Thursday, August 27, 2015

Accountability is Key

The last couple of weeks all the FitApproach/Sweat Pink Ambassadors were talking Motivation and Goals and I even wrote a couple posts - one on the blog and one on FitApproach. To keep with that theme, we are now talking about strategies for being successful with those goals and how we are going to stay accountable to them. I'd like to talk about Accountability today...one of those three pieces of your girl-squad along with Motivation and Consistency (if you read the Motivation post it makes total sense...trust me. LOL).


The thing is Accountability is critical to your fitness and health success - especially if you have some big goals that you're trying to accomplish! Can you do it alone? Sure...but why go it alone if you don't have to? There's at least two times recently that accountability played a big part in my fitness. Both times were Saturday mornings that I had scheduled runs with others and both times I know without a doubt that I would have skipped those runs if I hadn't already promised others that I would be there. And then of course I can't discount the #1 accountability piece that I have built into my goals recently: Coach Tiffany. I know that I have to report back to her my results and it automatically makes me want to work just a little harder and not slack off as much as I typically do.



When you share your goals with others that have like-minded goals of their own, they lift you higher than you can lift yourself. And before you think that you have to tell every single person you know about your goals whether they support them or not, you don't. Accountability comes in many different ways:

BLOGGING: yup, I use this space to help keep me accountable. Knowing that I have put some hard and fast goals out there to any readers makes me want to work hard to not let those goals just fall by the wayside. Especially if I come back and provide updates on a regular basis...I certainly don't want to come back and here and be all "I suck". Yeahhhhhh, I really don't wanna do that. LOL

CHALLENGE GROUPS: there's pretty much a different challenge group for everyone's needs. I've been a member of Coach Jenny Hadfield's challenge group on Facebook for the past two years and that group is great for accountability! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to slack off and I get on there and read all the posts from challengers talking about getting up and working out and it totally makes me want to too! Find a group, let them know your plans even if it is just the day, for the week or long-term - share your goals and then report back on how you're doing!


SOCIAL MEDIA: Will some people on your friends list get sick of hearing all about your workouts? Yes, possibly. But you know what - they can just keep scrolling on through and if they really want to they can even call it exercising if it makes them feel better about it. hahaha The reality is that you will also have a group of people that will cheer you on and keep you motivated towards your goals. And even if absolutely nobody says a thing - YOU KNOW that you said you were going to do x and you broadcast it to the world...so you know you need to do it, right? :-D

FRIENDS & FAMILY: If you have some friends and family that will back your plans, then by all means - include them in assisting you! I told you all a while back how I set up a plan with my husband to earn rewards for exercising. My sister and I, including my Mom for a large portion of time, have been workout accountability partners. We try to get together at least a couple times a week and have run several family workout challenges for points and rewards. And guess what, it WORKS. Because we are competing with each other, and encouraging each other, it makes it so much easier to keep going when we want to quit.

The reality is that when you feel like you have people "depending" on you, you work a little harder.


So find someone - whether it is in real-life or virtually, whether it is a single person or a whole group to share your goals with, your strategy for getting there, and then ask them to keep you accountable to those goals. Set up a PLAN for how often you will report in, how you will report in, and anything else that you need to ensure you will be checking in with your partner on a regular basis. And then be accountable to not just your person, but most of all, be accountable to YOURSELF. Stick with your goals, keep working your plan and you will find success!

Question: Who are you accountable to for your fitness and/or health goals?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#LoveBulu - Bulu Box Review...and Discount Code!


Click the picture to visit www.bulubox.com
I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review a Bulu Box via FitApproach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador*. Bulu Box is a subscription box service that delivers you 4 to 5 samples each month so you can try products out before buying full size versions. Plus you can earn rewards by reviewing the products you sample and earn points towards purchasing the products! Pretty cool, right?

*Even though I was provided a box free of charge, all opinions and thoughts are my own and I have not been compensated in any way for this post. I have been asked by FitApproach to provide an honest review of the Bulu Box and that is what is contained here.

Try Samples, Earn Points, Cash Out towards full-size purchases - it's THAT EASY!
Bulu has different types of products that are tailored to your goals - I received the Succeed at Weight Loss box. Each box includes a product card that discusses the samples that are included and provides purchasing costs if you choose to order the full sized product. Additionally, Bulu makes it really easy because they include all the products for purchase on their own site so you don't have to go searching the web for them! One-stop shopping - BOOM!


