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Ballet Body: Core

*Standard Running On Veggies Disclaimer: I received the DVDs for free, opinions are my own* 

There was a time that I wanted to be a ballerina badly, but 10 year old Laney didn’t have the flexibility or the grace to keep that up. So when I am surrounding by Broadway dancers in Figure 4 or these incredibly tall, skinny ladies in the barre classes I do here in DC I am jealous of their bodies. Seriously jealous.

I know it is genetics and I will never ever be this tiny, lengthy thing. My petite-athletic body just won’t do that, but damn it if I won’t try.

Acacia just released Ballet Body by Leah Sarago. Sarago apparently has trained my dear Gator friend Tim Tebow, among other NFL stars. There are three DVDs one for upper body, lower body and abs. I decided to start with the abs workout on an off day.

Skeptical that I will like this #fitfluential
Skeptical that I will like this #fitfluential

The 45 minute workout was pretty intense. There were absolutely no breaks for those abs, you just moved from one sequence to the next and I worked up a bit of a sweat (obviously not cardio sweat, but still). It was weird having Sarago narrate the workouts, but not actually be speaking on the screen. There wasn’t a lot of explanation in terms of alignment and exact positioning, but seriously this worked my abs HARD. I’ll give it another go, for sure.

The DVD will be available April 2, 2013. Check back for a review on the other workouts.


Target’s Everyday Collection Campaign

It’s been awhile since I talked shop here (shop being PR and all things social media), but I couldn’t resist posting about Target’s Tweet to Runway campaign.

If have watched TV in real time recently, you may have seen those crazy runway-inspired commercials for Target, which I don’t entirely understand. I think it aims to make everyday activities…making dinner, cleaning your baby’s diaper “sexy,” but I really don’t know.

Well the bulls-eye company took it a step further with its Tweet-to-Runway Show. Here’s the deal: Target encouraged fans to visit the “Everyday Show” page via Twitter and post messages concerning some product sold in the “Everyday” line. Target describes Everyday as “the most intensely sensible grocery and essentials collection of the season”, which could apply to pretty much anything. Someone chose the “best” tweets, which were then read aloud by models as they paraded down the runway carrying the products in question.

Some were hilarious. Others reminded me that some people share too much on Twitter.

While I love everything about the models reading real people’s tweets (“dot, dot, dot”), I don’t understand why they are poking fun at their own campaign. This whole campaign centers around glamorizing everyday activities, and having models reading tweets while holding a jar of pickles…seems to I dunno go in the mocking direction.

See some of “runway show” here.

Active Recovery Week

After my less than stellar workout on Monday I knew that my body was in desperate need of a week off, unfortunately, my sanity couldn’t afford that. So I decided on an active recovery week, which meant more yoga and more stretching, and less running and hard cardio.

By the time Friday rolled around I was already feeling better. Even in my recovery week I tried a new workout class–PiYo.  My client convinced me to join her at the Gold’s Gym class on Wednesday night and I am really glad I did.

PiYo is a combination of pilaties, yoga and a wee bit of cardio. We did a ton of chatarunga push-ups, which had my arms screaming and the reps we did in lunges, warrior 3, 2 and 1, had my glutes feeling like I had just finished a barre class.

I would absolutely go back to this class as much as I can. Hard thing is that it is at 5:30 on Wednesday nights, and I would have to leave my apartment at 5:15 to get there on time. Not something I will probably be able to do on a regular basis.

My active recovery week will continue tomorrow when Kristin and I head to Barre 3 for the first time.

And come Monday, I start training for the Cherry Blossom 10M.


A Blech Workout

Have you ever just had one of those days where you know you need to workout and you put it off until you are exhausted and just really don’t want to do it?

That’s what yesterday was like. I hadn’t slept well the night before, it was Inauguration Day, and I had a few hours of work to put in. Not to mention I have been going pretty heavily with the one-day break and my body is starting to feel the effects and not in a good way.

Basically, by the time 5:00pm rolled around the little energy that I was working with was completely zapped. But I have a ridiculously long week ahead of me and I am not entirely sure I will get the opportunity to get 30min+ workout in most days this week.

Enter Twitter for “I am so tired, but feel guilty if I don’t work out” workout suggestions:


So I looked up an easy weight lifting routine and found Women’s Health Hottest Body. Now, this is not meant as a brag by ANY sorts and I was honestly looking for an easy workout, but this was just too easy. Maybe I didn’t choose heavy enough weights. Maybe I am just used to this metabolic style workout…but it just didn’t make me gasp for air like I thought it would.

I guess it served its purpose. hot-body-workout


I’ve been diligently tracking my calorie intake and burn on myfitnesspal. I’m doing it without the heart rate monitor that I am currently lusting after, so it is possible that it isn’t accurate.

Anyway, a month of serious workouts with Leslie Ann, calorie tracking and upping my cardio has resulted in what appears to be a leaner Laney. Did I slip up this week and over-indulge in Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet ice cream? Yes. Am I still snacking uncontrollably when I get stressed out? Yes.

So over the next month I am going to do my very best to fix those. Because although I have lost some weight, I certainly still have some ways to go.

Speaking of…two different things got me incredibly inspired this week.

1) A woman who definitely has a journey ahead of her was having her own private workout in the gym this week. She apparently had suffered an accident and needs to completely rehabilitate her body. She was working her way through the routine, stopping occasionally but never ever giving up.  While I silently cursed myself during my burpees watching her kept me going.

2) While I was running out of my building today, I saw a mom on the elliptical with her baby in a carrying case next to her. She was finding a way to get her workout done and THAT was impressive.

