How I maintain balance and my weekly workouts

Happy Monday, my friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was pretty good and featured some tasty food, fun and fitness. 

It’s often that I start a Monday morning post in this way, because fitness, food and fun are three things that are very important to me. And believe it or not, all of these items can and do fit into one life, when you approach them with balance. That’s because life isn’t about being an “all-or-nothing” person. You don’t have to eat clean 100 percent of the time and work out every single day to be active or healthy. In fact, I think it’s better to approach life with a less-strict outlook. Most people call it the 80/20 lifestyle, but I don’t even think you have to label the percentages, if you just do what feels right to you. We’re all different, and we all have to find what works best for us as individuals.

Because yes, you can call yourself a healthy-living blogger who works in fitness, yet still have a thing for store-bought cream-cheese frosting and cold white wine. Balance, ladies and gentlemen, is where it’s at.

How I maintain balance in my life

I’m a creature of habit. Someone who loves routine and thrives on order. That being said, there are a few things that I always do to achieve a happy and healthy state …

How I maintain balance in my life via A Lady Goes West

Eat a balanced breakfast every single day.

I really couldn’t tell you if I’ve gone a day without breakfast ever. I not only look forward to my first meal of the day, but I crave it. I usually have a big batch of overnight oats, mixed with fresh fruit and some hot green tea as well. Starting a day with a hearty meal is a must in my book, because a happy and full belly is the only way to take on the day. I truly do not understand how people can go without breakfast. But once again, we’re all different and to each his own.

Sweat and move most days of the week.

I work out about six times a week, with a full rest day off of exercise each week. To me, movement is medicine. I find that a good sweat session, or even a gentle yoga class, increases my productivity, clears my mind and generally makes me happy. There are days when I walk out the gym after a great workout and just smile. While my workout routine is probably a bit heavier than most, due to the fact that I teach so many group fitness classes and work at gyms, I still make sure to hit my foam roller, stretch and take a day off each week to even it all out. I also strive to fit in about the same amount of cardio as resistance training, so that I don’t focus too much on the same type of work, which is why I always recap my “Weekly Workouts” on Monday morning, as I’ve done below.

Snack regularly and eat often.

I’m a snacker. I typically have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack, resulting in about five meals each day. I like to have easy snacks on-hand in my purse or gym bag, because I’m constantly on-the-go from gym-to-gym to teach classes and work, and I hate being super hungry by the time my next meal rolls around. Some of my favorites snacks are Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurts, nuts and healthy bars. And how do I take yogurts on-the-go when I’m not near a fridge? I pop them in the freezer for a couple hours before I leave the house, and by the time I need my snack, it’s defrosted just right.

Chobani Simply 100These Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurts fit well into my life, because I’m always reaching for them for a healthy snack, full of protein.

Connect with loved ones every single day, but enjoy some quiet time.

I do not go a day without talking to my Mom, chatting with my husband and communicating with friends via text or social media. It’s good for the soul. I also like to make plans for the weekends in advance to have a fun activity to look forward to. Yet, I know to schedule a little time for myself every day, because I do like my quiet time, to piddle with my things, daydream and make mental lists. I’m a dork at heart, and my “quiet time” is essential for my sanity. A good mix of being social and alone is just what works for me.

Have a relaxing evening routine and get a good night’s sleep.

Dave and I are accustomed to eating dinner very late, being that there are many nights when I get home after 8 p.m. from working at the gym. While our evenings together are short, we have a good routine down, and it works for us. We usually have a general idea of what we’re going to have to eat, and we split up the prepping and cooking responsibilities. We eat at the table together, quickly clean things up and then watch a show together until bed-time (while caring for and playing with our new little puppy). We don’t have a TV in our bedroom, so when the show is over we head to bed and are usually pretty tired. I like the structure of the evenings, because I so look forward to cleaning up that last dinner dish, putting on my slippers and curling up on the couch. It’s a wonderfully relaxing moment to appreciate all that was done that day. And doing this every night, helps me to be able to fall asleep around the same time and wake up at the same time every day.  

Choose healthy foods most of the time.

