for Women of Faith, which was somewhat confusing because it made it sound like the conference was going away altogether.  I think they were just saying goodbye to some of the founding organizers/speakers and are reviving the whole thing under a different name with younger (“younger” in my world these days means mid 30’s through 50’s) speakers, authors, etc.

In any case, if you’re wondering why this is on the list…it’s because they are now calling it the “BELONG tour” (or at least there is a tour with similar speakers going by that name…so in my mind it’s the new Women of Faith).  I get emails from them often reminding me the tour is in August and I need to buy tickets.  I keep saving the emails as a reminder and then keep procrastinating buying them.  I’ve missed out on promo codes and free t-shirts alike all because I couldn’t spend 5 minutes to log onto Ticketmaster.

As of today, I have my e-ticket and am sitting in the lower level.

Belong tour

April 7:  Car tune up

As of this month, I am hitting the 10 year anniversary of owning my Honda Civic, also known as the first car I ever bought myself.  For about 8 of those years I’ve been planning to one day buy a black Mercedes with tinted windows.  I think I’ve just been listening to too much rap music or parking in corporate America parking garages too long.  But, in the meantime (also known as likely a couple more years) I plan on driving the Honda until it just won’t drive anymore.  So…Chris recommended I get a general tune up.  You know, new tires, brakes, other things I never realize I need, struts (maybe?), and mechanical stuff that costs a lot.

So today I got all of those things and I can’t even take credit for any of it.  Chris had the day off work and sat at the shop (where my brother-in-law works) all day while my car got it’s internal makeover.

I never said I wouldn’t outsource my list!

April 8:  Clean out Yahoo! email

Remember what life was like before we all had 47 email accounts and 76 different passwords for things?!  I assume everyone has an email that has their nickname and college name in it, an email account with their formal name for resumes, another email with gmail because everyone that is cool went to gmail, a few other emails for business ideas or to field blog fan mail, a work email, and another email that LinkedIn notes go to and get lost for all of eternity?

While I’m super organized and on top of work email….my primary yahoo account gets out of control.  I read all the things I’m supposed to read, but there’s no folders, emails I’ve read hang out in there forever, I mark some as “unread” because I want to remember to “re-read” it to do that thing that I was supposed to do forever ago, etc.

I spent today just simply going through and deleting all the old iTunes receipts, receipts from old flights and hotels from vacations long ago, email receipts from bills I paid online, etc.

This task is going to need a revisit.  I need to update my folders.  I guess I feel good for today just knowing email reminders from Turbo Tax in 2009 and receipts from medical bills that were paid 4 years ago are officially out of my inbox.



Marking Things off the Eternal To-Do List

My goal this month is to do one thing a day that I’ve been procrastinating.

Background:  I’m not a procrastinator, really.  I am organized and do things right away and keep to do lists and have a super clean house…for real (oh yeah, I’m perfect too).  No, really, I really do pride myself on being on top of stuff – which is why blogging this month is a little uncomfortable because I’ll be posting about stupid $h*t that I put off forever and ever.  My plan is to get 30 things done this month that bug me nearly everyday but I spend more time being annoyed than actually doing it.  My hope is that you’ll read about what I’m doing and you’ll be inspired to mark a few things off your list too!

Let the productivity commence…

April 1:  Put new tags on my car.

So dumb.  It takes anywhere from 5-7 seconds.  When I get the registration renewal in the mail, I hop online and order my new tags asap.  I then drive around for a month with the envelope and new sticker riding shot gun and am too lazy or busy or just whatever to open the envelope and put the sticker on.

The sticker is officially on now and I’m legal to be on the roads again.  I broke the sticker because the bottom half went onto my license plate cover.  How does one break a sticker?  Don’t know?  I didn’t say I’d be perfect, I just that I’d get things done.

April 2:  Clean inside of washer.

No one really talks about cleaning their washer, other than those random Pinterest posts that give you some science experiment type of ingredients that you’re supposed to put in there and run a cycle, or something.  I wasn’t planning on doing all that nonsense, I just needed to clean the rim of the inside of the washer.

I noticed it needed cleaned, basically 3 years ago <<cringes in embarrassment>>, okay, 6 years ago, but I did what any responsible adult would do – I just ignored it.  My clothes came out clean, so, we’re good.  But every week when I put laundry in there I think ‘sick, this needs cleaned’ <<shuts top and starts load and ignores it until next week>>.

I don’t even want to post these pictures because it’s gross and I don’t want to be the gross kid on the block.  But, here’s to hoping this sick stuff is inspiring someone somewhere…




washer 2

I still don’t really know how to clean down into that center thing.  But after using nearly a whole roll of paper towels and cleaning the rim and wanting to puke, I called it a success.  I’m assuming someone will private message me on how to clean that center part.  You guys, I may start a blog post on all the private messages I get after my posts…you’d be surprised at the life advice people give me on the down low.

