fitness

10 Thoughts That Cross My Mind in Spin Class

When I wrote my original post on the 10 Thoughts That Cross My Mind in Yoga, I immediately received a request from one of my favorite spin instructors, Tiffany L. for my thoughts during spin class. Now spin is a little different for me compared to yoga-- I've been doing it for 6 years, I teach spin myself, and even though it kicks my ass every.single.time, because its something I'm good at, its almost easier than yoga. That doesn't mean my mind doesn't wander though, and here are 10 thoughts that cross my mind when I'm taking a spin class (a little context: I'm usually at a 6:30 am class, so this is pretty early in the morning)

1. UGH this is SO EARLY --- if I close my eyes through the warm up, what are the chances I can let my body think I'm still asleep?

2. WE'RE SPRINTING!!! Breathe Breathe Breathe-- oh, this doesn't feel so bad… (60 seconds later) I lied, my legs are ON FIRE

3. When is she going to turn on the fans? SWEET JESUS TURN ON THE FANS!!!

4. OOOH there's Missy/Janet --- TURN UP THE VOLUME!! what feels like 15 minutes later….These ladies just keep singing…. END.THE.SONG.

5. Still sprinting?! Oh my God, when does this end?

6. Finally a hill- at least I can catch my breath

7. I really love the 90s. These throwback jams are MY JAM!!!

8.  Weights. I really hate these shoulder exercises. WHY ARE 3LB WEIGHTS SO HEAVY?!?!

9. Sprint home!! Let's do this!!!!

10. As I'm walking out all sweaty If I get a juice right now, does that make me completely basic?

With Sara after a Galentine's Day ride

With Sara after a Galentine's Day ride

I really love spin -- it is, by far, my favorite workout. And honestly, its because I'm friends with the instructors, a lot of friends attend the same classes I do, and I've made friends in class! And even though our interaction is usually brief (I'm chronically late), its nice to see friendly faces. And I love the music and the atmosphere.

I will say this to any newbie rider: it is tough. You will definitely have saddle soreness, and probably feel like you're dying. All of that is perfectly normal, and perfectly fine and honestly, if I take two weeks off, it feels like I'm starting over all over again too. Don't sweat it--you're doing great. 

Now, who will I see on a bike next to me?

CLE Events: Balance & Brews

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my very first Balance & Brews event as part of Engage! Cleveland's YP Week. Founded by Melissa Klimo-Major, Balance & Brews combines an hour-long, all-levels yoga class with beer! The events take place in local breweries, and include a brewery tour (if you are so inclined). The classes themselves are really fun-- the unusual location paired with Melissa's humor and playlist make for a fun, low-key experience.


Photo credit: Thanks to Balance and Brews' Facebook page for the two pictures on the top.

Balance & Brews is hosting its first ever yoga weekend retreat in Ohio later this month. I'm not quite ready to commit to a whole weekend yet, but its definitely something I would like to try in the near future. They also have a practice and a pint option, which is exactly what it sounds like. And on July 11th, they are hosting a Balance & Brews practice at Great Lakes Brewing Company, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Secondhand Mutts. If you recall, I used to serve on the Board of Directors for Secondhand Mutts, and they continue to hold a very special place in my heart, so naturally, I'm signed up to attend!

I love that fun, active events like these are becoming more common-place in Cleveland. I LUUUUURVE a good detox-retox experience! I'm still looking for an event that pairs yoga with a wine/champagne tasting--- maybe someone will create one soon? Or maybe I should partner with someone to create one?


Weekly Weigh In and a SUPER fun weekend

Moment of Truth:
11/11/13: 153 lbs
11/18/13: 152.8 lbs

I know, this is not very exciting, but considering HOW MANY times I ate out last week, I am VERY excited by this. This was my eating out schedule: Tuesday lunch, Tuesday dinner, Wednesday lunch, Thursday dinner, Friday lunch, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch. And while I made somewhat smart choices, I'm convinced that there is so much salt in restaurant food than the amount I put in my own cooking. How do I know this? My fingers would swell up like fat sausages!!! Hey, a loss is a loss, and while I strive for more, this week, I'll take it.

Friday night, Nick and I went to see Capital Cities and Fitz & The Tantrums at the House of Blues. What an awesome show. Fitz & The Tantrums were absolutely electric-- they had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing!!


In fact, the crowd was so into the show that it was really difficult to get any pictures-- this was the only one I managed to get- the rare quiet moment (ballad) in the show!