While I believe that I eat pretty clean most days of the week, I’m absolutely 100 percent fine with eating some processed and packaged snacks and foods. In the fitness world, I’ve worked with and met many people who are so dedicated to a particular diet that they prepare every single thing they eat fresh at home and bring it with them. However, that’s just not for me at this stage of my life. My balanced diet comes from doing the best I can, eating mostly whole fresh foods, but incorporating pre-made snacks at times and always fitting in some indulgent meals, wine and dessert on the weekends. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be such a big responsibility that you have a lunch-box and bring your own food to parties — sometimes you just have to make the best choice you can in the situation you’re in.

To me, a balanced life is one with room for rest, fun, sweat, sweets and a healthy dose of routine. But to you, it may be something a little bit different — you’ve just got to do you.

Snack smart with Chobani Simply 100

Being that I’m a huge Chobani fan, I was totally onboard when the folks at POPSUGAR Select reached out to me about working with them on a campaign about living balanced with Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt. The Simply 100 line includes all-natural ingredients and is sweetened with stevia, monk fruit and evaporated cane juice. And as you may have guessed, Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurts only include 100 calories and are a lighter way to enjoy a Greek Yogurt when you need it. Not to mention 12 grams of protein and five grams of fiber in each little container, keeps you fuller longer. And the taste? Just the same deliciousness that you’d expect of a Chobani product.

Chobani Simply 100 yogurtsAnd the Chobani tagline — “Love this life” — is certainly one that I can get behind. 

Thanks for supporting Chobani as an awesome A Lady Goes West sponsor, and if you’re in need of a little snack, give these beauties a try.

Let’s switch gears and talk about fitness …

My weekly workout recap

Because it’s Monday, and we’re talking all about balance, it’s time to go through my last week of workouts …

Weekly workouts via A Lady Goes West(Photo credit to Leah Bentley Photography, 2015.)

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Tuesday – Took a one-hour Orangetheory class, foam rolling
  • Wednesday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Thursday – Taught a 45-minute BODYPUMP class and a 30-minute core class
  • Friday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, did 40 minutes of yoga at home with weights
  • Saturday – Took a 30-minute POPSUGAR bodyweight class, foam rolling
  • Sunday – Rest day

What was good about my week of workouts?

This past week included plenty of balance. I did three sessions of cardio (BODYATTACK) and two sessions of resistance (BODYPUMP and Orangetheory), as well as tried something new with a Pilates-inspired rooftop workout class at a special event hosted by POPSUGAR. I also fit in a short yoga session (with light weights), a core session and a full rest day. A great week of fitness!

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

Perhaps I could have done another short yoga session throughout the week for some extra stretching and of course, one more session of lifting weights would have been ideal. But overall, I’d say it was a good one.

That about covers it! Today, I’m teaching a couple of classes at Orangetheory in the morning and teaching BODYATTACK tonight. I’ll see you back here tomorrow, my friends, because I’ve got some more pictures and stories to share from the weekend.

Please note: This post is sponsored by Chobani through a partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write about Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt, all the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

How do you maintain balance in your life?

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47 Comments

  1. Well I’m a big Greek yogurt fan so sign me up! I maintain balance by setting boundaries with my work and personal life. I also eat healthy and clean most of the time and I try to get enough sleep but that’s a work in progress!

    1. Hi Megan, There’s never enough time for it all, but it sounds like you’ve got a good plan of attack. Happy Monday! 🙂 Hope you slept enough last night heheh

  2. I’m a work in progress when it comes to balance, but your tips are good ones, so thank you for the insight.

    I love the Chobani 100’s. Blueberry and cherry are my favorites.

    Happy Monday to you!

    1. Hi Courtney! We’re all working on things, so just keep at it! I admire your dedication to your fitness and clean diet so much. But remember, a rest day and some treats never hurt anybody heheh! Happy balanced Monday to you, pretty lady!

      1. While I plead the fifth regarding rest days, don’t you worry–I definitely get in lots of treats throughout the week! My Shakeology PB cups, Dove dark chocolates, and this healthy oatmeal cookie recipe I sort of concocted make it in my regular weekly rotation. My chocolate and PB flavors are your cream cheese and red velvets, my friend.

