Coffee Date: Fitness Friday & Healthy Eating Part 1

Coffee Date: Fitness Friday & Healthy Eating Part 1

So right around Christmas Eve, some friends of mine here in town had been talking for 2 weeks about this class they’ve been taking out at the school at 6 AM. It’s basically a cross fit inspired class where we do a variety of things from cardio, to lifting, and a whole bunch of other things. The girls had told me about it and I was hesitant. All the reasons why I wouldn’t like this and why I couldn’t do it began to fly into my head…. 

I am not a gym or fitness person. Never have been. Never will be. The thought of working out with a bunch of people terrifies me. Just terrifies me. I don’t want people to be judging my fitness level.

I have never been a coordinated, sportsy person. I didn’t play sports in high school. I didn’t play sports ever. I sucked at sports, horribly sucked at them. P.E. was like my worst nightmare because I was always embarrassed at how bad I was. 

I started running back in 2012 and tried to continue that into 2013 and failed miserably. I ran two 5ks and to even get to that point it took me MONTHS of training. I am not a runner and quite honestly, running was always a challenge to me. 

Finally, I am NOT a morning person. The times I’ve seen 6 AM could probably be listed on a piece of paper. I don’t get up early, I hate waking up early. Mornings and I just don’t get along. The thought of getting up at 6 AM to go WORKOUT sounded like pure insanity. 

But… I pushed all those negative thoughts out of my head, decided to take a chance, and I did it. I got up at 5:30 AM on Christmas Eve morning to go workout. 

It was hard, I felt like I was going to die, I was pushed to my limits… But it wasn’t at all like I had pictured it in my head. I got through the workout and was able to do all the movements despite my incoordination and non-sportsy physique.  I had a group of gals there who encouraged me, they pushed me to work harder, and didn’t judge me based upon what I could and couldn’t do. 


kettlebell, wall ball, jump rope, and ab mat

So I started making this a regular thing. And it took me about three more times before I became hooked. It actually FELT GOOD to have my ass handed to me at 6 AM. Who would have ever thought!? Even though it’s only been about five weeks of this, I can already tell a difference. I am able to do more pushups than when I started, when I run the three warmup laps I am not wheezing after one lap, and I am not as sore as I was those first two weeks where it was literally a process to get myself down onto the toilet. 

I’ve had a couple people asking questions about what it is that I am doing, I’ve had people give support and encouragement via my social media outlets… So I figured I’d blog about it all. And you guys, I must admit, it scares me to do so. To put myself out here like this makes me feel so vulnerable. This is MY body we are talking about. The numbers don’t lie. So here they are. (please be kind!)


January 2014
Arms11 1/2"
Chest39 3/4"
Waist33 3/4"
Hips39 1/4"

And since our class is inspired and somewhat modeled off of Crossfit, we also did what’s called a Baseline test. 

The Baseline test is: 
400 m row (we subbed 5 laps running)
40 squats
30 sit-ups
20 push-ups
10 pull ups (we subbed dips)

I finished this in 9:31 which for Crossfit is Beginner. Honestly, I was just happy to finish it in under 10 minutes.

Along with working out 4-5 times a week, I am also making a conscious effort to eat healthier.

healthy eating

This started with tracking what I eat. I log each and every thing I eat, along with my workouts, using MyFitnessPal. It is AMAZING to see what you are really putting into your body once you start keeping track. I was totally amazed to find out that my body (even by doing nothing) burns way more calories than I would have ever imagined in a day… Add exercise to that and I can see why hardcore dieting + hardcore exercise doesn’t work. It seemed totally counterintuitive to me but you’ve got to feed your body in order to lose weight and gain muscle. 

My body needs right around 1,350 calories a day and that’s if I wasn’t doing anything at all. When I add working out to that, my calorie count needs to jump up. With the workouts I am doing, I should be eating closer to 2,000 calories a day but to lose weight I dropped it down to 1,600 calories a day. Much to my surprise, I am finding it difficult to meet that goal as I feel like I am always eating. 

I try to eat every 2-3 hours, basically smaller meals with snacks in between. And as far as WHAT I eat… I’ve been getting a lot of ideas from lifestyles like Paleo. I have been really trying to limit my processed carbs like breads, pasta, and rice and instead try to eat more “whole grains”. I’ve really stepped up the amount of fruits and vegetables I eat. Basically every meal contains either one. I would love to try going completely paleo but here in North Dakota, I am finding it EXTREMELY hard to find ingredients and have access to a large variety of fresh vegetables all the time. I am also hesitant to give up dairy. I LOVE cheese and things like milk and greek yogurt has been my essentials to get my protein in. I do eat quite a bit of meat as well. 

