Sweat Diaries

This Chestnut Hill Communications Consultant Loves Her TV Shows and Life Time Workouts

When she's not running her business out of her home, Jessica Lawlor's probably getting in her strength training or binge watching.


life time workouts

Jessica Lawlor runs her own communications agency out of her Chestnut Hill home. / Photograph by Brian James Photography

Who I am: Jessica Lawlor (@jessicallawlor), 31

Where I live around Philly: Chestnut Hill

What I do: I am the founder and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co), a boutique communications agency focused on content management and creation and public relations. In addition to running my own business, I teach one yoga class a week at Dana Hot Yoga in Glenside as well as workshops on branding and marketing for yoga teachers. I also teach an undergraduate PR writing class at Temple University. (Class starts up again in the fall!)

What role healthy living plays in my life: Healthy living plays a crucial role in my life both as a yoga teacher and a business owner working from home. Because I work from home, without my daily gym visits, I could quite literally not see or speak to another human being until my boyfriend, Tim, gets home from work. Working out and practicing yoga helps me clear my head and stay focused on my goals but also serves as part of my social life during the week. I also absolutely love to cook and experiment with new recipes; I find it both relaxing and empowering.

Health memberships (and what they cost): 

  • Life Time: $99 per month
    • Alpha Metcon: I pay an additional $150 on top of my membership for small group training three times a week.
  • Dana Hot Yoga: As a perk of teaching at Dana, I get to practice for free!

Monday

life time workouts

Lawlor heads to Life Time Fitness for Alpha Metcon small-group training three times a week. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

5:50 a.m. — I am not normally an early riser, but, for some reason, today I’m wide awake at 5:50 a.m. I lay in bed scrolling through Instagram and Reddit. As much as I try not to check social media first thing in the morning, I give myself a pass since I can’t fall back asleep.

6:30 a.m. — My boyfriend, Tim, gets up for work. That’s my usual cue that it’s time to wake up and start the day. Ever since I quit my job three years ago to start my communications consulting business, I don’t really mind Mondays. I make my bed and turn on a podcast (I start most weekday mornings with Erica Mandy’s The Newsworthy Podcast) while I “get ready” for the day.

7 a.m. Coffee time. I fire up the Keurig and pop a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread in the toaster. I spread some jam on the toast and walk the 10 feet to my office (aka my apartment’s second bedroom). That was an easy commute!

I usually spend about an hour on Monday mornings planning for the week ahead, including work tasks, workouts, and meals. It’s also a new month (hello, June!), so I erase May’s events from my office dry-erase calendar and fill it up with June’s plans. It’s going to be a busy month filled with travel and seeing Hugh Jackman live. I love a full social calendar!

8 a.m. — I jump into my work to-do list, checking in on emails and laying out a few blog posts for the week for my content management client Muck Rack. Muck Rack is my longest-standing client, and I serve as the editor for its popular PR and journalism blog.

10 a.m. — Time to head to the gym. I’m a member of Life Time in Fort Washington and spend a lot of time here. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I take part in one of Life Time’s small group trainings, which include a healthy mix of cardio and strength (think: Bootcamp). Today’s workout is a doozy: three rounds of six different medicine ball exercises and core exercises for one minute each and a five-minute dumbbell man maker challenge at the end. I leave sweaty and happy.

11 a.m. — My workout for the day is complete, and I’m off to the grocery store. I do my weekly shopping at Acme, and once a month or so I’ll pop into Trader Joe’s. I love being able to run errands at off-times. I’m in and out of the store in under 30 minutes ($46.78).

Noon I normally meal prep lunches on Monday afternoons, but last week was a bit crazy, and I still have a few prepped meals in the fridge, so I pop one in the microwave. Today’s lunch is Banza pasta with chicken and roasted broccoli. 

life time workouts

Lawlor’s Monday lunch of chickpea pasta with broccoli. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

12:30 p.m. — I’m back at my desk for an afternoon of client work. No calls or meetings today! I aim to keep my calendar completely clear of meetings at least one day a week, so I can focus on my work without distraction. I’m doing a bit of everything this afternoon — digging out my various inboxes, editing client blog posts, writing, and planning for a few upcoming PR projects.

3 p.m. I always have a snack in the afternoon. Today I opt for a combo of pretzel chips and Way Better sweet chili tortilla chips (my favorite!) with Sabra spicy hummus.

4 p.m. — I wrap up my work for the day and hop into bed for a quick nap. Then I catch up on the last few episodes of This Is Us. I’m a few months behind, but I got sucked into binge watching in Parenthood, and I just finished over the weekend. It was incredible, but now I have to get caught up on all my other shows.

6 p.m. — Time to make dinner. I pop in my earbuds and listen to another podcast while I chop veggies and prep dinner. Tonight we’re having penne with chicken sausage and roasted Brussels sprouts. It was a new-to-me recipe, and it was delicious!

8:45 p.m. — It’s Bachelorette Monday! Tim begrudgingly joins me on Hannah’s journey to find love. (I think he secretly likes it.) We DVR the show and start late, so we can fast forward through commercials and finish at the same time the show wraps airing. I snack on some Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream while watching.

10 p.m. Most nights I aim to get in bed by 10 or 10:30. I scroll through Twitter for a few minutes reading funny Bachelorette tweets, but my eyes are getting super heavy.

Daily total: $46.78

Tuesday

life time workouts

Lawlor teaches yoga once a week at Dana Hot Yoga. / Photograph courtesy of Jessica Lawlor

6:30 a.m. — Ah, a more normal wake-up time. Make the bed, turn the Keurig on, and eat another piece of Dave’s Killer Bread with jam. I’m a creature of habit.

7 a.m. — At my desk ready to work for a few hours before heading to teach my weekly yoga class.

9:30 a.m. I became a yoga teacher four years ago and am lucky to teach once a week at the place I fell in love with yoga: Dana Hot Yoga in Glenside. This morning’s class is focused on working toward a peak pose: eka pada koundinyasana. I like to theme my classes, so today I teach two ways to get into the peak pose and offer up a message that there’s usually more than one way to accomplish a task or a goal. Everyone leaves class happy and sweaty.

11:30 a.m.  Because I don’t practice while I teach, I still want to get my own workout in, so I hop in the car and head to Life Time. Today I’ve signed up for a 30-minute Barbell Strength Express class. I love express classes, especially on days where I’ve already put out a significant amount of energy teaching. 

life time workouts

Lawlor getting ready for her barbell express class at Life Time. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

12:15 p.m. — Back home and starving! I finish up my last meal-prepped lunch from last week, and roast some leftover Brussels sprouts.

1 p.m.  — More work and a couple of client calls.

3:15 p.m.  — I’m dragging this afternoon, so I decide to take a quick 15-minute walk outside to get some sun. It’s absolutely gorgeous out!

3:30 p.m. Work, work, work.

6 p.m. Dinner prep! Tonight I’m making spicy garlic sriracha chicken with brown rice and broccoli. I’m obsessed with anything spicy, and tonight’s dinner hits the spot. Tim and I watch Jeopardy while we eat, and to be honest, I’m really sad that James Holzhauer’s run has come to an end.

7 p.m. — Couch time. Tim and I chat about our days and throw on a few episodes of The Office while we relax.

10 p.m. — Lights out.

Daily total: $0

Wednesday

life time workouts

Wednesday lunch of chicken sausage and vegetable stir fry. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

6:50 a.m. — Getting out of bed today is a struggle. I’m already wondering if I can squeeze in a nap later.

7 a.m. — The usual routine — coffee, water, toast with jam.

7:30 a.m. — Despite feeling exhausted, I’m actually pretty motivated this morning and get a good chunk of work done for two of my content management clients. I work steadily until it’s time to leave for the gym for my second Alpha Metcon training session of the week.

9:30 a.m. — I need a little mid-morning snack before I work out, so I munch on some Trader Joe’s peanut butter sandwich crackers on my drive to the gym. I wonder what torture (I mean, fun) Coach Jim will have in store for us today.

10 a.m. — Today’s workout was definitely different. Once a quarter, Life Time puts group training clients through benchmark testing to see how we’re progressing. Today is testing day. The workout starts out with a five-minute walk on the treadmill. From there, we run our furthest distance possible for 12 minutes. Then we do our max number of push-ups and sit-ups for two minutes each. We hold a two-minute plank (or until whenever we can’t hold anymore — I lasted a little over a minute today). After that, a minute of burpees, five minutes of rowing for distance, and a five-minute wall sit.

11:15 a.m. — I forgot two things I need for meals this week at Acme on Monday, so I pop back into the store to grab rolls and cheese ($3.78).

11:45 a.m. — I take a look in my fridge to see what I can whip up for lunch. One of the perks of working from home: Time in the middle of the day to cook! I chop up some onions and chicken sausage and grab frozen peppers and broccoli from the freezer for a quick and easy stir-fry. I also roast some greens to top my lunch. Delicious.

1:30 p.m. — Since I work from home and don’t regularly interact with other humans face-to-face, I aim to schedule virtual coffee chats each month with fellow business owners to socialize and share advice. Today, I’m chatting with a new friend who’s a fellow writer. We talk nonstop for 45 minutes. I get off the call feeling inspired — it’s so awesome to chat with fellow female business owners!

2:30 p.m.  — I have an afternoon of work left to do, but first, I need a second cup of coffee. I brew some coffee over ice to switch things up and head back to my desk.

4:30 p.m. I wrap up my workday and retreat to my bedroom for that nap I promised myself earlier.

6 p.m. Dinner tonight is homemade cheesesteaks with fried onions and jalapeños and some spicy roasted sweet potatoes on the side. So good!

7 p.m. — The Handmaid’s Tale is back, and I’m pumped to watch the first episode of season three. It’s chilling.

10 p.m. Good night!

Daily total: $3.78

Thursday

life time workouts

Lawlor’s Thursday workout at Life Time. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

6:35 a.m. — Tim leaves for work, and I still don’t want to get out of bed. I lay for another 20 minutes or so browsing Twitter and Reddit for reactions to the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

7 a.m. I’m finally out of bed and throw on my gym clothes. Coffee, water, toast — you know the drill by now.

7:30 a.m. — A productive morning of work before it’s time to leave for the gym.

10 a.m. — It’s the final day of my three times a week Alpha Metcon class. Thursdays are usually our challenge day (aka spending significant time in zones three and four), but because we did our testing yesterday, today’s workout will be lower impact. (Thankfully!)

It’s still a challenge, though. We warm up with some intervals on the treadmill and then complete two 10-minute strength-based AMRAPS (as many rounds as possible).

11 a.m. — After the gym, I’m craving iced coffee, so I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts ($2.85). I order a medium caramel swirl iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda. The Dunkin’ employee at the drive-thru asks if I’ve just come from the gym. Guess my hair isn’t fooling anyone today!

11:30 a.m. — Another perk of making my own schedule — popping into the nail salon for a mid-day mani ($35). I opt for a cute summer pink.

12:15 p.m. — Home and hungry! As I mentioned, I haven’t meal prepped this week, so I decide to do so for the next few days and into the weekend. I make half a box of Banza penne pasta with my remaining Trader Joe’s chicken sausage. Lunch is ready in 20 minutes or so.

1 p.m. — More work! Today I’m sending out pitches to the media about a client event and editing a few blog posts for a content management client.

5 p.m. — It’s gorgeous out, so Tim and I decide to go to happy hour at one of our favorite local spots, MaGerks Pub & Grill in Fort Washington. It has an awesome outside patio, and I’m craving a chilled glass of rosé. I had planned to make turkey tacos tonight, but we opt to eat at the bar instead. I have an order of boneless wings with MaGerks’ delicious gold rush sauce — sweet and spicy at the same time ($51.20).

life time workouts

Lawlor enjoys a glass of rosé at Magerks in Fort Washington. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

7 p.m. — We’re home and hang out out on the couch until bedtime.

Daily total: $89.05

Friday

life time workouts

Friday calls for a mocha madness smoothie from Life Time. / Photograph by Jessica Lawlor

6:50 a.m. — It’s finally Friday! Woohoo! I wake up for my normal morning routine.

7:15 a.m. — I squeeze in about an hour of work before heading to the gym a bit earlier than normal. Because it’s the start of a new month, I send most of my regular clients monthly recap reports, and I complete those this morning. Feels good to check them off the list.

9 a.m. — I’ve already completed my three Alpha Metcon small group training classes for the week, so Fridays I usually do my own thing or pop into a yoga class. However, today I have a makeup session from last week, so I head to another small group training class called GTX Burn.

This workout is wild! We do another AMRAP workout with cardio, box step-ups with weight, renegade rows, burpees, and more. I typically take my rest days on Saturdays and Sundays, and I’m going to need them after this week.

10 a.m. — Truly, one of my favorite parts of Life Time is the cafe! I’m obsessed with its smoothies. I grab my favorite smoothie on the way out — mocha madness with half a scoop of peanut butter ($8.96).

10:20 a.m. — Home from the gym and back to work! My Fridays are usually on the lighter side, especially in the summer. I need to wrap up a few things and jump on one more client call, and then I’m heading into the weekend.

11:30 a.m. — Call with a client. It’s beautiful out, and I don’t need to be at my laptop for this call, so I take a walk outside while we chat.

1:30 p.m. — I eat lunch on the later side today since my post-workout smoothie held me over for a few hours. Same lunch as yesterday! Banza penne, chicken sausage, and roasted broccoli.

2 p.m. — I wrap up my remaining work for the week.

6 p.m. — It’s time to start the weekend. Tim and I head to another one of our favorite spots, Jerzee’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria, in Glenside for dinner and a beer. I munch on buffalo chicken tenders and Cajun fries, along with a nice cold glass of Angry Orchard cider. (Tim pays!)

9:30 p.m. — Tim and I are both exhausted after this week. Instead of going out after dinner, we head home and we’re literally in bed and asleep by 9:45 p.m. So nice to get a long stretch of sleep, leading into a fun and busy summer weekend.

Daily Total: $8.96

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $148.57

Workouts completed: 5

Yoga classes taught: 1

Meals of Banza pasta eaten: 3

TV shows watched: 5

Podcasts listened to: 11 (Some of my favorite pods)

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