Is too much just…too much?

Are you ready to get all philosophical with me today??

Ok, so I had grand plans of giving you lovely readers a fun video today….BUT…there is always a but…I can’t get this out of my head and this is the BEST place for me to flesh this out. So…here goes.

There was a comment left on one of the past blogs about how much time I spend working out a day, and by posting that on twitter I am putting unrealistic expectations on people etc. Now, this person really was coming from a good place, and I appreciated the honesty. Let’s not get out the pitch-forks and torches just yet, because I want this to be a place we can all be honest…politely please.   After I let the sting of criticism roll off me I began to really think about this statement. Am I being realistic about my workout schedule….is it too much?

See, I told ya we were getting deep today. Heehee. This brings up a great point about balance. We all need balance in our lives…in our friendships, family, and even our workouts. For me this has been the toughest aspect of leaving the ranch. How do I find balance when all I know is Biggest Loser….which was my full time job for months and months. How do I navigate transitioning from 8 hours of working out a day to just 90 minutes? I’ll tell you…I just go day by day. Somedays 90 minutes doesn’t feel like enough and I do more if I have the time. Then other days I feel great at an hour and I stop there….although that has been rare.  There is also some guilt which I’m working on. 🙂 The point is I’m always working towards a balance that not only works for me, but is healthy.

I get asked all the time if I think I can sustain this workout schedule my whole life….to which I answer….I don’t know. It cracks me up to see people’s faces when I give them that answer. I’m sure they are expecting some kind of noble “I am winner hear me roar” type of answer like “absolutely, I will workout hours and hours everyday for the rest of my life because I have made a lifestyle change” or something like that. I wish I was that confident, but to be honest I don’t know what tomorrow will hold for me or my schedule. What I do know is that I am going to do whatever is required to keep this weight off…I owe that to myself and to the amazing gift I have been given.   For now, that means working out as much as I do these days feels right. Does that mean it should be the stick that everyone measures themselves by?  No…I repeat…N-O! Sometimes it takes just listening to your body and knowing what is right for you. At the end of the day only  you will know what is best for you, your body, and your schedule.

I hope you all know that when I post what I am doing it is not to discourage anyone…to be REALLY honest…it is to hold ME accountable and hopefully encourages everyone that we are all in this together.  When I read tweets about someone completing their first 5K, going to a spin class and loving it, OR deciding that no matter how scary it is they are going to take the Sports Bra Challenge it reminds me why I started this journey and why I continue.  It feeds my spirit and I just love it.  I hope on some level my tweets lift you up as well.  I really do feel like we are all here to learn from and edify one another.

I would LOVE to know what you think about balance and how you either achieve it or struggle with it.  It’s a great conversation worth having don’t  you think?

Much Love and Health,

Olivia

P.S. Can you believe the Sports Bra Challenge is just right around the corner???  Who’s ready….who’s scared?  *raises hand* 🙂

First Things First

Heeellllooo my lovelies! How are you at firsts? First day of school, first kiss, first impressions aaannndd the list goes on! Have you ever met someone who you grew to love but gave the worst first impression? Something to think about. When I was overweight, I always gave an “unhealthy” first impression. You know when people give you the elevator (when they look you up and down) and I’m not talking about men that are checking you out, I’m talkin about straight up judgmental people! They always thought I just sat around on the couch and ate bon bons all day (which is only PARTIALLY true, ahem Saturdays only ;)). Realistically I always thought my first impressions were horrible due to people making assumptions about me due to my weight. The truth is, I made them horrible and never let my fabulous personality shine through because I was so focused on not being stereotyped as the fat chick! I now realize that SO much of that was in my mind. Yes, overweight people DO get treated differently. That’s FO SHO! I never knew men (strangers at that) to open doors for me, give up their seat on the subway for me, randomly ask me out, etc. That NEVER happened to me when I was a heavy gal. I became bitter about that so much so that I dreaded first impressions, always thinking that whatever I was doing was being judged because of my weight. Um, can I just say that being overweight made me a little, um, well…CRAZY…!!

Ok, as I get off track (we ALL know I can get off on a tangent or two!) it’s time for us to OWN our first impressions. Walk into your first day on the job with confidence, meet his or her parents with grace and humility, enjoy that first kiss with no expectations and take these firsts in! Celebrate your first 10 lbs lost even if you have 100 to go, celebrate with your child on their first day of kindergarten (even though you have been up all night crying!). Enjoy them and relish the fact that you are doing something new for the first time!  I started a new position this week at my company (not to worry, I am leading a double life, still doing all things BL too!) and my first day I relished it. Giggled as I walked into my new office, shouted with joy as I put my new dress on that morning which was a first (I have never worn a dress to work…EVA!) and at the end of the day rewarded myself with dinner with a friend followed by a mani pedi, purple please! Yes, there is a lot of work to be done but why focus on the hard road ahead? I have another first coming up. You guessed it…….SPORTS BRA CHALLENGE! I guess if Olivia can talk me into wearing a bikini in front of the world we can do this one together! Let’s celebrate our firsts together and take this thing one day at a time! Here are a few cheesy pics of me on my first day! Tell me about your recent firsts? Or do you have any scary ones coming up? Let’s hear it people!!!

xoxo,

Hannah….aka, BananaPants

Are you ready for a CHALLENGE???

