Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 1

Welcome to Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 1.

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

I love taking B to swim lessons, but getting out of a bathing suit and into the workout clothes I was wearing previously (because I went straight from the gym to swim) is not fun AT ALL.

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When I read “martyr mom” posts on facebook or twitter, I get it you’re perfect all the time.

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When my toddler won’t take a nap, and I really need to go downstairs and relax with real housewives of wherever.

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What are your confessions this week?

Playlist Thursday: Beach Tunes

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

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Today’s theme is: Beach Songs. I grew up in the only landlocked state in New England, Vermont. So I am going to share songs that remind me of country summer!

SOMETHING OLD


Artist: Kenny Chesney
Title: Summertime
Side Note: Love this song, Love Kenny, I HATE when radio stations play this song in the summer. (8:12 Pace)
Quotable: And it’s two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love in an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-hoo bottle on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along ’cause it’s one we know
It’s a smile, it’s a kiss
It’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime
Sweet summertime

SOMETHING CURRENT


Artist: Florida Georgia Line
Title: Cruise
Side Note: I LOVE the Nelly remix, I know I know I really shouldn’t, ha. (10:12 pace). These guys are opening for Luke Bryan on Friday and I am super excited!
Quotable: She was sippin’ on Southern and singin’ Marshall Tucker
We were falling in love in the sweet heart of summer
She hopped right up into the cab of my truck and said
“Fire it up, let’s go get this thing stuck”

Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise
Down a back road blowin’ stop signs through the middle
Every little farm town with you
In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER


Artist: Luke Bryan
Title: Just A Sip
Side Note: So pumped to go see him for the second this weekend with Nick and my best CT blend! It’s gonna be a fun weekend :) Plus this video is beach party craziness!
Quotable: What makes a good ol’ boy start pumping his fist in the sky
What makes a shy girl walk on the wild side
What makes a party better
Makes it last forever
Everybody all together now

Take a sip, just a sip
Beer or whiskey if you’re with me, wet your lips
Gonna be mmhmm so good, mmhmm so nice
Starting this night off so right with…
Just a sip

Achieve Fitness: What it means to me

Disclaimer: This is my 100% honest review of Achieve Fitness, I am not being compensated at all, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the gym!

I know I have mentioned in a few posts that I have changed my workout regimen but I haven’t really talked about it much more. The gym I am currently at definitely deserves at least one post, although I am sure there will be more. (I do still meet with my personal trainer once a week or every two weeks, and while he is a great trainer, he and I both agree that I need more consistency)

I was first introduced to Achieve Fitness by Amanda. When I first went to her about upping my nutrition game, we talked about my fitness routine. While I have been very vocal about the fact that you can maintain fitness while working out at home, it has become clear to me that in order to LOSE weight I needed some additional help. Since the gym Amanda owns with her husband, Skill of Strength, isn’t close enough for me to visit on a regular basis, she helped me find a gym that is. Amanda introduced me to Lauren and Jason at Achieve Fitness.

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Achieve Fitness is located in Somerville, MA, pretty close to where Nick and I used to live, and only about a 15 minute drive from where we currently are. The gym is relatively new in the area, I was constantly on the hunt for a gym that would “fit” me before we moved out of the area, and I am so glad there is one there now! I set up an initial meeting with Lauren and after some nasty snowstorms that hindered our original plan we met.

The first meeting was what they call a strategy session, I talked about my fitness and health goals, health history, injuries, and previous training experiences. After discussing my goals Lauren took me through a Functional Movement Screening, I felt okay after this. I was frustrated that I had a low score, but I felt confident that with work I could raise this score.

The next step was deciding if Achieve was right for me or not? It’s not cheap and as a stay-at-home mom, the money I spend needs to be spent on things I love and need. After a series of emails and my initial time spent in the gym I was sold, sometimes you just know!

Before telling you a bit more about my experience, I want to share more about Achieve as a gym.

Mission

Lauren and Jason wanted to create a space where the trainers are more invested in the clients than the money. Where the atmosphere is welcoming and un-intimidating and where the clients had a clear vision of where they wanted to be and HOW to get there.

