Making a commitment to health

ProgressionPics

I have a long history as what you would call a yo-yo dieter. Since my early twenties I’ve bounced back and forth, using diets and different fitness classes (Cardio kickboxing, Bikram, Pure Barre). I would lose a lot of weight, sometimes nearly reaching my goals! But, of course, overtime I’d fall right back into bad habits and I’d inevitably gain it all back (plus some). I’d move away from my gym, change schedules, start having a few too many “cheat days”… and just like that I’d be back at square one.

I eat pretty healthy. Throughout most of my life I’ve avoided junk foods and empty calories. I grew up eating clean, I just didn’t grow up eating carefully. I know what portions SHOULD look like meal to meal, but I enacting that discipline every day and at every meal just didn’t come naturally. You really CAN have too much avocado, brown rice, and nuts.

When I gave birth to my daughter in February of this year, I’d reached my absolute biggest. Sure, I was pregnant, but only a bit of it would be considered baby weight. I was shocked and disappointed my body had gotten out of control so quickly. How could I have gone from goal weight to my biggest in just a year and a half? I knew I needed to take charge of my health.

See, the thing is that I have always focused on just one side of my fitness at a time. I’d have the exercise routine down but not the eating, or the other way around.

Now that I’m a mom, how was I going to get the exercise and nutrition I needed for success now that I had EVEN LESS time? I can’t get to a gym when I only have a few hours each evening with Ziva! I already know as soon as it’s cold out I’ll stop heading to even the gym in our complex right here at home…

I knew it would have to be something simple, easy to follow, CONSISTENT, and that I could do at home.

I knew it had to be Beachbody.

I’ve seen this program change people’s lives, and I wanted in on that magic.

Sure, I might be late to the party, but I’ve been watching women I admire take charge of their lives both physically and financially over the last few years. I’m inspired by people like my Cousin Jen, and Amy Silverman (top beachbody coach and adventurer).

I started following the meal plan a couple of weeks ago and found it really manageable, and I’m in my first cycle of the 21 day fix and I’m loving it. Sure, I’ve done online workouts with the Tone It Up! girls and Blogilates in the past and I loved them, but being part of a private challenge group, having a team of people to be accountable to, and a structure to follow motivates me.

I lost the first 30 lbs of baby weight on my own, but in the last few weeks with beachbody I’ve lost 9 1/2 pounds. I was able to break through my plateau. It’s Not a lot, I know, but this is just the beginning. 

Pounds aren’t what it’s all about. I’ve regained confidence in my body and my abilities. Sure, I pushed out a 7 lb baby sans medication, I know my body is some legit warrior material, but I had lost mobility, comfort, and confidence in movement. I’ve only been doing the workouts consistently for a week, but I’ve already regained some of my strength and mobility. I feel free. Free to move, dance, climb, free to move like I have ownership of the body I had let get out of control.

This isn’t about weight, I think there’s beauty in every size.

This isn’t about being “beachbody ready”. This is about living my life free from limitations, with strength, mobility, and energy. 

Fitness may not have always come naturally to me, but MOTIVATION and DEDICATION always have. With a path to follow, I can get where I want to go.

Want to join me in making a commitment to health? I can help you find your path on your fitness journey, help keep you on that path (even when there seems to be NO TIME and NO MOTIVATION). Let’s get on this road together!

Leave me a comment here, send me a facebook message, or go to my page here if you are interested in learning more. I’d love to see some of the people I love join me on this journey.

A Brides Bane: #1 thing to not say to a bride

Imagine if a man were coordinating a large event- he may tussle with difficult vendors, be assertive when his decisions or requests are undermined or ignored by others, he may even find himself frustrated when something he’s worked hard on is going awry.

Now, switch out “large event” for “wedding”.

Wedding planning is tough business, especially for someone tossed into it with no experience with event planning, another full-time job, etc. Not to complain, I am so happy to have this opportunity, but there are things about being a “Bride” that have been making me very uneasy.

In the imagery above I bet you never once thought of the event planning man as a “Bridezilla!” or rolled your eyes at the thought of him being assertive while getting things done. So why is it okay for vendors and salespeople, friends and family to roll our collective eyes and condescend to young women who are doing the same thing?

Emotions certainly run high in the wedding planning process- everyone’s emotions, not just the bride. But just like the old concepts of hysteria and female emotional instability, the patronizing and condescending view of a young woman as a bridezilla is just plain f-ed up.

