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Coach Anna’s Year in Review

Coach Anna’s Year in Review

2019 was a big year of change and growth for me.

At the very end of 2018, I was forced to make a career change and fast. I was pretty unhappy with my current situation and knew that I was being unauthentic and just not myself in that role. Coach Shoe and I, as many know, completed our yoga teacher training together in 2016 and had kept in touch throughout the years. We met for lunch one day and everything fell into place. I was mid way through my nutrition training and Icehouse was looking for a new coach. We got to work SUPER fast so I could come on board and start a nutrition program at the gym.

Kicking off the new year I was pulled in different directions.

I was working jobs both at Icehouse and at Family Wellness. It was like night and day, the differences between the two gyms. Icehouse felt like hanging out with friends and was truly the only place I wanted to be dedicating my time to. Enter lots of grinding and hard work to make that happen. Halfway through the year I completed my nutrition training in Tampa, FL and was brought on full time by Coaches Shoe and Mo.

Personally and financially, 2019 brought a lot of growth, too.

I really dug my heels in budget-wise because I wanted to create a side nutrition business, Body in Balance Nutritional Therapy. We also bought a house, so homeowner life throws it’s curve balls (hello basement flooding in the spring). I’m still not where I need to be, but 2020 is going to be a big year in all aspects. Looking back at 2019 is pretty cool. While there was a lot of anxiety, stress, and diving into my own health journey, now that the year is wrapping up I can see the change and knowledge that accompanied all of that.

I feel like I am ready to go into 2020 with clear goals.

And I have a fresh desire to make them happen. Things I want to accomplish in 2020:

  • Acclimate to life in Alabama.
  • Continue to provide content and grow the nutrition program at Icehouse.
  • Start a blog on my website: www.bodyinbalance.live
  • Stick to my personal budget and save $10K (lofty!)
  • Do some pretty serious personal development.

For me I don’t find a fresh start at the beginning of each year. Therefore, I take a new year as an opportunity to reset, regroup, and reevaluate where I want the upcoming year to take me. 2019 was a year of change and figuring out my path. 2020 is going to be the year to build on that.

Happy holidays, friends!

Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night OwlCoach Omaha & Coach Shoe are basically opposites when it comes to their preference on training schedules, and their feelings on mornings in general.  So the challenge was thrown out for Coach Omaha to attend the lates class of the day, and Coach Shoe to try a morning class.  (Like a real one at 5:30AM, not 10AM which is what she usually considers a morning class).  Here is what they have to say about switching it up.

Morning Class for the Non Morning Person

If it were up to me, I would never have to speak before 10AM.  Or lift before 10AM.  Or really do much of anything, but those 2 things are for some reason the toughest right out of bed for me.  For those reasons the only time I am at the gym before 8 on any given day is to coach classes, and even that takes A LOT of coffee to wake myself enough to do well.  Flux or yoga classes are a little more my speed in the morning, mostly because you hang out on your mat and the talking is minimal (which is good for my still asleep brain).  For these reasons in almost 5 years of owning Icehouse, I have never participated in a morning class.  Here are my thoughts on the morning class.

1. The hardest part is getting enough sleep, and getting to the gym on time.

I usually am at the gym pretty late, and work a bit even after classes wrap up so winding down and getting good sleep was the toughest part of this whole exercise.  I told a few people that I was coming into class, and that was probably the only reason I actually listened to my alarm clock when it went off.  Having that extra accountability helped.  And Omaha had already hit up his evening class and told me ALL ABOUT IT, so I had to hold up my end of the deal.

2. Warming up takes longer

Working out later in the day I get warmed up way quicker, likely because I’ve been up and moving for at least part of the day already.  It was a similar feeling to when I had a desk job and came to workout right after sitting all day, so that is a relative feeling but one that I definitely noticed as my legs never really were fully onboard with the workout until we were in it. (My legs are also not morning people).

3. The Morning Crew is Pretty F’in Rad

Community is what makes CrossFit so great, and I love me a fun crew to do a tough workout with.  Our morning crew is next level, especially at such a ridiculous hour.  My ongoing theory is that Coach Omaha is spring loaded out of bed each morning, which I think is even more true after experiencing him first thing. But our 5:30AM crew is the epitome of what CrossFit is to me.  There are people of all different ages, jobs, experience levels and everyone is crazy supportive of one another (albeit super sassy as well).  They all show up consistently, and do the hard work together, while throwing jokes out, picking each other up and making the new folks feel like they’ve been there all along.  I even got 3 rounds of applause for coming (mostly because no one actually believed I would ?).