What has been the challenge is finding recipes that a. won’t compromise taste for nutrition and b. my husband will like. Thank goodness he’s got an open mind and is willing to compromise with me. I give him huge props for at least trying many of the things I’ve been cooking lately as he knows some of the unhealthy dishes I CAN make. 😉 I have found some pretty amazing recipes that are not only delicious but are also healthier for me. Some of them are modified versions of recipes I used to make and I’ve also been analyzing some of my old recipes to see how I can make them better. Any sneaky ways to add veggies to things helps! 

Along with healthier eating, I have also been drinking a TON of water. I’ve been drinking half my body weight in ounces in water a day (or more, that is my base) and I have quit drinking as much alcohol as I did before. Every now and then I will have a glass of wine, or two if I am feeling naughty. But other than that, I haven’t had pop or juice or anything like that for nearly 5 weeks. 

The first week was tough. It was really tough. I crave sugar, like big time. I can do without pop, it’s never been a big thing for me. But I LOVEEE things like cookies and cake. Once I get in the habit of eating those things, I literally crave them at the same time every single day. Having started this whole tracking of my food right after Christmas, I had a HUGE sugar detox hangover. I went from Holiday candies and cookies to nothing. Cold turkey. I got headaches, but I continued to drink my water and try not to think about it. And I made it through.

 I was skeptical for a while. I didn’t think I’d see any changes and that it would be such a struggle. But honestly, I am feeling better! I am feeling better about myself, feeling more energized, feeling like I am able to fall asleep better. It’s amazing what getting active can do for not only your body but also your mind. And I am also seeing SMALL results in things like my pants fit better and I am finding it isn’t as hard to find things to cook. 

Changing your eating habits and putting yourself onto healthier eating isn’t just a short term thing, it really is a lifestyle change. For me, it takes planning. If I wait until the last minute, I am more apt to eat junk. We leave for Hawaii in a week and quite honestly, I am feeling pretty confident about keeping it up, even when I am gone. I have made a workout plan for when I am gone and I also plan on packing a bunch of healthy snacks to carry around with me so I am not tempted to eat junk when we need to catch a quick bite. 

Anyway, back to this journey, here is my first installment. I hope to continue to write about my progress and share my progress once a month. Writing about it, hopefully, will be one more way in which I can hold myself accountable to keep doing it. It’s already been five weeks and they say it takes three weeks to make a habit, so I am beyond that! Let’s hope this journey is something that is here to stay and that I continue to see positive changes in my life thanks to it. I am fortunate to have a husband who encourages me, a group of amazing ladies (and now gentleman) who pushes me, and my family who holds me accountable (even all the way from California). And now, hopefully you, my readers will add to that! 

Have you made any fitness changes before? Want to share any tips, tricks, ideas for embarking on a healthier lifestyle? 

Fitness & Healthy Eating .jpg


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  1. January 24, 2014 / 4:03 pm

    Yay for you! I eat Paleo too. It IS hard in North Dakota! I always have sweet potatoes on hand since they last long & lots of cauliflower & broccoli in the freezer. Congratulations on 5 weeks!
    Erica Brown recently posted…An Overdue Harvest UpdateMy Profile

    • January 24, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you!! Yep, sweet potatoes are wonderful! I recently tried spaghetti squash! AMAZING! I have also tried some whole grains like quinoa (which isn’t paleo) and love it! It’s totally a lifestyle change but I think it is one that will stick!

  2. Tana
    January 24, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    Awesome for you! My fitness pal is awesome, I love using it. I am jealous you have such a support team yo workout with. I have been back on treadmill for couple weeks along with doing some workouts. It’s a struggle, love the way I feel when I workout, but sometimes that first step is the hardest. Loved it when I was able to workout with a partner. Keep up the good work!

    • January 24, 2014 / 4:50 pm

      YES MA’AM! First step is getting out of bed.. Second step is getting out the door! Keep up with the treadmill! My workouts have inspired my hubby to get on our treadmill! I am so proud of him! Every little bit counts! I am so fortunate to have found an amazing group of women (and men) to motivate me! Thank goodness for social media too! We can hold you accountable!!