Women who are leaders are often perceived as bitchy or bossy when their behavior is similar to that of their male counterparts. Women who assert themselves to get things done or to get what they want or need are painted just as negatively. Now, I know there are some women who behave as entitled and in a selfish manner during their wedding planning process, but what if some of those women are just sick of being leached of cash and time by every other freaking vendor and sales person who make up the  wedding industry today? Wouldn’t you start to get an attitude if people rolled their eyes and said “…brides!” under their breath when you are simply trying to get your voice/request heard?

The farther I get into this wedding planning process, the more irritated I have become with one simple phrase. What is it? The placating, patronizing mantra that you will hear over and over and over and over throughout your entire wedding planning saga-

“Just try and relax! Every thing is going to be fine/beautiful/perfect!”

Really? Really? Relax? You mean after a vendor has failed to send me the photos and prices he promised to email me 4 months ago and I email to politely re-request them for the 4th time, the real problem is that I need to RELAX???

You mean that after spending all of my extra time working on wedding details, and negotiating with unruly vendors, and trying to herd the wild cats we like to call family, the first thing people say when I tell them about an issue that needs to be fixed is that I need to relax!?!?

Please, try to tell me that wouldn’t make you just a little upset.

Next time you are talking with a bride, either as a friend, salesperson, family member ,or coworker, if she seems frustrated or overwhelmed, or however she is feeling, don’t tell her to relax. Tell her to keep kicking ass and taking names cause she is doing great. Maybe even listen to what she says and see how you can help her be heard by whoever she is trying to get to listen. That would do a world of wonders that telling her to “relax” will never do.

Bridal Shoes

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.  Now for the newest of wedding trends, the all important wedding shoe!

Nina ‘Fonda’ Sandal (Image via Nordstrom)

I love a beautiful shoe, but I’m not afraid to admit that they aren’t on the top of my priority list when it comes to our wedding budget. I knew I wanted them to look special, to be gold and glittery to complement the champaign/macadamia colored bridesmaids dresses, and that I didn’t want to spend a fortune.

When my lovely bridesmaid Jes and I ventured out to Somerset Mall I was drawn like a moth to the flame to the expensive and glittering shoes of Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman, and Jimmy Choo. Though they are beautiful and leave nothing to desire…besides a bigger budget… I just couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of treating myself in the shoe department.

After exploring the mall for what seemed like ages, we finally landed in Nordstrom (which was having it’s half-yearly sale for women’s apparel). I’d like to think it was destiny. Immediately I discovered an elegant, spectacular and glittery sandal that was, above all else, comfortable, beautiful and affordable! This Nina ‘Fonda’ Shoe will be LOVELY with my pouffy, glamourous dress and will be less of a challenge to walk in on the stone patio where our reception will be than the extra tall and thin stilettos I’d been trying on all day. I’m in LOVE.

Nina ‘Fonda’ Sandal (Image via Nordstrom)

xoxo,

Sarah

Wedding Planning at the Airport

I’m headed to Atlanta for the week for what I hope will be an awesome health communication conference. Exciting right?

After nearly missing my flight due to takeoff time confusion (you mean my flight is at noon? Not 2pm? Crap!!!) and a harrowing drive from Royal Oak to DTW; I made it to my seat just in time to learn the plane was broken. Sad. face. Sarah.

We sat patiently on the plane as our takeoff went from 12pm to 1:30, then from 1:30 to 3pm… They finally let us off to get food only to ask us to get back on the plane to grab our stuff and head to the other side of the airport. And now, as I wait for a 5pm flight to Atlanta what else should I do but plan my wedding?

Thank you Delta. Thanks.

So- here are some inspiration boards I have been piecing together with Picstitch using images I have found on Pinterest. Here is a link to my pinterest board where you can find links to all of the image sources (these are not my images).

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (Images from multiple sources, see Pinterest here)

I really want a warm feel for the wedding, classy but not uptight. We chose a Wtoo bridesmaid dress Macadamia (tan/champaign colored) for my ladies, which means the men will be in rich navy blue suits instead of tan linen as Brian had hoped…. But I think it looks fabulous!

Since more than half of our guests will be coming from out-of-state (the wedding is in Berkeley, CA where I’m, from Brian’s from Michigan) I want to draw in a few little nods to our home states. One of the ideas I’ve had for this is to find vintage travel postcards for Michigan and California cities to use in place of table numbers. Brian says if we do this the bridal party is sitting at “Detroit“. I’m down with that.