The Verdict on Mornings: ?

While they will likely not be a regular occurrence with my current schedule of working so late, I will absolutely be back to more of them! Thanks for the awesome way to start my day!

Coach Omaha Tries Out Night Life

For the past 3 years I have spent the majority of my time at Icehouse between the hours of 5 and 10 a.m. This past week however I ventured outside of my comfort zone and into the mysterious world of fitnessing in the evening.

There is something to be said for getting up early, hitting that workout hard and moving on with your day knowing you have already won the best part of it. As many of my morning classes have heard me say, “Way to crush the morning now go own the day!” But perhaps fitness in the evening could be like a fine dessert, the perfect finish to a great meal.
Things that are different in the evening class that I noticed:

1. Interaction between athletes

My norm when taking part in class is to be vocal, talk when I have questions, talk when I am uncomfortable, pretty much just talk my way through class. The morning crew is filled with people similar to me in nature, love listening to ourselves, our opinions, and our motivation of one and other.
The evening class allows for a more mellow experience where nobody is really waiting to talk!!!!!!  I almost couldn’t handle it, and I apologize to the 6:40 class that I visited, I promise I did my best to try and not monopolize that entire hour with my continuous conversation.

2. Size of class

As of late the morning classes have been really packing them in! With that however, makes for a battle space at times, barbells flying everywhere, legs swinging from the rig making the metcon become part obstacle course part work out.
The evening class on the other hand offers beautiful spacious floor space that allows for CrossFitters of any kind or ability to move without restriction from movement to movement. Making the ability to strategize for a metcon with ease.

3. Atmosphere

I feel like we all know what the early morning classes have in store atmosphere wise.  We are there to get things done! Group of alphas ready to kick off the day by slugging our way through an early morning attack.  Taking that feeling and motivation throughout the day and into our other daily tasks.
With the evening class the tasks are done, the meetings have been had, and the deadline from the day is met.  A much more social vibe exists at the class I visited.  Happy to be finishing the day with some well deserved self care.
Lets just be Honest……
I’M NEVER GONNA BE A EVENING WORKOUT KINDA  GUY!!!!!
I sure was tired, and Ill say it maybe a little CRANKY!
But what I will say is that evening group has something that works for them, and to that I tip my cap. At the end of it all we all have to be selfish enough on a daily basis to make the decision to take care of ourselves in order to improve the other parts of our lives for the better.
We all have that in common, we are all trying to improve and be the best version of ourselves that we know how to be.
Keep on keeping on my EVENING PEEPs!  Coach Jake Salutes you!
5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

We’ve all been there.  It’s Friday afternoon, and you have been absolutely crushing your fitness/nutrition game all week long and are feeling great.  Then the happy hour invite rolls in for drinks after work.  The happy hour turns into a night out.  Which then turns into a skipped workout Saturday morning.  Since you skipped your workout and aren’t feeling great, why not just head to tailgate or watch football with some friends?!  Then Sunday shows up and you are still feeling sluggish, and there is still a lot of football to watch and beers/wings/nachos to be had.  Besides, you’ll get back too in on Monday…

Sound familiar?

This is VERY common. Especially in the midwest when weather turns cold and the only socializing most of us do is at the bar.  This is also something I struggled with FOR YEARS.  Here are my five tips to not completely derail your progress each and every weekend.

1. Get Another Hobby

Yes, I 100% understand that this is a gross oversimplification. However if you only find yourself socializing at the bar then you need to find something else to do.  I know for me that was exactly what my twenties were, heading right to happy hour after work, eating some half priced apps, a few cheap beers.  Rinse and repeat.  For me the hobby that slowed that down was CrossFit.

Did CrossFit alone fix my problem? NOPE!  Did it give me another, healthier place to socialize so I cut down on the drinking and crappy appetizers?  Absolutely.  Slowly I started to swap the crappy food for healthier options and cutting back on the beers because they were making me feel terrible during workouts (and really all the time).  Once I started eating real food, moving, and sleeping I began to realize how much better I could feel. I actually didn’t even realize how bad I felt before making those changes.  So while getting another hobby may not fix anything, it can be the shift in momentum you need to get started on something new!

