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A Slow Start….

Whoo hoo! There’s PLENTY of time to turn those healthy goals into reality this year.

Since January isn’t over yet, I feel I can still offer my heartfelt wishes for a very Happy New Year.

It’s hard to believe we’re already thee weeks into 2019 and somehow this is the first time I’ve managed to get a post together. I hope you can forgive my extended hiatus, but caring for Mom (and keeping an eye on Dad) after her knee replacement surgery because my full-time job after returning from vacation. I’m happy to report Mom’s doing great, continuing her physical therapy and being a great patient overall. (Thanks to all of you who’ve kept up with my other social media posts and sent so many good wishes to Mom!)

The beginning of a new year is always filled with so much promise. I love seeing new faces at the gym and all the posts on social media sharing new workouts, new workout wear and new recipes. However, with three Motivation Mondays behind us, this is the time I also start seeing frustration and even defeat in other posts as people feel badly about missing a day at the gym or enjoying that extra glass of wine or helping of mac and cheese after a cold commute home. In an effort to kick any self-doubt to the curb, here’s a reminder that habits take a minimum of six weeks to take root in mind, body and spirit. So don’t give up now!

Here are three realities to accept right now:

  1. Even the biggest fitness fanatics (including yours truly) have off days. If you miss a day of exercise, the next opportunity is just 24 hours away. One missed workout shouldn’t lead to throwing in the towel for an entire week.
  2. There will be days when the diet goes out the window: A birthday celebration; a bad day at the office or even a snow day spent indoors with too many cookies lurking inside the pantry. Own whatever triggered that “naughty” splurge on libations or high-fat comfort foods, and move on.    Just like that missed workout, one “bad” meal or entire “cheat day” doesn’t have to ruin a whole week.
  3. You will NOT drop three sizes or 50 pounds in a few weeks. (And if you do, chances are you didn’t get there in a sustainable fashion.) Healthy living isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon that lasts a lifetime.

If this post reaches you on an “off” day, I hope it helps you get back into fighting form tomorrow.  If you’re having a great day, good for you! Use the momentum to propel you forward. Here’s to a great end to this first month of the New Year and to making 2019 the best year ever when it comes to tackling our goals to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A Christmas Tradition Continues….

This marks the first Motivation Monday to fall on Christmas Eve since 2012. I can’t think of a better day to share a seven-year-old signature gift from LauraLovesFitness. Keeping up with tradition, this fitness-inspired twist on a holiday classic will also be my last post of 2018. Today I give you a kickboxing addict’s version of…

The 12 Days of Fitness

On the first day of fitness, my workout gave to me…my favorite kind of therapy.

On the second day of fitness, my workout gave to me…two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the third day of fitness, my workout gave to me…three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the fourth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the fifth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the sixth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the seventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the eighth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….eight back-fist punches, seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the ninth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…nine jab-cross combinations, eight back-fist punches, seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the tenth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….ten burpee push-ups, nine jab-cross combinations, eight back-fist punches, seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the eleventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…eleven side planks, ten burpee push-ups, nine jab-cross combinations, eight back-fist punches, seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

On the twelfth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…twelve reps of lunges, eleven side planks, ten burpee push-ups, nine jab-cross combinations, eight back-fist punches, seven side kicks, six speed bag intervals, five roundhouse kicks! Four minutes of tabatas, three sets of squats, two boxing gloves and my favorite kind of therapy.

Whatever you and your family are celebrating as another year winds down, I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday week ahead. I close with a huge thank you for all the support throughout another year filled with highs and lows. Here’s to ringing in 2019 with a bang (and a punch!) and ushering in all the new chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

MLK Motivation

We kick off the third week of 2018 celebrating a very special person in our history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since that means this Motivation Monday is also a holiday for many of  my readers, I’ll offer some short yet powerful quotes from the inspirational leader to help us face whatever challenges lie ahead. Whether you’re tackling the next level of your health and fitness goals or dealing with the struggles of every day life, we can all take a cue from Dr. King to help us on our  journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

Let the New Year Roll On!

GenericHappyNewYearWe made it to the very first Motivation Monday of 2015!
Five days in to the New Year, I thought I’d offer my two cents to help you turn your health and fitness resolutions into lifestyle habits that will last all year-long – beyond! First, let me applaud all those who’ve decided 2015 is the year you’ll fit more physical activity and healthier food into your already action-packed schedule. Making that commitment is a huge first step toward a more FITASTIC you.
Laura’s Top Three Stick-With-It Tips
1. Break Your Big Goals Down: While I’m a firm believer in dreaming big, tackling big tasks can be overwhelming unless we establish some small steps to advance to the finish line. For example:
Daunting: “I need to lose 40 pounds by March.”
Doable: “By spring, I want to fit into my clothes more comfortably and have more energy.”
Setting an attainable long-term goal allows you to focus on what you want to accomplish today and in the week ahead. Again, make sure that focus isn’t all about weight loss. You don’t want a weigh-in steering your motivation to stay on track with healthy habits that can make a world of difference in the long run. So, instead of saying “I’m going to try to lose 2 pounds this week,” why not set one or two goals along the lines of:
1) “I will eat five servings of fruits and veggies every day this week”
2) “I am going to add 10 minutes of exercise to my day at least 3 days this week.”
This is probably a good time for me to remind you that healthy weight loss occurs at a pace of between 2-3 pounds each week. This slow and steady pace means you’re adapting eating habits that are sustainable as opposed to starving yourself or denying yourself certain foods. Fueling your body with nothing but juice and kale for six weeks as opposed to learning healthy habits about portion control and foods that keep you satiated is almost always a recipe for disaster. Once you go back to normal food, the pounds almost always find their way back to your waistline, and usually more than before.

