Halfway Done: Fit2B Challenged Week 3



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This was a tough week to get through. I found myself eliminating most of my other workouts except for the Challenge combinations. Is this good or bad? That depends. I tend to prefer shorter more consistent workouts rather than fewer long ones. There are benefits to both philosophies. My idea is two longer workouts a week with two or three shorter higher intensity ones. But this was a new kind of challenge for me, forcing myself to do longer workouts and still use proper form and alignment.


Combo #6

Align It Flat

Jump Change

Kelly’s Total Toning

Total Length: 67 minutes

What I Like About This Combination

Jump change has not been my favorite workout in the past. It tends to bug my knees. That being said, this time around it didn’t hurt me too much. But it still isn’t one of my favorites. It doesn’t seem to flow as well as other Fit2B cardio routines. But it does get your heart rate up. I was also frequently interrupted while doing these, since I did them right after breakfast when my kids were already up. But it was mostly manageable. They even joined me on the floor for some of Align it Flat. Kelly’s Total Toning is still one of my favorite routines. I’ve been doing Fit2B consistently for almost a year and I continually come back to this one. If I have 30 minutes or less and I want a great all around workout, this is the first one I turn to. It gets upper and lower body. Great upper body workout even without weights and she continually reminds you to engage your core so you don’t need to pair this with a Foundational Five if you don’t have time.


Combo #8


Tabata Kick & Squat

Total Length: 62 minutes

What I Like About This Combination: Tabata Kick & Squat is one of my other favorites. It’s my favorite long workout. But I’ve never been a huge fan of the original Insane, since it isn’t as Tummy Safe as Insane II. I remember why,. I really hate burpees. That being said I didn’t even know what they were until recently (other than a seed company).  Bethany doesn’t use many and tries to modify them, but given the choice, I’d stick with Insane II. This is a very long workout. Tabata Kick & Squat is already the longest workout on the site and now this just adds to me. Finding the time was my biggest challenge for this one, but it helps that TK&S is a perennial favorite.


Combo #9

Kelly’s Floor Core Routine

Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates

Insane Upper Body

Total Length: 63 minutes

What I Like About This Combination

This is the second time we’ve seen Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates in Fit2B Challenged. Some how every time I do this workout, I discover something I’d forgotten about. This is a backside burning workout. The good news, is that I actually feel like I’m getting stronger because I can actually get through this workout without having to always do the most basic versions of the movements and without having to stop movements early to catch my breath or ease a burning muscle. It’s rather exciting to notice that Insane Upper Body continues to be a challenge as I increase the weight. I’m up to 6 pound dumb bells, and I’m hoping to go heavier eventually, just so I can keep up with my growing son and daughter. It is a struggle right now, but for the most part I can still do the workout. Increasing the weight when you are ready is a great way to make some of the familiar workouts on Fit2B more challenging.

Bonus Workouts

This week I also did Ultimate Upper Body and Kickboxing. Just a few additional things to round out the week.

Only one more week to go and I can put this challenge behind me. It’s been a wild ride and I’m looking forward to charting a new course after the new year.


A New Challenge: Fit2B Challenged

The Challenge Begins: Fit2B Challenged Week 1

The Challenge Continues: Fit2B Challenged Week 2


Give yourself the gift of fitness this holiday season. You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!
Join Fit2b.us

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store


Don’t forget the Fit2B e-course, Experts on Diastasis Recti, too.

Experts on Diastasis Recti Online Course 

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Challenged | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent When Things Don’t Go According to Plan


Photo Credit: Jack Fussell via Compfight cc

I had grand plans for Advent and Christmas this year. I was going to get everything done early so I’d have lots of time to relax and enjoy the holidays with my family. Except it hasn’t turned out that way. Instead I’ve returned to work part time, which means one less day to do things. I spend much of last weekend curled up on the couch with unexplained stomach and abdominal pain. Basically my two biggest work days between now and Christmas. My husband and I made a list of things that needed to be done in the next week, there were 25+, 10-15 of which had to be done that weekend. We probably accomplished less than half. There have been a series of difficulties in my husband’s family, including the sudden death of his grandfather last week.