I joined Achieve in February and have a little over 3 months experience in the gym. I can whole-heartedly say they hit the nail on the head. I feel like Lauren and Jason are pushing me in ways I wouldn’t do on my own, they are constantly encouraging me in class and I feel like I have learned so much about my body and fitness.

Classes

There are three types of classes at Achieve.

Strength Training: which is a full body strength workout. These are set up in exercises for specific repetitions. Usually in 15 minute segments, we are given a set of 4 or 5 exercises and we do as many rounds as possible.

MetCon: stands for metabolic conditioning, these are the group cardio workouts. The classes use lots of equipment, TRX’s, kettlebells, medicine balls, ladders, ropes, sleds, etc… We usually do 3 or 4 rounds of 40 seconds on 30 seconds off for each workout.

Kettlebell: Both Lauren and Jason are RKC certified, and the Kettlebell class shows the members basic and advanced moves with the kettlebells. There are strength portions and cardio portions.

I love all these classes, I always leave drenched in sweat and feeling like I accomplished something. Jason and Lauren do really encourage the members to lift heavier and will always be there to help. I also love that they show the move that is supposed to be done, along with a modified version and an advanced version. It encourages members to go at their own pace but it doesn’t single someone out and make them feel uncomfortable that they are at a different pace.

Community

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class! (you can find me on the ropes)

We dreamed of creating an environment where your gym is comfortable and inviting. Where after each workout you feel empowered and excited by the progress you are making. A place where lifestyle changes happen naturally because of the community of like-minded individuals on the same journey.
via Achieve Fitness

I have never been a member of a gym like this, everyone is encouraging of one another. Members push other members in a positive way. For example, Lauren is starting a program to help members train for a Triathlon (Hyannis Sprint) however it is a few weeks before Zooma and I don’t want to end up injured. Within minutes of telling another member this, we pulled together a relay team, I could still participate with my Achieve family, and not worry of injuring myself, win.

They also have had some really fun activities, they had a couples competition recently (I am linking to the video because it is AMAZING), a workout to benefit the One Fund, in the future there will be a members potluck and the triathlon, and I am sure many more.

My Journey

Since my FMS score was lower than what Jason and Lauren would like for members in the Achieve classes, I used some of my one-on-one training sessions to bring my skills up to par and before I started taking classes, I worked out on my own, based on the plan Lauren had written out from me. Eventually I was able to participate in classes. Now I feel gross if I don’t make it to my usually classes. It is the best thing that I can do for myself, Achieve really helps me remain sane.

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!

Now

I have noticed a huge difference in how my clothes fit, in how much I am lifting, in how I feel. Lauren graciously took some pictures for me so I can show you my progress.

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell

 

TRX <3

TRX <3

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up with an 8k kettlebell – Proud Moment Photo!

Join & Follow

If you are interested in joining, but you are nervous or intimidated let me know, I will definitely be glad to introduce you to the team. You can also follow Achieve on twitter, facebook, and their blog.

Marvelous Memorial Monday!

I am linking up with the lovely Katie for a special edition of Marvelous Monday!

I want to start by saying a thank you to all service men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, as well as those are still serving our country.

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There are many marvelous things going on…

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B is sleeping so well in his toddler bed, honestly, I thought it was going to be a difficult transition but he’s adapted so well.

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Under Armour sent me this great gear as part of the What’s Beautiful campaign. Everything is so comfortable and bright! Don’t forget to join the campaign!

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I was able to spectate many friends and family members running Boston’s Run to Remember. It was meaningful in so many ways. It was the first big run in the city since the Marathon. This race every year is to honor the law enforcement, and not surprisingly, it sold out after the suspect was captured in Watertown. The running community is a wonderful thing.

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Then we spend the majority of the long weekend with family in CT! I am so blessed.

What marvelous things did you do this weekend?

Playlist Thursday: Pop Princess Radio Jams

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

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Today’s theme is: Radio Jams. Songs that get or got ridiculously overplayed on the radio and eventually won you over. Ijust happened to pick songs by pop princesses. Whoops.