While I was fooling around in the laundry room, I also used the lint roller over some clothes I’ve had in there for weeks that were clean but had tissue all over them because sometimes I like to wash my clothes with a tissue in the pocket just to keep life exciting.

April 3:  Clean out sock drawer

Every morning I am faced with a sock drawer that look like this….

Not pictured:  another drawer to catch overflow socks, tights, and underwear

socks before

The black blob in this pictures is 6-7 pairs of tights.  I can never actually find socks to wear that don’t have a hole in them or that are what I’m actually looking for – but I find something that will suffice, shut the drawer, and then start the routine over the next morning.  I really get in a bind when I do laundry and have to shove a handful of clean socks in there.  I feel like I have no socks to wear, but I can’t quite shut the drawer all the way.

I turned on my favorite music and dumped the drawer out.

socks during

15 minutes later…voila!  Good thing I wasted 15 months thinking about it.

socks after

I took care of the secondary/overflow drawer while I was at it.

Cheers to a productive weekend!





10 Things I’ve Learned from Doing a Fitness Photo Shoot

My goal this month was to do a fitness photo shoot after 8 weeks-ish of eating clean and working out.  I was not perfect on my eating/workout plan <<shakes fist at the people who are>>, but there was a photo shoot, and this is what I learned…

Take the Freaking Pictures – You will never be in shape enough or have your hair perfect enough or your face flawless enough or your clothes trendy enough for a photo shoot.  There are SO many photo shoots that will never happen because people think they’re not “ready yet.”  I hate that and I have a tendency to think that too.  I’m the first to delete a picture where my face look puffy or my stomach doesn’t look flat enough.  Just take the pictures.  Do not live a life of your only photo being a glamour shot from 1996.  I’m not campaigning for “fitness photo shoots” for all per se, I’m just saying, take some nice family pictures, people.  If your face breaks out or your arms look fat…well…that’s life…and for me personally, I’m tired of pretending it’s not.

The “hand on hip” Pose is Here to Stay – Oh man, I tried to resist it.  I tried to get women everywhere, across the globe, to come to some sort of woman-agreement that we could all just stop doing it.  We’d stop standing in a line up and being that one token woman with her hand on her hip on the end.  But, I mean, we just all look thinner that way.  I so want to look just as good with my arms down, but, it’s this weird trick someone discovered somewhere and once the word got out to all of us, we just can’t stop doing it.

Stop Waiting for a Special Event – Stop waiting for a holiday or special event to get pictures taken.  We’re in an age where people are taking selfies everyday, and in some instances, we kind of wish they’d stop.  But, in general, just book a professional photo shoot just because.  Just because the last nice pictures of you and your husband were 8 years ago.  Just because your hair is darker now than it once was.  Just because your Grandma might like an updated picture of you.  Just because you found a cool photographer you like.  Just because you don’t want your LinkedIn profile to include the semi-cropped shoulder of your best friend (nothing says “hire me” more than bar lighting and strands of hair from your bestie creepin’ into your headshot).  Special note:  if you are married but do not have kids, I’m talkin’ to you.  Chris and I have been married for 7.5 years and unless I set something up over the summer…literally…the last “professional” picture we would have had together was….well….I was blonder….and 15lbs lighter….and I had a wedding dress on.  If you don’t have kids and you don’t do yearly Christmas cards with family photos, I think it’s super easy to feel like you don’t have a good enough excuse for professional photos.  And when people saw our professional pictures or asked me why we had them done, I was totally comfortable saying “just because.”  I look at the photos and I love them.  I love that we look our current age in them.  I love that we’re wearing our current clothes.  I love that we’re in the city we currently live in.  Just book a photo shoot, just because.

Wear the Black – Just be who you are.  I spent far too long stressing over my outfit for my fitness photos when in reality, I wear all black when I workout….so….I went with all black.  Just be you.

Bring Your Friends – Since Jan 1, I had a small group of women who were working towards fitness goals and were participating in the photo shoot too.  It made the experience 10x better.  I may have been the so-called leader of the group simply because I coordinated the shoot and started the Facebook page, but let me tell you, I wasn’t the most motivated.  You don’t have to be perfect to put together a group of women moving in similar directions.  They’ll carry you when you can’t do it sometimes.

Show Me the Proofs – Working with a great photographer is one thing…working with a photographer who sends you a link to your gallery within a week of your shoot is another!  Bravo, Kimberly….Bravo!  (

Everyone is Prettier with Lipstick On – Truth.  So you better wear it when you get photos done.

