Sweating Some Serious Support

Gotta reach the goal!
or fuhgeddaboudit…
repost from @RejuventatedUK

I’ve been attending The Max Challenge since it opened in my hometown, and I’ve generally flopped between the two mindsets above :-). Lately, though, I’ve been recommitted to getting there daily and putting my in my best effort, so here’s to feeling more like the first graphic and less like the second! The Max workouts are varied enough that I’m never bored, it’s not a fashion show, and the camaraderie goes a long way towards staying committed.

A whole other reason to be thankful for a great indoor option is the allergy season. I love to walk around the neighborhood but I can’t lately unless I want to swallow buckets of goo all day (too much? Sorry). Side note: If you are also suffering with this, Mucinex D 12-hour sold behind the pharmacy counter could save your life (def saving mine).

Here are few workout truths I’ve made peace with:

  • Getting there a few minutes late is so much better than not getting there at all and attending on a Monday sets a great tone for the week.
  • The more often I go, the more motivated I am to go again.
  • Don’t wear the grey leggings unless is is laundry day and I’m out of dark ones and totally desperate (I see you, mirror).
  • Modify exercises. Modify them whenever necessary because coming back the next day trumps straining something.
  • Keep my knees behind the tips of my toes if I want to keep them intact and not show up in a knee brace. (Did you know that for each pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress for people who suffer from extra pounds or osteoarthritis? study by researcher Stephen P. Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University)
  • Skip the makeup because no one cares and it clogs open, sweaty pores (except for the undereye concealer, because if I skip it people ask if I’m feeling sick or if everything’s ok, LOL).
  • Generate regular site posts because I’ll show up if I am writing regularly about my experience (so THANK YOU to any readers)!

The friends you make in a workout class also often end up being a terrific resource (shout out, Robyn!) – face it, when mamas talk, the take-away tips come at you left and right. Who runs the world? Moms.

Expert fittings at The Dain Shoppe in Morristown, NJ

One of the more recent floor conversations circulated around sports bra shopping and finding a bra with decent support. The Dain Shoppe in Morristown, NJ, a longstanding local lingerie shop, was recommended, so off I went with a buddy to check it out. The Dain Shoppe has been serving the tri-state area since 1982 and store associates know their stuff. Paired with the fact that they contribute to many local community initiatives, I was excited to get fitted and give their suggestions a shot.

So many options…

If you work out often enough to invest in your comfort, the best gift you can give yourself is to visit a shop that will professionally fit you and make sports bra recommendations suited to your specific size and body proportions. Amongst the myriad of choices, the associate I worked with expertly pulled several options off the rack and brought them to the fancy fitting room for me (the nicer the fitting room, the more nervous I get about the price). I gasped a little when I checked the tag of the Anita Air Control Deltapad, but after the sweat-inducing, boob crushing, mass market torture device I have been suffering with for the past year, I promised myself I would just wash it with every load and paid for it. I want to live in this thing- everyday. It’s super comfortable in class and THEY. DON’T. MOVE. Bring on the jumping jacks. I can take it. Worth every penny.

Learning so much from @thefoodbabe

A label-reading education seems to come part and parcel with an exercise regimen, if any results are to be had. If you didn’t catch the Favorite Finds post from yesterday, I wanted to again share the link to “The Food Babe” Vani Hari’s Instagram page – @thefoodbabe. I learn something from this NYT best-selling author every time she posts and I can’t wait for her book, Feeding You Lies ($15.79 on Amazon), to show up on my doorstep.

*First time reading? Check out my first workout-related post with recommendations for sneakers that will steal all your workout excuses and how to take the stink out of workout gear. Click on the link!

(All products were chosen by me independently and all opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored- this is a creative outlet and I just love sharing great finds) – Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Got any workout tips that you want to share? Comment below or email me at themomreno@gmail.com!

Get Busy, Do It…

“…Get up and move that BODY!”

– Technotronic
Planking woman with abs that don’t look like mine. Mine are better. (I jest!)

Oh, the header of this post. I’m in a silly mood – sorry, not sorry.

