Dear Sexy Man from Yoga

Dear sexy man from yoga,

IMG_1421I wasn’t expecting to see such an attractive man at 9 a.m. yoga. It’s usually the standard mothers, work-from-home warriors and misfit toys like myself.

Walking in wearing yoga pants, my hair in a top knot, sipping on Spark and makeup-less, I can say without a doubt I wasn’t expecting …  that.

But, however disheveled I looked, you looked divine. Unrolling your mat with such ease and entering each posture with grace.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a long way in yoga. I’m able to balance on one leg, maintain ‘crow pose’ and hold a deep lunge for long counts of 8 (thank you, spin). However, it is safe to say, I’m no long-legged Gisele.

I digress.

While I admittedly have a challenging time maintaining a clear mind during my practice, you sexy man, were almost like focal point for me. I was able to keep stressful thoughts about work and life outside of my brain for 60-minutes.

So thank you.

I may never see you again, and undoubtedly will never speak to you — as I don’t really go to yoga to be social, it is my personal escape.

But if I do see you downward dogging on the mat next to mine, I will simply smile and know that on a random Tuesday in February you helped me hold my yogi attention.

And for that, I thank you.

Namaste,

TTT

The Results Are In [Photos]

On January 7th I found myself starting my 3rd Advocare 24 Day Challenge.

My goals: Improve my stomach issues, understand was was irritating my GI, gain more energy and well, drop some unnecessary sugar-saturated lb. that I had put on during the holidays.

Back story: I started using Advocare products one year ago. I wanted to switch up the way I was fueling my body and needed a swift kick in the butt to do so. I mean, listen up, I teach a lot of fitness classes a week, the notion of having a cookie (or five) after motivating a room of sweaty people seemed to me like a reward.

And heck, my mindset was that I was burning off all these calories, what does it matter?

Well, it matters … it matters a lot.

I buckled down last January and ended up having incredible results. I’m talking amazing. I could fit into jeans that used to be tight. I had a TON of natural energy — sorry, coffee. And lastly, and in my opinion most importantly, I felt truly confident teaching in front of my classes.

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So what changed this year? I had more fun with the challenge! I was able to recruit some friends to join me on the 24 day excursion — which made saying ‘no’ to wine, chocolate and cheese that much more doable.

But I also became more creative this time around. I cooked more hot meals, I experimented with different ingredients and I ‘treated myself’ to a fantastic food delivery service that drops off perfectly portioned vegan-friendly meals at your doorstep. Thank you Purple Carrot :)

My results: Now, for the juicy stuff.

While I don’t own a scale — ditched that bitch a while ago — I was basing my results off of a few factors: How my stomach felt (GI), how my clothes were fitting and of course, the before and after pictures. [Can’t believe I’m showing y’all this, but, here you go!]

AdvoFrontSo here’s the deal.

Throughout the 24 days my main focus was to improve my willpower and eliminate a few things I knew were causing my stomach some distress.

Coffee, dairy, alcohol and sugar.

In addition to the 24 day goodies you receive when you order, I was supplementing with Catalyst (amino acid supplement).

It’s only been a few days since the challenge ended — and don’t get me wrong with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, there was quite a bit of indulging going on — I am back into a manageable routine for me.

And that’s why I love Advocare so much. It really allows you to supplement your diet and lifestyle with what works best for you … not a cookie cutter mold of what you ‘should’ be taking.

So, lastly, here’s what I’ve been using post-challenge … and loving!!

  1. Spark: Fruit Punch & Mango Strawberry (gahhhhhhh … I could drink this stuff all day, everyday)
  2. Catalyst: I take this before I teach or workout. As my blend Becky says, “This is lipo in a bottle.” … and she’s correct :)
  3. 02 Gold: I take this before I teach — helps my body through challenging cardio sets.
  4. OmegaPlex: Essential Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Because, let’s be real, I don’t eat enough fish.