…But She’s in Better Shape than Me – While I say that having a group of peeps to do fitness challenges or photo shoots with is better, which it is…that doesn’t mean we’re not human and we don’t compare ourselves to others (women, am I right?!).  Above all the lessons this month, I have (and continue to) learn to just be the best me and accept whatever that is at that time.  I have friends who look absolutely amazing and fitness is a huge focus in their life.  If I waste too much of my life comparing myself to them and not taking my full day/life/interests/schedule/genetics/motivation/whatever into account, then I’d sit on my couch and cry all day.  You just can’t do that to yourself.  The moment we can stop drowning in comparisons is the moment we can finally celebrate other people’s accomplishments authentically and wholeheartedly.

All In or All Out – I continue to learn lessons of my “all in” or “all out” personality.  I am either chicken breasts, brown rice, and broccoli, or I’m pizza and breadsticks with pizza on the side and more breadsticks on top.  The desire to be healthy has to come from a deep place inside.  No blog, fitness photo shoot, or group of friends with similar goals can control what I eat at the end of the day.

Handstands for Life – The fact that I can still do a handstand for a photo shoot, at the age of 33 (now 34 as of Friday), makes me happy.  I hope I can channel that inner-gymnast for many years to come.

I did it!








The Official Photos from the Photo Shoot

If you’ve ever wanted to see a ridiculous amount of photos of me – you’re in luck!  I present you with the following blog post…

Photos by ©Kimberly Potterf Photography |



Sydney and Brooke_web

Yoga close up_web

Fitness side look_web

black and white yoga 2_web

Black and white fitness_web

Black and white fitness close up_web

Black and white casual standing_web

Black and white headshot_web

Black and white headshot 2_web

Headshot side_web

Brooke Ignet Hocker

Yoga color_web


I’ll be back at the end of the month to share the 10 things I’ve learned from this experience!






Tilt Your Head, A Little More, A Little More, Okay Just a Little More

Well, I survived the fitness photo shoot <<flips hair, blows kiss>>

As mentioned in my last post, I was not the main event at the photo shoot last weekend.  7 other friends/co-workers joined me after 8 weeks of setting fitness related goals.  We all had a 25 minute slot with the first person kicking off at 10 a.m. and friends coming and going every 30 minutes.  I went last so we could make sure everyone stayed on time, and somehow I made that translate into spraying my hair with hairspray every 45 minutes for 4 hours just to make sure my hair held as tight as it did at my senior prom.

Some ladies wore business attire to get a refreshed corporate headshot, some wore casual clothes and looked so pretty with their lipstick and statement necklaces, and some wore fitness clothes after getting into tip top shape.  Every woman had 2 different outfits and it seemed like everyone left happy.

I wrote before that our photographer took the photos hanging in the Columbus LuLu Lemon stores.  She has a real name, which is Kimberly.  She was awesome and a fellow OU alum (go Bobcats! <<toe touch>>).  She played music and made all of us feel comfortable even when we were leaning awkwardly against brick walls or the arm of a couch or were in a pose we could swear looked cute when we practiced it at home.  She has the coolest/cutest studio in Grandview and she was so flexible with whatever we wanted to do.  If you ever need photos done and you’re in the Columbus area, I’d highly recommend!  I’m currently thinking of more excuses to have her do pics and I haven’t even seen the finished product of these yet!

Flashback to before the photo shoot….

After a trip to Easton to try on every colorful workout tank they had to offer and circling GAP enough times for them to think I was casing the joint…I didn’t end up buying anything new for the photo shoot.  Womp Womp.  I had envisioned strutting into each store about 15lbs lighter than I started and my only real worry being that everything looked too good that I couldn’t decide what to buy (you know I live my life in extremes), but, none of that happened.  I basically pouted around and everything was unflattering….so….I went home and did what any reasonable woman would do…I text my friends to tell them I looked horrible and felt horrible and wasn’t even excited anymore.  You know, mature stuff like that.  Then, I tried on nearly every outfit in my closet and kept asking Chris how I looked while telling him he has to like turquoise better than royal blue because my royal blue shirt is dirty and I normally have it dry cleaned and have no idea how to wash it.

Friends said not to wear all black, so, naturally, I wore all black.  For my fitness photos I wore black yoga pants, a black tank, and a black jacket (only wore the jacket in some).  The jacket did have some purple in it if that counts.  For my other outfit, I wore black dress pants that were like pencil pants or skinny pants of sorts, a turquoise shirt, and my black Christian Louboutin’s….cause….that was my consolation for not feeling all that fit in my fit photos.  I was all ‘if I’m blamin’ work on my lack of workouts lately, imma wear the most ‘spensive shoes in my closet.’  Plus, I always say they’re really more of a standing and posing type of shoe vs. a functional walking around type of shoe.

My sister participated in the shoot too, so I did get some pics with her while in my fitness clothes.  I squeezed in some handstand pics too, of course.

