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#LookForLove Challenge | Weeks 5 & 6

Happy Monday! Can y’all believe we’re already THIRTEEN DAYS into February?! I cannot, but I’m not complaining because I’m just a few days from a three-day weekend and I’m so looking forward to it! Well, the Tone It Up #LookForLove Challenge has come to a close and I’m recapping the last two weeks.

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#LookForLove Challenge Update

If you’re unfamiliar with the #LookForLove Challenge, it’s a six-week fitness challenge designed by Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up. Every few months, they put together awesome challenges to get people excited about getting fit. I love their energy and positivity so I always jump in feet first.

All in all, I lost about four pounds doing the challenge since January 1. That’s not a whole lot, but it’s a lot more than nothing. 🙂 I practiced balance and mindfulness with my food and had great success. I’ve been watching my macronutrients lately and have felt better and more satisfied since starting that. I’ll continue to watch my macronutrients and loosely track my calories moving forward. That’s not to say I didn’t have a few slip-ups or cheats in the last six weeks — I just chose not to dwell on them. For me, that is as much a win as losing weight.

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As I mentioned in my last update, I strayed a little bit from the suggested schedule. I signed up for a 10K that I’ll be completing in March, so I had to expedite race training. 🙂 I haven’t ran in a race since 2014, so I also haven’t trained for a race since 2014. When I think back to my half-marathon training almost three years ago, I’m not met with pleasant memories. This training experience (even though it’s just a 10K) has been so much different — so much better. What’s changed? Well, a lot has. So much that it’s probably a completely separate post. BUT, I’m so grateful for a better and more pleasant training experience.

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On the strength front, I’ve been focusing on total body workouts twice a week, with a restorative stretch-and-strength workout each Sunday. This is working right now and I’ll probably stick with this type of schedule until at least the end of March. At that point I might scale back on running until time to start training for Wine & Dine. I love total body workouts, but I also don’t really know how to incorporate a balanced training split without spending hours and hours working out right now. Time is not on my side lately, so I’m just trying to practice prioritizing. 🙂 (Totally open to suggestions, by the way!)

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Your turn: Did you complete any New Year’s fitness challenges? How did they go? How will you be adjusting your fitness schedule moving forward?

To read my recap on weeks one and two, click here.

To read my recap on weeks three and four, click here.

To follow me on Instagram, click here.

#LookForLove Challenge | Weeks 3 & 4

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Hey, girl, hey! And happy Monday! What an oxymoron, right?! It’s so hard to believe we are already at the end of January! I feel like I just got back into my classroom and this semester is already flying by. For all my teacher friends in a tested grade, you know that’s both a good and bad thing! 😉 Anyway, I’ve got a TIU Challenge update for you, so maybe that will help glaze over some of the Monday blues.

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Tone It Up Challenge

This challenge is already 2/3 complete! With only two weeks left, it, like January has felt like it’s flown by. In the last two weeks, I’ve made some tweaks to the suggested training schedule, which I’ll address. But let’s get to the recap, Instagram round-up/life lately style!

A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded Jillian Michaels’ new app because I’d been hearing her talk all about it on her podcast! I went through the steps of being matched with an appropriate program and it put me with her Advanced Bikini Body program. I got in a great 30-minute total body workout!



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The next day, I took the first steps in meeting some of my 2017 goals by registering for the 2017 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon! When I started looking into long distance running for myself, a runDisney experience was at the top of my list (duh). I also had an old blog friend who wrote about her Wine & Dine half years ago and ever since then I’ve wanted to do that race in particular. Since it’s held during the annual food and wine festival, I knew this race would be one of the easiest to convince my husband to tag along to! When he said, “yes,” I had my credit card in hand and hit refresh as soon as the registration opened. I am so excited to start training and planning a Disney trip!



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Since I signed up for the race, I started looking into submitting my proof of time. I need to run in at least a 10K by August, and the only one in my area is in March! I signed up and pretty much jumped right into an expedited version of 10K training. I decided to do a Couch to 10K/Hal Higdon hybrid. Because of this, I haven’t been able to follow the Tone It Up weekly schedule exactly as its prescribed. I always feel a little bit of guilt, like I’m not really “doing the challenge” if I stray off on my own. That’s so silly and something I’m overcoming. Part of practicing balance is doing what’s right for ME and MY BODY. Right now — and probably until the 10K has wrapped — that means three runs a week with two days of total body strength and one day of stretch and strength (yoga/pilates/PiYo). I’m still adding in Tone It Up workouts, and I’m loving this one for sure.



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Nutritionally, I’ve been doing SO much better, even than the first two weeks of the challenge. This past week I started tracking my food, as well as my macros, and I’m down three pounds! Hahaha, that’s a sure sign that I needed to get that part in check. 😉

Anyway, I’m still loving this challenge and looking forward to the final two weeks. More than anything, the Tone It Up community is so inspiring and that’s part of what keeps me going. Click here to see for yourself!



A photo posted by Jessica (@teacherfit.jess) on

If you enjoyed this post, check out Best Workout DVDs When You’re Pressed for Time or How to Wake Up Early to Workout!


To read my recap of weeks 1 and 2, click here!

