Saturday, April 30, 2011

So today, I had french fries.

 Thaaaaaaaat's right.

Today is my planned "naughty day", which means, I am going to eat whatever the hell I want and not give a crap. My husband and I planned on going out this evening but over lunch we decided to stop at this sandwhich shop that I'd never eaten at before (because it's greasy and unhealthy - that's why). But I've wanted to try it forever. I had a mexican toasted sub (with grilled chicken, salsa, veggies) and fries. I ordered pop but just drank water. I can't even bring myself to drink pure nastiness on a cheat day. That's how much I dislike pop. Some people call it soda. I call it nasty. 

Anyway, we decided to skip the evening out since we ate out for lunch. Which is perfectly fine with me. Of course it is, I was the one that suggested it! But you didn't know that. I'm being dumb today. I think the grease has gone to my brain. I can't believe I used to eat that kind of crap on a regular basis! It's not food, it's like edible laziness! I've wanted to do nothing but lay around the rest of the day because of it. I can't wait to have spinach...that's all I have to say.

It's amazing how we are trained to think we are being "deprived" when we go for a long time without eating fried food or sugary food or anything considered to be unhealthy. But really, we are depriving ourselves when we DO eat it. Depriving ourselves of energy and health. I just want to get back to eating clean and feeling good.

I am trying to decide if I want to start my fat torching 2 week "diet" tomorrow or wait one more week. I don't think waiting is necessary but I still need to talk myself into it. I think I'll just bite the bullet and get it over with. I should do it. I absolutely should. I am SO READY for a drop in my body fat percentage. Thigh fat, prepare to DIE!!!!!

Today I'm a useless blob. I was a blob even before the greasy sub & fries. My ENTIRE body is in pain from those circuits. Not even kidding. My ribs....I don't think my ribs have ever been sore after a workout. EVER. My butt, my legs, my back, my arms, my It's a great feeling. Do YOU feel like YOUR workout has punished your muscles? Hmmmmm? I can't wait for summer!! Imma look smokin' hot in my bikini =)

Friday, April 29, 2011

how circuits are going

Finished another brutal round of circuits. Today the focus was hamstrings. OMG, I am surprised daily by how hard these actually are! Each circuit not only works the hamstrings, but all of the other muscle groups as well, in turn. The core is also working very hard. The fast paced feel of the circuits, moving quickly from one exercise to the next, gives it an aerobic element. I always seem to be out of breath! I can definitely see how 6 weeks of this can do a lot in the fat torching department! Providing I still eat as clean as possible.

Have you ever done a push up in a pike position with your feet on the bench? How about a push up into a renegade row? A push up with your feet on the bench and hands on a stability ball? Some killer ways to do push ups other than just the traditional way. There are literally thousands of ways to modify your basic exercises to make them new and challenging. Try to challenge your workout today!

p.s. diet for the week, still right on track. Not a single crumb in my mouth unplanned or unhealthy. Tomorrow, I am looking forward to a splurge dinner with my loving husband.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sun: it does a body good

I woke up feeling SO GOOD today! I was chipper and energized. I think my neck is almost back to normal (I say this at the risk of jinxing myself like last time I said I thought it was on the mend) and maybe that is part of the reason that I am in such a great mood. Also, it is supposed to be 65 degrees today (whoo hoo) and we get to go see my beautiful & super awesome friend, Carmen (aka RunnerGirl), and her kids after school. Totally excited.

Did my shoulders this morning. I'm sticking to the circuits, as I said before. But I think they are even more intense than just plain, slow going heavy lifting. I get my heart pumping and I'm out of breath in some instances, so it's great! I was thinking, "today is shoulders, no big deal" but it KICKED MY BUTT! I think even more than butt day (which was yesterday). Yes, I have devoted an entire day to my butt. Believe me when I tell you, it needs it!!

So anyway, for circuits, I do 3 exercises per circuit. I'll do the first circuit (10 reps of each exercise) then I repeat the circuit 2 more times before moving on to the next circuit. There are 4 total. It takes me about an hour. But that's probably because I have to rest a little longer than normal between some of them because it's hard damn work!! And I'm not used to the fast paced lifting. It shouldn't take too long before I'm up to speed though. And I think the change should give me some positive results (fingers crossed). I was going to run last night. I haven't run at a steady pace forEVER. But I figured I better make sure I can still run for an hour straight if I plan on running the 10k with my sister. I'm quite positive that I can, better to be on the safe side though. BUT, my hubs wouldn't let me. He thought that all the jarring from running would not do my poor neck any favors. So I was easily talked out of it ;)

I keep thinking about that horoscope that I read about a month ago (which was such a fluke because I don't ever read them) that said all the little things I'm doing now will really produce results later on this year. Of course I don't hold my breath when it comes to horoscopes but this one really hit me. And although I would really like to see the changes I'm expecting earlier than later, to see them at all (even if it's after my goal date) will be rewarding. I will never stop. Not even once I'm there.