So as all my friends and my sister left for the day and I was the last one with Kimberly the photographer, I sat on a chair in my semi-dressy clothes and my red bottom shoes with my legs crossed to the side and my arm up on the back of the chair.  Kimberly said “you look very executive” as she took the final shots.  That pretty much made my day and made the whole thing worth it.  All of it.  All the work hours.  All the long days.  All the coordinating of everything.  All of the classes I took to complete my MBA which is what earned me those shoes.  All the struggles I had with putting more energy into work than into the gym.  At that point, that statement (and hopefully that pic) captured the real me.  Yeah….I like to workout.  And yeah….I have been in a gym since I was 4 years old.  And yeah…I started a fitness group and made 7 other people get fitness pics.  And yeah….I did lose some weight for these photos.  But, there’s way more to me than that – and for those 5 seconds – I felt like she saw that through her lens.

Now….we just wait for the photos….

Here’s some behind the scenes shots.

Outdoor shots

outside pose

Some yogi-like pics

yoga pose

In between shoots with my bestie, Jen

jen and brooke

My sis & me

sydney and brooke



To Show the Midriff or Not to Show the Midriff

If you’re just reading our blog for the first time, welcome!  Angela and I try a new goal every month – we share all our feelings and highs and lows (and the occasional selfie) about the situation and end up learning more than we expect each month.

My goal this month is “preparing for a fitness photo shoot.”

When we were planning our goals for 2016, I strategically kept the first quarter of the year focused on health related goals.  A little cliche and not all that edgy, but I needed to reel it in a bit from whatever type of carb consumption world record I was clearly shooting for in the winter.  So, I “ate like a fitness competitor” in January and I “learned to box” in February, so, I should look like an amazing fitness model by now and should plan a photo shoot, right?  Or something.

For 14 months I have blogged in a format where I give my loyal readers (hey, mom!) a day-by-day recap of the monthly goal.  This month, I won’t be doing that.  I’ll give you the general scoop and go back to day-by-day in April (spoiler alert:  April is doing one thing per day that I’ve been procrastinating.  It all centers around finally getting my passport updated with my married name, you know, since we’ve been married for 7.5 years now).

Anyway, here’s a bullet point list (in case you’re a skimmer like me) of what has gone down for this goal…

*Since Jan 1 I’ve had a private Facebook page with about 15 other women (my friends, coworkers, etc) where we’ve all been health-focused.  Everyone has different goals but we all post on the page about what we’re up to as far as workouts go.  My friend, Katie, posts a weekly challenge for us every weekend.  I set the page up with intentions of everyone focusing on getting healthier for 12 weeks, and somewhere near the end of that 12 weeks we’d do a photo shoot where everyone could get some individual pics taken once they felt fab.

*There is a real photo shoot day on the books!  And, 9 of us from the group are participating!  This coming Sunday we’ll be working our best poses and wearing too much lipstick.

*Our photographer is the woman behind the pics at the Polaris and Easton LuLu Lemon stores.  I mean….perfect, right?!

*Due to working too much (I know, that phrase is like on repeat on my blog posts this year…it’s a busy time at the ole Nationwide headquarters these days!) I’m pretty sure I have to ditch my dream of posing in some sort of sports bra top in a very “look at my abs, I accidentally look amazing” pose.  You know, the one where I just accidentally have my perfect beachy waved hair fanning out on the sides and I’m looking offset at a friend and laughing while my abs form a super chiseled look, effortlessly of course.  The accidental perfect shot.  The picture that people say is so great and all I can do is shrug and go “I don’t know, I mean, do you think I really should use that as my Facebook profile pic?” and then blast post on all social media channels on repeat.  The picture that I look back on in 10 years and say “wow, look how great of shape I was in.”  The picture that my husband shows all his friends and says “look how great Brooke looks, she is amazing and perfect and beautiful and look at her abs.”  Oh….dreams….they’re fun.  Anyway, I am going with my back up plan of one workout outfit (sans a midriff reveal) and one casual outfit so I have some nice “normal” pics.  Work you guys…..I blame it on work. 

*I have yet to find the perfect outfit(s) and am placing all of the pressure regarding fashion on the small window of time I will have to shop on Friday night.

*Because I heard a photographer friend say once that you shouldn’t wait for just special events or when you look perfect to do photos, I am proceeding with the photo shoot despite a couple (or twenty) slip ups on the ole diet and the people at my gym forgetting I even have a membership.

*I just really want all of the women participating in the photo shoot to have some pictures where they feel happy and healthy.  A picture that’s not a selfie or some blurry old photo.  I just want everyone to feel beautiful.