As we were driving home after church on Sunday a thought suddenly occurred to me. The first Christmas didn’t go according to plan either.  Mary hadn’t planned to be an unwed mother. I’m sure she hadn’t thought she’d be traveling during the final weeks of her pregnancy, for the purpose of being taxed. The financial pressure was on, the cost of travel plus the inevitable tax bill.  (Sound familiar yet?) When they arrived, there was nowhere to stay, at least nowhere reputable. To top it all off, she gave birth unexpectedly in an unfamiliar setting without the support of her female relatives.

I’ve heard so many bloggers talk about what a hard year 2014 was for some many people. The winter was long and difficult and as another approaches I can feel the fear. This Christmas feels like one last good time before the inevitable frigid darkness envelopes us for a few months. But this isn’t so. In fact, Christmas takes place just after Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Meaning it will only get lighter from here.

Almost nothing about the time and place of the nativity looked like it went according to plan; at least from a human perspective. But it was all exactly the way God had in mind. So as we finish out a year, if it was a tough one, try to remember, it will get lighter. There may be another cold winter coming, but spring will be hot on its heels. Try to look for the peace within the chaos and watch for the light.

John 1: 4-5

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

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The Challenge Continues: Fit2B Challenged Week 2

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This week time has been my biggest problem. The workouts are difficult, but manageable if you can set aside enough time to do them. (Of course, you always have the option of doing them at different times the same day).


Combo #4

Core Wake Up

Pilates & Yoga Loaded

Tabata Ball Workout

Total Length: 59 minutes

What I Like About This Combination

I’ll admit to being pleasantly surprised by this. It was not as hard as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, it is almost a full hour of movement which can be quite difficult if you aren’t used to it. But both these workouts keep things interesting so you don’t get bored. The hardest part was trying to find a whole hour to do them. (6 AM has become my workout time, again). Both use weights, which I was concerned would be overload, but they actually complement each other quite well, because they use weight in different ways.


Combo #5

Rockin Yoga and Pilates


Total Length: 62 minutes

What I Like About This Combination

I went into this workout feeling nervous. It is really long. But it is also very well balanced. I didn’t feel like I was overworking anything. Rockin’ Yoga & Pilates was mostly floor more, and most of Tabata was standing so I felt like I got a good balance.  Since these combos are so long I haven’t been doing as much of the Foundational Five as I would like, but Tabata has us doing some great belly breaths during the breaks between sets, so it almost felt like it was integrated. Good long workout without exhaustion afterwards. It was almost relaxing at points.


Combo #7

Weighted Warriors

Peaceful Blend

Total Length: 66 minutes

What I Like About This Combination

(These combos are out of order for a very good reason. My left knee has been bothering me a bit and I know from experience that Jump Change tends to irritate my knees. Hence why I’ve only done it once or twice).

This is a very long combination. I was reminded about an important lesson of movement. Slow movement is often more difficult than fast movement. Peaceful Blend is very slow, which makes it relaxing in theory but it also requires slow sustained movement, which is very taxing on the body.

I think the hardest thing about the Peaceful Blend is the frequent gate poses, which still are very challenging to me. The soothing nature of the workout is mentally nice, but sometimes I found myself wishing certain movements were over a bit faster. While this didn’t use to be one of my favorite routines, as I start making a mental short list of workouts for my next pregnancy, this will definitely be one of them.


What else did I do this week? This week I filled in my extra days with Kickboxing, Kelly Dean’s Wall Workout and Body Sculpting Outside. With two weeks done, we only have two more to go.

A New Challenge: Fit2B Challenged

The Challenge Begins: Fit2B Challenged Week 1


Give yourself the gift of fitness this holiday season. You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!
Join Fit2b.us

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store


Don’t forget the Fit2B e-course, Experts on Diastasis Recti, too.

Experts on Diastasis Recti Online Course 

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Challenged | Leave a comment

Do You Ever Wonder Anymore?


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In his sermon last Sunday, our pastor talked about the fact that it is easy to lose our sense of wonder.  Christmas is an amazing time. There is a sense of Narnian magic in the air. The mystery of the Incarnation. Children experience this magic. The lights, the traditions, and of course, Santa Claus. They may not fully understand it, assuming it can be understood at all with the mind rather than the heart; but they sense that something is special about this time. As adults it is easy to become distracted.