By this point you know we LOVE a challenge….and since leaving The Biggest Loser we are starting to go through challenge withdraw. Well, maybe that is stretching it a teeeeeny bit….no one looks good in a wetsuit and a helmet. Remember New Zealand?? For real.

As you know we are both crazy about spinning and we spend a lot of time at SoulCycle in NYC. I think they might just start charging us rent any day now. We have so many favorite teachers at SoulCycle but one of our all time favs is Jenny Gaither. Her classes are…to coin Irene’s favorite phrase “balls to the wall!!” It is awesome music, big energy, and a HUGE sweat….which is why we find ourselves signing up early for her classes before they quickly fill up.

So, we were in her class the other day and she spontaneously threw the gauntlet down to all of us riders and gave us a challenge! Let’s put it this way….it is my (Olivia) personal NIGHTMARE…but I’m gonna do it anyway….I preach overcoming all the time right? This is gonna be one of those “put yo money where yo mouth is”. Oy!

Are you curious about what she said?? Check out the video to find out…..

xo,
Olivia & Hannah
Ps. check out Jenny’s Twitter….and how to find her on SoulCycle!
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/JennyGaither
SoulCycle:  http://www.soul-cycle.com/instructors.cfm

Refrigerator Look Book: Olivia Ward from wellandgoodnyc.com

Hi Guys!!! So, after finale I met Lisa from wellandgoodnyc.com at a Barry’s Bootcamp class. We got to talking and realized we both live in Queens and she began to tell me more about wellandgoodnyc. They have this cool section that is called “Refrigerator Look Book”. Basically it is photos of the inside of people’s refrigerators and a quick interview about the contents. Neat-o huh? So, she asked if I would be willing to send in a pic of my fridge. I had to do it right? Well, I thought the whole process was super fun AND it made me clean my fridge….which is NOT my favorite cleaning project. Helloooooo science project. Just kidding.

Here is the link…go show them some love!!!

http://wellandgoodnyc.com/2011/07/07/refrigerator-look-book-olivia-ward/#axzz1RLtAMVmq

xoxox,

Olivia 🙂

Food For Thought (Part 2)

Now, on to my favorite part of the #FAGEtotal event….the FOOD! I have to admit I was super excited about learning new ways to incorporate Greek yogurt in everyday recipes. That was until I saw the menu. Cue the freakout music. Why you ask? Well, take a look:

Eggs Benedict
Fried Chicken
Potato Salad
Macaroni and cheese

Are you kidding me??? I literally could hear Bob and Jill screaming in my head “You can’t eat that stuff!”….see they are in my head all the time….no, I’m not crazy…well, maybe a little but you already knew that. Ok, back to the story. Now, I was panicking because I knew they were going to make me try it all! This is stuff nightmares are made of for a Southern girl. You know we are polite people pleasers at heart ya’ll…AND I can’t refuse food that someone has made for me…or can I?

Take into consideration all this drama took place in my head over a time period of 30 seconds. After I let myself freakout, I immediately realized that I was in complete control of this situation AND one small taste of each dish is NOT going to kill me OR my waistline. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…I’m here because although I am not a culinary expert, I have just spent the last 8 months of my life learning how to incorporate healthy eating and modify recipes into my life. BINGO! Give this lovely lady a prize please…bless her heart.

So, I now have purpose and am super excited….please feel sorry for the other two sweet ladies in my cooking group. You guys know how Hannah and I get when we are excited…like rats on crack…seriously. Anyway, the event turned out to be a BLAST and not only did I learn a ton, but I really was surprised at how many ways I was able to modify recipes on the spot. High five Bob and Jill…yes, the ones in my mind.

Stay tuned for cooking videos where I show Hannah some of the recipes I learned from FAGE… keep your eyes peeled for that coming up soon! This will be like an episode of “I Love Lucy” be sure of it. Until then post your favorite modified recipes in the comments…you all have the BEST food ideas ever.

xoxo,

Olivia

P.S. Have I told you lately that I love you (insert a crying Rod Stewart)….Well, I do!

Winners Olivia Ward & Hannah Curlee from NBC's The Biggest Loser