Hi, friends! How was your week? Ours was a good one! Lots of work, workouts, group fitness and toddler-ness going on over here. This upcoming weekend, I have no big plans other than to learn Les Mills BODYATTACK 106 to debut in my class next week and finish up some writing projects. What will you be up to?
And now it’s time for our weekly display of unrelated favorite things …
“I’ve Been Thinking” by Maria Shriver
I never share about books while I’m still reading them, but “I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” is the exception, because of how I’m going about it. I tried to read this book at night to wind-down before going to bed like my others, but I quickly realized this one is actually best read a little at a time — something I’ve never done before. Why? Because each very short chapter is a separate section with a motivational or inspirational story, followed by a “prayer,” if you will. It’s like a little dose of goodness for your day.
My mom sent this to me as a gift, and I didn’t even know that Maria Shriver (NBC News journalist, producer and former wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger) was an author, so I was excited to see what this book was all about. Quick background on Shriver: She grew up in a very established family (the Kennedys) and has spent much of her life traveling the world working, trying to find meaning in hard situations, as well as writing, and — thus, is in a good position to author something like this.
The topics include: the power of the mind, gratitude, reflecting, kindness, motherhood, etc., and each short section has a small personal story from Shriver’s life, followed by a lesson and a quote to help you think about the ideas in your own life. For instance …
What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Maya Angelou
Because I’m not reading this book at night any longer (I’m reading a fiction book instead), I’ve been taking in a chapter of “I’ve Been Thinking” each afternoon right after I put Brady down for a nap before beginning my work — and it gives me a little pick-me-up of joy. Does that sound silly? It does, I know, but I mean it.
I wouldn’t recommend sitting down to read this at once, because you may not remember as many of the lessons, but I would recommend adding it to your list of daily tools to help you become or stay positive, mindful and present, especially if you need a little help in the optimism and gratefulness department. This book would also make an awesome gift too.
My first ever IGTV video
I’ve been wanting to get a little more into video, but quite frankly, don’t have the time to do too much, so I decided to give IGTV a try. Basically, IGTV is part of the Instagram app, and it’s a place where you can share videos that are longer than the 60-second ones allowed in the feed. On IGTV, videos can be up to 10 minutes long, so you have a chance to dive a little deeper into topics.
Last week, I pulled out my tripod that had never been used before (but purchased with the greatest of intentions over a year ago) and recorded a video all about my experience with hypothalamic amenorrhea and healing my hormones.
(Wearing Beautycounter color intense lipstick in Brunch on my lips!)
While I’ve talked about this stuff on the blog a lot and even written an ebook, I had never shared my story fully on Instagram, so it made sense to do it on IGTV. The first time I recorded the video it went too long, and then Brady’s nap ended, so I had to redo it the next day. Then, I had a terrible time uploading the video, and ended up having to convert the format and do a few other little technical things that I wasn’t expecting — a royal pain. But, the final product turned out okay, and I was happy to put it out there. I received a lot of comments and questions about my healing process and the steps I took, so I’ll take that as a win. I’m definitely planning to do another IGTV video soon — not sure the topic yet. Any suggestions?
If you want to watch the video, you can head to Instagram and click on this post. Also, by the way, while I was waiting for what seemed like years for my video to upload, I watched a bunch of awesome beauty tutorials from people I don’t even follow, which let me know that there is a lot of fun stuff on IGTV. Have you checked it out yet?
Trying out a Forge class at Formula 3 Fitness
Years ago, in the beginning of A Lady Goes West, I wrote a new studio or class review almost every single week. It was much easier for me to get out to new places when I lived in San Francisco and had a more flexible schedule without a tiny human to look after. I miss doing reviews, and I’ve heard from a few of you that you’d like to see more of them again.
Anywho, I did get the chance to try a new studio one town over from me in Lafayette, and it’s called Formula 3 Fitness. There are only two locations (one here and one in Portland), but the company is expanding, and they offer strength classes, cardio classes and flexibility classes, called Forge, Fire and Flow, respectively.