There are a lot of little things that I have done to improve my diet since the beginning of 2011. Since my revelation that I needed to focus more on nutrition, I have started to incorporate a lot more healthful things to my routine. Including taking the right supplements, eating more vegetables (I go through a big bag of spinach by myself in 2 days), drinking more water, and various other things that I wasn't doing consistently before. Also, I have drastically reduced my sugar intake. Before, I wasn't really considering how much "cheating" I was actually doing. No wonder I was never getting anywhere! Now, I don't eat any sugar (I'm talking, not even ketchup or steak sauce or anything that sugar lurks in...not just sweets) Mon-Fri and then on the weekend, I might have a treat. If I feel like it. I had gone about 3 months without ANY treats. And I broke out of my plateau and all my jeans got looser. It was great!

I was exercising for literally years before I discovered that the missing link was my diet. Obviously, if exercise alone did the trick, I would have had a bangin' body years ago! Trust me. I believe it when they say that your body is 80% what you eat, 10% how you exercise and 10% hereditary. I really really do.
Now I seem to have hit yet another plateau since I'm not seeing any movement with my measurements (that reminds me, I haven't measured yet this week!). So, I'm going to have to get in a two week fat blasting diet just to get over the hump again. I'm not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. I'm shooting for the last 2 weeks in May, but we'll see how I feel. Maybe sooner? But no later than end of May. I'll be calorie cycling and reducing carbs to 10%. Not gonna be fun :( I love my oats and Ezekiel bread.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

being obsessed

This is a VERY interesting blog post! Click here to read!

It is titled "You need to be obsessed" and I love it in particular because everyone tells me I'm obsessed with fitness. And of course I agree, but they seem to view the "obsession" as unhealthy. Finally, I have back up! Something to prove that if you want to change your body, it needs to be an obsession. You need to make it a priority because it is a commitment. It is a lot of work, not something that happens easily or over night. It needs to be constantly in the back of your mind.

That is certainly true for me!! When I make my shopping list and menu for the week, what I make is based on what my body needs. Everything I feed my body, is with the intent to make it as strong and healthy and free of toxins as possible! Every workout I do, I do with a goal in mind, not just because I like it or have nothing better to do. It's for a purpose. There are certain sacrifices you have to make, like skipping out of dessert (no matter how many "are you sure"s you hear - or how much teasing you get) and it means getting to the workout room, even when you don't necessarily feel like it. It means, filling your plate with greens instead of heaps of mashed potatoes. It means not drinking with your buddies every weekend. It means, not getting "convenient" food at the grocery store or going through the drive through all the time. It means skipping out on the buttery popcorn at the movies.

Many people who don't have the same drive or the same goals don't understand why we health and fitness lovers do this to ourselves. As if it's just "not living". Ever heard this one, "Go on, have a piece of cake. It's not going to kill you. Live a little!" Sure, it won't kill you. Not one slice anyway. But I know that not only is overindulging on that crap bad for my body, it's going to keep me from the body I want to have (and keep). It's just not worth it. I love cake and junk food as much as the next person. I will have it now and then; a special occasion for instance or when I'm not intensely "dieting" to lean out. But the "live a little" excuse doesn't fly with me. I am living! I don't need cake to live!

I get so tired of being criticized for the way I eat and how I'm trying to teach my children follow in my footsteps. I'm not trying to pass on an obsession to them. They don't have to love it the way I do. I simply want them to know the dangers of eating unhealthy all the time and all the good that you can do for your body when you feed it the right nutrients and exercise. I am not being selfish when I take an hour out of my day to workout. Nor am I being selfish when I don't buy all the "junk" my family loves to eat. Not only am I doing what I know is good for me, I am trying hard set a good example for my children, so that they grow up with good habits. Not feed them anything they want so that 20 years down the road, they have a weight issue or a sugar addiction to deal with. And if I limit their treats to just Saturday and Sunday, like I might do for myself, it's only with their best interest in mind. Certainly I'm not depriving them anything by saying "NO" to candy and junk food Monday - Friday!

Anyway, check out the article!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

stupid neck

Well, I thought my neck was better. Turns out, it just comes and goes. Today, after my intervals, I was really struggling with the pain. It is getting so tiresome. I hate to complain, but it's seriously starting to get depressing to be in constant pain. I want to be active, I enjoy it, but it's not fun if every time you do ANYTHING, you hurt.