Weight: 127.4

% Fat: 23%

After one month on the right
After one month on the right

Avoiding the Flu

1350485069_2112_maskI went full germ-a-phobe these last two weeks. I was on planes and trains, public transportation and lots of people. I was sanitizing, hand-washing and giving the old dude hacking up a storm at the airport the evil eye for not covering his mouth.

I hadn’t gotten my flu shot because my local pharmacies were already out and I was just in complete freak mode. Luckily, Walgreens got a huge shipment in on Tuesday and I was able run over their to get one. I was probably the most excited flu shot recipient these pharmacists had ever seen!

Yes, I procrastinated and it might be too late, but today I learned there was hope. Hope in the form of exercise! Apparently, being physically fit has been shown to improve immunity–specifically in response to vaccines. So if you work out before you get your shot or right after it is likely that you will have higher antibody levels, making the shot more effective.

I’m still Lysoling the crap out of every surface I touch and I pretty much doused the elliptical I was on this morning, but I am feeling less like I need to quarantine myself.

A Little Sappiness

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

Women’s Health posted that quote earlier today and it got me thinking about my besties. So now I give you a sappy post about how wonderful they are.

My best friends at Janie's wedding
My best friends at Janie’s wedding

We enjoy a lot of the same things…running, reading, traveling and cooking. But we enjoy them at varying levels. For instance, Shari just left for a year in Southeast Asia (Follow her travels here.) and Janie is beyond when it comes to cooking. Our personalities mesh so well that it is pretty amazing. Marissa probably has the most positive outlook on life that I have ever seen and Jaclyn can actually tolerate the most annoying of people (I consider this a huge accomplishment).

Marissa's birthday limo ride
Marissa’s birthday limo ride

We can be in the mood to dance and never leave Janie’s apartment because the 90s channel is just oh so good. We travel to exciting places or we just sit, eat and talk for hours on end.

Shari's wedding
Shari’s wedding

They are honestly some of the best people I have ever met.



How to workout “around” the resolutioners

I applaud all of the resolutioners out there for making a commitment to getting healthy this year. I hate that they take my spin bike and treadmill and only do it until March (if they are truly in the work out spirit).treadmill

Q1 (as we call it in business terms) is my most stressful time of year, which means I tend to workout heavily to keep myself sane. So when I show up to my normally scheduled sweat session and find all the treadmills taken I get a little cranky. I used to wait in the line, stretching..rocking back and forth until one became available, but then I realized I know things these newbies don’t.

Such as how to use the rowing machine to get a great cardio workout (seriously intervals on these puppies are amazing). I am also not afraid of the weight area. So I pick a corner, layout all the items I need and go from there. I typically keep a jump rope in my bag for days like that.

Knowing how to use the “less popular” machines gives you a leg up on the crowds. Any other tips?

My Handstand Problem

So we know that a goal of mine is to get better at balance poses. We also know that it has only been a few weeks since I decided to dedicate myself to these goals, but I am impatient.

starting the process
starting the process

I’ve been using my Tara Stiles This Is Yoga: Yoga Pose Library to help me get into the poses. She takes you through steps that basically help you build up into the pose. Placing your hands in the right place, rolling your hips up, slowly picking one leg up and then the other. You get the point.

I can’t seem to do it though. I was watching the way the uber flexible Tara moved and I noticed that when she shifts her legs up, they are literally in line with her hips. Is that even possible? I guess. I am wondering if my big issue with these isn’t in the arm strength, but the fact that I have really tight hips. Any thoughts?

I am hoping that one of the studios near me has an inversion workshop soon. That might be my best opportunity to get hands on training.

Oh also, my obsession Biggest Loser started this week. I absolutely love this show.  I get really into Biggest Loser, sometimes I wish that it was on earlier so that I could watch it while I’m working out because I get pumped watching these workouts.  I can’t really explain why, other than I just love watching these people beast it out and realize that they have it in them (after puking and what not). This season should be interesting with them taking on the childhood obesity issue. I am looking forward to how they actually tackle this in practical terms.

My Own Little Tri-Day

I find that when I am on an exercise streak there are days that I am completely indecisive and that’s what stalls me. Today, was one of those days. Friday was my off day, so I woke up knowing that I was going to spend some quality time exercising. I just didn’t know what to do. Did I want to go for a run? Do a little yoga? Maybe rep out some barre exercises?

After broadcasting my problem on Twitter, I was convinced to do all three.

Thanks for the motivation!

The hubby and I went for a nice 3M run around the neighborhood (or the neighborhood that I would like to one day live in, Lyon Park). I am not sure if it is because I took a lot of time off from running, or that I am currently doing shorter distances, but my pace has picked up. I’ve moved back into the 9:25/9:30 per mile, which is AWESOME. I really hope I can keep this up when I start training for the Cherry Blossom 10M.

When we got home I popped Sparkpeople’s Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. This DVD has a cardio blast, barre workout, and weight exercise all under 25 minutes each. I did the barre workout today, which is just 20 minutes. It is definitely not as labor intensive as my Physique 57 DVDs or the live barre classes I’ve been to, but I still got a nice burn in my legs. There is very little arm focus and essentially no abs. It is good for a day like today when I am combining workouts, but I don’t think I would ever do it on its own.

Little butt exercise

After that, I convinced Josh to do some beginner yoga with me courtesy of Tara Stiles This is Yoga. I added in some advance variations where I wanted to, and liked ending this workout blast with a nice stretch. It was the first time I had done this flow and I thought for a practice touted as beginner she moved pretty fast. Once that was over, I practiced a few of my inversions…have headstand down, but really am having some issues with forearms and handstand (discussion for another time).

I am completely wiped now and am enjoying watching football on the couch. Arian Foster and JJ Watt are beasts!