So, if you’ve seen workouts, activities, sports (hello rec league kickball), craft classes, music lessons or really anything else you think would be fun to try, do it! Even if it isn’t necessarily an active hobby, it could help you reduce the amount of time you spend going out, which could be the shakeup you need to start making other changes too!

2. Plan your weekends

I know having some spontaneity is exciting and fun, and you should still allow for that from time to time, but most often we fall completely off the wagon due to lack of planning.

If you know you have a holiday party on Saturday night, PLAN FOR IT! Make sure you are hydrating and eating well the the day of the party.  Then enjoy yourself, get some sleep, then start the next day with a healthy breakfast and maybe something active to shake off the headache that tends to come from too many sweets or spiked eggnogs.  Avoid the urge to use a social event as an excuse for an entire 48 hour window! Have a good time, then get back at making healthier choices at the very next opportunity!

 

3. Build a Rest Day into Your Weekend

We need rest days every 3-4 for days to help us recover properly, so why not plan for one of them to fall on the weekend?  You can either plan a full rest day, or even better find something fun to do with friends and make it an active rest day! Maybe it’s a walk with your dog through a local park, going sledding with your kids, try an escape room or throwing axes.  There are lots of new places popping up that don’t require a drink to socialize! Another great rest day activity is meal prep!  Use one of those days to prep some healthy meals so you are setting yourself up for the week (or weekend) as best you can!  Having a plan for meals reduces the chances of hitting the drive through once hanger strikes.

4. Host a healthy dinner party or potluck!

There are lots of delicious and nutritious foods out there, and it is easiest to take control of the meal yourself so why not share with friends!  If you have been working on your health, odds are your friends know.  Why not invite them over for a healthy meal to thank them for their support.  And you can even show them that being healthy doesn’t mean you have to just take supplements and eat cardboard.  You can also host a healthy potluck, have everyone make extra and divide up the leftovers.  It’s basically meal prep done for you with more variety!

5. Give Yourself Some Grace

If you do stay out later and have a few more beers (or pizzas) then you had planned on, that is ok.  It happens to all of us, we are human and some nights are just too damn fun! Do you want to repeat that again the next day cause “screw it I’ll start again Monday!”? Of course not, but there is no need to beat yourself up over the past.  Often times the guilt we feel over “failing” ourselves with a bad nutritional choice can be enough for us to throw in the towel.  But why?! You have been working SO hard, and doing so many other AMAZING things, don’t let an extra slice of pizza stop all of that! I like to think of a healthy meal after a not so healthy night out as a way to get to feeling better faster.  I know if I eat all the leftover pizza I will be feeling crappy again tomorrow, so why go through it again and loose more time?  I want to feel better

The B Word

The B Word

I’m just so BUSY!  I’m too BUSY!
Yeah…we all are.
Have you ever caught yourself responding the the “Hey how are you?” with “Good, but so busy!”  or just “Really busy”?  ?‍♀️Then following up by a conversation complaining with all of the things that are overwhelming you, and maybe even apologizing for all of the things you haven’t gotten to yet, or for not making those plans you were going to months ago? (I know I’ve been guilty of this!)
This is even more prevalent during the holiday season when you throw in holiday parties, events, shopping, decorating and all of those other little things that we add to our already overwhelmed “busy” selves.
BUSY is a Bad Word
We use the B word to justify our actions and feelings, but in all reality it is just a result of poor time management. If you find yourself complaining about being too B-Word to people who are important to you, then you need to apply some time management tricks to your schedule, not just your work schedule but to EVERYTHING you add to your plate.
I know this is easier said that done, so here are a few tips to get started.
Step 1: Remove the B-Word from your Vocabulary
For some reason, we wear the B-Word like a badge of honor.  We feel better for being busy, even if it’s not at all productive.  We feel super important that so many things are requiring our attention, so dropping a few balls is totally fine because at least you have all those extra balls your were juggling!  If one of your friends or family members is one of those dropped balls, it doesn’t feel so good…. so stop hiding behind that B-Word!
Step 2: Time Block Weekly
This topic comes up in our blogs over and over and over again because it is so important to being successful at anything we do.  Basic time management can start with a once a week time blocking session.  Pick a time of the week where you sit down for 20-30 min to plan out your entire week.  If you plan to do it, write it down or enter it into your calendar app (I’m a big fan of google calendar personally). As you say yes to more things make sure to add them in to the calendar.  If you said you’d bake cookies for your kids class, block the time to do it so you can see what you had to displace (if anything) to make it happen. I schedule everything from Meal prep, reading, workouts, eating, shopping, project work (I name the project I will be working on at that time so I don’t forget or get distracted), commuting, tv watching, and even downtime.  Once it is in my calendar it is all treated as an appointment, even if it is an appointment with myself.
Step 3: Prioritize
Once you have everything in your calendar, you may notice that you do not have enough hours in the day to get it all done.  Here is where we have to have those tough conversations with ourselves about what is truly important to us.  Be HONEST & REALISTIC with your commitments.  Don’t stack 2 tasks/appointments on top of each other in your calendar, odds are neither gets done that way.  Workouts/Wellness seem to be the first things that get the cut from calendars (which we for obvious reasons think is problematic with us being a gym and all ?).
When you see that you do not have time for whatever it is you need to add, simply