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: BRITNEY

Title: …Baby one more time

Side Note: Since I went to high school back in the era where we still bought cd or tape singles, every guy I knew had a thing for the cd single cover for this song, I guess it could be worse ha. I didn’t like Britney at first, but now Britney4ever. (Pace: 6:24)

Quotable:
My loneliness is killin’ me
I must confess I still believe
When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign, hit me baby one more time

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Selena Gomez

Title: Come and Get It

Side Note: Nick LOVED her song “Love you like a love song” and ever since then I have been inclined to turn up her stuff when it comes on the radio. I really love this song, it’s a little bit different then most pop on the radio now. Plus she can really sing unlike her good friend TSwift. (Pace: 9:00)

Quotable:
This love will be the death of me, but I know I’ll die happily
I’ll know I’ll know I’ll know
Because you love me so…Yeah!

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist: Demi Lovato

Title: Heart Attack

Side Note: I didn’t really hear about Demi until she went to get help for her ED and then was a part of X Factor. I think she is a great role model and again can sing. Also, didn’t know until the other day that she and Selena are BFF’s in real life and were both on Barney…say what? (Pace: 7:36)

Quotable:
But you make me wanna act like a girl
Paint my nails and wear perfume
For you, make me so nervous
That I just can’t hold your hand

Do you love or hate any of these songs?

Get Your Protein On: Designer Whey Review

It’s no secret that I travel a lot. Actually, the first few months after we moved into our new house we stayed put for a few months, but B and I were constantly on the go during the week, and now that the warmer weather is here we are starting to have more plans during the weekends that involve travel.

The hardest part of me sticking to my new normal is traveling. I don’t always have my foods on hand. I needed to find a way to get calories in, and not at the hands of something involving a drive thru.

Enter, Designer Whey, I haven’t always been a fan of protein powder. Mostly because I was getting the wrong kind. Powders that tasted chalky and gross, bars that were rock hard, you get the picture.

My friend, Caitlin introduced me to ARIA, a protein powder that’s 50% whey and 50% soy from Designer Whey and I was hooked. I added it to my oatmeal, smoothies, used it in protein muffins and bites. I wanted to try other flavors, but I was afraid I wouldn’t like the way they tasted. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that awhile back I bought a canister of Designer Whey Vanilla Almond, I was in love with it from the first smoothie I made. I knew that I needed to try the rest of the flavors.

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Luckily, I was provided with the above products by Designer Whey , free of charge, through my Ambassadorship with Fitfluential. I was not compensated and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Not only did they send me a box packed full of all of their products, but the box itself was awesome. Each sidebar had a QR code, so you could access the recipe for that Mango Madness smoothie, get info on the Savage Race, etc… I like a company that really thinks about its customer, and shows you ways you can use the product.

In the box was a canister of the White Chocolate and French Vanilla Protein Powders. Two bars of each protein bar flavor (Peanut Butter Crunch, Chocolate Crunch, and Caramel Chocolate Crunch), One box of each Protein 2Go flavor (Lemonade, Mixed Berry, and Tropical Orange), and one of each Protein Shake (Gourmet Chocolate and French Vanilla).

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I tweeted Designer Whey and asked if I should put the protein shake in the fridge prior to using it or if wasn’t necessary. They said it was fine either way, I decided to go for it. I put it in the fridge before bed and brought it to the gym with me the following morning. I loved the flavor, it tasted similar to chocolate milk, but wasn’t as sweet, which I prefer. I also loved that there was no chalky after taste, but I can’t drink a lot right after a hard workout, so I only had half and saved the rest for the next day. I kept forgetting to bring the French Vanilla with me to the gym, and one Instagram user suggested using it as a creamer. I definitely tried this the next morning and it was delicious. The Gourmet Chocolate has 100 calories, 18g of protein and 3g of sugar.

I tried the first Protein Bar (Triple Chocolate) when I was out running errands and I was crashing since I forgot to pack a snack for myself. It wasn’t rock hard, a huge plus, and the flavor was spot on, again no chalkiness. The bar has 160 calories and 10 g of protein, my issue is the 13g of sugar, I know other bars have much more than that (some have double), and in a moment of needing to eat, it’s not a terrible option, but it wouldn’t be my first suggestion. That being said, I did try the Chocolate Caramel and Peanut Butter Crunch, both had great flavor, and out of all three the Peanut Butter was my favorite.