I don’t have to tell anyone reading that exercise helps reduce stress and naturally makes us feel proactive and productive. Endorphins are like natural pain and happy drugs. In fact, in a mood enhancement study conducted by researchers at the University of Vermont, the group that exercised reported “significantly lower mood disturbance” both immediately and up to 12 HOURS after exercising. It’s an upper. Maybe that’s why I’m pulling lame lyrics from the ’90s.

It’s also been proven time and time again that it’s at least 20 times harder to restart an exercise routine after stopping for any more than two days. This study was done by… me. (hee hee) I mean, I have done my due diligence!

Image by LouisBauer from Pixabay

My early morning routine consists of putting the kids on the bus, changing into workout gear, and performing a mental exercise akin to a hostage situation (“I’m serious, GET INTO THE CAR NOW!).

The more I go, the less exhausting the idea because I love how I feel when I’m there – and when it’s over. It’s like the Dorothy Parker quote about writing – “I hate writing, I love having written.” Right?

For the Love of Laundry

If you find that your wash is still not leaving your workout clothes smelling fresh, an awesome hack is to fill a sink with cold water and pour in a cup of distilled white vinegar. Let the clothes marinate for a few hours and then throw them in with your next load. Stinkiness gone. Truth. I’ve tried specially formulated “workout detergents” and this beats them all in both cost and efficacy.

What’s your favorite workout brand? I want to know! Drop me a line or leave it in the comments below. I’ve been liking the Zella High Waist Cropped Leggings from Nordstrom for their ability to smooth and flatten, and the affordable C9 Line from Champion at Target, which happens to be 20% off today (not sure for how long). I’m dying to check out Outdoor Voices next time I’m downtown since they have a store on Prince Street – they are a splurge but their two tone stuff is hi-tech and kind of amazing looking.

On a side note, is anyone else guilty of waiting to spend on wardrobe until they are at a size where they feel more like their old self? My options have dwindled to the point where I never feel like I have anything. I seem to be forgetting that getting dressed confidently breeds confidence. I guess I feel like investing in workout gear I love would at least drive the workout habit.

Literally, saving my sole(s)

I also have to share these sneakers for anyone suffering from foot pain, intermittent or chronic. Once upon a time, I was a beauty writer who clomped the whole of NYC in three inch heels. I murdered the balls of my feet. Paired with early signs of arthritis and aerobic stress on my heels (holy crap, I sound 80 years old), there are days when the inflammation would provide a stellar excuse to sit on my tush. Enter Orthofeet’s Coral Stretchable Athletic Sneaker – they are like walking on clouds. Sometimes I just wear them around the house because it hurts less than being barefoot. They’re pricey, but there is always a sale going on *full price is for suckers. They are bulkier-looking than my trendy sneakers, but they are a godsend on the bad days (then back to cute) and don’t make me look like I should live in a nursing home.

Sooo…. what is motivating you all to work out? What are you loving? Share your recommendations – moms are amazing resources and we all learn so much from each other every day!

(All opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… obvs nothing is sponsored) xoxo TheMomReno

A Friday Full of Progress

Turning on the Faucet

Credit: quotefancy.com

As I write this blog in my spare time while trying to intentionally parent and run a house that is about to enter total construction upheaval, I’m hoping that any readers will excuse the schizophrenic nature of my topic choices. The urge to write could no longer be ignored, and I promise you that I will find structure and streamline as I go. Writing feels a bit like a friend that I’m reconnecting with and haven’t felt whole without.

Working it Out

I made it to workout class every day this week, which is a big accomplishment for me! Yesterday would have been a great day for excuses – I needed to research the reliability of the kitchen appliances we are considering purchasing, grocery shop, and clean out the utility room for the pump that’s required for the new basement bathroom (zzzz… snore). But this accountability blog is keeping me motivated to push myself harder than usual. So thank you, mostly nonexistent readers! I actually made it to “leg day.” Instructor probably has no idea who I am – LOL.