Yesterday was my first day back to my weight room in 4 days. I could tell, I got pretty winded. But I pushed through it and then I jumped on the mini tramp for quite a long time. Plus I got two walks in. One with our giant Newfoundland - that is a workout in itself! She is just a little over a year old and still very wild when she sees other people and dogs. I'm almost afraid to walk her by myself because I think she outweighs me now. And she's crazy strong. Anyway, at least I'm doing something again. I'm trying to ease back into it, I don't want to really injure myself while my neck heals, but it's SO HARD.

Tomorrow, I plan on switching to a circuit weight routine. I think with my neck being so out of whack lately, I just don't dare go back to lifting heavy for a while. It's ok, circuits are really effective. I did 6 weeks of metabolic circuit training before I pierced my navel (the piercing was my reward) and I leaned out so much from it. It makes me sweat bullets and pant like a dog, and is one of those workouts that makes you feel so whipped yet refreshed at the end.

As far as diet is going, so far this week I am ROCKING it! I am super highly motivated right now and I am taking advantage of it. I eat tons of spinach every day, plus various other veg throughout the day and two servings of fruit. Not to mention that I am having my 3 servings of triple omega, 1 tsp coconut oil, BCAAs and CLA daily. Of course I make sure to get a lean protein in with every meal. I probably have more nutrients surging through my system than ever before!

One more thing that I thought of which needs improvement - stretching. I am so lazy when it comes to stretching. I need to start stretching properly after every workout, maybe I won't be so stiff and prone to neck aches. But you know how it is when you have finished an exhausting workout, you just want to be done.

I will be a success story!

Monday, April 25, 2011

yummy spinach shake. seriously.

Chocolate protein powder, a couple handfuls of spinach, about 6 large frozen strawberries and a tall glass of water....blend together and drink for a TOTALLY yummy chocolate shake!! Perfect for you veggie haters because you can't taste the spinach at all. I just gave some to my 4 year old to taste test and she loved it. If that's not proof right there, I don't know what is!
Happy Monday! I hate to be too quick in saying this, but I think my neck is finally on the mend! It still hurts a little in certain positions but definitely better. Also, my stomach is feeling better. I really don't know what was going on there. Not sure if it was related to my neck in any way or if it was something I ate....just a bad week.

But, the sun is finally shining, and I am happy. Ready to start a fresh new week. No looking back. No thinking about "setbacks". I'm moving forward.

I allowed myself pie and chocolate from the Easter bunny this weekend. My niece said, "You're having pie???"  haha....yep!

So let's see, what are my goals for the week? They are as follows:

1) Drink a hot cup of lemon water before breakfast every morning. Use the juice of one whole lemon - to detoxify my system.
2) Drink a cup of water before and after every meal, to ensure I am getting enough.
3) 2 Veggie Blends a day plus one more veg at dinner
4) 4 weights workouts, 3 HIIT workouts
5) an evening walk or rebounding 5 nights

I'll start with that ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Got my massage. OUCH! I told her about my neck so she worked on that area the most. It hurt, but it felt good too. I was surprised that it actually didn't help at all. I was still in pain all day. I'm getting really tired of it. I feel for people who have chronic pain.

She also told me that what she could tell was that the muscle spasmed and shortened. And that the next time it happens I should pinch my neck gently and ice it. Interesting.

So I've been taking it easy the last couple of days. The last "workout" I did was the morning fasted cardio on Thursday. My husband gave me the ok to do some leg curls and extensions on the bench though (haha). But no heavy weight lifting or intervals or rebounding. I don't know....we'll see how I feel.

The Easter bunny came and gave the kids a TON of chocolate and candy. I mean, a TON. I don't know WHAT that Easter bunny was thinking??!!!! But, it will test my willpower for sure! Yesterday, I splurged and had some coffee cake and some chocolate eggs and some potato chips. It was a planned splurge so I'm not allowed to feel guilty. But I will say that I am glad it's over because I've had a massive gut ache ever since.

And with each splurge I made myself eat a serving of veg. I am doing this with the kids as well. I don't care if you have a handful of jelly beans, but for every handful of candy, you have to eat a handful of veggies. It's a GREAT way of getting kids to monitor how much they are eating and get their veggies in too! I know, I'm a genius ;)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pain in the neck

My neck is being a pain in the neck! I am starting to get really cranky because of it. Daily chores are getting more difficult, driving is painful and forget about working out! My husband said to me this morning, "Maybe you shouldn't have gotten on the treadmill yesterday morning???" and I said, "You didn't see me workout today did you?? Do you know how hard that is for me??" and he shook his head. He knows.