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One day a week I go to the gym, come home inhale a bowl of oatmeal (with a scoop of protein powder and peanut butter mixed in), then I grab B and we head to swim lessons. I love swimming with B, but he is still very dependent on me so I end up doing quite a bit of work. That being said I am famished afterwards and I usually get home ASAP, give B lunch and put him to bed, and shower so I end up eating 30-45 minutes after we leave the pool.

This past week I gave the protein 2Go pouches a try. Mix one packet into a bottle of 16-20 oz of water. I tried the lemonade flavor first, and I really struggled at getting the entire packet to mix. I still ended up with chunks of protein which threw me off. I liked the lemonade flavor, but I haven’t tried the others yet since I was afraid of the chunking thing happening again. Hopefully, I can try it after swim tomorrow and will have more success!

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My two favorite ways to enjoy protein powder is in my oatmeal and smoothies. I am always experimenting with new flavors and powders, and yesterday I had my favorite smoothie, ever.

The Mocha Protein Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 scoop White Chocolate Designer Whey Protein Powder
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet of Starbucks Via (or any instant coffee)

Blend until smooth

DELICIOUS. This was the afternoon pick-me-up I so desperately needed. I think it would be even better if I replaces the cocoa powder and protein powder with a Chocolate protein powder.

Unfortunately, my blender broke while I was blending this so I ended up with some ice chunks still in my smoothie. I am really upset because in order to have any more these treats I need a new blender!

I now know that if I see any flavors that I haven’t tried (any of the chocolates or vanilla praline) I will be buying them immediately and testing them out for you all.

Have you ever had Designer Whey? What is your favorite creation to make with protein powder?

Make sure you check out Jenn’s blog for more treats and recipes for WIAW!


What’s Beautiful: Just Like Me!

This post and my participation in the What’s Beautiful Campaign is sponsored by Under Armour through Fitfluential. My opinions and goals are my own.

In case you missed my first post for the Under Armour campaign, you can check it out here, I talked about the campaign and my goals.

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Since my goal is to PR my half-marathon time and I am not registered for a marathon until September, I decided to make mini-goals for my self.

Last weeks goal was to try something new. I tried a new class at the gym I go to, a kettlebell class, and it was awesome, I can’t wait to go this week.

I love everything that this campaign stands for, but what I love even more is the impressions we can leave behind. I know that it is focused on women, but as a mother to a boy I want to make sure that he treats women with respect, but that he realizes women and men can both accomplish the same things.

What I love most is how much he is like me, especially when it comes to working out.

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How do I work these things?

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Balance

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ANNNND Squat

He also encourages me and says “Go Momma”, “Yay, Momma” and “Keep Going” haha. It’s pretty incredible what he picks up!

What’s your goal for this week? Have you tried a new fitness class recently?

Playlist Thursday: All In The Family

Playlist Thursday is back! That means it is time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

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Today’s theme is: Family. I picked bands that have some or all of the members as siblings. I hope you enjoy!

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Heart

Title: Alone

Side Note: Two of the women are sisters, thought not both are original members. I love a ton of Heart’s songs, so it was hard to pick just one song. However, Alone is the one that is on my playlist the most! (I can also be seen belting this at the top of my lungs in the car FYI)

Quotable:
Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: The Band Perry

Title: Done

Side Note: All three members are related, Perry is their last name. Their songs can be a bit dark, whether they are upbeat or not, but I still love them!

Quotable:
Mama always told me that I should play nice
She didn’t know you when she gave me that advice
I’m through, with you
You’re one bridge I’d like to burn
Bottle up the ashes, smash the urn
I’m through with you, la ti da
I don’t wanna be part of your fun,
Don’t wanna be under your thumb
All I wanna be is…done

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR)

Title: Fortunate Son

Side Note: I don’t know that this song hits many running playlists, but it has gotten me pumped since high school, like the angry kind of pumped. The Fogerty brothers were both a part of CCR and are amazing!

Quotable:
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Poundcake

After fasting and Greek Easter and a birthday/mother’s day weekend, I feel like I am 100% back on track again!