Clean Beauty

Credit: Follain Clean Essentials Kit,Follain.com

I’ve become a little obsessed with the offerings at Follain, the clean beauty website and retail shopping haven. The next time I leave the ‘burbs for my big NYC haircut (old habits die hard), I am definitely going to swing by the West Village location. I love how they have taken the guesswork out of picking toxin-free beauty and I’d love to get matched for some optimal skincare choices. I’ve already ordered some RMS Beauty “Un” Powder off their website to finish off my makeup routine – I’ll report in – and I am lusting after so much more, which I will try after I either: a) rob a bank, or b) receive press samples someday – I’m dreaming big here!

Trying to maintain my pledge to swap used up, empty products for safer options, and I don’t have setting power right now, so that’s first up.

Carb addict seeking protein-rich breakfast suggestions…

I’m a carb girl. I was raised on carbs. I innately don’t love protein. Does anyone have any recommendations for protein-rich breakfast ideas that will still make me feel like I am cheating with carbs? LOL. That would be perfect. I’m going to start experimenting with some overnight oats breakfast bowls next week – the Peanut Butter Overnight Oatmeal from minimalistbaker.com looks like an easy recipe with a decent amount of protein. Also, wakeupandsmelltherosay on Instagram also has some super fabulous looking ones. Other suggestions? I am all ears!

Rise and Grind.

Back to baseline after Spring Break

We did not go away for Spring Break this year, so I don’t have the excuse of luggage laundry. However, as a result of the kids milling around for a week, hosting play dates and running out for family day trips, we are living in a post-apocalyptic scene that I have been diligently trying to work us out of before packing for construction. This week is also filled with appointments to pick out kitchen appliances and design layout. I should film it so I can watch myself exceeding budget in record time. Could be historic.

Working on working out

Motivating to get to the gym has never been easy for me, but I’ve re-committed to it – again. In addition to my health and having energy for my kids, I have about 20 extra pounds that I’ve been toting around for way too long. I’ve reached peace with them over the years, but I’ve never felt comfortable and confident the way I’d like to. The MAX Challenge program has provided me with a new feeling of accountability, since I attempt to attend five days a week at the same time, surrounded by supportive members of the community (each at their own fitness level). I like that it’s not intimidating and I don’t feel like I need to “dress up” or feel particularly skilled to participate. It certainly pushes me harder than I would push myself left to my own devices, even though I modify the heck out of every move and cheat on the suggested diet (shh…). Since it’s a 45-minute class and a quick 10 minutes away, I head there after dropping the kids off at the bus and can do the whole she-bang, including the commute, in just over an hour. Then on with the day…

But it’s not always that simple. I admit to having taken several “before” photos and have yet to take an “after.” Life gets in the way often… a sick child, a pressing project, a small injury, or just a lame excuse. That’s where the accountability of this blog will come in handy. I will always be honest, and that will sometimes sound less than aspirational.

“Clean”-ing up my makeup bag and shower caddy

The more that is written about the ingredients that our makeup and body products contain, the scarier things get. The good news is while “cleaner” beauty products have been around for years, there has been a recent explosion of new, alluring brands and options ranging from bare budget to luxury. Even the more mainstream drugstore brands seem to be slowly sensing that they need to revise certain formulas if they plan to keep competing in the ever-growing beauty marketplace.

In fact, California Assembly Bill 495, if passed, will prohibit 20 of the most dangerous chemicals and contaminants currently being used in beauty products. Read an easily digstible summary about it on the Environmental Working Group website. This page will let you download a copy of the report and read more specifics. They list the following chemicals amongst those to be banned:

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
  • Chemicals that release formaldehyde.
  • Mercury, which can damage the kidney and nervous system.
  • Lead, a potent neurotoxin.
  • Asbestos, a known carcinogen.
  • Isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben.
  • Toluene, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system.
  • Triclosan, which affects the thyroid.
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to cancer.

Here is a link to the chart of the full 20 ingredients with details.

While it is not realistic to toss all current favorites in one fell swoop, I am heeding the advice of Indie Lee on the recent Bad on Paper Podcast (episode 48) and subscribing to the 80/20 rule. I plan revise a majority of the products in my regular routine, seeking out more responsible substitutes as my current products empty. I’ll be sure to report in on favorites as I go!