It IS hard. It's all I can think about when I can't do it. But I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow morning and I'm praying that it helps. 5 days of this pain is enough already!

I think that the Myoplex is hard on my tummy. I'm not 100% sure but I took the day off from it today to see if that helps. I might just have to drink 1/2 servings at a time.

That's all for now. Happy Easter weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I did it

I finally got out of bed and just did it. I jumped out of bed and hit the treadmill and 6:30 this morning on an empty stomach. I'm usually either awake or out of bed anyway depending on the day. Because some days Hanna leaves for early class and Eden doesn't like being downstairs alone. So I was laying there this morning thinking I should just get up and try it since I don't feel any hunger pangs yet. Which was surprising considering I hadn't eaten since dinner last night at 6:00pm.

I have to say, it wasn't really any harder than it usually is an hour after I've eaten breakfast. The only things I have to say about it are that I think I might have held back just a tad more than I normally would simply because I was afraid at the possibility of getting dizzy and passing out. Although it was comforting to know that my husband was still home at that time. And, my neck is still sore. I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not but I strained a muscle in my neck, I don't know what I did exactly but it happened on Monday and it's been pretty painful. I've been rubbing it wih icy hot and laying with a heated vibrating neck wrap on and off throughout the week. I was hoping it would be better by now but it's not. I've done this before, it's so annoying. I'm scheduled for a full body massage on Saturday morning so if it isn't better by then, I'm hoping that will take care of it. Anyway, that probably affected my performance slightly as well. But all in all, it was a success.

I was done by 7:00, and (this is the best part) I held off on eating breakfast until 8:00 - one hour after fasted HIIT. Just in case there is some truth to that whole "burns up to 300% more fat" theory. Drastic times call for drastic measures! Now, I'm not saying I'll be able to do this on every scheduled HIIT day, but it's a good start. It feels so good to be sitting here, dressed and done with exercise at 8:30!

Some new things I've added to my routine this week (besides the fasted cardio) are:
1) I was out of protein powder so I went to GNC to get more but instead of my regular brand (which was a GNC brand 100% whey protein), I'm trying Myoplex. This stuff has 42g of protein in a serving!  I could have gotten the Myoplex Lite which had around 20g of protein and half the calories, but I want to see what more protein could do for me. I plan on replacing both of my snack meals with Myoplex. Just fyi - I got chocolate cream and wow, yummy!
2) I am taking Omega 3-6-9 capsules 3X/day again. I think I probably am getting a good amount with the ground flax I put in my oatmeal every morning and with other foods I eat daily, but I wanted to be sure. I stopped taking them for some reason, I think because the capsules are so damn HUGE! I feel like I'm going to choke whenever I swallow them. But this time I'm going to keep at it.
3) I have ordered a bottle of CLA, just to see if it can really aid my efforts any. I haven't actually taken it yet (since I just ordered it) but I can't wait to get started on it.

In addition to that, I'm still getting BCAAs in the protein powder and also taking creatine daily. Along with a multi-vitamin, those are all the supplements I take.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The debate

Exercise in a fasted state or not....

I know I just posted about this not long ago but it still haunts me. I read last night (from a trusted source) that you can burn up to 300% more fat doing this. Weight lifting or HIIT, it should be fasted. But I just don't know how  I can concentrate on lifting heavy weight with my stomach growling. I really want to give it an honest try though. Here's why:

Apparently, when you eat before you workout, you burn primarily carbs. And so you get really efficient at burning carbs. I've done this forever. Maybe this is why I can get away with eating so many carbs?? I don't know. Anyway, it goes on to say that when you exercise on an empty stomach, your body relies on fat for energy, not carbs that would be readily available from your last meal.

That makes me ponder something: how is it that when you exercise longer than an hour, your body starts to eat away at your muscles for energy, but when you haven't eaten for hours and you exercise, your body goes for fat as fuel? I don't understand this because if muscle is the easiest source of energy after an hour, once your carbs have been depleted, wouldn't it make sense that the same is true of fasted exercising??

I'm confused. And so I need to read more about this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I had a slightly heated conversation with my husband the other night. I finally said what I've been thinking for a long time, which was that it would really make me happy if he could support my goals. I told him that he didn't have to be 100% as enthused as I was about it, but it sure would be nice if he could recognize that they were important to me and just be part of a much needed support system for me.