Greetings from California- Image from here
Greetings from Detroit (Image from here)

My mother and I both love cobalt blue glass. I thought it would be cool to make our centerpieces from little clusters of different size and shaped blue glass containers (bottles, vases, pitchers, jars), and to fill them with fluffy flowers like peonies and vintage roses in white, pale yellow and pale orange. Like this-

Potential table settings for the wedding (Images via Pinterest)

Oh look, now the sign says 6pm takeoff. I’ll be done planning before I reach Atlanta at this pace! Ok, I was nearly done already, but you’ve got to look for silver linings right? Thank goodness for iPhones and charging stations.

I’m really liking how the blues, yellows, golds, oranges and tans are all coming together. It will all go nicely with my dress which we found when my mom was in town last week! It’s a stunner if I might say so myself… and it is much more dramatic than I ever would have thought I’d choose. Since I can’t show off the dress, I’ll just share a few pics from the dress shopping adventure.

My dress shopping crew! Mom, Bride (me with raccoon eyes), Bridesmaid Teja (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

I ended up falling in love with the first dress I pulled off the rack and tried on a The Wedding Shoppe on Woodward. It was meant to be! The consultant, Natalie, at the Wedding Shoppe was awesome. I would definitely recommend her if you are looking for a wedding dress in the Detroit area. When we went back to take pictures of the dress the next day I noticed the adorable sign welcoming the brides with appointments! I’m the first one on the list!

The welcome sign for ladies with appointments at the shop. (Image by Ready.Set.Sarah)

Update- I finally made it to my hotel in Atlanta at 10pm… that’s a 12 hour travel day for what should have been a 2 hour flight. I could have driven here at that rate and seen a whole lot more of the country!

12 hours and 13 minutes drive from Detroit to Atlanta? I’ll take it (Image by Ready.Set.Sarah)

Calistoga Wedding Weekend

The Beau and I got back from California a few weeks ago, and let me just say that the trip went well. VERY WELL. We were in the Golden state for 10 days to visit my family and attend the wedding of one of The Beau’s cousins. It was a beautiful affair in wine country in the quaint town of Calistoga, CA. I haven’t been to Calistoga since I was a kid when my parents would take us to swim in the mineral pools while they enjoyed a spa mud bath.

The Past Loves tree in downtown Calistoga, CA Images by Ready.Set.Sarah.

It’s a romantic little town in wine country with nice shops. Since we were in Napa for the wedding of another one of his cousins last year we decided to just hang out this time and enjoy the pool and sunshine. We stayed at the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs  which has awesome mineral water pools (all different temperatures), and it was über relaxing just hanging out around town.

The bride and her friends/family were staying at Rancho Wikiup. This stable turned vacation rental/event venue is where they held the rehearsal dinner. It was a really unique venue with gorgeous wood patterns, flowers and friendly faces.

Rancho Wikiup Rehearsal Dinner, Images by Ready.Set.Sarah.

We had a great time hanging out with The Beau’s extended family and getting to know some of the new cousin-in-law’s family who had come from all over the globe for the wedding festivities; There were people from the East Coast, Liberia, Ghana, England, all over!

The next morning I woke up at 5:30 am, still on Michigan time I guess, but it’s lucky I did since my mom had texted to ask if I needed the pink dress that was still hanging up at her house in Berkeley! Well yes, I definitely did need the dress for the wedding that night! The Beau and I ended up making a wee-early morning drive back to Berkeley through the morning mist and budding summer sunshine. We were back at the hotel before anyone missed us and spent the day checking out the shops, swimming in the mineral pools and enjoying lunch at a seemingly popular breakfast place, Sarafornia.

It was a beautiful summer day in wine country and very sunny during the outdoor ceremony at Hans Fahden Vineyards. Thankfully they handed out pretty parasols to shade the guests while we waited for the processional to begin. It made for a lovely sight!

Hans Fahden Vineyards wedding, Image by Ready.Set.Sarah.

Best memories of the wedding:

  • The moment when the bride and groom opened the great big wooden doors that lead into the wine caves where we had our reception meal. It was magical. Twinkling lights and candles, everything was gorgeous (Check it out here).
  • The laughs and bonding at the “cousins” table during dinner. I really love The Beau’s family.
  • The Liberian and Jewish wedding dances- really all of the dancing! We got down like nobody’s business and my feet were aching by the end of the night.

Between the two family weddings last summer and this one, I can’t wait for the next wedding to come 😉

Pond at Hans Fahden Vineyards, Image by Ready.Set.Sarah.