I’ve now been two times and tried out the Flow and the Forge classes (and thank you to Formula 3 Fitness for hosting me). I like the fact that this studio places importance on three elements of well-rounded fitness, unlike some other popular studio chains that don’t have any flexibility options at all. Fitness isn’t all about hard-core workouts, and if you go to one studio, you are often only able to take one type of class — Formula 3 Fitness delivers on offering valuable variety, with three totally different types of classes. I hope we see more of this in the future.
I thought both classes I took were good workouts, both for yoga and for strength. They were safe, doable, functional and had the right amount of challenge. The facility is nice. The front desk staff is very friendly. It’s quite welcoming, and I think would be a great place for someone who is a little newer to exercise or new to the studio environment, because it’s not crazy busy or overwhelming — there’s time for personal attention. I didn’t find it super fun, but maybe that’s because I like really fun workouts that are set to good music, such as Les Mills group fitness, but the programming was solid.
Overall, I think the Formula 3 concept is awesome, and I hope this studio does well. Bay Area friends, you can try it out for free, so head on over to the Formula 3 site, if you want to give it a go. I’d like to go back one day, although there is no childcare there, so that makes it a bit tougher for me.
Weekly workout recap
Here’s a look at my latest week of workouts from last week …
- Monday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 30 minutes, 10:30 a.m.
- Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute BODYATTACK, 4:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 9:30 a.m., taught 1-hour barre, 5 p.m.
- Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre, 12 p.m.
- Friday: Practiced BODYATTACK for 45 minutes, 10 a.m.
- Saturday: 1-hour Formula 3 Forge strength class, 8 a.m.
- Sunday: Rest day
This week was 100 percent devoted to taking, teaching or practicing group fitness, and I think it will be the same thing this upcoming week as I prepare to debut the latest Les Mills BODYATTACK 106 release. The good news is that I did pick up weights multiple times this week and tried something new at Formula 3 Fitness with the Forge strength class, which had me on the strider, using the TRX and even doing weighted jumping jacks — woohoo.
A few things from around the web …
- Working moms. This post seriously made me want to cry. And although I’m not a working mom who goes into an office every single day, I am a working mom, and I have also worked in an office. I can actually remember somewhat resenting the parents who had to take off early all the time for their kids, and now I feel terrible about that — I just didn’t understand. Read this one if you’re a working parent or know someone who is.
- All about soy. Are you confused on whether you should be eating soy or not? Me too. I avoided soy ENTIRELY while trying to get pregnant and heal my hormones, but I do eat occasionally eat soy now, and I’m not reactive to it (a lot of people are). The key is this: Choose organic whole soy and not processed soy, like soybean oil or soy lecithin (which is in a lot of bars, unfortunately). This article is a really helpful resource for understanding soy.
- Why you may need magnesium. You’ve heard me talk about taking magnesium regularly many times before, and this article gives you even more reasons why you should consider supplementing too, as well as try to eat more magnesium-rich foods, which can help you keep stress at bay, keep your energy up and keep your body functioning properly. I buy this topical magnesium spray, and I apply it to my stomach at night.
Here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app that I use for my guided meditations every morning …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives …
- Food. It’s always fun to see what other people are eating, even the little ones … “Our favorite simple and healthy toddler eats.”
- Breakfast. It’s totally pumpkin season now. So here’s a good one for you … “Superfood pumpkin oatmeal breakfast bake (gluten-free).”
Thank you so much for reading, my friends! See you over on Instagram until we’re back here again. Hope you have a great weekend!
Questions of the day
What’s one good thing that happened in your week?
If you read for pleasure, when do you read?
Have you had anything pumpkin yet this season? I have! Two Pumpkin Spice Lattes to be exact (full sugar, full deliciousness).
P.S. Planning to work out this weekend? Why not give a Les Mills class a try in the privacy of your own home using a free 21-day trial of my favorite streaming service, Les Mills On Demand? Here’s my personal link to give you that free 21-day trial and get moving!