He said it was hard to understand because to him, he sees someone who is already muscular and fit and doesn't know why I think I need to take it any farther. He also said he wanted the woman he married back. This really made me sad. I said, "The soft, squishy one?" and he said, "Yes". I really love him. And I SO LOVE the fact that he thought I was perfect just the way I was, squishy and flawed and everything. How lucky am I to have a husband like that? Very lucky!
I appreciate that. But I also have a dream, a goal, and I won't be satisfied until I get there. It really isn't that far from my grasp now. It's closer than ever before. There are inner changes that I am working to achieve as well, it's not all about the outside, what is inside matters too! I have specific "flaws" that I am trying to rid myself of to become a better person as a whole. Inside and out. I just don't talk about the inside stuff as much because this is a fitness blog after all.

But what exactly are the things I want to change about my body? People say to me all the time that it looks as if I'm already there. Here is what I need to achieve to feel like my efforts have been 100% successful:
1) There is still a fair amount of jiggle on my thighs, I know I can get rid of it, but it is very difficult because that is the ONLY place where I can spare fat and so my body is fighting me like crazy to keep it. The lower you're bodyfat percentage, the harder it is. But I'm doing absolutely everything I know of that will eventually do the job. It's just a matter of time.
2) Despite the fact that I am very low bodyfat and very fit, I have some bumpy skin, otherwise known as cellulite. I hate to even type that word, that is how painful it is for me! If I did nothing more to improve my body except to rid myself of that, I would be happy and content with myself. Some believe it's impossible to get rid of but I won't allow myself to believe that. It is just fat. Get rid of the fat, build lean muscle and eventually it will disappear. This is the ULTIMATE goal.
3) I love the way muscle definition looks. Man or woman, when you have a sculpted body, you look damn good! This is my opinion. I don't think overly skinny people are all. Nor do I think that untoned arms and legs are attractive, regardless of whether you are at a healthy weight or not. I like to have muscle definition in my body because it says, I care about myself and way I look. I care about what I put into my body and I work hard to keep it a tight fit machine. You only get one body, why not take care of it?

So I focus on these 3 things.  I do NOT want to lose weight. I need to maintain, or gain weight if anything. Because, like was the case in March, when I maintain my weight, yet my body measurements get smaller, then I absolutely know for a fact that I am losing fat and building muscle. Technically, I want to lose FAT, not weight. In terms of weight, the scale should stay the same.

And since it takes a deficit of 3500 calories just to lose a pound, it's a slow process. Especially when you do it the right way, which means making sure you are keeping the muscle and only losing fat. If you lose weight fast, chances are, it's not fat. It may just be water. Besides that, if you are a woman, your weight fluctuates 5-8lbs depending on the person and where you are in your cycle. I know exactly when I will gain "bloat weight" and it's common for me to fluctuate from 111 to 115, depending on the cycle day. That is why I rely on the tape measure for a more accurate measure.

I like to tease my mom about this because she is SO dead set on her scale to judge her progress. She will tell me, "I've just got to stop eating, I was up 4 pounds because I ate too much junk over the weekend." And so I'm like, "MOM! You do not gain 4 pounds of fat in two days. I'm almost positive you didn't consume 14,000 calories over your maintenance level in a weekend." And if she really ate all that junk (obviously in the form of carbohydrates) it will be water weight she is seeing on the scale. Because water binds to carbs. The same is true of a quick loss on the scale. She will often call me and say "I lost those 4 pounds!" ..and it will be two days later. It's so funny.

When I reduce the amount of carbs I eat, I look leaner, I fit into my clothes better and I weigh less. But reintroducing those carbs again will make me appear much fuller (or softer). I am not a big fan of restricted carb diet. I need bread, rice and oats for energy. Plus, I get light headed when I don't eat them. Even if I load up on carbs in veggie form, I still get the shakes. I don't believe it's healthy to completely cut out an entire food group. If I restrict anything in my diet, it's only for short periods of time. A few weeks before my goal date I plan on taking my diet to a strict and hardcore eating style that will produce rapid results. This is not something I particularly enjoy or do for extended periods of time. 2 weeks is the limit. But I've planned for it, so I'll be ready ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

About the book

So I've been reading from my two new books and I'm almost finished with Body For Life. It's a short book, but it's sometimes hard to find quiet time to just sit and read. Anyone with kids will understand what I mean.

But I have found so many inspiring things in this book so far. I am very pleased I decided to buy it. Here are a few that stood out to me:

"Women should be concerned about not having enough muscle, rather than too much." - in reference to a common fear women have about bulking up when they lift weights.

