I think that often fitness and working out is where we learn a lot about ourselves. I think it is a great way to become empowered and find the courage to be the person you want to be in your every day life.
It is a little microcosm that allows us to become the people we want to be.
I think working out is almost more important for the mental health benefits than the physical.
That being said, I’m going to stray today into the realm of sappiness and mental attitude with Part 2 of my Wedding Week series.
I think all big life events make us take time to reflect.
To reflect on where we’ve been. To reflect on what we really want out of life and who we are. To even reflect on where we want to go.
And when we reflect it isn’t necessarily the BIG EVENTS that truly stand out the most or seem the most meaningful. Actually it is often the boring little things that you can’t even fully describe that mean the most.
It is those boring little things that happen day in and day out that mold us.
Those boring little things are sometimes even the true adventures, whether or not we recognize it at the time.
I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently because of getting married…and because I was trying to figure out how to express how much I loved Ryan in my vows.
Actually it was super frustrating writing my vows. I generally have an easy time writing. I pick a topic and I just go. I rarely write a second draft. Most of the time if I have any sort of block I just walk around my apartment until the block has passed and that is often only a matter of minutes.
But with my vows nothing just seemed right. I can honestly tell you I wrote at least 10 drafts…some of them were even written in the note pad of my phone when I would randomly have an idea that seemed amazing.
In the end though, I wasn’t happy with any of them. They all seemed empty.
They stated that Ryan was my best friend….DUH.
They told funny stories about our relationship in an attempt to show our love. Like about how oddly perfect we are for each other.
But none of them could fully express just how much Ryan meant to me.
And then I stumbled onto a quote from the movie “Up.” (This by the way is one of my favorite movies and Ryan and I started our first dance to a song from this movie!)
In the movie, the little boy, Russell, tells a story to Carl about hanging out with his dad and then says, “That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.”
The boring stuff is the stuff that I remember the most….
The boring stuff is the stuff that relationships are made of…That love is made of.
It isn’t grand gestures or romantic getaways that make you love a person. That stuff isn’t LOVE.
It is the little things that happen every day. It is the boring little routines, even, that won’t interest anybody but you that truly shape things – that truly shape YOU.
It is those seemingly boring little events, routines, habits that are the TRUE ADVENTURES.
And this doesn’t just apply to love and relationships.
Honestly life, in general, should be about remembering and appreciating the boring little things because those are the things that truly matter.
At least I’ve always found that to be true.
Thinking back over the years what I remember more than specific victories (like winning the powerlifting competition) or defeats (like not hitting my goal at the kettlebell competition) is the journeys.
I remember all the hard work that I put in day in and day out. I remember that feeling of signing up for something that I’d never attempted before and then committing to training as hard as I could.
And don’t get me wrong, the big events are nice highlights, but they aren’t what truly mattered. They honestly didn’t do near as much to shape me as the journey….As the boring work I put in each and every day to reach them.
Those nondescript events, those daily struggles that looking back I can’t pinpoint, but just remember the feelings of, are what truly mattered. Those were the true adventures.
Those are the feelings that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
So I guess after all this rambling, what I want truly want to say is, “Stop getting caught up in accomplishing something big. In doing something BIG.”
You don’t have to force some big adventure or think your life isn’t complete if you don’t do something HUGE. Adventure is out there every single day. All you have to do is be willing to put yourself out there and live.
Because 50 years from now when you look back, I honestly think more than anything you’ll be proud of the journey. Proud of the days you spent in happiness or even in struggle working to move forward, grow stronger, become more yourself.
Adventure is out there! Don’t wait for something big to happen. Go out and enjoy all those boring little things that happen every day!
This past Saturday, I married my best friend. I married the person that, even when he makes me so mad I want to punch him, I still want to run to him to make it better.
I married a man who accepts me completely – He accepts me in all of my Type A-ness, which sometimes even includes an inability to let go of work (this is honestly the longest I’ve gone without posting since the inception of Man Bicep AND I have still texted clients who’ve told me to stop texting them and get back to my vacation.)
I just love what I do…And he accepts that because he is AMAZING.
He even accepted (and took pictures in fact!) that I needed to teach a little wedding bootcamp at the house the day before the wedding. Which was a TON of fun!
Taught everyone some new moves they could do at home with no traditional equipment. (Monkey Knuckles, one of my best friends and a client from Boston, was even there. Miss you Juliana!)
With the workout, we got a good little sweat going and had some fun in the process (plus I think we ended up cleaning the floor with our towel moves!)
Here is our fun little workout if you want to give it a try! (Wouldn’t usually do so many different exercises, but wanted to give them lots of new stuff to leave with!)
Wedding Weekend Workout:
Warm up (stretches for calves, hamstrings, glutes, hips, shoulders and back)
8-12 reps Towel Glute Bridge with Curl (Do a single leg curl to regress)
3-4 Circle Crawls each way
15-20 each side Towel Mountain Climbers (Do not use a towel under your feet to regress)
8-12 reps each side Single Leg Deadlifts (3 count lower down)
5-10 reps Gorilla Crawls forward
8-12 reps each side Curtsy Lunge on Towel (Take out the towel to regress)
30 second Scapular Hold
8-12 reps Push Up (5 second lower to progress. Incline to regress)
20 second holds
Plank Hip Dips (Hold front plank and rotate side to side touching the hip down on each side)
This is a great total body workout you can do with no equipment. The workout doesn’t take very long and you can also easily simplify it if you are shorter on time!
And the best part was, everyone was challenged no matter their fitness level or exercising experience!
Stay tuned for more wedding week posts to come shortly!
So as I mentioned earlier this week when I launched Bridal Biceps, Ryan and I have started planning for our wedding.
We are doing a small wedding in Hawaii followed by a large reception in Southern California. Details….well they are in the works and I don’t want to bore you by listing out all of my plans (but heck if you are interested or want to commiserate about your wedding, feel free to email me!).
I actually signed up for a few wedding websites, including The Knot.
The Knot is actually pretty awesome. They have a ton of information and ways to plan. They’ve even helped me find some local vendors so that I can get a dress and plan out the reception.
After finding a ton of information about planning out your wedding, I then searched the site for fitness information.
There was barely any to be found. They have whole pages dedicated to the color of your wedding and such but no easy to locate information about getting in shape for your wedding.
I was super surprised.
And then…I received the following email from them.
I like pink, but this email made me want to barf.
“Size down your gown in 90 days.” – AKA Starve yourself and overtrain for 90 days in an attempt to look good on your wedding day.
Ok. At least this program does tell brides they need 90 days. That is better than a lot of the “look good” tips I found…like don’t eat salty foods right before so you don’t look bloated.
Why does it have to look so wimpy!?!
Why does all of the stuff that bridal sites advertise have to be so fad diet?
Why can’t they start the brides planning their diet and fitness programs as soon as they have them start planning out everything else!?!
Here is my recommendation to brides-to-be:
- First ask yourself some few basic questions about what you want (just like you are doing with your wedding) What areas of your body do you want to tone? Do you want to lose any body fat? How do you want your body to look on your big day?
- Then if you aren’t currently on any regular exercise or diet program, start doing some research. How much time do you have each week to dedicate to a program? What foods do you love and could never give up? What types of diets have worked for you in the past?
- Then as you are plotting out when you will be doing food tasting and traveling and working and taking on dress fittings, think about what diet and fitness goals you will want to have hit at each stage. (For me I want to be at my final goal right before the final fitting. I then just want to be maintaining for the last month or so. Plus the longer I just maintain my final goal, the better I will look on my big day AND the easier it will be to stay toned and fit when I’m binging on my honeymoon! :-))
- Now seek out help. You have a basic timeline. You have thought about what diet and exercise programs could work for you. You know your goals. A trainer is always great (and of course I’m biased) but they will know ways to help put together the three previous steps into a program that works for you. Or maybe you seek out guidance from friends and family members you trust. BUT whatever you do, you take your outline/timeline and start working toward your goals ASAP.
Why do you start ASAP? Because like I’ve repeated numerous times, everything is an experiment. Unless you’ve actually looked exactly the way you wanted to before, you probably don’t know exactly what it takes to get there and you may need to tweak your program as you go along.
That is why you don’t want to wait till the final 90 days before your wedding to start getting into shape…because if you do wait till the last minute, YOU ARE PUTTING ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET!
And what if that 90 day program doesn’t work!?!
Then you are screwed.
Great way to stress yourself out! HA!
Anyway, start planning NOW! Know if there are any vacations or holidays in the meantime that may derail your diet. Know your fitting dates so that you look the way you want to for your final dress fitting so that your dress fits perfectly on your big day.
Plan out your exercise program so that you have some “me time” during what can be a slightly more stressful planning process!
And if you need help, I’m always here! (And in this case, also working on my own bridal biceps!)
Here is the beginning outline of my program:
Right now, I’m beginning a “healthy, unstressful phase” of my bridal bicep program. I’m doing slightly more carbs and training hard. I’m taking one cheat a week and basically just focused on maintaining.
It isn’t that I’m not always trying to look better, but I’m not stressing about it now. I’m just staying healthy and instilling healthy habits so that over the holidays I don’t lose ground.
In the weeks around the holidays, I will become a bit more strict to compensate for enjoying the holidays (since I’m not one for the stupid “holiday weight loss tips.”). Following the holidays I will go into an intense cutting phase. Followed by a month of maintainance. If I’m not yet at my goal, I’ll go for another shorter cutting phase before my final maintainence phase.
And guess what!?!
Throughout all of this, I will be lifting heavy! During cutting phases, I will do more cardio than during my maintenence phases, but that doesn’t mean I’ll become a cardio queen! No long chronic cardio for me! Remember cardio isn’t the key to weight loss….lean muscle mass is! 🙂
AND I won’t do a bazillion bicep curls or tricep extensions to have toned arms – I’ll do push ups and pull ups and lift heavy weights during compound movements. (Check out one of my worst nightmare workout programs….I guess at least they have brides working out for 6 months…Although this just looks so boring and not at all efficient!)
Anyway, join me for some “bad-ass” bridal biceps!
For a wedding workout consultation, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
So some of you know this, but Ryan and I are engaged. We got engaged on April Fool’s Day…2011.
We’ve been engaged for over a year now and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “So when are you getting married!?!”
Well we’ve finally set a date…sort of…Fall 2013.
I feel like if I write this somewhere public it will force me to finally start planning and actually get my act together.
And honestly the thing I think I’m most excited about is planning a perfect diet and exercise program to help me survive this next year, meet all of my fitness goals and look my best on our big day. (Am I a fitness nerd….of course!)
While many women spend 6 months to a year planning out their wedding (heck some women have even planned the wedding before they’ve met the groom! :-)), few spend more than a few weeks really focused on their workout and exercise program.
As soon as I start the wedding planning, I’m going to start working on my Bridal Biceps. I’ll have a nutrition and workout program all laid out not only so that I look amazing on my big day but also so that I feel great and energized throughout the entire planning process!
So ladies if you would like to follow suit and really look and feel your best not only on your big day but throughout the entire process, I suggest you stay tuned for the Bridal Biceps page launching this week!