say to yourself out loud “I will not insert activity herebecause it is not a priority to me.” Now sit with that and see how it feels. If you feel ok about it, cool maybe you didn’t need it in your schedule to begin with!  If saying that feels crappy and you know you need to do that in order to feel better, take care of yourself, or whatever other reason then you will need to find a space for it in your calendar, which might mean displacing something else.  Maybe it was your 4 workouts a week, you said “I will not workout this week because it is not a priority” and that didn’t sit well.  Ok then where are 4 hours you can displace?  Do you need to go to that Happy Hour?  Do you need to make that Target run? Do you need to watch show on netflix? When you find items that really don’t serve you at all, take them out of the schedule!
Pro Tip: Most of us can find a few free hours if we take out the Netflix and Social Media Mindless Scrolling out of our days.  
So there you have the first steps to using your time more efficiently, and feeling good about how you spend your time.  Feel productive is so much more satisfying that just feeling B-Word!
So go ahead and apply these tips and let us know how it goes! And when Aunt Melicent asks how you are doing, you can say “I’ve had a lot of exciting things going on this year, let me tell you about on or two of them…”
Look at that! You are not to B-Word for meaningful conversation!
5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

When you think about meal prepping does it seem like some daunting, time consuming task that you HAVE to do? It definitely used to be that way for me. I felt like I needed to prep something different for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. That, as you can imagine, led to a lot of money wasted on ingredients and a lot of extra food that sometimes went to waste. I now have a pretty tight budget when it comes to groceries because it can be so easy to go overboard. Developing a simple meal prep routine has really helped me stay on budget each month, eat healthy, and save time during the work week.

Here are my top tips for keeping meal prep simple:

  1. Make a plan for the entire week. Figure out your schedule with work, workouts, and extra curriculars and see where you can most benefit from meals that are already prepped. Hitting up the 6:40 PM class consistently? Definitely meal prep your dinners, so that by the time you get home all you need to do is reheat your food.
  2. Batch cook! Prep things like protein and starches in bulk. Add a bunch of chicken to a sheet pan or crock pot and cook enough servings for the entire week. Same with your starches– sweet potatoes, rice, spaghetti squash, etc. These generally take longer to cook and reheat fairly well, so make them ahead of the week to save time.
  3. Use convenience appliances like a crock pot or instant pot. During your weekend prep you can create entire meals to store in the freezer, then during the week add the meal to your crock pot and let it cook all day. Easy for family dinner nights! Pinterest has A TON of freezer meal ideas.
  4. Plan for meals that you know you will be eating out. Make meals out special! Spend your time and money wisely and choose places that serve quality food. Rather than grabbing fast food on your lunch break or on your way home from the gym (gasp).
  5. Choose a method that work for you. Do enjoy cooking dinner for yourself or your family each night? Great! When you do your weekend prepping make a plan for the week ahead and get all the ingredients you need. You can prepare ingredients like washing and chopping vegetables and thawing out protein. Everything will be ready to go each night when you make dinner. Do you know for a fact that you will not cook during the week? Then follow step 1!

I hope this helps! Establishing a healthy meal prep, or nutrition in general for that matter, routine takes some trial and error. You cannot know what will work best for you until you try out different things. You can only benefit from being organized!