  3. January 24, 2014 / 4:23 pm

    Nice work, Jenny! I have been trying to make healthier decisions this year too. I’ve been counting calories since after Christmas and it has paid off. I always got on the treadmill every morning but I wasn’t seeing a lot of change. Watching my calories really has made a difference! I look forward to watching your progress and more delcious meal ideas 🙂

    • January 24, 2014 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you!! Isn’t it amazing once you start counting calories how much you realize the JUNK we put in our bodies!? Aye! Wine kills me, I just want to cry at the calories and I have cut way back! LOL! You should try something like the 30 Day Shred or T29 (is that right?). I get bored on the treadmill. I am loving our workouts bc it’s something different every day and plus it’s mixing strength and cardio!

  4. January 24, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    I’m so proud of you for your discipline, and your vulnerability here. And I love your bacon shirt 🙂
    Anna recently posted…For your enjoymentMy Profile

    • January 24, 2014 / 4:53 pm

      THANK YOU! It’s tough. Some days it’s tougher than others! It really is a lifestyle change but I am excited and confident for the future! 🙂 And yes, Bacon really DOES make everything better! 🙂

  5. Linda
    January 24, 2014 / 4:52 pm

    Congrats, Jenny! Laura was only on the track team in high school to visit with her friends…now she is a marathon runner…there is always room for these life adjustments. Also, the getting up early thing was bound to change when you have kids…this step might help with that one. Best of luck and have fun in Hawaii! Leo and I just got back…there is plenty of sunshine left for you!

  6. January 25, 2014 / 1:18 am

    Go for it Jenny! Sometimes I wish we lived a little bit closer to town – only so I could go to the gym, it would be nice to try something a bit different! I’ve been running (ha ha, walking/jogging!) these last two weeks after stopping some time last year. I’ve actually enjoyed it and have found it easier than when I was doing it last year. Didn’t go this morning as it actually RAINED!!! I really need to motivate myself to do more weight type stuff though. Have a great time in Hawaii – you know I’ll be jealous, but excited at the same time! Are you going to do more scuba diving this time? And love the hair! I got mine cut earlier in the week too when I took Georgie to get hers trimmed before school starts. Have a great last few days before hols, I might have some exciting travel news myself when you get back!!
    Meg recently posted…The Day of the Clearing SaleMy Profile

    • January 29, 2014 / 6:36 pm

      Thank you Meg! It is SO tough to get in the rhythm of working out! But once I did, I have felt so good! We leave TOMORROW for Hawaii!! I’m getting so excited! I am HOPING to do some more scuba diving! I had so much fun last time! But we will what the group of friends I went with want to do!

      p.s. I am still LOVING my hair 🙂 Excited to hear your travel news!!

  7. Stefani Amos
    January 29, 2014 / 5:21 pm

    Congrats Jenny! It’s such a big change to do, but in the end will be all worth it! I am also just really getting into working out and trying to eat healthy and i find it quite a struggle. Your blog helped motivate me to keep going and push myself harder! Thank you and keep up the great work!! 🙂

    • January 29, 2014 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you! It is a HUGE change! Eating PLUS working out! But honestly, I feel so much better when I force myself to do it AND abstain from gut bombs… And sad to say it, alcohol. Why do all the good things have to be bad for us!? 😉

  8. February 1, 2014 / 2:14 am

    A few things.
    First: I wondered why the heck I wasn’t seeing posts from you anymore come up on my reader. So tonight I tracked you down to only find out I wasn’t following you anymore. I don’t know HOW that happened and it makes me sad. So I am playing catch up now. I apologize in advance for an overabundance of comments to be had. Well… sorry not sorry. lol
    Second: YOU ROCK!
    Third: You’ve got this!
    Fourth: Can’t wait to follow you on your journey with the fitness classes and healthy eating.
    Jordan recently posted…Fit Approach Challenge!My Profile

    • February 5, 2014 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you ma’am!! My blogs probably don’t show up in the reader anymore since I moved my site over to self hosted! 🙁 I have been enjoying your posts on planning, nutrition, and fitness! Helps to have someone hold you accountable! We are on day 5 of vacation and I have so far worked out every morning since we’ve been here and tried my best to hold myself accountable for what I eat! It’s so hard but it can be done!

  9. Anna
    September 2, 2014 / 9:52 am

    Do you use an app to count how many calories you burn?