Follow along on Instagram by clicking here!

#LookForLove Challenge | Weeks 1 & 2

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I’m going to chronicle my journey through the six-week #LookForLove Tone It Up Challenge! I’ve been on the #TIUTeam for almost three years now. I have done a number of different programs in the last three years — many of which I loved — but I always find myself turning back to Karena and Katrina for their positivity and confidence. And I also feel like we would be BFF if we knew each other in real life.

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Tone It Up Challenge

I have really enjoyed the first couple weeks of this challenge! As long as I’ve been following Tone It Up, I’ve never really followed the weekly schedule they write. I would use their workouts, but pick based on whatever I felt like I might want to do that week. So far, I’m enjoying the way they’re making the schedules. Every since they added the Daily Moves feature, the workouts are much more prescriptive.

Tone It Up Challenge

Follow my #LookForLove Challenge journey on Instagram!

The first couple of weeks have been so much fun! I’m loving all the new workouts and collaboration with Jillian Michaels fulfills so many of my fangirl dreams! Right before starting this challenge, I finished Jillian’s BodyShred program and a lot of the TIUxJM workouts are very similar to it. I love them!

Tone It Up Challenge

My nutrition the first week was completely lackluster. My Christmas vacation didn’t end until last Monday, and I took full advantage of vacation mode! I didn’t meal prep anything and I snacked a lot. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed it, but I’m paying for it now. This past week was much better on the clean eating track, though I did have a few slip ups. I need a chocolate detox, haha.

I can feel the changes and the effects of the workouts on my body, but I’m not seeing a lot of measurable changes yet. In fact, I’m actually up a couple of pounds since starting the challenge. That’s probably due to my wild Christmas vacation. 🙂 But I’m not going to stress over two or three pounds because those pounds represent fun, rest, and loving my body enough to loosen the reigns for a short time. I’m looking forward to getting back into my #mealprepsunday habits and staying on track for the remainder of the challenge. Four weeks to go!

Anyway… I’m off to get my hair cut and enjoy this last day of my three-day weekend! If you have the day off, what are you up to today? Are you participating in any January fitness challenges?

Last Week’s Workouts

It’s Monday and that means I’m back for another recap of my workouts from the previous week! Today begins a few days of state testing for my students and many, many others across Texas. I’ll be getting in four hours of “active monitoring” while my kiddos strut their stuff and show what they know. We’ve been working up to this since August and I’m proud of them already just for trying their best.

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Last Week's Workouts

To take my mind off some of the *stress* and *pressure* of standardized testing, let’s talk about something a little bit more fun — like the workouts I completed last week. 😉 This was Week 2 of the Tone It Up Bikini Series, so how did I fare? Let’s see.

Sunday, 4/30/17:

I love doing yoga on Sundays, so I used the Tone It Up Beach Babe 4 videos to create my own workout. I completed a cardio flow followed by a flow using the kettlebell. It was the perfect balance of stretch, strength, and elevated heart rate.

Last Week's Workouts
Monday, 5/1/17:

I started off the month of May with some serious HIIT! I did Beach Babe 5’s HIIT the Beach (the same one from last week!) and the Tone It Up 5 Daily Moves. Today, those consisted of 3 rounds of 15 reps of bridges, curtsy lunges, stationary lunges, kettlebell swings, and kettlebell squat-to-press. My booty was feeling it for days.

#100bySummer tracker by @amylynnntiu on Instagram

Tuesday, 5/2/17:

For this week’s Tone It Up Tuesday, Karena and Katrina uploaded a new workout to YouTube called Totally Toned. It was a total body routine and you already know I love total body workouts! I followed that quick workout with 2 miles on the treadmill. When I was closing up the treadmill for storage something went flying and I thought for sure I had broken it. However, my awesome husband fixed it for me, so we’re back in business. 🙂

Wednesday, 5/3/17:

I tested out another new workout from the Beach Babe 5 series, Tight & Toned Core. It was a nice, equipment free break, but still buuuurned like crazy. I also did HIIT Me Up from the Beach Babe 4 series for another 1.5 miles of cardio toward my 100 mile goal!

Thursday, 5/4/17:

On Thursday, I slept in (until 5:15!) and fit in an afternoon workout. I took Pippa out for a run and thankfully, she did much better than she did last time. 🙂 When we got home, I did the Tone It Up Daily Moves, which were upper body focused. I completed 3 rounds of 15 reps of curl-to-press, upright rows, plank tricep kickbacks (these are hard!), bridge chest flys, and cross body hammer curls.

Friday, 5/5/17:

Friday, I tried out yet another Beach Babe 5 workout — Bootylicious🍑. (Yes, sometimes I feel ridiculous writing/typing/speaking their workout titles.) Additionally, I did the K+K HIIT workout from Karena and Katrina’s Look for Love/Body Love series. If you can’t tell — I love quick HIITs of mixed strength and cardio work.

Saturday, 5/6/17:

Our nephew’s 1st birthday party was this weekend, so my Saturday workout was cut a little short so we could get out the door! I did a 30-minute Beach Babe 5 workout, 30 Rep Challenge. Think 30 reps of every exercise using a variety of weights. I can totally see how this workout can be used to build strength because you can use whatever weight you want to get those reps in! Except for push-ups. I am awful at push-ups and I definitely didn’t get in 30 reps.