We don’t even celebrate Santa at our house, and there is still a sense of excitement in the air. Part of it is related to the giving and receiving of gifts. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of anticipation of someone opening a gift I had carefully and thoughtfully chosen. I want to teach my children the same enjoyment that comes from giving. But, there is more than that.


Photo Credit: CliffMuller via Compfight cc

If I seem like I’m struggling to put this into words, it’s because I am a bit. I am an adult trying to put the memory of a child’s experience into grownup words. Even with my best intentions, I have lost my perspective, some of my joy and wonder. Until just a few years ago, I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t only the presents or the anticipation of family togetherness, both as wonderful and stressful as that could be. I remember lying awake in my childhood bed, the room filled with the light of a Christmas window candle and feeling as though magic lay heavy in the air. Now I am so exhausted with preparations that I stay up too late and finally roll into bed exhausted.  I have lost something.

The Incarnation, God with us, is truly part of that deeper magic that C.S. Lewis was talking about. Something that we understand deep in our bones, though our minds have forgotten and our hearts have strayed. It was part of us from our creation. A savior who would become one of us so he could die for us. A birthday that was a prelude to an execution that would end in resurrection. But not end, not really, rather point us toward an infinitely better future that is beyond what our minds can comprehend.


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Words and theology cannot fully explain why all of this makes my heart beat faster and my mind race with possibilities. I have heard the good news the shepherds were talking about and dared to believe it is true. A savior has been born to us. I can experience the wonder and joy again. But I need to let go. Let go of all the self-imposed responsibilities to create the picture postcard, perfect Christmas.

If you enjoy decorating your house, revel in it. But if it causes more stress than it produces delight, then simplify. If an elaborate Christmas meal fills your heart with joy; fill the house with the glorious fragrances of the holidays. But if at your house it always seems to end in acrid smoke and hurtful words, settle for something easier and do it with gladness. If hours of shopping or hand making gifts makes your heart sing continue on brave woman. But if going to the mall makes you claustrophobic and you are allergic to anything crafty, then settle for simple gifts purchased online (or Etsy for that handmade touch that you didn’t have to sweat over).

If I have the best decorated house, the most delicious food and expensive and elaborate gifts but I lack wonder; I have gained nothing. (Excuse the paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13). Worse than that, I have sacrificed my joy on the altar of holiday expectations. Grant yourself grace this year. Do more of the things you love, and only what you must of those that drain you. Gather close to those you love. Ask God to restore your joy and open your eyes to wonder this Christmas. Then set aside time to watch for it.

Do less, so you can experience more.



Categories: Advent | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Dear One, You Aren’t Alone: Five Minute Friday


You, the one with the child hanging on your leg and look of exhausted defeat in your eyes. The one who is yelling out of sheer frustration rather than the malice. I’ve been where you are. In fact I still am. In a world filled with Pinterest perfect homes and Facebook posts of well dressed and behaved families, I’m one of those too. The mom who thinks she’s never good enough. Who wishes I could just get my two year old to stop peeing on the floor and my five year old to drop the teenage attitude. Who would give up eating if it meant a few moments of quiet or an hour to myself.

You aren’t alone. You are surrounded by other moms laboring in the trenches just as you are. But most of the time we don’t notice. We only see those we think are doing it better. How does she stay in such great shape? Why is her house always so clean? Her kids listen so well? Chances are she works excessively hard to look like that, or has an insanely high metabolism which has it’s own set of problems. Everyone’s house is dirty sometimes, or has developed an excellent system of hiding places for the messes. (In our house it was the extra bedroom until we didn’t have one anymore. I suddenly noticed how much messier the rest of the house became without a miscellaneous dumping group for homeless items). Every child has a bad day, the severity varies by personality. Some of us have the unlucky distinction of having our children’s bad days on display in grocery stores and libraries rather than in the privacy of our own homes.

Dear one, you are not a bad mommy. You have not ruined your children. (Mine are rolling on the floor like bear cubs as we speak.) Those thoughts you have during those dark nights of the soul, many of them are lies. Chose the truth instead. Some of this is a season that will pass. There will be new kinds of hard coming, but believe it or not (I chose to believe it) you will be stronger then because of what you are coping with now. So take heart, dear one. Take a deep breath and carry on. You are not alone.


This is my children refusing to pose with their grandparents when we all cut down our Christmas trees. This is the best picture we got.

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | 2 Comments

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