"When you exercise a nutrient deficient body, you're not making it healthier; you're actually creating a worse nutrient deficiency." - in reference to people who eat crappy food and think that exercising a lot will make up for it.

"Even though aerobic exercise does help burn fat, when it comes to transforming your body, proper weight training can't be beat." - of course I love this one!

"Limitations, impossibilities - these are things our minds become programmed to believe." - great for motivation.

"If you do nothing but aerobic exercise, even if you eat less, your results will not be optimal. In other words, if you start out a pear, you end up a smaller pear - but that isn't a transformation." - I know this all to well from experience. Back when the only exercise I got was the treadmill, I definitely shrunk in size, but everything I wanted to change was still there, just on a smaller scale. All the time and energy I spent trying to rid myself of jiggle, to no avail - ugh!

"You exercise to create a positive result, not because you've got nothing else to do." - This. Is. Brilliant! I can't agree more. I mean, if you are doing any form of exercising, it's probably because you want to see a change for the better in your body and/or your health. So why not do it the smarter, more efficient way? Get this book - you won't be disappointed!

My goals for the week are about the same as usual:
1) Drink more water. I'm going to try and drink a full glass before and after each meal. I don't know why it seems so difficult for me to get enough water.
2) Eat more vegetables. Some days I slack. If there is one thing I don't want to slack on, it's this.
3) Pay attention to portion sizes. Especially at dinner.

And of course, eat as clean as possible. This is a given. I have minor slips now and then, but if I can limit the slips to once a week, I shouldn't have to worry too much.

Here's to the start of a successful week everyone! I hope you are motivated and feel strong so that you can accomplish all your goals for the week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Morning fasted training? Not today.

I got up with the dog this morning instead of waiting for the hubs to get up and let her out. I did this with the intention of getting downstairs to get my HIIT session done in a fasted stated, just to see how it goes. I never really saw much benefit in doing it while I was in Denmark (which is when I first tried out the idea) but then again, I wasn't eating clean either. But there is just something that feels so wrong about trying to exercise to your max on an empty stomach. Don't you perform better when you have fuel? What's the point of exercising for intensity if you can't get there because you have an empty tank?

Anyway, so here I sit typing about it (aka whining) and drinking coffee, pondering "should I...shouldn't I..." and time's a-waistin'. I guess now that my tummy rumbles are audible, I will have my oats & eggs first. I have just got to come to grips with the reality that I am not, nor will I ever be, an avid early morning exerciser. No matter how much I wish to be. 9:00 am is my sweet spot. And that's ok. It fits into my schedule, it works, why mess with it, right?

And to all of you who can literally roll out of bed and hit the gym, I am truly jealous. But in a good way, my fellow fitness fans. You are ALL inspirational people and I love ya!

Friday, April 15, 2011

it's looking like April!

It's snowing. It's F-ING snowing! I know it's still early April but come on, haven't we been punished with snow and cold long enough? Why I moved back to North Dakota, I'll never know. Oh yeah, Denmark wasn't exactly a tropical climate ;)

Despite being irritated by the snow, I got downstairs to get my arms workout done for the day. It's good to get my aggressions out with weights! I am really loving pyramids! It was just what I needed to get me out of my rut! A little over 6 weeks to go!

I did some nasty intervals yesterday morning. Thought I was going to die, they were that intense. But the really cool thing about it is 20 minutes goes by like that *snap*. Very quick. I guess I can handle that. I tried Bill Phillip's method for HIIT from his book Body For Life. It isn't easy - although you can easily modify it to your own fitness level.

Then last night I jumped on the mini trampoline for 30 minutes. That thing is so dang fun. The only drawback is it makes me have to pee. I had to get off that thing 5 times during the course of 30 minutes to pee! Holy Lord.

I was talking to my husband last night about how my most of my jeans are loose on me now and we got into a little muscle debate (as usual). He said, "There is such a thing as too skinny." I said, I knew that and I'm not trying to get "skinnier". In fact, I wouldn't mind gaining 10 pounds as long as it was muscle (because who wants to gain 10 pounds of fat???). And he gave me that look. And he said, "Muscle isn't all it's cracked up to be" or something like that. Ok, what does that even mean? He might as well have been speaking another language because I didn't understand that at all.

I know he's got this fear that I am going to end up like one of those super muscular women with the awful spray on tan in a glittering bikini. I've got news for you: if it were easy to look like that, I'd have been there years ago. There is a stigma associated with women body builders, the way my husband feels about it is probably very common. Women just don't have the testosterone to build muscle like a man. But we can lift to build fat burning, metabolism boosting, long lean sculpted muscle that gives us the ability to look toned and defined yet still feminine and curvy. You can take it as far as you want. It's not like you lift weights and overnight you look like Arnold. Everyone is different in how their body responds to weight training. Some build quickly, while others really have to work at it (i.e. ME!). There is actually quite a lot involved in building serious muscle mass. What you eat and how much you eat will dictate your results.