        1. Those treats all sound delish! Nice work on those creations, Courtney. I’m glad you get into the good stuff regularly heheh! I want to try them all!!

          1. I’ll message you the recipe for the oatmeal cookies and you can try them out someday. They are easy to alter or swap out certain ingredients that you don’t like. Some of the people at my office prefer them with fruit instead of chocolate and peanut butter, so if you lean that way, it works too!

    1. Thanks, Lauren! Sounds like you know how to find balance, so keep at it! And I agree, just enough work only … 🙂 heheh Happy Monday!

  3. Yep, it’s all about balance!! And I definitely agree about the evening routine. I always look forward to that time after dinner to just relax before bed. Going to bed and waking up at the same times every day is so helpful for keeping a regular schedule and waking up refreshed!

    1. Totally, Lisa! I love a relaxing night at home each night as well as an early bed-time. Here’s to a great week! Happy Monday! 🙂

  4. I agree 100% with everything you said! I need a good mix of social time, family time, and me time. I am an introvert at heart, and if I don’t get some quiet time in my day, I tend to get a little cranky.
    Great week of workouts!
    Enjoy your day!

    1. Hi Heather! I’m NOT an introvert, and I still need that alone time heheh! 🙂 Happy Monday to you! Hope you get that “me” time today.

  5. In as few words as possible I maintain a balance by aligning my actions with my priorities. If things feel off it’s usually because the alignment is off. Like with a car and the tires need alignment. Moving 6 days a week makes me incredibly happy and balanced 🙂

  6. My weekend was great and busy! I capped it off watching the game last night. It was great!! One more game.. 🙂

    I keep balance by eating healthy most of the time, but allowing myself to have treats every night! If I hold myself back, I crave sugar and chocolate. When I let myself have whatever, I find myself not always in the mood for a snack. Crazy how our minds work!

    1. Hi Gretchen! Go Dubs! So glad you watched, it was a fun one to be in the stands for, that’s for sure. And as far as treats- of COURSE, we always want what we can’t have, so a little treat daily is a great way to go. Happy Monday!!!

  7. Love all of your points, and I could not agree more. I especially need to work on making sure I socialize and connect with loved ones more– I tend to isolate myself a bit. Btw, I am absolutely in love with your workout leggings, I am tired of seeing people only wear black workout clothes!
    If I were to add one thing it would probably be meditation, since it does wonders to keep my calm (and also helps me fall asleep :P).

    1. Hi Niki! Meditation! Oh man I need to try harder at that. I do the one-minute or so at the end of a yoga class, but sitting still and being mindful, that’s something I need! Thanks for the reminder. And it can be easy to be a hermet, but connecting with others is what life is all about! 🙂 And yay for colorful workout clothes, I am all about them!

  8. I love your outlook on making the best decisions with what you are dealt. I used to be the person bringing my own meals, and making sure to have fresh whole foods all the time, but it was so exhausting, I love the balance of just winging it!

    1. Hi Hilary! I know! While it’s great to be prepared, I don’t think it needs to be a stressful process where you won’t eat anything other than what you make. Glad you see the light now!! 🙂 Happy Monday!

  9. Love your approaches to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! I struggled with that balance several years ago, but am so glad to be at a healthy and happy place these days. Balance and moderation is SO crucial!

    Sometimes I buy those 100 cal Chobani cups, but I usually prefer the regular ones because they seem to have more flavors I like and they’re a bit thicker. Sure do love my CHO though! 😉

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes, it’s awesome that you’ve shared your journey to a better place on your blog as well, helping so many others. You’re an inspiration! 🙂 Happy Monday! Have a lovely and balanced day, my friend!!!

  10. Hey Ash! I just bought some Chobani (for the first time) and I can’t wait to eat them for a snack at work this week. I’ll let you know how it goes. Matt and I had a little “Shoot the Hooch” action on Saturday with his friends. Perfect Saturday on the rafts with drinks, friends, and sunshine. And we topped it off with a Blackhawks win that night. We’re both up 3-2 – I’m rooting for you guys!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Yay for you! I’m so glad you’re giving Greek yogurt a try. And please do let me know how you like eating your Chobanis.