Other fun goodies I’ve tried and really enjoyed:

  • ThermoPlus: helps more effectively use stored fat as energy
  • Clear Mood: Just started using this, juries still out … will keep y’all posted.
  • SLAM: Honestly, one of the best concentrated pre-workouts I’ve ever used. Energy for days without feeling jittery!
  • Carb-Ease Plus: Pasta and beer anyone? Still testing the waters on this one …
  • DigestEase: My stomach is notorious for making loud noises during digestion. This tames that inner beast. But, for real.

Feel free to ask me ANYTHING. Truly, that’s what I’m here for :) Next challenge starts ASAP, so get those orders in if you’re interested!

- TTT

Small Steps, Big Moves

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If you’ve ever changed jobs, moved or left a tainted relationship you’ve taken a step.

It doesn’t matter how large the step is, and honestly, how vital it felt to take it. What matters most is that you took it. See, in life these small steps add up to much larger paths. These small twists and turns become much larger branches on the tree that is our life — too deep? Sorry, I’m feeling it. 

As most of you know, I went to school for Art History. I studied the Italian Renaissance and had every painting, sculpture and photo memorized by date, medium and era. And while I studied abroad my junior year of college, I knew upon graduation that continuing along this path wasn’t for me.

You see, I moved to Boston thinking I wanted to work in a gallery or museum. I tirelessly applied to job listings, perfected my resume and even made phone calls to those I thought could help get me in the door. No luck.

I was unemployed for 4 months.

Cruising through my savings all while trying to not get discouraged, part of me knew this wasn’t the right path. Something was telling me to go forth in another direction. So I did.

I found a indoor cycling position (which I had been certified in since college), worked as a receptionist at the gym and was a cocktail waitress. I persevered because I knew that’s what I had to do — I was not about to wallow in self pity over not finding a job that utilized my degree.

A few years later I became a certified personal trainer, began writing this blog and discovered an entire world I had not yet been privy too.

So what am I saying? Talk that step.

It will undoubtedly be hard. You may even second guess yourself. But, at the end of the day, you’re moving forward.

“Tip toe if you must, but take the step.”

-TTT

Twitter Trolls & Ignoring The Comments

e592d35b44bfc74a535d2d3b97ee5c59If I have learned one thing from writing a blog, working for a publication and being a member of social media, it’s that you have to have thick skin.

I am talking skin made out of … Well, I’m not quite sure, but it’s got to be unbreakable.

Why? Because as soon as you dip your big toe into the ocean that is the internet harsh waves in the form of comments and tweets begin to swell around you.

Remember the saying, ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me?’

Who the heck said that? Because, I tripped over a Christmas tree (read: a stick) awaiting pick-up this morning and it merely scratched my ankle. No blood and certainly no tears. To me, this is lightyears less impactful than the words that are displayed on Twitter, Facebook and beyond.

So why did I bring this up?

We’ll, if you are friends with me on the ole FB, you know I recently wrote a story about juice cleansing for BostInno. I interviewed two parties. In my opinion they are both experts in their field (read more about their backstory here). The article was a pros vs. cons on the popular method of detoxing … and since I am neither for or against nor am I an expert, I let these two strong women take the reigns.

I asked the questions, they gave me answers.

Mmm. Sounds too good too be true. It was. I immediately began receiving nasty tweets from complete strangers (okay, that’s Twitter for you) who were not giving their opinions on the controversial topic, but instead bashing me as a writer.

It didn’t stop there.

More tweets and comments began flooding in and before I knew it that big toe I had so boldly dipped into the ocean turned into a full body emersion. That small wake, now a crashing wave.

I left work that day feeling pretty defeated. Thick skin or not, you can only get beat down so many times before the comments wear on you and your confidence to produce valuable content.

I plopped on the couch, kicked up my feet and vowed to not check Twitter for the rest of the night. While watching my new favorite show, The Girlfriends Guide to Divorce — thank you Bravo  — I was quickly distracted by the story line which dealt with the main character (who is an author) and her haters/their rude comments.

And then this was said,

“Nobody truly interesting is universally liked.”

Just like that my mood changed.

