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The Little Things

Somedays I get really excited about the little things.  And by 'somedays', I mean pretty much every day of my life.  Today was no exception. 

When I reached out of the shower I had to smile because of one little metal object that my husband hung up for me a couple years ago.  A hook.  That's all it is.  But that hook?  It made me smile today, which made me start thinking about why I was smiling over such a small thing, which caused me to spend a good deal of time this morning thinking about how little things can truly have such a large impact on our lives because they simply give us a moment of happiness throughout the day.  I don't know about you, but an extra reason to smile?  I'll take it!

So, back to the hook.  (Isn't a hook a part of a song?  I feel like I should have a song to sing now, but I don't.  It's a shame.)

This is the hook that gave me a moment or two of joy this morning, and here's the story behind it.

The little things in life make all the difference - and this is one of those little things!

A couple years ago I mentioned to Jake that I would like a hook outside of the shower for a towel.  It wasn't a huge deal or anything, I just thought it would be more convenient for us than our other towel-holding alternatives :

On top of the toilet - that seems icky. 

On top of the sink - less icky, but that would require me stepping a foot out of the shower to get the towel, which seemed dumb. 

On the hook behind the bathroom door - this would require us to get completely out of the shower and drip water on the floor as we went to the door.  

On the floor - the towel might end up wet before we would use it to try off, and the floor seemed like another icky option. 

Again, none of these would be the end of the world by any means, and they were all completely acceptable placeholders for a towel.  A hook on the wall right by the shower just seemed like it would be so much more convenient, so I mentioned it to Jake.

Later that week I came home from work and saw a shiny new hook had been hung up.  Now there is no ickiness or water dripping; we can just reach a hand out and grab the towel.  That hook?  It isn't going to change the world; it's not even going to change my life in any profound way, but I still love it.  

I love that I don't have to even think about where I want to put the towel or weigh my options.

I love that it was something seemingly insignificant that Jake did for me just to make me smile.

I love that it's a small thing that gives me an extra second of joy each day.

Do you have something small that makes you smile and gives you that extra second of joy?


What I Read: The Martian

It had been a loooong time since I sat down and read a fiction book, but when I was walking through Barnes and Noble last week I saw a display case that was overflowing with the book The Martian by Andy Weir.  The movie based on this book is coming out in a couple weeks, and I've been wanting to see it (I'm a sucker for a natural disaster/weather movie, but combine that with Matt Damon and put it on Mars?  I'm there!)

The Martian

I try and read the print versions before seeing the film version if I can, so this seemed like perfect timing!  The first time I went past the display I thought about just looking for it at the library, but by the second time I walked past I decided to just pay the money and get it right then.  I went the cheapo route, though, and bought the $10 paperback!

That was some of the best money I've ever spent!  This book was AWESOME and I seriously couldn't put it down.  Although I wanted to see the movie before, now I need to see the movie!  Matt Damon as the main character makes complete sense to me.  While reading I could already see him in the role.  Mark Watney, the guy stuck on Mars who is trying to find a way to survive, is sarcastic, funny and a bit rough around the edges at time; I think Matt Damon will be perfect for it!

The Martian Book

Although the science of the book sometimes (okay pretty much all the time) was way over my head, I just took it at face value and accepted what was written.  Andy Weir wrote it, though, to be easily read by non-scientists.  Whenever Mark mentions something he's going to try he will do the scientific explanation and then break it down to the basics - this was handy for me!

I loved him as a character, I found the writing to be easy to follow and the story kept my attention from the first to last word.  Definitely was a guy to root for!

If you haven't already read this book, I highly recommend it!  Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, and if Bonnie Ann weren't already sleeping I would make that four thumbs up.

Have you read it?  What did you think?


Insanity, One Week Down

It is total deja-vu to be writing this post, but I guess that comes with the territory when you decide to start a program over again.  My first week of Insanity went great and it feels incredible to be able to say that!  After having a couple weeks of struggling I was starting to doubt whether I could get back on track - but I did and I love it!

There is something about Insanity that is just right for me.  I enjoy the pace of the workout, I love Shaun T and I feel comfortable doing the moves.  Not to say that they're easy (because they're not!) but I feel fully capable of doing most of the moves, and the moves that push me are just beyond my reach at the moment.  I know that I will get them figured out soon!

When doing Insanity I feel like there is always something new to learn and a new way to push my body a bit beyond where it had been the day before.  The exercises are different each day so it is impossible to get bored.  