I’ve been back to my post-workout Oats with Designer Whey protein powder!

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pre-mixing

I accompany that with some water and coffee!

For lunches I always have some leftover roasted veggies, or recently, sautéed spinach with a turkey burger, egg, avocado and roasted broccoli!

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I wolfed down the broccoli before I took the pic, whoops.

I’ve also had hard-boiled eggs at the ready and sliced fruit for snacking.

Before I got back to my clean eats, I made a poundcake for Greek Easter, from the Joy the Baker cookbook – Cream Cheese Poundcake!

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Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Instructions

1. Preheat oven at 325F, making sure a rack is in the center
2. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan for later
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
4. Beat cream cheese until soft and pliable
5. Add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes
6. Add the vanilla and stir until blended, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating at medium for 1 minute each
7. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated
8. Stop your mixer at that point and fold together the batter with a spatula
9. Spoon into your prepared pan
10. Bake for 30 minutes. After that, rotate the cake, and if it’s browning too quickly, move to an upper rack (I did not have this problem)
11. Bake for another 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
12. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

It should last for up to 4 days at room temperature, well wrapped.

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Notes
I LOVED this recipe. I needed something easy and simple to pull together for Easter and this fit the bill.

While we didn’t eat a ton of it at Easter, Nick and I took it home, I popped it in tupperware and put it in the fridge, and it is even more delicious a little chilled, my favorite is a small slice topped with Dark Chocolate Dreams from PB&Co.

Nick also might have stuffed a piece in his mouth when he came home starving after a night out, might have.

I definitely plan on making this again, I think it would be a great base for summer strawberry shortcakes!

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Check out more recipes and daily eats at Jenn’s link up for WIAW!


Do you like pound cake? What’s your favorite summer dessert?

Defining What’s Beautiful

This post and my participation in the What’s Beautiful Campaign is sponsored by Under Armour through Fitfluential. My opinions and goals are my own.

I am sure you have all heard by now that Under Armour is having round three of their What’s Beautiful contest, due to some technical difficulties I do not have a team page, YET, but I will.

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I think this is one of the most important campaigns I have ever come across, so I’d like to share a bit of my story with you all before I get to the details.

I don’t think I have ever used the words “thin, fit or skinny” do describe myself, even though today I may not be the thinnest girl on the block, I know that I am fitter than I ever have been. I am also not great at accepting compliments, whether it be about a run or someone telling me I am pretty (just ask my husband).

I wish I could say I was surrounded by women who were supportive and uplifting about each others bodies and accomplishments my entire life, but unfortunately from doctors to close family members, most of the women in my life as a child, teen and young adult were the opposite. I was called fat by female doctor, by family members, by the people who were supposed to be my friends. I took up smoking and that is when I lost the most weight and was at my lightest weight, but I wasn’t healthy or fit.

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Moving out on my own, finding a gym, a supportive trainer and network of gym goers, helped me initially lose a good chunk of weight. I started working out regularly, bur I didn’t find my drive or passion until after I had B. Then I really found a group of (mostly) women who shared the same goals and passions that I did.

Under Armour is taking this network worldwide with their What’s Beautiful campaign.

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From the UA site:

What’s Beautiful is a community and a competition to redefine the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.

We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.

Complete challenges and share your journey; join teams for additional challenges, support and motivation.

Sounds amazing right? My goal was announced awhile ago, PRing my half time by 20 minutes. Since the What’s Beautiful campaign is only 8 weeks and I won’t be running my half by then I will make smaller goals for each week, goals that will inevitably push me out of my comfort zone and assist me in getting faster (so I can reach my BIG goal).

To join:
Sign up as an individual, and join teams to encourage and support other in your small and large goals. Once my technical issues are sorted out I will link to my team!

The sweet extras:

Every week Under Armour will give away swag bags full of gear to women who are seriously getting it. They’ll also feature profiles on their home page and in the “Top Performers” section of women who are really setting an example.The three women with the most epic personal journeys will win a trip to Costa Rica for four days of yoga and surf lessons, with spa treatments, massages and meals prepared by a personal chef! Not a prize to be missed, you don’t have to be a blogger to enter, all women of all abilities are welcome to join!