Fitness Friday: I Broke up with My Step Counter


After having Mila, I started going for walks about a week or two post partum. I love walking. It’s such a great form of movement and a way to get outside with a newborn. I started checking my step counter on my iPhone after 4 weeks postpartum to see how many steps I had taken. Eventually, when I felt recovered enough I started aiming for 10k steps a day. Fast forward, weeks later… I broke up with my step counter.

To be honest, I never even had one that wasn’t on my iPhone, but I actually asked for the vivofit for an anniversary present, then I decided I didn’t want it. My step count was making me obsessed and after a few weeks of that I realized I need to step back and break up from it.

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Over the summer it’s decently easy to get to 10k steps, but I found myself to be thinking too much about having to go for a walk. I didn’t have the “more steps everyday” mentality, but I REALLY wanted to get to 10k steps a day. Then the weather got hotter, I realized I was thinking about steps too much. When can I go for a walk? Could we fit it in after dinner? Is my phone with me so it’s accurate?  How many steps is it to the park?  It’s not like I can take Mila out for a walk when it’s 95 degrees and humid out, so needless to say the steps weren’t happening and I was getting bummed, so I realized enough was enough…I can’t look at it anymore. I also was starting to think about how I would be able to get my 10k steps in, in the winter…which WHO CARES.  I have said before how I didn’t want to go back to my cardio ways and this was heading in that direction. I caught myself quick because I can recognize these thoughts*. I haven’t opened the step count app once since I broke up with it.

*Just want to add, I would do about an hour of cardio a day in my pre-baby days. It’s really not *that* much in the scheme of things, but I know it doesn’t work for my body. It makes me “skinny fat”. You can’t see muscle tone and I don’t even look like I work out. 

Now, obviously I’m NOT saying I don’t go for walks or exercise. I obviously do, BUT it’s not a make or break thing. If I can’t get out for a walk during the day, then oh well. It doesn’t matter. During the warmer months, I really enjoy going for leisurely walks, but for the last 3 weeks with Mila’s nap schedule and the heat it just hasn’t been working. I HAVE to put Mila’s nap and routine first (obviously) because 1. she’s a baby and needs sleep and 2. if she doesn’t nap well, I can’t work! Yes, she would fall asleep on a walk, but if I have work to do, then I need to prioritize that over a walk. When I finish work, if she’ll take another nap and we don’t have anything to do then that’s great and we’ll go for a walk.

Does this mean I sit on my butt all day? No, of course not. I start my day with a workout (which is Body Shred by Jillian Michaels these days….killer…). I try to get out for a short walk daily, but lately that mostly doesn’t happen. I’m hoping to get back to it mostly to just enjoy being outside while it’s warm!

If walking is your primary form of exercise, then I think a step counter is a great tool for you to use to make sure you are moving enough. If you find you’re only doing a few thousand steps a day, try to walk 1k more. Take breaks from work and walk around. Walk around the block. Walk to the mailbox. Do things like that. But if you start to get obsessive and it’s making you crazy or being a negative focus in your day, I encourage you to take a step back!

What are your thoughts? Do you use a step counter to help keep you accountable?

More places to find me. I would love to connect with you!

Instagram @nicoleculver

Twitter @nicoleculver

Periscope @nicoleculver

Snacking in School Makeover: Healthy Snack List

You guys were so helpful in my post on snacks at preschool. You motivated me so much that the next day I went in and spoke with the director. She actually was super nice and seemed responsive. She said no one had ever asked her to change the snacks. (Of course the day I went in, Liv had chocolate chip cookies for snack.)

The director asked me to make a list of nut free snack options. They usually just buy them on Amazon, so I made it through there. I also brought up making a list for monthly sign ups for parents to bring in fruits and veggies and she was open to that too. I said I would even run that for the class.

This is the list I came up with. I would LOVE to hear any suggestions you have. It has to be nut free and it can’t say “made in a facility that processes nuts.” I think this list is pretty good and I would be happy if she was eating these things for snack at school.

 

I would love to add to the list if you have any suggestions. I really appreciate your support and push to get in there and talk to the director. Please feel free to print the list also and bring it in to your kid’s school if this is a fight you are fighting as well! Our kids are definitely worth it!

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xoxo

More places to find me:

Instagram @nicoleculver

Twitter @nicoleculver

Periscope @nicoleculver

 

Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Challenge

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I’m currently working on Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Challenge to master organization and achieve your goals. I first heard of Chalene Johnson from her dvd series, Turbo Fire and Piyo. Then I found her podcast, The Chalene Show and I was hooked (then I also started listening to Build Your Tribe). I’m basically obsessed with her and it was from her Day in the Life podcast that really flipped the switch for me. Number one because she does NOT work all the time and she puts her family above all. She wants to be spending time with them during the week and weekends and doesn’t sacrifice crazy work hours to make it happen…BUT when she’s working, she working. She’s lazer focused and gets SH*T done. When I was listening to her day in the life, I was like YES this is how I want my days to go.

It took me about a month of listening to her podcasts, following her instagram and Periscope to sign up, and I’m so glad I did. She really is a wealth of information and gives MOST of it away for free. Her podcasts are FILLED with knowledge and tips geared towards both personal and business growth.

I just finished up day 4. I signed up for this last week, but didn’t get a chance to start until yesterday. It was one of those things, where I was like, okay I know I need to start but it’s going to be a lot of work. Then yesterday I did it and now I’m so motivated. I did days 1&2 yesterday and 3 &4 today.

WHY am I doing this? Well because I want to achieve my goals..duh. But really, things are changing around here and it’s all for the better. Danny and I have been putting a plan into place so he doesn’t have to be out of the house a minumum of 55 hours a week. Between his commute and work hours, it just doesn’t leave enough time for our family. For us, it was our number one priority to spend more family time together during the week. Well, as of August 24th he’s going to be around more, doing a mix of working from an office and from home too. One of our biggest goals of the past few years is now checked off.

We’ve always written down our goals each year, but the difference now is we are making a plan on how to achieve those goals. Dan and I had already started doing this a few weeks ago, but Chalene’s 30 day challenge makes it SO easy. It spells it out for you. I had already written goals, but the way she has you do them makes you shift your thinking.

Chalene has us name our priorities. Intrinsic priorities and key priorities. Intrinsic priorities are things that come easy for you. Something that you do without accountability. For me, that’s personal health. I exercise and eat well without any outside influence. Your key priorities are what you want to focus on because you need to get better at them. It’s a part of your life that is out of balance; a part where you do need accountability.

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My key priorities is my purpose. That’s something I’m really working on right now and will continue to work on through this 30 day program. Purpose is my priority because after having a second baby my life shifted again. I am 100% dedicated to my family, but that also means to dedicated to supporting my family through working as well. I’m lucky that I am able to do that from home, but I had to figure out what that looks like with two kids now.

Working on my purpose brought me to realize that I did want to resurrect my blog again to help deliver the message that living a healthy life as a busy mom IS possible and I can help show you how. Is it always perfect? HAH, no, but at least I can share my tips and experiences.

If you are looking to improve any area of your life (WHO isn’t?)  then I HIGHLY recommend doing Chalene’s 30 day challenge.  And even better, join me in doing it! It’s about 10-15 minutes a day. A short video (around 8 minutes) a little reading and then some homework. If you’re serious about changing your life and achieving your goals, I think you have 10-15 minutes a day to work towards them!

I would love to chat with other people who are working on this. I have Dan and my sister doing it too. I’ll be sure to talk about it on Periscope too. SO what are you waiting for? Get started working on your goals and join! What do you have to lose?

Other places to find me:

Instagram @nicoleculver

Twitter @nicoleculver

Periscope @nicoleculver (check out the periscope I did tonight on my experience so far with the 30 day push)

My 10 day cleanse is OVER!

10 days is almost over…after today it will be. I’ve been thinking a lot about this “cleanse” I did and why I did it and how it effected me.

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Last week I felt REALLY good. Like REALLY good….but the whole thing I have to admit, was hard. I don’t like feeling like I have restrictions, but I got past it because I wanted to try to see what upset my stomach and if it had any link to my eczema. I have to say it wasn’t that hard to give up grains or cheese because it was only 10 days. The hardest part was giving up whole milk (or soy milk) & sugar in my iced coffee. There were times where I just wanted a quesadilla, but really it was fine. (I should also mention I stayed away from broccoli also because my stomach doesn’t like it either.)

I had zero bloat, indigestion or gassy belly symptoms….and then I “cheated”. (I HATE the word cheat because of it’s negative connotation and the guilt it induces, but using it for the purpose of saying I veered off course.) On Monday I had some Eden soy milk in my iced coffee…and guess what, I paid for it all of Monday and Tuesday. I experienced immediate bloat and pains in my stomach…lasting all the way until Tuesday when I felt like I had a stomach hangover. I can’t believe the reaction lasted so long. I also read the package AFTER the fact and realized it has wheat in it. I really don’t think it’s the wheat causing the reaction, but no matter what I’m staying away from it for awhile. (Yesterday I attempted to make homemade hemp milk and today I’m going to try cashew milk…without a vitamix it’s pretty hard to make it perfectly.)

I mentioned before that I don’t like feeling restricted. It messes with my head because I already feel like I eat so healthy, why should I not be eating specific groups of food? Well, basically the soy thing is exactly why. There are foods that cause me discomfort and they shouldn’t be a part of my every day life. On the other end, I shouldn’t and won’t make statements about cutting out complete food groups because THAT doesn’t work for me. I AM going to avoid dairy for awhile…and then at some point in the future try little bits. I have to say that I’ve always felt and thought there is a link between dairy and my eczema. In 10 days of not having dairy the eczema on my fingers has cleared 80%. It hasn’t looked this good in 9 or 10 months.

I’m going to slowly work the food I cut out into my diet, adding in one thing at a time. Right now I’m going to do this for a few more days (maybe 1 or 2) because I want to make sure I end on a good note after that downfall AND that I keep feeling good.

So the positives were that I felt REALLY good. The negatives were that I spent A LOT of time planning and thinking about food, which I don’t really like. It was a lot more work because I had to make sure I had enough options AND that Danny had his meals and snacks. If you’re like me, you know food can consume you and that’s not a good way to be. I’ve always felt like food is meant to be enjoyed, which is why I couldn’t keep up with such a restrictive diet long term.

All in all, I would try this again because I feel like it was a good reset. I do feel badly that I cheated ONLY because it gave me a bad reaction. If it didn’t I really wouldn’t care. I think the good outweighs the bad in the sense that it gives you a reset AND insight onto what issues you may have with food that work/don’t work with your body. It’s also never a bad idea to cut down on sugar and other inflammatory foods.

If you want any more info on what I did over the past 10 days, then feel free to email me! I hope I didn’t contradict myself the entire time in this post, which I feel like I kind of did. Summary: I felt great. It was hard not having sugar. I liked how I felt. I didn’t like thinking so much about food and how restricted I felt. The end.