One of the things I have noticed is that I am getting much more flexible with Insanity than I had been before starting it, and I love that!  A lot of programs start with a stretch and then go into a warm up - Insanity flips this around a bit.  Shaun T has us warm up and then go into the stretch.  I definitely feel like having my muscles warmed up helps me get more out of the stretch.  (Honestly, that warm up is a bit more than a warm up!  I'm always dripping by the end of it!)

So, that being said, what did the first week of Insanity do for me??

3.4 pounds!

I will take it!!

A couple more weeks with results like that and I will be well on my way to knocking my goal out of the park - I love it!

For now, I'm going to go drink some water and get ready for tomorrow's workout - wish me luck!


9 Months with Bonnie Ann

Nine months!  This post is quite late, but this has been a busy couple weeks so I'm falling back on the whole 'late is better than never' idea!

It blows my mind to think that Bonnie Ann is officially nine months old!  She's now spent as much time outside the world as she did growing inside me - crazy!

Though it might sound cheesy, I can honestly say that I am honored and so, so proud to be able to have this little girl as my own.  Her joy, her exploring and her little 'pat-pats' she does when I'm holding her absolutely make me melt.

At nine months she is crawling all over the place but the only thing she really wants to do is to start walking.  She hasn't stood on her own yet, so I think we're still a bit away from walking time yet, but it's definitely getting closer!

Her 'pat-pats' are one of my favorite things ever.  When you're holding her, she will just pat your arm a bunch of times as if she's saying 'good job, buddy!' I'm probably putting thoughts into her head that she's not really thinking, but that's what it makes me think of.

She is also such a little explorer!  Her favorite things are straps, cords and anything similar.  She will play with the strap from her highchair for an entire afternoon if I let her (okay, that's probably an exaggeration, but she does love those straps!)

Bonnie Ann has started to find her voice, but she hasn't yet matched it up to words.  She will say mamammaa and dadadda along with lalalala, babababa and just random noises, but I don't think she knows yet what she's saying.

When she does, though?  I can't wait for it!

Her schedule is still pretty similar to what it was before.  She will normally wake up between 630 and 730, take a nap around 10 for two hours or so, and then another nap around 4.  Bedtime falls around 8 or 9 most nights, and then we repeat the next day!

Finger foods are becoming more popular every single day.  She loves those Gerber star-shaped things, but she'll eat almost anything that we give her to try.  She always wants to have one in her mouth, one in both hands and one she can see waiting for her - I guess she's a growing gal!

Bonnie Ann and I have been working on a project for Jake's Christmas present and I am SO excited to give it to him - I think he'll be a bit fan!  For now, though, I have to keep that cat in the bag!

Since this post was written so late, there are only a couple weeks until she's 10 months old - gaaaah baby, slow down a bit!!!

Until then,


Insanity Meal Plan

As I wrote about yesterday, I decided to restart my Insanity journey because I had spent a couple weeks struggling with nutrition.  While I was doing great on my workouts, I had trouble getting into a routine with my meals.  Adding in two weekends away and a day at the MN State Fair and I was in a mess nutrition-wise!

I thought about just starting up with better nutrition on week 3 of Insanity, but ultimately I decided to restart the entire program.  I know it can give incredible results and I wanted to see what I could do, postpartum, if I truly gave it my best shot. 

So that's where I am today!

I've finished the first couple days of workouts and yesterday I followed my meal plan to a T.  There were no cheat meals and I tried to drink water like it was going out of style.  Water will be a main focus for me through the entire Insanity program, though, because it can be so easy to forget about it but it is so important!

I have given myself a little bit of leeway with my meal plan, but only because I hate to see food wasted and it's hard to plan for exactly how much food my husband and I will eat at each sitting.  I'm a bit of a cheapo so I want to make sure nothing goes to waste!

Insanity Meal Plan

Here's my meal plan for this week:

Breakfast:  Shakeology

Snack:  Veggies & hummus OR Fruit & cheese stick OR Veggies & almonds

Lunch:  Salad OR Leftovers from night before

Snack:  Veggies & hummis OR Fruit & cheese stick OR Veggies & almonds

Monday: Veggie Roast (heavy on the veggies!)
Tuesday:  Tilapia & Veggies
Wednesday: Sweet Potato Apple Pack & Chicken Breast
Thursday: Pineapple Salsa Fish Pack
Friday: Leftovers

Snack:  Greek Yogurt & Fruit

In my meal plan I've focused on two main things:  having a protein and a complex carb at every single meal, and also making sure I get lots of veggies in each day.  While I give myself the option of fruit & a cheese stick for my snack each day, I will only have fruit for one of these snacks; the other one I will make sure I have a veggies.

I made this plan with a lot of thought for what I actually enjoy eating as well as what is good for me.  If I stuffed my meal plan with time-consuming, expensive or things I don't like, I know that I wouldn't stick to it.  But this plan?  This I can stick to!

The weekends are not a time for me to go off track, but they tend to have one indulgence meal that Jake and I have together and the rest of the meal plan will look very similar to the rest of the week.  So rather than write that out, I am just looking at it as a copy + paste type of situation!

What do your meal plans look like?  Would you like help in getting one put together?  If so, please let me know and I can get you set up in my next challenge group starting September 28!  You can post below with your email address or fill out my contact box that should pop up on the bottom of your screen!

Until then,


Insanity Re-Boot

Welp, here I am two weeks since my last post (for real, where did that time go?!) and I have a confession to make and a decision to announce.

I have been absolutely loving getting back into Insanity.  It is intense, exciting a little bit crazy and it works my butt off - it was everything I was looking for in a workout!  On the workout side of things I have been doing great.  For the rest of my journey, though, I've been struggling.  I'm not ashamed to admit it!  This has been an ongoing struggle for the past couple months and I simply haven't been able to get my head in the right place and make the changes I know I need to make.  

For a health and fitness coach it can honestly get a bit embarrassing that I'm still trying to lose the baby weight, but being embarrassed or frustrated is absolutely no reason to throw in the towel, so I'm not giving up!  I know I can do this and that I will do this!

The past couple weeks, while I've been loving the workouts, I've struggled with my nutrition.  Between two family weekends away and the MN State Fair I have been surrounded by temptation and I haven't always made the best choices.  That's 100% on me, and it's also 100% on me to rectify it.

So, starting tomorrow, I have decided that I am going to re-start the Insanity program and work hard to stick to my meal plan each day.  I'm re-committing myself to my ban on alcohol, though perhaps not 100% like I had been doing.  A glass of wine every now and then, but only maybe... I haven't completely decided yet.  So until I do, I'm going with no alcohol at all.  

My meal plan for the week is prepped and I'm going back to a clean eating-style plan - I'll share that this week as well!  There are only a couple months left in the year and I intend to get the most out of them that I can - wish me luck and follow along with me @ashleykrek on Instagram!  If you've struggled with baby weight I'd love to hear your stories, too!


Insanity Round Two

Ack!  I honestly can't believe that I just started back up with Insanity!  I'm so nervous, so excited and so looking forward to what this program will do for my health and fitness, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being nervous too!  When I first started on my Beachbody journey, I jumped into Insanity and I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.  I knew that people mentioned it was difficult, but I was so motivated by the before & afters I kept seeing that I just jumped at the workout and stuck with it.  There was a fire in my belly that told me I was meant for MORE than I was giving myself credit for.  I knew that I wanted to make a change and I knew that Insanity could be the vehicle of that change.  Well, change I did!

Insanity Before & After

Above are my measurements and changes that happened after 75 days of Insanity and I am darn proud of these results!  The girl in the before pictures wasn't proud of health and just didn't really care about it.  I would laugh it off and pretend to be confident when I truly was the furthest thing from confident.  The girl in those black shorts though?  She had started a lifestyle of confidence, fitness, belief and change.  Now, after having a baby and struggling to lose the baby weight, I am starting Insanity over again to see if I can re-harness the power of the program and get some more awesome results!

My official day one of the program was Sunday morning, which is when I did the Fit Test.  Whoo-whee that was INTENSE!!!   I couldn't believe how much I was sweating and how out of breath I was, but it felt great!  I've now completed another two days of the program and I'm reminded of something I learned the first time around: it never gets easier, you just get better.  At the end of every workout I expect to still be just as covered in sweat and out of breath as I have been, I'll just hopefully be able do do a couple more jumps, squat a bit deeper and lunge a bit lower.  Time, of course, will tell, but I have some big goals to hit!

Insanity Workout

Weight-wise, I have a goal of getting back to 180 pounds.  This is a big goal for sure, and I'm not putting all my stock in the scale, but I would still like to see it hit that!  I would also like to see my measurements drop and my stamina for the workouts increase.  Lastly, I have a little black flower dress that was just starting to fit before I got pregnant and I would love to rock it again!

The next couple months are going to be a bit hectic, a bit tiring, a bit crazy (or maybe insane would be the appropriate word choice?!) but I can't wait!

For a meal plan I will be follpowing the clean eating principles as I did on the first round.  Hey, what isn't broken doesn't need fixing, right?!

If you would like to follow along, please check back on this blog and follow my journey over on Facebook at My Fortitude Fitness!

If you would like to join me on this journey (with this or another workout program!), please fill out the application form below!  I have two challenge groups starting this month and I would be honored to help you hit your own health & fitness goals!

Until next time,

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