Fusion Jerky: Lemon Pepper Artisan Chicken Jerky..."offers a unique, high protein flavor experience made using real chicken and nothing artificial...is gluten-free, minimally processed and 99% fat free!" They also have beef, pork, and turkey varieties too!

What did I think of this? Oh my goodness this stuff was delicious!! I opened it and had a couple small pieces then shared with my kids and husband and we all really liked it. It was moist and so flavorful! I've seen some other chicken jerky out at the store that is basically all smushed into a little bar, so that it looks a little like a fat slim jim and I don't know...that just isn't appealing to me at all. Here, take a look at the actual jerky...

www.fusionjerky.com
Whole pieces of chicken covered in spices. Delicious!!! I made the mistake of setting the bag aside while I finished cooking dinner and I never saw it again. I finally started interrogating the family before my husband fessed up that he took it to work and promptly enjoyed every last little piece, including dumping the scraps at the bottom of the bag into his mouth. AND THEN he asked me to get him some more. So did we enjoy this? Hell yeah!! Would I buy it again? Hell yeah! Would I have purchased it without trying first? Probably not...so I'm really glad this sample was included. SUCCESS!

Simple Being Simple Website

Simple Being Simple Diet Supplement: "...features an effective 4-part blend of ingredients such as Green Coffee Bean, African Mango, Acai, and Resveratrol to promote fat burning, appetite suppression and boost metabolism."

What did I think? I will start by saying that I don't really know what a lot of the ingredients in these are or what they are for and I'm pretty much a skeptic when it comes to weight loss supplements. But I figured I could give them a try and see if I noticed any difference. I took one each day with lunch and it did seem to give me a little boost of energy and I didn't feel as wiped out by the afternoon. Would I buy them? Eh, the verdict is out on that one as I am not totally sold on the benefits. But I'm definitely glad I got to try something that I never would have bought all on my own.

RUNA Website
RUNA Tea: "Powered by Guayusa, a native Amazonian tree leaf, provides as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and twice the antioxidants of green tea." I had the Ginger-Citrus flavor in my box, but they do have a variety of flavors like Cinnamon Lemongrass, Traditional, and Mint. I really, really want to try that Cinnamon Lemongrass!!!

What did I think? I enjoyed the tea, it had an earthy flavor but was sweet enough to drink without added sugar. It is USDA Organic and all kinds of good stuff. I was a little worried that the ginger would be overpowering but it really wasn't. Would I have this again? Yeah, I would. I wouldn't say I was doing cartwheels over it (definitely did cartwheels over the Fusion Jerky though!) but if I came across it in the store I would buy it and I will definitely be actively looking to try the Cinnamon Lemongrass flavor if I can.

Movit Energy Gummies Website
Movit Energy Gummies: "...use power-boosting ingredients like guarantee, CoQ10, and folic acid to combat fatigue and help you perform your best!" I got the Citrus flavor pack and took them prior to doing some sprint intervals on the treadmill.

What did I think? I really liked the flavor of these and would totally use them again! I didn't have any stomach issues and it felt like it gave me a good boost of energy. It definitely got me through my workout without feeling like I was going to die...so I totally consider that a success! I typically use GU Chomps or Honey Stinger Energy Chews, so these are right along my alley of preferred energy sources for working out. They were a little chewier than the other two products, so I don't feel like I would like them as a mid-workout snack, but they were perfect for a pre- or post- snack.

Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream Website
Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream: "Relieve pain and itching associated with skin irritations such as poison ivy, sunburn, and minor cuts or scrapes...no artificial colors or fragrances and petroleum-free."

What did I think? Well, I didn't have any true cause to use this product in the last week or so, but I did rub a little on to the back of my hand so I could see how it felt. This is a nice, non-greasy lotion that has a natural smell of menthol and camphor without being overpowering. It went on nice and smooth and felt good. I would buy this and use it and would love to try it on a sunburn or bug bite. I guess it's pretty nice that I don't have either right now...but it sure would have been nice to see how it handled some itchy skin! haha

So, overall what did I think of Bulu Box? I really enjoyed the products, I enjoyed the ease of use on the Bulu Box website (and that I can buy any of the products I love right there in one place!) and I love getting samples of products that I wouldn't normally buy without trying first or knowing first-hand from word of mouth of someone I trust their opinion on. I can definitely say that I would buy and use at least several of the items included in my box, and it's pretty obvious that my family absolutely loved the jerky that we sampled! I am actually going to go ahead and do a 3-month subscription so I can get a better feel for the service and then decide if I want to continue it past 3-months.

You want to try the Bulu Box too? I totally recommend giving it a try and you can even get a discount on a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription! Just use code SWEATPINK for 50% off!! Time to #LoveBulu for yourself!

Question: Have you tried any subscription box services? What did you think?


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TOTR: Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders



Welcome back for another edition of Tuesdays on the Run hosted by ErikaApril, and Patty! Today's topic is Running Bras - those lovely things that support the girls.

As any female runner knows, support for the girls is important - whether you've got ample cleavage to tame or just a little bit, knowing that you can run free without worry of bouncing, rubbing, or other uncomfortable things happening makes it so much easier to enjoy the run!

There are pretty much a ton of different types and styles and brands and level of support when it comes to running bras. Believe me, I've been through quite a few myself! When I first started exercising I didn't need much so I was able to pick up a medium support Danskin from Walmart for about $10-12 which fit right into my budget at the time. Honestly, I had begun many a workout program that never stuck, so I really didn't want to drop a huge chunk of change on a wardrobe that may end up sitting unused. So the cheapie bra was perfect for me...THEN. 




But as I began running more and running longer distances, it quickly became apparent that the cheapie Danskin bra, even though I had transitioned to high impact, was not going to cut it. I ended up getting a lot of painful chafing under the girls and that was absolutely NO fun! It didn't take more than a couple times of that happening to realize it was time to make a change and that you get what you pay for. 

My first, what I consider to be a "REAL" bra was a Saucony Bounce Trouncer and it made me question my entire existence and why I had waited so gosh darn long to get a real honest to goodness sports bra made for running! It was like the heavens opened and the angels sang Hallelujah when I wore that bra!! Sure, it wasn't cheap by any means and the price tag proved it. But it was honestly worth every single penny to never have to worry about bounce or chafing. 



Not a great picture, but click the pic and it will take you to the website where you can look at it in better detail. At about $50 it's an investment for sure, but it is definitely great quality!

When I became an ambassador for Skirt Sports I purchased a Kelly bra and just like with the Bounce Trouncer I was amazed at how awesome the support and fit is without any rubbing or movement whatsoever. I would say that my Kelly bra is definitely comparable in quality with the Saucony, but maybe a little step up. So if the Saucony is a 4.5, the Skirt Sports Kelly bra is a 5. (and just look at that awesome Razz color...yes, please!!)




What I love the most about the Kelly bra is the front adjustable straps that are easy to get the perfect fit on thanks to the velcro, but still holds so securely I never worry if it is going to fail me. The other cool thing is how easy it is to convert from regular straps to criss-cross straps. The Bounce Trouncer has convertible straps too, but honestly it is so hard to do, I never change them and just leave the straps in the traditional U shape. The last really awesome thing about the Kelly bra is that you can purchase "bra bling"! Bra Bling is straps that come in cute, funky patterns that you can easily change on your bra to give you an entirely different look...very cool in my opinion and a girl always loves accessories! And these are for your BRA!?!? Um, hello - BRILLIANT!



So there you have my two favorite bras, and I only have two because who needs to keep looking when you've already found perfection?!? The Kelly comes in at a slightly higher price point at $65, but don't forget you can use SSPQL20 for 20% off! 

And since we are talking about boobies, let me just remind you that the Skirt Sports Virtual Boobie Run is right around the corner, but it's not too late to get registered! Just click the picture below and use the same discount code I just gave you right above for 20% off the registration which includes a $70 voucher to get your very own Skirt Sports bra! They have several different styles, but you could always get my favorite, The Kelly!



* Just a reminder, I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador and was provided the bra of my choice free of charge, but all opinions of that bra are my own and I have not been asked to include any Skirt Sports products in this post. I just happen to really, really love my Kelly bra! 

Question: What do you most look for in a sports/running bra? What's your max price point on a really great sports bra?

Monday, August 24, 2015

SunRype Giveaway Winner!


First off, before we get to the important part, I just want to thank everyone that took the time to enter the giveaway! I'm still fairly new to the giveaway game as this was only my second one EVER!!! And this was really my first one that I contacted my reps and asked for some items to bulk up the prize pack so I could, hopefully, make it worthwhile for my readers. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support!!!

Second thing, if you didn't win but are interested in trying some SunRype, please email me at kmgrimes26@gmail.com with your shipping address and I will send you out some SunRype love with a few samples. See, so everybody's a winner! *wink*

And please take a moment to visit and Like/Follow SunRype on their social networks - they have a lot of really great contests and coupon offers all the time:




Finally, congratulations to my winner, Ruth C.! I've already contacted Ruth and will be sending out her prize pack this week. Way to go, Ruth - hopefully she enjoys every single flavor!




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Let's Talk Goals...


I would say that it has been way too long since I have set actual goals. Sure, I may think to myself that I want to accomplish x, or it would be awesome if I could do y, but I don't actually do anything to make a PLAN to meet those goals. So all they ever are is a wish. And wishes can float away on a stiff breeze; believe me, I know this because all of my wishes float away as soon as the going gets tough. LOL So it's a good thing that our Sweat Pink/Fit Approach blog prompt for this period is "What are your current fitness and healthy living goals? What's your strategy for staying on track with achieving your goals?"

Honestly, if Sweat Pink hadn't prompted this, I wouldn't even be thinking about it. Sad, I know...but perhaps you're in the same boat and need a little kick in the rear to think about your current goals and strategies for staying on track just like I did!! If so, then I definitely encourage you to create a list of your own goals and SHARE IT, because remember how I talked earlier this week about tips for beating the dog days of summer and one of them was to create a plan and write it down and another was to keep your goals in sight? Yup - turns out I could use a little dose of taking my own advice! ;-) So, I for one, am thrilled with this prompt because it's making me really take a good look at my goals in a SMART way.



I talked last week about my racing plans for fall, but I didn't necessarily talk about my goals for fall or how I am going to achieve them. Keep in mind that when setting goals you should be using the SMART method to ensure it is more than a wish.



So let's look at some goals for a moment...

1. My absolute biggest fitness goal right now is to work my plan from Coach Tiffany: S: Do every workout to the best of my ability on that day. M: I'm reporting back to her via our training document, so I'm definitely measuring not just if it got done, but the quality of it as well. A: Through baseline testing Coach Tiffany knows what I'm capable of and is giving me workouts that should be attainable, yet challenging. R: Definitely relevant as I have a jam-packed racing schedule and want to show up at my January half marathon feeling totally prepared and confident. T: January 9 is the deadline, and with a weekly plan being given to me I have mini-goals to accomplish each week that are part of the bigger picture. This is definitely a really good goal for me right now!!

2. My biggest health goal right now is to lose some weight so I can go into my half marathon in January a little lighter: S: Lose 20 pounds by January 9. M: Definitely measurable since there is a number on it and not just "lose some weight". A: Attainable - yes, this is totally attainable. It is just about 20 weeks until my half marathon so if I go with a very conservative 1 pound loss a week, that takes me right to the deadline. R: Relevant yes, because it will help me meet #1 goal above. T: Again, totally time-bound because it has the built in deadline of January 9.



3. My biggest wellness goal right now is to get a solid routine in place so I am in a better place to handle life's little bumps and detours: S: This one is a little less specific, but I'm going to go with it anyways because it is something that needs to happen. We had a lot of changes around our house with kids in school and people in jobs, and babies on the way, so getting a routine is critical. M: I'm going to need to dive into this goal a little deeper and give myself specific steps toward achieving the larger goal; such as have all big items on the calendar by Sunday of each week; do my grocery shopping by 3:00 PM each Saturday, etc. A: Again, a little harder, but I think it is attainable. R: Definitely relevant as if I'm on a routine I am much more sane and if I'm not sane I'm going to really stumble on goals #1 and #2. T: Eh, this one is tougher, but if I set some mini-goals like I mentioned in M then it will become time bound. I am hopeful that by the beginning of September I will have a fairly solid working routine and then I can assess how it is working throughout September and make tweaks if needed. I'll be headed back to school in late October so it is absolutely CRITICAL that the routine is highly functioning when that happens so I don't just keel over and die.


Question: What's one of your current health, fitness or wellness goals? How are you going to ensure you stay on track to meeting it?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hodgepodge, Potpourri, Call it What You Will...