This week, I’m looking forward to Week 3 of the Bikini Series with some extra walking, thanks to active monitoring. I always get my steps in early on those days! Are you filling your schedule with any new workouts this week?

Teacher Off Duty: A Day in the Life

Have you found yourself wondering what a teacher off duty even DOES all summer?! Especially a teacher who doesn’t have kids of her own? That’s ok. Before becoming a teacher myself, I often wondered the same thing. Read on to discover a day in the life of a teacher off duty.

Teacher Off Duty: A Day in the Life

I just completed my third year of teaching, thus I’m in my third summer of not having to get up and go to work every Monday through Friday. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the aspects I looked forward to when I decided to become a teacher. I thought, “Pshh… Summers off?! I can do that easy!” But now that I have three years under my belt, I absolutely think teachers earn those months off and deserve every blessed minute! This past school year was very hard on me, so I’m trying to be all about balance this June and July. That is my 2017 word of the year, after all. This is the current day in the life for this teacher off duty. Each day is a little bit different, but I also love routine, so I keep things mostly the same.

Related: Teacher Off Duty: Casual Summer Fashion

4:50 a.m.: Alarm goes off. It’s ridiculously early for someone on “vacation”, but I like getting my workout in before my husband gets up. Plus, it’s a good bit later than my school year wake-up call. I groggily get dressed and then head into the kitchen. Pippa gets up with me and she’s just as groggy. 🙂

5-5:10 a.m.: Start the coffee, put on my shoes, and get ready to start the first part of my workout for the day. If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’m hitting upper body and/or abs. Tuesday is leg day. If it’s Thursday, I’m still sleeping until my husband gets out of the shower. 🙂

5:10-5:45 a.m.: Getting that sweat on!

Teacher Off Duty: A Day in the Life

5:45-6:45 a.m.: Time for brekky! We have scrambled eggs every morning and I always have some carbs for my post workout meal. Lately, I’ve been loving blueberry French toast casserole. I make it on Sunday night so I can just reheat it during the week. Hubby and I eat together while we watch Fox News and then he heads to work.

Related: Teacher Off Duty: Summer Reading List

6:45-7:15 a.m.: I finish my coffee while doing my Bible study for the day. I just finished a study on Colossians. I love using She Reads Truth for my studies. I put the app on my tablet and I can download any study I want in about 10 seconds.

Teacher Off Duty: A Day in the Life

7:15-?? a.m.: Time to finish my workout. Again, if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I head out for a run. Otherwise, I might just have a couple of sets to finish up.

8:30ish-9:00ish: Shower off and get ready. Odds are, I’m using my second day hair routine and throwing on some comfy clothes.

Second Day Hair

9:00-10:00: Tackle my cleaning task for the day. One thing I love about being home for the summer is that I actually have time to clean my house! I love a clean house, but it, like many things, takes a backseat during the school year.

10:00-12:00: Blog (read, comment, write, check various social accounts), watch tv (usually Law & Order: SVU, House Hunters, or something on Food Network), wait for my husband to come home for lunch.

12:00-12:50: Lunch with my husband. We might eat some leftovers, I might grab something quick for us, or on rare occasions, I’ll cook something. That pretty much never happens though. #keepingitreal

12:50-2:00: After my husband heads back to work, I run a few errands. It could be grocery shopping, or just a quick Target run. But honestly, my Target runs are never quick. I get sucked in by #allthethings and before I know it I’ve spent $100 on nothing. Can you relate?!

Related: Instagram Lately

2:00-5:00: Random smattering of things. During this time, I’m really just trying to catch up on all the things I wanted to do that I didn’t get to do yet. 🙂 It probably includes more blogging, more cleaning, and more DVR depleting.

5:00ish-6:00ish: Start dinner before my husband gets home. One of my favorite things as a wife is to have dinner ready for my husband when he walks in the door. I know that probably seems old school, but I love it. He works hard for us all day long, so it’s the least I can do for him. We usually reserve any dinners out for the weekend.

One Pan Taco Bowl

6:30ish-8:00: We eat dinner and catch up on each other’s days. We usually watch a few episodes of Big Bang Theory on TBS after we finish eating. By this point, I think we’ve seen every episode three times. Still hilarious.

8:00ish: We start winding down, getting ready for bed, etc. I read for little while (yay for summer reading!!), and it’s lights out by 9:15. Yes, we’re young and that’s ridiculously early for a couple of 20-somethings. Our entire family thinks we’re fuddy-duddies, it’s ok if you do too.

It’s worth mentioning that during all of this, I’m also letting Pippa in and out of the house about a thousand times. She loves chasing the squirrels around our backyard and as soon as they get out of her sight she has to come inside and look out all the windows for them. So… That’s a day in my life, at least for now. Maybe you were right–teachers don’t do anything all summer! 😉 Some days, that’s true, but like I said–I earned this time the other ten months of the year.

Question: What does a day in YOUR life look like right now?

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