Saturday, Nick and I decided to head over to University Circle, and started off our afternoon with a stop at the Cleveland Museum of Art for some lunch. I have to be honest: I absolutely LURVE sitting in that atrium grabbing a bite to eat. It reminds me so much of being in Europe that its honestly a little escape from reality.



Beautiful even on a grey day. Nick staring into the mouth of a dragon. 


After lunch, we headed over to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out ARTScape

I had originally planned to just buy Christmas presents, and while I did that, I also found a piece for me.  You'll have that :)

Saturday night was dinner at the newly opened outpost of Red, The Steakhouse in downtown Cleveland. The space was really nice: dark wood and red lacquered walls, an the food was INCREDIBLE!!


I ordered the tuna steak (top right), simply seared; it was SO SO SO good. Nick ordered the ribeye, and then we finished up with a gigantic creme brûlée (the crust was slightly thicker than normal, and really gave it a nice crunch and caramelized taste).

And now, you have a glimpse of why I only lost 0.2 lbs this week. LOL.

Either way, it was a great week. This week should be better; I'm only scheduled to eat out Monday dinner and Tuesday lunch…. for now.

Happy week all!!

The Movement Factory and a GIVEAWAY!!

If you've noticed my foursquare check-in's lately, you may have noticed that I've been doing a lot of Zumba lately. I tried Zumba over a year ago, and didn't like it. Turned out, it wasn't actually the workout that I didn't like, it was the instructor!! As with so many music-based workout, the instructor is really everything, and now that I've found the right one, I'm all aboard the booty-shaking train!!

So where have I been Zumba-ing? The Movement Factory! Based in Lakewood, I originally discovered The Movement Factory via a groupon that allowed me try out a number of classes for 30 days. My very first Zumba class with Bill, and I was hooked!! Now, if you're worried about your lack of coordination or rhythm, don't be!! While Zumba has some dance elements, it is more of an aerobic dance type workout. You may be a little lost in your first class, but you will definitely pick it up, and if you focus, you may even pick it up by the end of the first class!


Bill is in the red shorts in the top panel. His energy is absolutely contagious!! 

Besides Zumba, I also tried LaBlast, which is based on Dancing With The Stars. Its a slower pace than Zumba, so if you're intimated by trying a Zumba class, LaBlast may be a great place to start.

Since professing my LUUUURVVEEE for The Movement Factory, owner Alyssa was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for my readers!! She is offering ONE LUCKY READER a 30-day unlimited class, valued at $69, which will give you access to all the following classes for 30 days!
- Co-Ed Yoga Stretch
- ZUMBA
- Pilates Mat
- Vinyasa Yoga
- LaBlast
- Masala Bhangra
- Ladies Booty Camp
- Dance Classes

In addition, The Movement Factory also offers Pilates Springboard and Barre classes, available for an additional fee. In more awesome news, The Movement Factory is expanding its space in October, and will have even MORE class offerings starting next month!!

So here's how you enter (you can do any or ALL of these):
1. Leave a comment letting me know which class you would like to try (1 entry)
2. Follow @TheMvmtFactory on twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did so (1 entry)
3. Follow The Movement Factory on Facebook and leave me a comment letting me know you did so (1 entry)
4. Tweet "I want to win an unlimited pass to @TheMvmtFactory via @cleshopaholic http://goo.gl/kz39VI" and leave me a comment saying you did so (1 entry for each tweet, you can tweet this once a day!)
5. Update your Facebook Status with "I want to win an unlimited pass to The Movement Factory via cleshopaholic" and leave me a comment saying you did so (1 entry for each update, you can do this once a day). Please make sure you tag The Movement Factory in your update

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. 

Good luck!!

Disclosure: I received a 10% discount on my 10-class pass to The Movement Factory as a thank-you for spreading the word about this great gym. Needless to say, I am happy to do it, discount or not, because I LURVE the classes so much!! The Movement Factory has also provided the 30-day unlimited pass valued at $69 for this giveaway. 

Happy Labor Day Weekend

HAPPY FRIDAY!! And HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!! I am SO looking forward to this 3-day weekend, and although it marks the end of summer fun, I'm not too sad because there's tons of pre-fall and fall fun to be had in the weeks up ahead!!

That said, I am starting off my weekend with a dose of "Om".


Starting at 7 pm, The Rock Hall plays host to a Cleveland celebration in the form of a yoga party. The party is the brain-child of my favorite west side yoga studio Inner Bliss and Eton-Chagrin lululemon store. Best of all, the event is FREE! Additional details on the event are available here

Tonight the Rock Hall is going to be a sea of spandex and luon, and I for one, can't wait!!!