Muscle is also much more dense than fat. Which means, when you add muscle to your body, you can weigh more than you did when you were fatter. It's more compact so you are actually smaller. Which is why when you gain muscle weight you get smaller. So am I going to get bulky? Not at all! I'm getting smaller! What I want to see is actually a gain in weight while I get smaller. That would mean I am losing fat AND gaining muscle - which is like the holy grail of bodybuilding, right?

One more thing to say on the matter: the idea you might have about these overly tanned women on stage is that they look like that all the time. The truth is, they go through bulking and cutting phases. When they are on stage, they are at their peak after weeks of serious dieting to really get their bodies as lean and cut as possible. It isn't something they can maintain for very long. They aren't walking around looking like that all the time. However, they do have amazing bodies all year round. And as for the tan, it's a tanning spray that they use for the show because it makes the muscles more visible and defined for judging under the harsh lights.

This is all stuff I've read from other blogs and various online articles. If I'm reading anything, 99% of the time it's something on fitness.

So my husband also says to me, "on a scale of 1-10, having firm legs is a 2, having jiggly legs is a 2, having legs at all is a 10".  I guess I'll keep him <3

"Life, the ultimate challenge, is not a race to the finish but rather a process of continual growth" - Bill Phillips

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eat Clean changes

I can't believe it's Thursday already! WOW, where does the time go??? So far I think the week has been a success. Of course no matter how much I really want to get that damn extra incline walk in every day, it just doesn't happen. Last night would have been the perfect time for me to do so because I ended up wandering the house looking for something to occupy my time. I would sit on the couch with my husband for 5 minutes, then I'd be up looking for something I could be doing (or wanted to do), then I'd be back with him for another 5 minutes, and on and on....

I should have just went downstairs and worked out that energy. I just don't get myself sometimes. Am I THAT lazy? I would rather wander aimlessly around than just go do what I probably should be doing for my goal. Ugh.

Today my buns and hammies have a nice little soreness going on from yesterday's workout. I have to admit, I like to feel a little sore. I wasn't getting sore anymore after legs, which for me is a pretty good indicator that I'm ready for something different.

I'm not sure if I am imagining it but I think that my legs are actually firmer than they were a month ago. Even if it is only slightly and anyone else wouldn't be able to tell. I can because I examine my body in front of a mirror daily to see if I've improved anywhere. Pathetic, I know. But I am so excited for the day when I can walk past the bedroom mirror and go "WOW! That is MY body". I do like most of what I see in the mirror so I can't say that I hate the way my body looks. But there is still a level that I want to be at and I am not there yet.

I started reading the Eat-Clean Diet last night. Funny thing is, I'm already doing pretty much 95% of what that book says I need to be doing. The only things I really need to improve on are drinking more water and eating more greens.

Here's a list of what I am doing to keep my diet clean:

1)I have given up white rice and white bread years ago, that was pretty easy.

2) I rarely ever eat pasta and if I do it is always 100% whole grain. Maybe once every 2 months I might have pasta. Maybe.

3) I try to limit bread as much as possible. I know I don't have to give up bread completely but I know that it's best to limit it to 1 slice a day, 2 at most. And always sprouted grain.

4) I don't drink milk anymore, just almond milk and only in my oatmeal. I've done this for probably a year now?

5) I eat about 2 servings of fruit a day. Although I've read to get really lean (like competitors do before a contest) they cut out all fruit. I just don't think it's necessary that I do that. Obviously because I'm not a competitor.

6) I don't put sugar on anything. I use stevia in my oatmeal. Surprisingly Tosca Reno (the author of the book) did not sound like she was pro-stevia, which I thought to be weird. It's not an artificial sweetener, it's all natural. She did mention raw honey and agave nectar, which I have in my cupboard but don't use very often. Even though it's natural and agave nectar doesn't trigger insulin spikes the way sugar would, it's still a caloric sweetener.

7) And of course I stay away from the obvious bad guys: cookies, cake, pie, candy, ice cream, potato chips, etc. Although I have decided that it is not my intention to ban these foods from my diet completely for the rest of my life, I plan on only having a sliver of a treat on holidays and special occasions. I want to be healthy, but I also want to enjoy life too. I was a potato chip lover (still am deep down) so I especially need to keep that stuff out of my house. Baked goods are a little easier for me to pass up. They can be in the house, I can bake them for my family even, without needing to eat it. Usually when I bake, I make the "healthy" version of everything anyway.

