The full body check-in and my fitness reading list

by Kim on July 12, 2013

Mason and I just got back from an EPIC garage sale spree, and we have nada to show for it. Total sale fail.

First of all, what is the deal with EVERYONE in this city having baby girls? 9/10 of the garage sales I’ve been to this summer have involved MOUNDS and MOUNDS of little pink clothes, with maybe 4 weirdly shaped baseball-themed shirts in a 5T off to one corner.

Secondly, I just want to put this out there: if all you have to sell is an old clock, some Christmas decorations, and a ton of stamps, that doesn’t really necessitate an entire garage sale.

Gripes aside, we did get a nice walk out of the deal, and I was able to keep working on my dark-on-top/stark-white-on-bottom stroller tan.

20130711_132047(P.S. No, I’m not pregnant…just wearing a belt with what is apparently a ginormous buckle. Ha! Nice huh?)

I also got to avoid the embarrassment of paying for things in all quarters. Before we left, I realized I was out of cash, so I raided the house change jar and was carrying around this tiny drawstring bag of silver all morning.

Dodged a bullet there—that’s our retirement fund!

By the way, I found another free barre-style YouTube video and tried it out last night. This one’s by FitnessBlender and it’s 39 minutes long, as opposed to the little 10/15-minuters I’ve been amassing.

You can also find a non-YouTube copy of the workout, plus a printed version of it and some calorie info, here.

Things I loved:

  • The way they show the exercise, in action, right before you do it, rather than trying to explain it or just launching into it cold. This way, there’s no scrambling to figure out what they’re doing and catch up.
  • A visible timer that counts down each set (when applicable). When I can see that there are only 5 seconds left, I’m much more likely to hang on through the end.
  • Zero impact, but still HARD. Perfect for someone who’s looking to cross-train, recovering from an injury, or unable to do a bunch of crazy plyometrics because her body isn’t the same after having a baby. (Haha—hello!)

Things I didn’t love:

  • No music! Gotta have my tunes. And my Pops.
  • Slightly repetitive—it just repeats the whole circuit twice.
  • The last half of the circuit involves more traditional moves and barely any barre. They’re still great, effective moves, but it started to feel like any old workout then.

Another thing I loved about this workout was the regular full body “check-ins.” Every few minutes, you’re reminded to check in with your body to make sure every single muscle is activated at all times, even the ones that are not specifically involved in the current move.

Those regular reminders were awesome. As opposed to the standard “engage your core” doozy we always hear, this pushed me to be on constant alert, examining all parts of my body all the time. Tensing up my legs during arm workouts, pumping up my biceps during squats, and of course, engaging that dang core.


The full-body muscle activation concept probably isn’t news to anyone, but it’s easy to forget or ignore, especially when you’re busy focusing on the muscles that are involved in the current move. It’s also especially important with barre workouts, where tiny little isolated movements are the primary focus and it’s easy to neglect the “off” muscles.

Without full-body muscle activation, you can go through the motions of a workout perfectly and never reach your full toning/calorie-torching potential. In a group fitness class, two people could look like they’re doing the same exact workout from the outside, but one could be working 3x harder than the other. (Which is so unfair!! I want my hard work VISIBLE!)

Hey, have you seen this list of must-read fitness, health, and happiness books from Greatist?


Here are the ones that stood out to me:

Paleoista by Nell Stephenson. Apparently, this book paints a picture of the Paleo diet that’s less snarling-Neanderthal-with-a-dead-animal-carcass and more…girly.


I’ve been accidentally learning a lot about Paleo lately, since Mason is essentially on the diet by force (minus eggs) due to his food allergies.

The other day, I cooked him some sweet potatoes and kale in bacon grease, which I thought was very Paleo of me.


So far, he’s been unimpressed with it. But I think it’s pretty darn tasty. (I mean…I did just say the word BACON.)

Push by Chalene Johnson. Not only do I just like Chalene’s personality and workouts, and therefore assume I’ll like her book, but she also has some interesting/unique perspectives (from what I can tell in the sample pages I was able to read for free on Amazon).


For example, she talks about intrinsic priorities vs. formal life priorities—intrinsic ones being the ones that are so much a part of who you are that you honor them naturally, without needing any accountability.

She also talks about “having a diet” rather than “being on a diet”—a shockingly meaningful difference—and picking friends who will uplift you while detaching from the “success suckers.” I dig all that.