I started viewing these words as fuel to ignite my inner self. I reminded myself that in some ways this was simply modern day bullying; Someone hiding behind a computer screen was putting me down … and I wasn’t going to let it anymore.

Because I’m truly interesting. Because I work hard for the articles I produce. And if someone wants to chew me out or be mean on a social platform, let them. I am not universally liked … and that’s is fine by me.

-TTT

40 Questions for 2014

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For the past 4 years I have spent a few moments on NYE filling out this questionnaire.

I find it’s a great way to reflect on what has happened over the 12 months and also think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year.

I’ll be really honest here, sometimes the answers are awful … sometimes they make me cry. But always, and I mean always, am happy I completed it.

Because for me looking back at the year that was is more about lessons learned than regrets. It’s more about positives than negatives. And while those slumps and road bumps certainly occurred throughout my 2014, I am choosing to not let them surface.

Way too many amazing things happened this year. What about you?

Fill out this for yourself. Save it on your computer. Always have a piece of 2014 to hold onto. 

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you…

i. happier or sadder?

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?

21. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

23. How many one night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

28. What did you want and get?

29. What did you want and not get?

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

31. What did you do on your birthday?

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

40. Quote a song lyric/movie/tv quote that sums up your year:

 

Happy 2014 TTTers, can’t wait to see what 2015 brings :)

xoxo, 
Caroline

Time For a Challenge. Join Me?

Last year around this time, I got introduced to a little ole company called Advocare.

While I am very particular about which products I put into my body, I decided to do some research and reviews about this line. And hot damn, I was impressed.

Not only was it a versatile company, they have products for many varieties of goals. From weight loss to performance and overall well being, I just got a good vibe with them. And let me just say, that takes a lot.

To give you some perspective: I am the type of personal trainer/fitness instructor/blogger who investigates every ingredient on her protein powder before blending it with my frozen banana and carrageenan-free almond milk. Yup, that’s me folks.

And just as I am careful regarding what I put into my body, I also become slightly obsessed with the ones I love.

Enter: Advocare.

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Since January 2014, I have participated in 2 24-Day Challenges and bought countless containers of Spark, OmegaPlex and many more.

Why? Because this 24-DC is a way for me to reset my system after a season filled with cheese plates, cookies and lots of wine. By NO means am I depriving myself or limiting my intake of healthy fats, carbohydrates and natural sugars. In fact, if anything, this month allows me to take a step back and recognize how amazing those foods feel in my body.

And of course, the proof is in the pudding.

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My first challenge last January I lost about 5 lb. and multiple inches. However, most importantly, my digestion and energy levels were through the roof. I’m talking no bloat, no fatigue, no afternoon slump. At all.

So, if you’re interested, let me know if you’d like to join me on January 5 (in the comments below) on a 24-DC worth every single penny. And if you have any questions, send ‘em my way :)

-TTT

The 12 Days of Fitness

Honesty is the best policy, right? Right.

I’ve barely done any Christmas shopping.

I’m talking a few items online, a couple in-store and … well … a lot of ideas still swirling around in my head. But, that’s a start. It’s not like the big day is a week away or anything ;)

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While I get all my Christmas ducklings in a row, I’ve also been doing my fair share of celebrating over here. Engagements and babies — hooray!!  And in the midst of it all I set up a sweet little special over on BostInno to help all y’all get through the holidays the healthiest possible.

Enter: The 12 Days of Fitness.

Each day I’ve been tossing out healthy resolution advice, gift guides and even tips for not derailing your diet at those holiday parties. Here’s what I have so far:

– A Healthy Gift Guide for All the Fitness Junkies in Your Life

– 6 Festive Foods to Avoid at Holiday Parties this Year

– How to Find The Best Gym For You

Enjoy!
-TTT

Stress, Change & Learning How To Breathe Again

O.M.G.

Has it really been 12 days since I last posted? My bad. Clearly things have been hectic on this side of the computer screen.

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Well, other than writing tons of turkey day/holiday-related content, giving this blog a facelift and coming down with a nasty cold/flu (last week — yuck), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

Every year around this time I start to evaluate the past 12 months. From weddings to babies, jobs and friendships, as we get older, undoubtedly things change. And while I’m not the biggest fan of this, I’ve learned that it’s all a part of growing up.

This year alone I started a new job as a health and fitness journalist and began teaching at a brand new indoor cycling and TRX studio. Personally and professionally I saw a lot of growth.

In the relationship department — ahem, let me clarify — in the ‘friendship’ department much happened as well.

I was in one of my good friends weddings, traveled to Chicago, California and Charleston. Both my sister and one of my best friends found incredible men and are now in serious relationships. Two other best friends had babies — one of which moved an hour away.

That’s a lot of change. And I’d be lying if I said I coped wonderfully. I didn’t.

I am far from perfect and this summer in particular was a challenge. I was stressed out, run down, busy beyond belief and dare I say it …

Lost.

Sure I slapped on a smile, attempted to date via swipeable iPhone apps and probably drank far too much wine. But in all honesty, these were all just a bandaid for the underlying issues I was dealing with.

Instead of facing my frustrations head on, I masked them by attending more events and social gatherings — all in an effort to limit the time I had completely free. Because it was in that moment where I would begin to feel lost, uncertain and utterly overwhelmed by this change.

In an effort to not turn this into Trendy Trainer, A Memoir, I will keep it short.

About a month or so ago, I had had enough. I called a meeting with myself, or as I like to call it, a personal pow-wow. I needed to start brainstorming more productive ways to deal with this anxiety — and not just be busier.

Enter, meditation.

I decided that with a job as physically demanding as mine, the stress relief had to come from something non-strenuous. While I’m still in the beginning stages of this practice, I can already tell a difference in my behaviors.

I am relearning how to breathe through certain situations, and let me tell you, it’s refreshing.

How do you cope with change? Stress? 

-TTT

First and foremost, thank you ALL for being so incredible supportive not only about my first video blog, but also regarding my insecurity.

Y’all are amazing and inspire me daily.

Okay, moving on.

Last week I had the opportunity to co-host the final Boston New Balance Girls Night Out event with my blog friend, Sherri of Fun Fit Flavor (her recap here). And while you know just how much I love me some New Balance, these events are a seriously the bomb dot com.

The theme was Staying Fit & Healthy While Traveling.

There ended up being about 100 ladies — a sold out event hosted at the Westin Copley in Downtown Boston.

Why did NB host it at the Westin you ask? Great question.

NB and Westin hotels have a partnership that is absolutely amazing. Regardless of which Westin you’re staying at you can partake in their ‘gear lending’ as well as their RunWESTIN programs.

Gear lending program
We’ve all been there. You arrive at your hotel and realize you’ve forgotten your, gulp, sneakers. You had full intentions of being healthy at this work conference but now feel down and out about your lack of kicks.

Ding! Stay at a Westin and your problems are solved.

NB has everything from sports bras to socks, crops and sneakers if you’ve left yours at home. For $5 you can rent whatever you need and return it when you’re done.

Pretty sweet.

RunWESTIN program
If you’re like me, you want to actually see the city you’re visiting — and if you can do so on foot, even better.

Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for work the RunWESTIN program allows you to take a guided run around town. The special Run Concierge team knows just where to go to give you the best views of the city … and a challenging workout.

At the NBGNO event, the girls had a choice between a 4(ish) mile run with me and the RunWestin Concierge team OR an indoor bootcamp with Sherri led by the RunWestin Concierge himself, Chris!

Seeing our city at night with all of these inspirational ladies was pretty incredible.
Back at the ranch (read: Westin), post-snacks and mid-wine, Sherri and I began out chat regarding staying healthy on-the-go.
We even raffled off an adorable NB roll suitcase! I didn’t win …
In all it was SUCH a fun evening. Between the healthy tips on traveling (which I will post separately later), good food and drink and of course the killer workout, NBGNO will definitely be missed this winter.
Until then ladies, let’s meet up, workout and redefine what it means to have a girls night out :)

Images via NB/Fun Fit Flavor