*Throwback Thursday to November’s goal, I’m on the last leg of writing my book.  The end is in sight.  <<comment inserted as another excuse to why I’m not sporting a 6 pack for this photo shoot>>



10 Things I’ve Learned from Boxing for 29 Days

My goal this month was to taking boxing classes.  It wasn’t a goal I could do everyday per se, I mean, I guess I could’ve, but I knew going into it I wouldn’t be hittin’ the bag everyday because of my schedule and the intensity of the workouts.  This month got a little derailed with an overload of work at my day job, but I limped through to the best of my ability despite ending the month while sick.  So, here’s what I’ve learned on an imperfect month of pulling off this goal…

Feel Dumb, But Go Anyway – No one feels confident when they walk into a boxing place with zero experience which I believe is the primary reason people never get it a’ go.  You will feel dumb.  Just like every new thing.  And you know what?  No one cares.  Everyone knows you don’t know what you’re doing….bring humor and ask questions and literally an hour later you’ll feel so proud of yourself and no one will make fun of you.  If they do, you’ll at least know how to throw a punch.

Buy Your Own Wraps and Gloves – Shared boxing gloves are D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G.  Just get through the sweaty gross gloves the first time, but buy your own asap so you don’t feel like you’re picking up random diseases along the way.  Plus, who doesn’t want their own boxing gloves?!

Jog in Place if You Must – Whatever you do, whether you’re doing a boot camp class or a boxing class or some random stair climbing fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis where you have to climb a high rise set of stairs as fast as possible and feel like you’re dying and vow to never do it again (you know, just for a random example), get your heart rate up before you go full force.  The hardest part of boxing at Title Boxing, in my opinion, and in the opinion of everyone around me who looks miserable, is the warm up.  You can’t just stand there with a resting heart rate of 98 and then take off sprinting and actually think you’re going to live to see the boxing part of the class.  Walk on the nearest treadmill if you get there early, do some jumping jacks or jog in place while you’re picking out your punching bag and stretching out.  Trust me, just do some sort of side warm up that makes you feel stupid but gets your heart rate up a little and you’ll thank yourself when you’re not having to limp off to the side gasping for what feels like your last breath in this life.

Don’t Wear Yoga Pants to Box – Pants have never felt hotter in my life until I was boxing and sweating my a$$ off in ankle length overpriced LuLu Lemon pants that had never been tighter and stuck to my sweaty legs.  At least sport a capri.

Know Where You’re At – If you’re in a season of having to put in a lot of hours at work or something else that has your attention – just know where you’re at and don’t get hard on yourself if you can’t make it to a boxing class even though you signed up for a monthly membership and created a public blog about boxing. <<hangs head in the constant ongoing life lessons about seasons of life>>

If You’re Going to Workout for an Hour, Box – A guy on YouTube said boxing burns 1,000 calories.  If you can muster up the energy and you only have 1 hour to workout, box it up.  It by far beats any other workout I’ve done.

Stay in the Zone – I thought I’d channel things that piss me off when I did a boxing class.  The fact of the matter is, you have to just stay focused on what you’re doing and block out all the other noise.  You have to stay in the zone and listen to the instructor and focus on good form.  Don’t go in thinking you’ll be envisioning your enemies – there’s no time – and not enough mental capacity for all of that.

Eat Right – You can’t even go to a boxing club and run laps and do burpees and throw punches and do abs if you’re workin’ off large pieces of lasagna and breadsticks and pizza and other crap that you shouldn’t eat in the first place.  You have to eat right, you just have to.

Bring an Entourage – Traditionally, I like to do most things by myself.  Only child syndrome and what not….but I have found that the couple classes where a friend joined me was way more fun.  It held me accountable and gave me the boost I needed when we could glance at each other with the “this is miserable, isn’t it?” look.

Have Them Wrap Your Wrists – No one really knows the correct way to wrap their own wrists for boxing.  Just ask them to do it for you, because, well, you have better things to worry about in this life.

I did it.

I am a member of Title Boxing now, so these adventures will continue.


Throwing Some Kicks in With Those Punches

This is the longest I’ve gone between blog posts, ugh.  I guess I can write about this in my month-end recap, but sometimes pride gets in the way and I hate the fact that I haven’t been able to keep up with posting this month after successfully posting every few days for all of 2015.  But, work has been busy in a way that I’ve just had to put my attention there more than normal – and this goal isn’t one I’ve been able to do literally every single day so it seemed anticlimactic.

Anyway, here’s boxing life…

Feb 9 – Feb 14:  Thanks to work and all things adult responsibility related, I didn’t put on the ole gloves these days.  I ate some chocolate Valentine’s day candy in there too.