Finally, I’ll be honest: I’m hoping Chalene will share her secret for getting her bangs to swoop perfectly to one side and NEVER, EVER BUDGE, even through the sweatiest, squat-jumpiest workouts.


I’m pretty sure there are staples involved. Either that or her hair is plastic.

Running With the Mind of Meditation by The Sakyong. On how to improve patience, energy, and focus through running. Aka how to think about something else when you’re running other than the fact that you’re running. (Am I right?)

Running with Meditation

Oh, and I also want to read every single book in the psychology category, because I’ve never read anything psychology-related that didn’t interest me. In fact, I probably picked the wrong major—whoops. And Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home has been on my reading list since the day it came out.

Have you had any garage saling luck this summer?

What’s your favorite 90’s commercial (besides Pops)?

Remember this gem??

How many times would you say you’ve heard the phrase “engage your core” in your lifetime?

I’m guessing 4,358-4,359ish for me.

What’s on your fitness/health/happiness reading list?

Have a great weekend!


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Kim – thanks for reposting this gem! It has some great resources and has already motivated me to look into the books and video you shared. Thanks!


Presley @ Run Pretty July 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

It’s plastic. For sure. I gave up on bangs a while back because I get these greasy spider legs hanging over my face. It’s attractive.
Presley @ Run Pretty recently posted…Fit Pregnancy: The Problems with that PhraseMy Profile


char eats greens July 13, 2013 at 7:44 am

I need to start hitting up garage sales now that I have a kiddo!! And I need to try a barre workout. I never have yet, but time to bust into a new workout!!
char eats greens recently posted…personalized pesto pizzaMy Profile


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome July 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Yum! Your “Paleo” meal looks delicious! Very similar to something I had today but with added organic ground turkey meat and avocado. Yum!
Ha! I’ve never been able to get my bangs do the magical sweep thing either!
Oh favorite 90’s commercial would have to be the 7-Up with the red dot. Oooh or the Toys R Us Christmas one! You know, with the song, “I don’t wanna grow up….” We have a super old VHS recording from Christmas cartoons (think Mickey’s Christmas Carol) that I used to play every year in my classroom and it had all those old commercial on it. Love it and even though we don’t have a VCR, I still have it :-)
Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Early bird gets the wormMy Profile


Kim July 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Funny you bring up Mickey’s Christmas Carol!! That’s my FAVORITE version of the Christmas Carol, and I was dying to catch it this past Christmas. I scoured the TV listings for weeks looking for it and NEVER found it! Such a disappointment. They better not have stopped playing it altogether!

Ooh, ground turkey, good idea. I wonder if he’d go for it if I added that!


Erin K. July 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Just a tip about garage sale boy items…most are super out of date or rags! Boys destroy their clothes so not a lot to sell after they get to around 2 or 3 years old! lol I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. Anything that survived the first one didn’t make it past # 2! Never pay full price for jeans/pants or shoes…total waste of money and they will never make it to hand me downs! I have piles of jeans that have no knees! School pants with no knees…shoes with no toes!

Try ebay–put in size and “lot” you can score some great deals. Or try craigslist for people unloading big chunks of sizes.


Kim July 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

GOOD. POINT! That explains a lot. :) Thanks for the advice!!


Michelle @ Nice Lil Saturday July 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

What a great video! My hubby and I are trying to save money and have frozen our gym membership, so I’m always on the lookout for great YouTube workouts that I can do at home. I think once I have my little munchkin I will probably reactivate my gym membership, but at least I will have some great videos to utilize when I’m at home with my little man :)

It’s so funny that you brought up 90’s commercials, because Paul and I JUST were talking about the Tootsie Pops commercial with the owl this week! “Mr Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.” LOVE IT.
Michelle @ Nice Lil Saturday recently posted…Five on Friday Link-UpMy Profile


Kim July 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm

That’s awesome that you can freeze and unfreeze your account like that–my gym is way too uptight about contract stuff!

Oh I definitely remember the Tootsie commercials. We’ll never get resolution on the answer to that question, will we?

Hope you’re having a wonderful pregnancy! Congratulations! :)


Kim July 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

If you read Chalean’s book, I hope you do a review of it. I all of her workouts – and it is crazy hoe her hair stays in place through-out the whole sweat-fest.
Kim recently posted…300My Profile


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: