Little Black Dress Project with OTG Bootcamp

I alluded to a new fitness & meal plan that I would be starting this week. After my recent post about not liking my body right now, Courtney from OTG Bootcamp reached out to me. I’ve worked out at OTG many times and have shared how much  I like that gym.


One of the big things I like about OTG, aside from the awesome & intense workouts that only last 45 minutes (and that includes the warm-up and stretching), is the great team behind OTG – Courtney and Ryan.

Courtney reached out to tell me about her Little Black Dress Project, a 6-week fitness & meal plan that she put together for women. After chatting with her, she recommended that I work out at OTG 4-5x per week, which I can supplement with easy recovery runs (probably 1 per week for now) and yoga. In addition, she has recommended a meal plan.


Now … I don’t do meal plans. Normally a meal plan that requires significant diet changes is a deal breaker for me. My approach to food has been … “healthy American.” Meaning, I try to be healthy, but I’m an American who wants what I want and want it now. And planning meals more than 12-24 hours in advance (if even that) rarely happens.

But, I like working out with Courtney (and the rest of the team) at OTG, and I know she’s had success with her own diet changes. I also agreed to it, because I look at her body and think yes … that’s what I want. It’s about being a stronger, fitter version of myself. This isn’t just a diet to try to look good or be skinny. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about another woman’s body, but it’s important to me that if I’m going to take diet advice from another person, that they are a strong, healthy person.

I’ve also been interested in “resetting” my diet, I’ve just been too lazy to actually try to do it myself. When I talked to Courtney, she mentioned that the meal plan is about “detoxing” – eliminating the things your body doesn’t need. So, out goes the dairy and the carbs and my fridge is currently stocked with so many fruits and vegetables and lean meat. And maybe it was a typo, but there was bacon on the week 1 grocery list.

I don’t think I’ll miss the dairy and carbs too much (I already don’t consume certain dairy because it doesn’t agree with me, and I’ve never been a person who really craved carbs). But I am sad that the plan eliminates alcohol (although white wine was on the grocery list … maybe for cooking?) and as you can guess, sweets are off the list. (Minus cocoa powder added to smoothies and stuff like that.) I can still have coffee. And there are 1-2 cheat meals per week.


So, for the next 6 weeks, I’ll be lifting heavy things, a lot, and I’ll be following a meal plan that is a bit of a departure from my normal diet. My goal, of course, is to stick to the plan as written. I’m getting stats taken at the start and end (weigh-in, measurements, body fat) and I think weekly weigh-ins. But I don’t want to share my specific stats because I know everyone is different, and what is “not where I want to be” might be someone else’s goal.

But at the end, I will share my results (what I lost … and hopefully what I gained in terms of weight that I can lift). I’m also really curious how the diet change affects my cravings. I wouldn’t say I’m someone who has a lot of cravings, but I’m also not someone who denies myself any certain foods. And I’m curious if the diet has any other effects. Will I be less achy? Have more energy? Will my skin improve? Etc.

Have you ever gone on a strict meal plan? How did it go? Did you get cranky? I’m worried I’ll get cranky.

Have you ever worked out at OTG Bootcamp? It’s pretty awesome. If you like a my-arms-feel-like-jello kind of workout. 

Workout Recap 9/12-18

So … last week wasn’t all that impressive. A “rebuilding” week if you will.

Monday: Uh … rest day.

Tuesday: Box @ TITLE Boxing West Loop and a Divvy ride home

I’ve always been curious about my fitness stats during boxing workouts. Usually I take off my FitBit since I have to wrap my hands and wear gloves. But I left it on (and it didn’t bother me). I burned 378 calories in 47 minutes and my average HR was 123 BPM.


Wednesday: Tech for my upcoming show. I did Divvy part of the way home.

Thursday: 30-minute walk at lunch.

Friday: No workout

Saturday: Floorwork Workshop with Peekaboo Pointe at Studio L’amour. Most burlesque classes aren’t workouts for me, but this one was. We did an abs & glutes workout to warm-up, and a lot of the moves we did were a workout in and of themselves.I wish I had my FitBit on.

Sunday: I was scheduled to teach a workshop but only one person showed up. I told her she could save the $20 and we’d skip doing a 1:1 workshop. But I did use the studio time to work on my own solo and worked up a little sweat.

Last week*, according to FitBit:

  • 53,612 steps (8,935 per day)
  • 7hr 4min average nightly sleep
  • 23.49 miles covered walking or running (3.9 per day)
  • 64 floors walked up  (10.7 per day)
  • 13,920 calories burned (2,320 per day)
  • (Not sure how many consumed)
  • 226 active minutes  (37.7 per day)

minus Saturday because I took off my FitBit to charge it and forgot to put it back on until Sunday

Not a stellar week, but more active minutes than the pervious week. This week I start a new fitness & meal plan … should be interesting.  I’ll share more in my next post!

Four Things Friday

I got to hang out with Deena Kastor last night!  The team behind the Chicago Marathon invited a small group of us to enjoy a brewery tour at Goose Island, and Deena was the special guest.


Some good motivation right there to do the marathon again … someday.


I’m starting a new meal plan next week and I’m a little nervous. I’ll write more about it, but for 6 weeks, I’m “detoxing certain food groups or items such as alcohol, dairy and grains.” Um. Should be interesting. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for awhile, I just haven’t gone through with it. I’m the type of person that typically does not impose a lot of self-control when it comes to food. If I want to eat something … I eat it. Anyway, I’ll share more next week.

I’ll miss you. 