2. Put Healthy Activities On Your Daily To-Do List. Between my iPhone, old-fashioned day planner and countless note pads in my apartment, I’m an avid list maker. I always have “Cardio at NYSC” or Physique57 Class” on my daily task lists, and it feels great to cross out the endorphin-portion of my day when it’s done. So, put “exercise” on your calendar – even if it’s “10-minute walk” penciled into your lunch hour. (Remember, 10 minutes of something is always better than ZERO minutes of nothing all day!) If it’s a rest day, put other healthy tasks on your list such as “buy produce” or “prep veggies and other snacks for lunches.” You’ll be surprised by the boost you get from crossing out something as simple as “buy bananas” on that list on your fridge. Consider it a visual affirmation that you did something good for yourself on any day of the week!

3. Be Realistic.  Enthusiasm is the key to getting anything done, but don’t let it get the best of you. If you put “work out” on your planner for seven straight days, you may be setting yourself up for failure. As soon as you miss that first day, you may think, “Well, I just blew the whole week!” A more realistic approach would be to aim for three days each week for the first month. As you start experiencing the endorphin-rush and other benefits from exercising, trust me, you’ll want to increase the frequency of your workouts. Just remember no matter how much you love working out, everyone should take a  minimum of one day off  each week to let the body rest.

Finally, I leave you with this reality: there will be “off” days. Even as a lifelong fitness enthusiast, there are days I simply don’t want to workout and all I want for dinner are wine and chocolate. It happens. Just don’t let one bad day throw you off course.  Just wipe away the crumbs, prep your gym bag and remember tomorrow is your next chance to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A LauraLovesFitness Holiday Tradition Returns!

Christmas gift and baubles on defocused lights backgroundOn this Motivation Monday, another Hanukkah has come and gone and we’re just three days away from the Christmas of 2014. I’ll be spending the week with my family, and before I leave the Big Apple, I wanted to leave all of you with what’s become a holiday tradition here at Laura Loves Fitness.

Before I re-launch my fitness-minded twist on a holiday classic, I want to wish all those who celebrate a very Merry Christmas! Thank you to all who’ve offered your ongoing support in 2014. I’ll be taking a little holiday hiatus, but can’t wait to hit the ground running in January with a whole New Year filled with infinite possibilities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Now without further ado, I give you…

“The 12 Days of Fitness”

On the first day of fitness, my workout gave to me…a huge rush of endorphins.

On the second day of fitness, my workout gave to me…two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the third day of fitness, my workout gave to me…three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the fourth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…a four-minute Tabata,  three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the fifth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the sixth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the seventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the eighth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the ninth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the tenth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the eleventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…eleven eccentric muscle actions, ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata , three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

On the twelfth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…twelve reps of lunges, eleven eccentric muscle actions, ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! A four-minute Tabata, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a huge rush of endorphins.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

2014, Bring It On!

iStock_000027032354SmallHappy New Year! I hope the first few days of 2014 have been good to you. More importantly, I hope you’re using the New Year as  an opportunity to really start being good to yourself!

I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously pumped about the year ahead. Maybe it’s because the fortune teller I  met back during a bestie’s birthday weekend in Jamaica told me 2014 would be my “best year yet.” (I don’t place too much stock in all the thoughts she shared, but that was the one that stuck with me!) Maybe it’s because I’m one month away from hitting that milestone known as the “Big 4-o.” Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m glad 2013 is over and done with. Whatever the case, I’m beyond excited about all the opportunities ahead to be healthier and happier than ever!

Speaking of opportunities, this first Motivation Monday of 2014 presents another exciting first for me. I’m thrilled to be today’s guest on the Lifestyle Accountability Show. I met Bate Brothers Adam and Devon via Twitter and was honored when they asked if they could feature me on their daily health and well-being podcast. Please click on the following link to listen to the interview where we discuss everything from my favorite healthy foods to the pitfalls I’ve encountered on my never-ending fitness journey:

http://www.lifestyleaccountability.com/laura-loves-fitness-shares-inspiring-story/

I hope you’ll find the information helpful to make this YOUR healthiest and happiest year yet!

I close with a thank you to the Bate Brothers and to all of you for checking out the interview.  Feel free to share away on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else you’d like to spread the word about the show and all the sources of inspiration at LifestyleAccountability.com. Here’s to the remaining 359 days ahead of us in 2014 filled with so many chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

My (Annual) Christmas Gift to You

Christmas treeIt’s hard to believe this Motivation Monday brings us just two days away from another Christmas! To celebrate, I hope you’ll enjoy my twist on a classic that’s becoming a LauraLovesFitness holiday tradition. I call it  “The 12 Days of Fitness.”

On the first day of fitness, my workout gave to me…a super surge of endorphins.

On the second day of fitness, my workout gave to me…two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the third day of fitness, my workout gave to me…three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the fourth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the fifth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the sixth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the seventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the eighth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the ninth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the tenth day of fitness, my workout gave to me….ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

On the eleventh day of fitness, my workout gave to me…eleven eccentric muscle actions, ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a big rush of endorphins.

On the twelfth day of fitness, my workout gave to me…twelve reps of lunges, eleven eccentric muscle actions, ten minutes rowing, nine neuromuscular benefits, eight endurance boosts, seven stability exercises, six static stretches, five fitness apps! Four minutes of Tabatas, three sets of squats, two tighter thighs and a super surge of endorphins.

Here’s wishing everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas! I’ll be spending time with family and friends and taking a break from blogging til the start of the New Year. Let me use this time to offer a huge thank you to all of my readers for your support during a tumultuous 2013. I’m definitely looking forward to the happy adventures that await in 2014 and continuing the never-ending journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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