I have such a variety of information I want to share with you guys so I'm just going to kinda do a little brain dump this morning.



Motivation...That Fickle Friend
I wrote a post for the FitApproach team the other day discussing motivation and how she can be such a fickle friend always disappearing when you need her most. But when you couple her with your "girl squad" of Consistency and Accountability that Motivation will want to hang around a lot more often. You can check it out in its entirety by clicking the link or picture above.



SunRype Prize Pack Giveaway
Don't forget that you still have time to enter the SunRype Prize Pack giveaway that is going through this Sunday, August 23rd! Lots of great 100% fruit snacks, a visor and a tote bag are up for grabs...don't miss out on your chance to #tastethesun!


Skirt Sports Virtual Boobie Run
Join Skirt Sports for a Virtual Run that is all about the "girls"! You can run it anytime really, but the actual date is September 12, 2015. You can choose to run 8k (just under 5 miles) or 8 miles - you choose the route, you get your girlfriends together, and you run for a great cause! Plus, with your registration you get a voucher for $70 to purchase a new bra so your girls are supported for every run and activity. And here's the really awesome part - you can use SSPQL20 for 20% off of the registration! Registration is normally $60, but with the discount it is only $48 AND you get the $70 voucher...so really, you are MAKING money by registering for this race!!! (And yes, I use that justification with my husband on a regular basis...LOL). Post your pics to social media using the hashtag #REALwomenmove and #skirtsports and share the love for the ta-ta's! Don't forget that when you use the #REALwomenmove hashtag you are also helping new runners get started through the Skirt Sports Kick Start program so that's like a HUGE bonus to using that hashtag. It's a win-win!!



Are there too many races?
I read the article (click the link to read) recently in the print version of Running Times and found it very interesting. It appears that more and more cities are starting to look at limiting the number of races that they issue permits for because they could potentially have a race every weekend or multiple races on a single weekend especially in areas that are considered "active" such as Denver Colorado. On the one hand I love that there are so many options available and that running is experiencing such a boom! On the other hand, I do understand the frustration of people living in these areas with streets getting shut down, or you have that other trend of races getting cancelled last minute because companies go under or because they didn't meet their registration quota.

Question: What do you think? Are there too many races in your opinion?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

TOTR: My Running Heroes!

Welcome back for another edition of Tuesdays on the Run hosted by Erika, April, and Patty! Today's topic is Runners Who Inspire Me.


When thinking about runners that inspire me I can't help but think about elites like Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, Lauren Fleshman and more. I also can't help but think about runners that may not be as well known to the average everyday person, but are well known in their field like Nicole DeBoom, Dimity McDowell and Sara Bowen Shea from Another Mother Runner, and more. And there are those that led the way so that women could participate in sports today like Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon that I wrote a post about earlier this year. I also think about all the great people I know through various groups such as my Skirt Sports sistahs, Coach Jenny Hadfield's Challenge Group, Sweat Pink Ambassadors, and more.



In other words, inspiring runners are in abundance and can be found just about anywhere I look!

But, I have to say that the runners that TRULY inspire me are the underdog runners. The ones that don't fit the "running mold". The ones that are 80 and still running. The ones that don't find running to be the easiest thing but keep going out there and pushing just a little bit harder.

I'm sure you've seen them at races. They are usually at the very back and sometimes they are crossing the finish line long after the majority of people have gone home.

Rick and Dick Hoyt

Jimmy Jenson that was the first runner with Down Syndrome to cross the finish line of the NYC Marathon in 2013.


The blind runners and their partners like Scotty Smiley and his race partner and brother-in-law, Andy Cooper.


These are the runners that amaze and inspire me! I can find inspiration in so many places, but I truly do root for the underdog! Running isn't easy for me and I'm not a natural athlete. But anytime I want to complain about my pace or my abilities or pull a woe is me moment, I don't have to look far to find someone that is not just fighting through their own lazy brain syndrome (like I am 90% of the time) but is fighting through insurmountable odds to accomplish a dream.



Why yes, my excuse is invalid. It most definitely is. But thankfully, the inspiration I get from all these amazing runners that are my running heroes, is usually enough to get past whatever invalid excuses I have!

Question: Who are your running (or other life) heroes? Who provides you with the inspiration you need to keep going through tough situations?

Don't forget to stop by any of the hosts pages to visit the other posts about inspirational runners!