      Sounds like you guys had a great weekend outside! Such a good way to spend a Saturday. And yay for your team, and for mine! Thanks for saying hi, of course! 🙂 Enjoy your week!!!

  11. Really appreciate your balanced and honest perspective! And I love that idea about freezing the Chobani so it defrosts throughout the day..so smart! We did a similar trick with our freezer chili when we went camping this weekend.

    1. Hi Dani! I hope you had a good time camping. I went to Big Basin State Park last year with a group of friends, and it was such a good weekend trip. Freezer chili sounds like the perfect camping food! Happy Monday! 🙂

  12. All great tips for maintaining balance! I need to work on the nighttime routine one – we’ve been staying up too late and waking up too early lately and it’s catching up with me!

    Love those leggings btw 🙂

    1. Hi Whitney! I know it’s hard, when evening time is limited, sometimes you just want to make it last longer by staying up. But I’m so tired at night, I just can’t heheh! Hope all is well in married life!

  13. Just put a yogurt in the freezer to enjoy as my snack later 🙂

    I feel like everything you wrote is 100% what I’m currently striving for. I have always been a very all or nothing person, but i’m slowly learning more and more about balance!!

    Have a fantastic week 🙂

    1. Hi Jen! Enjoy that icy Greek yogurt later heheh! And hey, learning to be balanced isn’t easy, but at least you are trying! Keep it up, lady! 🙂

  14. My weekend was good – definitely relaxing, and I was even able to spend some time at the beach Sunday so that was greatly enjoyed! I like to maintain balance by always trying to carve out a little me time each day. Whether it’s with a workout or some quiet time cooking, I always want to find 30-60 minutes that I’m totally able to focus on myself.

  15. Sounds like you had a pretty good weekend :). I had a lot of errands to run, but got in two good sweaty workouts! I need to get more yoga in my life, it always makes me feel so relaxed and ready to do anything. I love “me” time! Lately mine has been going to the Farmers Market early on Saturday or Sunday morning, getting a veggie juice, and picking up veggies, fruits, and eggs. It’s so nice to be around people, but on my own.

    Is Rudy a good couch cuddler?

    1. Hi Jessie! I feel you! And if you’re a morning person, that’s the best time to have your “me” time too. Nice work on that! And good job on two workouts this weekend. Yes, Rudy is a sweet little cuddler. Once he stops playing of course. We took a nap on the couch together on Saturday actually. Oh my gosh, he’s just too much ahha!

  16. Being abroad I would have hoped that my weekend would have been more eventful but I didn’t do a whole lot. I had a body barre classe and had a few too many glasses of wine… when in paris right?

    Balance for me also means routine, but here it’s been hard to create that. Typically I make sure to indulge when the opportunity presents itself, like tonight for instance when the family made a special french dessert.

    1. Hi Alexa! I agree that I like to have a routine to create balance. And a weekend with a workout and some wine? That sounds balanced to me!! I haven’t taken a barre class in a while and would love to. Hope you have a great week!

  17. Ashley, I was so enjoying reading this post until it got commercial. I think if I had known up front that this was a sponsored post that I might not have felt duped and that maybe some of your statements weren’t really another plug for something else. I genuinely believe in a lot of the balance outlook that you wrote about here and I’m not usually one to make a statement like this, but it really caught me off guard to get that far in and then realize that you were promoting a product.

    1. Hi AmberLynn, I’m sorry you feel that way, but this post is totally honest and written solely from me — it’s just as the title says it will be “How I maintain balance.” Everything I said in here about balance is true about my real life, whether there is a product involved or not. This is a post I would write whether there was a sponsorship involved or not — so you shouldn’t feel duped at all. Nothing would change if you took Chobani out of this post at all. And by the way, I only promote products I love, and I’ve been eating Chobani for years and years before I had a blog, so this was a perfect thing to feature at the end of this post — not changing the statements about balance at all. In fact, if you reread the post, I think you’ll see outside of one mention of Greek yogurt (which is true), there is no “pushing of a product” at all until I introduce the product at the end. Once again, I’m sorry you were caught off guard, but I hope you see that the portion you enjoyed doesn’t change at all because of a sponsorship. Take care!

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