I’m excited about my next show! For the next five Saturdays, I’ll be hanging out at Stage 773 paying tribute to a cult classic.


My cat is ungrateful. We bought her a little cat tower and she has shown zero interest in it. Granted, we bought it from ALDI for $15 and it looks like it’s sized more for a kitten than an adult cat, but still.


ClassPass Round-up: August

These are the classes I enjoyed last month via ClassPass:


Mindful Flow 1-2
Moksha Yoga – Riverwest

Still groovin’ on Moksha Yoga🙂 This class was an hour-long flow class with pretty common poses. Pretty sure I feel asleep during savasana and started dreaming …


GO Row

So, I’m not going to lie, I started to feel a new-to-me pain during class. It was in the center of my chest, so I don’t think it was my heart. (That would be off-center … right?)  So, the class was challenging and a reminder that I haven’t been keeping up with workouts. But I still love this place.


Vigorous Flow 1-2
Moksha Yoga – Riverwest

“Vigorous” Flow is definitely different from “Mindful” Flow!! This 90-minute class was definitely challenging and not a relaxing flow. I thought the pace would be quicker, but rather it was a more challenging series of poses. I felt like I was burning out certain limbs like I would do in a strength/weights class. A good workout and a good stretch.


Mindful Flow 1-2
Moksha Yoga – Riverwest

Noticing a trend?🙂


Photo source:

Flexible Flow Yoga
Bottom Line Yoga – Chicago Board of Trade

This  is a pretty basic yoga class. It’s not my favorite spot to do yoga (can you guess what is?) but it’s a good stretch that’s close to the office.


Have you been to any of these studios? What did you think? 

Five Goals for September

I realize I’m a week and a half late, but no time like the present.

#1 – Run 20 miles. 

It’s been a mile since I’ve run 20 miles in a month. Seems like a low number, but I’ve been averaging 10 miles/month this year. That’s what happens when you run 1x every other week …



#2 -Yoga 1-2x per week.

It just feels too good not to.



#3 – Start and finish a book. 

I actually finished All the Light We Cannot See over the weekend, but I’m pretty sure I started it in August. It was great, by the way. I just started The Light Between Oceans. 


Mug was a gift from a co-worker


#4 – Bake more bread. 

It’s so easy, especially with a KitchenAid. The last time I tried, I did something wrong during the rising process and while the bread turned out fine, it was a little flat.


Old picture, but maybe I’ll attend pretzel bread again since it’s pretty easy. 


#5 – Don’t overcommit myself. 

I go through periods where I want to do all the things, and overcommit myself to the point that I don’t enjoy the things. Right now I’m committed to two upcoming burlesque shows (one is a 5-show run), teaching workshops ~6 weeks, some freelance work, and obviously my day job and maintaining my relationships. There have been other things I want to do but have to rein myself in. So, I have to keep on reining in, or choose something I’m willing to give up.



What are you up to this month?


Workout Recap 9/5-11

My last post was about how I’m not happy with my body but I haven’t been working out as much but I’m going to use this blog to stay more accountable.

And today’s post is all about how I barely worked out last week.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday – I had rehearsal for my next show, so that’s how I spent my evenings (and afternoon on Sunday).

I did go for a run on Saturday! 5 miles on the Lakefront Trail! Which is my second longest run this year (apparently I did a 5.55mi run in April.)

It was a gorgeous day.


I scrounged my fridge and balcony garden to make a delicious post-run sandwich:


Leftover garlic bread + egg w/ chive and thyme + arugula + tomatoes + fried ham

And then we went to Germanfest:


Last week, according to FitBit:

  • 67,640 steps
  • 7hr 7min average nightly sleep
  • 30.31 miles covered walking or running
  • 77 floors walked up
  • 17,257 calories burned
  • (Not sure how many consumed)
  • 183 active minutes

This week, I do not have 6 days of rehearsal scheduled, so hopefully I will do better!

I’m not happy with my body right now

And that’s OK.

But it feels weird to be part of the burlesque community, which is all about body positivity, and feel like I’m not happy with my body right now.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I hit my scary weight. But I didn’t change anything, and then I hit my new scarier scary weight. And then I finally did something. I started counting calories in and calories out using MyFitnessPal, which was an eye-opener and I made some changes. And then I got super into running and joined various running clubs and ran all the races, including a marathon, and lost like 30 pounds and multiple dress sizes.


And that was 4 years ago.

Since then, I’ve struggled with runners knee, I moved out of the south suburbs, and the combo of the two meant I never got into a groove with another running club or group run. I signed up for another marathon but couldn’t overcome the knee pain and didn’t run it.

And I got into the burlesque scene, which has been so fun and awesome, but it’s not a workout like running is, and it takes up a bit of time, and yeah, so I haven’t been working out as much as I’d like to be.

But I’m still eating like I am.

So, you know … pretty typical story. And there’s only one person who can turn this story around, so I need to figure out how to do that. My knee might still give me pain if I try to go back to running like I was. I was getting into ClassPass and that was fun, but then they changed their pricing structure and I switched from unlimited classes to 5 classes per month, and then they changed their ambassador perks, and I decided not to renew my membership after this cycle runs out. I’ve also been really enjoying yoga lately, which again, isn’t a workout like running is, but is something that if done regularly, might really be beneficial to my running.

So, this is all to say that while I haven’t been blogging as much lately, but I’m going to try to start blogging more, if for no other reason that to hold myself, and my workouts accountable. I don’t want to beat myself up over my body, but I’m not happy with where I’m at right now. I don’t necessarily need to chase a certain weight, or dress size, but I do want to be healthier, stronger, fitter, faster.