Feb 15:  Monday at 7:30pm seems to be my night for boxing.  I knew I had to go because, well, this blog, and I am a paying member now…but I can’t say that 7:30pm when it’s absolutely freezing and you’re exhausted is very appealing.  I stayed late at work since I don’t have time to drive home first with traffic and all, but I wasn’t prepared with dinner in between there.  So I made the brilliant decision to stop at Bob Evans and eat dinner before boxing.  In theory, okay.  In reality, eating a baked potato a mere 25 minutes before sprinting laps and doing burpee related moves wasn’t my best idea this month.  I made it through and sweat a ton so all-in-all it was alright, but I got to look at cartoon potatoes in workout clothes thanks to a little google search Chris couldn’t stop himself from doing while I told him about class.

Feb 16:  Boxing is one thing….kickboxing is another.  I decided I was going to have to branch out and give kickboxing a try if I was going to be somewhat consistent with going to Title Boxing.  They offer boxing one day and kickboxing on the opposite (at least at the times I can go).  I’ve done kickboxing at Urban Active before, but it was in an aerobics room with no bags and no gloves and was choreographed to Madonna remix songs.  So, I guess technically I hadn’t done kickboxing.  I arrived around 7pm so the instructor could show me and the 6 other “new” girls the kickboxing moves (sidenote – it was tonight that I realized most members….at least most members who show up for 7:30pm classes….are girls.  Skinny girls.  Skinny girls who were probably in sororities.  Skinny girls who probably work in a marketing department somewhere and take selfies with their coffees on Saturday and Sunday mornings).  So me and the Delta Zeta crew learned our kicks and punches and class got rollin’.

It’s the same basic format as boxing…15 minute warm up where you think you’re dying, 30-ish minutes on the bags, and then 15 minutes of abs.  I realized tonight that 1) the time on the bags are broken down into 8 (3 minute) rounds.  2) I do better when I’m on a bag where I can’t see the clock.

The one thing I didn’t like about kickboxing was the tingling sensation I would get when I would knee or kick the bag.  I don’t know if it’s because I was cold, or I have some nerve damaged somewhere, or what….but hitting my shin on the bag would send this tingle up my body that made me feel like the house mom to the Delta Zeta crew vs. one of their own.

I kept up well and by the time we did a 60 second burn out of hooks on the last round I got this crazy sensation of energy and felt like I was actually taking out aggression or kicking someones a$$ (as noted in my previous blog, you’re so exhausted and sweaty and miserable at points….there’s really no time or mental capacity to channel certain situations and anger and think about them while you’re punching).  But in this moment, I felt strong.

I love the abs part of the workout.  I also love how you couldn’t pay me money to get on that floor when I walk in, and by the end I’m rolling all around on it while sweaty when we flip back and forth from ab to back exercises.

Feb 17:   My left shoulder hurts.  It’s safe to say my body hurts, but my ole left shoulder gymnastics injury that will never really go away came creeping back in today.  I knew when he showed us how to hit the bag with our forearm/elbow area it would be bad news bears for my shoulder.

Feb 18 – Feb 19:  My poor shoulder still hurts.  I know I can’t go back to boxing until it feels better.

Feb 19:  Shoulder feeling better and I decide Feb 22 will be the next time I box again.

Feb 20:  I weigh myself after some bad food choices dating back to Valentine’s day and sprinkled throughout the week and am more than pleased to see I’ve maintained my 6lb weight loss from last month.  I blame it on the massive amount of calories you burn through boxing that must’ve offsite some bread intake here or there.  My goal next month is to prepare for a fitness photo shoot, so that was enough to re-energize me to eat healthy until then and I even made dinner for myself at home….on a Saturday….and it included broccoli.

Feb 21:  I have to offset all this punching with a little zen.  It’s yoga today but back on the bags tomorrow.

First Shot Free

This month, the goal is to take boxing classes.  Fists up….

Feb 1:  I had been thinking about trying boxing for 6 months or so.  My friends, Katie and Elizabeth, are regulars at Title Boxing and love it, so I knew I had to check it out.  Prior to this month, I have actually stopped in Title Boxing to get the scoop (imagining a tour of the facility, some great information about boxing, watching a class in progress, etc).  In reality, they handed me a calendar of classes and told me to call if I want to attend a class and they’ll meet me 20 minutes early to tell me what I need to know.  I never went.  I felt out of shape and intimidated…as much as I hate to admit that because I want to be super confident and cool.

7:30pm was the only feasible option in their line up of class times for the day.  I was semi-bitter about it all day because it seemed so late and is that awkward timing where I can’t go home after work because of traffic, but I can’t go there straight from work unless I work late.  Thankfully, a coworker told me in the late afternoon she would join me, which made me stop complaining and decide to get excited.

I arrived at Title Boxing around 7pm where they sold me wrist wraps ($5), they wrapped my wrists, they pointed me to boxing gloves I could borrow from the gym (also known as super disgusting boxing gloves that other strangers have sweat in for hours on end.  Never mind the part where I grabbed kid gloves on accident and they sent me back to get the correct ones), and then they showed me and my friend the 6 hits (shots? swings? still learning boxing lingo).

I had nothing to lose.  Your first shot is free (aka first class is free).

So the classes go as follows….

15 minute warm up – boot camp style.  Running around in a circle, shuffling to the side, jumping jacks, push ups, burpees, jumping side to side, jump roping with an imaginary jump rope, etc.  Literally, the warm up in itself can have you exhausted and you haven’t even put gloves on yet.

30 minute boxing on the bag – everyone gets their own bag at Title Boxing and you literally can’t feel stupid because no one is watching you.  Everyone is so focused on looking at and punching their own bag there’s no time for looking around.

15 minute abs – Various ab exercises on the dirty floor.

I did it!  I was sweating like a crazy person.  I was convinced that I had dropped 10lbs and my abs were poppin’ by the time I left.

As I came home with sweaty smelly wrist wraps and an exhaustion I hadn’t felt in years, I felt a little bit of a high over the whole thing.  As I walked in the door around 9pm, I was quickly taken back to my gymnastics days when I would walk in slightly after 9pm, sweaty and smelly grips in hand, and a full body exhaustion that was satisfying and exhausting and fulfilling all at the same time.

Why did I wait so long to do this?




Feb 2:  I woke up pretty cocky about yesterday’s boxing extravaganza.  I wasn’t all that sore and was convinced my shoulders were already more defined.  I got a little braggy about it to coworkers and friends.  I was secretly thanking my lucky stars that I lost a little weight with last month’s goal and could actually complete the class yesterday.

Feb 3:  Soreness found me.  I guess you could call it humility…you know, if you’re into staying grounded and stuff like that.  My lats are so sore.

Feb 4:  This goal is proving to not be an everyday goal like my others.  Life kept trying to get in the way today too.  I left my desk at work at 7:30pm but somehow managed to hit the gym at 8pm.  It wasn’t boxing, but there was cardio to be had.

Feb 5-6:  Women’s retreat.  Carbs.  Bibles.  Speakers.  Jesus.  Friends.

Feb 7:  I am an official member of Title Boxing.  And I got a keychain for it!  I love that little keychain and for some reason it has brought much joy and entertainment to both Chris and I.


I went to class by myself today and skipped my regularly scheduled yoga class.  After a couple days of indulging in carb fest 2016 at the women’s retreat, I needed some boxing to burn off a little something I ate called chocolate bread.  I imagine angels eat chocolate bread in Heaven with every meal – but they never gain weight when they do, their wings actually get stronger with every piece they eat.

Anyway, it was a different instructor today.  It was hard.  10 minutes into the warm up I was winded.  The type of winded you get when your heart rate goes up too fast and you just can’t even.  I had to keep stepping off to the side during the boxing portion.  I hated approximately 50 minutes of the 60 minutes I was there.  I told myself I would never join or come back to a Sunday class.

I bought a membership 15 minutes later.

Feb 8:  I had the day off work, but planned to hit up the 7:30pm class again like I did last week.  Only this time, my friend Adriane fearlessly decided to join (her first class).  I arrived early and scanned in using my official pass that’s now hanging on my keys (next to the boxing glove keychain, of course).  I also bought my own gloves tonight.  I had one of the guys who works there wrap my wrists and I stood by as Adriane was shown all the stuff I was shown last week.  Today’s warm up didn’t have my heart wanting to jump out of my chest even though I was breathing hard and sweating about 5 minutes in.

When I originally thought about taking boxing, I thought it would be a good stress reliever.  I thought I’d think of all the things in this world that piss me off and I’d imagine them as I was hitting the bag.  Truth-be-told, that’s such a distraction.  Boxing is an excellent stress reliever, but not because I’m brewing on people or things who have done me or my family wrong.  Not because I’m imagining some work assignment that is a pain in the you-know-what or because I’m thinking about how frustrating getting in shape can be.  Tonight, as I was punching away in a 60 second burn out (hitting the bag as fast as you can for a minute) I actually tried thinking about something that makes me so mad.  I literally felt my body just fold.  I got weaker.  I felt myself just wanting to collapse at the thought.  I have to stay focused on what I’m doing and clear my mind of any noise.  It’s another nod to my gymnastics days when my coach used to make me hit a spot on the door on the way into the gym – it was a way to leave the problems at the door.

Special note:  I wanted to talk more about trying something new, overcoming intimidation, details of how my physical body feels like it used to after gymnastics practice, and some sort of other inspirational notes to leave you wanting to buy boxing gloves – but my work schedule lately has me bloggin’ when I should be sleeping.  So inspirational posts and the occasional Ronda Rousey reference forthcoming….

10 Things I’ve Learned from Eating Like a Fitness Competitor for 31 Days

I spent January 2016 “eating like a fitness competitor.”  While my diet may not have technically been a fitness competitor’s diet, I certainly stuck to my plan of eating clean and I’m lighter and tighter because of it.  Here are the 10 things I’ve learned along the way…

Keep It Simple – I removed all clutter from my life, and I don’t mean physical clutter – I mean emotional clutter.  For 31 days I deliberately focused on work, eating healthy, and working out.  I was fortunate that I didn’t have any situations that were “emotionally snagging” me (as Brene Brown would say).  This approach worked!

Have 10 Go-to Items – I was originally going to follow a pretty strict diet which consisted of the same stuff every day.  Instead, I had about 10 go-to items that I could rotate accordingly.  All of them are good choices, and all of them are more or less convenient depending upon the time I had available.  Turkey burgers….super slow to cook and semi-inconvenient.  Pre-made organic protein shakes…super convenient and easy to tote to meetings and drink in my car.  These 10-ish items made it easy to change up the way and times I ate things but kept me within a boundary that avoided anyone finding me face down in a cheese pizza.

The Days You Think It’s Not Working, It Is – You think you eat a few salads and drink some water and you wake up the next day as a super model.  And when the next day comes, and you’re not only not a model, you might randomly be more bloated or feel more out of shape than you did the day before, that is when you have to stick with the plan.  The biggest difference between this not working for me in the past vs. working now is, I did not get derailed when I didn’t feel like it was working.  I just carried on and ignored that part, and the next day I would wake up and feel skinnier for it.

There’s an In Between – I’m all in or all out.  That’s how I function.  It’s how my parents function.  This is great when you’re all in, but Lord help us when we’re all out.  I learned about the in-between.  There’s things like home workouts and “fairly healthy meals” that are better than no workouts and not healthy meals.  These things keep you from just throwing in the towel altogether.  One trail mix with a few pieces of chocolate in it kept me from desserts after meals.

Mental Drives Physical and Physical Drives Mental – If my mind is right, I eat better, and my physical self is better.  If my physical self is better, it makes my mind right.

Food is Fuel – I really hate when people say “food is fuel.”  I also hate when people say they love salads.  But, I am on a project at work that required some late nights in the office, even later nights of working at home, and 3-4 hours of work on Sunday nights.  Once I started losing weight from eating better, I just plowed through the work.  I wasn’t quite as miserable because I at least wasn’t letting all this work ruin the way I felt about myself.  I didn’t get overly exhausted at work (though I did have some moments) because the food I was eating was fueling me vs. making me tired and feeling blah.  (I’m convinced “blah” is a standard feeling and described as such in the dictionary).

Packing Your Lunch Isn’t That Bad (I Guess) – I have bought my lunch since the first day of 1st grade.  I was never a packer.  I never brought a little lunch box to school, or a brown paper bag, or had to deal with the fact that I left my lunch at home on the kitchen counter by accident.  I toted my $1.10 to elementary school, then $1.25 in middle school, $1.50 in junior high, and my $2.25 in high school and I managed to be fed and felt freedom in my options (as much freedom has you have in a school cafeteria.  Basically choosing chocolate milk over white was my only freedom, but I felt empowered).  As a working adult, I buy my lunch, be it in the cafeteria or out at a restaurant, or I tend to receive a lot of catered lunches if I have meetings through the lunch hour.  But, I broke that streak and packed 75-80% of the time this month.  It wasn’t that bad….I guess.  Honestly, I was just so busy at work I didn’t really have time to dwell.  I know this will still be a struggle for me going forward, but I can say this was probably the single biggest thing that contributed to my weight loss and kept me in line for the rest of the day.

Turkey Burgers Out the Wahzoo – I could eat a turkey burger for lunch and dinner, nearly every day.

No Green on My Plate – I basically don’t eat vegetables.  I have to really try to add them in.  I started getting a green smoothie when I would go to Whole Foods for groceries and imagined that I’d leave with glowing skin and a positive attitude and restored organs and all the other things kale, pears, and spinach are supposed to do for you.  I tried to add broccoli to some of my meals, but green is just something that doesn’t seem to show up on my plate unless forced.

People Respect It – If you’re not annoyingly over-doing the “I’m on a diet” production, people don’t pressure you to cheat.  I don’t know if it’s because I use this blog to share my secrets or what, but not one person this whole month gave me any sort of guilt trip or “come on, you know you want to” type of bribe while dangling pieces of bread and pasta and pizza and treats in front of me.

Be Healthy – Take care of yourself.  Be healthy.  Make it not an option to live any other way.  There are many who are battling health conditions that are out of their control.  Let’s choose to be as healthy as possible in the areas we can control.  It feels like it sucks and for some reason it’s super hard  and inconvenient and just the worst at moments, but it’s worth it for more reasons than I can list in this blog post.

I did it.  And I’m skinnier!