8) Trans fats and hydrogenated oils - I don't even buy products that I know this stuff is in. I look at every label when I shop. I recently bought some Ritz crackers for my kids at the store, knowing there was hydrogenated oil in it. They wanted it, I caved. Sometimes I feel like I am depriving them of everything they always want at the store, even though I know it's for their own good. I don't think once every blue moon is bad - I'm still the minority in doing so. As long as I don't repeatedly and always buy this junk, I'm happy. I've also switched my kids to 100% pure maple syrup and natural peanut butter. The consistency is slightly different in both but they have learned to deal.

9) I never eat fast food. I don't even buy it for my family anymore. It's probably been a couple months since they've had it.

10) I never make creamy sauce. No cream & butter laden dishes in this house, even though they taste divine. My soups are broth and my sauces are light.

11) No more pre-packaged food or frozen entrees. Trying to stay away from preservatives and sodium laden foods. I might buy tomato sauce in the can, but only the "no salt added" versions. If they are out of it at the store, I use tomatoes and make my own. No canned veggies either. I buy canned beans though, I just rinse them real good. I wonder if that helps?

12) I do, however, buy frozen vegetables. Just the veggies, nothing with added "flavor" or sauce. I also buy frozen berries, which are perfect for putting in protein shakes and veggie/fruit blends.

13) I don't eat protein bars anymore because all they seem to be are candy bars in disguise. I would like to try Prograde Cravers. These seem to be very supported in the health and fitness community. But since they are so pricey, I haven't done so yet. I use protein powder once a day. I find it hard to get enough protein in as it is so this is a life saver. Usually it's after my workout. It's low sugar (2 g) and even so, your muscles will eat up the sugar after a workout. Plus it's whey, which is good. I know some people don't like to rely on protein powders, as it is best to get it in natural form. But I don't rely on it, I use it once a day.

14) I try not to eat cheese. I love cheese, so this is very hard for me. I don't eat it daily but I guess I average a slice every couple days. I'm just crackers about cheese!

15) Absolutely NO sugary cereals! My kids hate me for this. My teenage daughter always complains about there never being anything to eat in the house.

Keep in mind, these are all changes that I've made to my diet gradually throughout the last 3-4 years. Some of them just within the last few months. It's been a long road but then again, I had a lot of damage to repair. It's especially hard when not everyone in the house is as enthusiastic about these changes as you are. They are used to wheat bread (although they still get a loaf of white bread as a "treat" every now and then) and wheat pasta for the most part. They never complain about whole grain rice. But that is about the extent of it. They fight me on everything else. Like I said, no super awesome sugar cereal for breakfast. "And do we HAVE to eat buckwheat pancakes? Why can't you make regular pancakes?" It's always a fight. But one I feel is worth having.

What positive changes have you made in your diet? Something you never used to do but are doing now for health. I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Get out of your comfort zone

I know I just wrote a post a couple of hours ago but I had a fabulous workout today and I wanted to write about it.

Today, I got out of my comfort zone. So often I find myself getting used to one thing or another and/or I might enjoy it so much that I don't like to change it. Unfortunately, for our body to change, we need to shock it. And that means, changing things up now and then. I typically try to do this every 4 weeks.

Our bodies are incredibly efficient. I've read tons of literature about this. To put it into perspective I'll use running as an example (shocking, I know). Basically, if you run at the same level of difficulty day after day, your body becomes extremely efficient as it adapts. Eventually your metabolism will slow allowing your body to store more fat. When it's easy for you to run your miles, you'll burn fewer calories and lose less weight. And this is why I don't use running as a fat loss tool. Of course if you are an endurance athlete, your goal is to be efficient like that. However, if you are looking to lose fat, this is not the way to do it. Also, while it is good exercise for the heart, again, you are essentially only training your heart to be efficient at that one level of intensity. This is why I like to do intervals because I'm getting my heart rate up to the max instead of one comfortable level.

" Myth - "If you want to lose a few pounds you need to do long, slow, steady-state aerobic exercise in the fat burning zone."

Heard this advice before? It's one of the biggest misconceptions in the exercise and weight-loss world. If long, slow, steady-state aerobics was the key to fat loss every person who crosses the finish line of a marathon or Ironman would have very low body fat. "

Here is another BRILLIANT piece you should read on the subject     (I have this book too - a great read)

So, back to today's workout:
I've been known to do just one heavy set to failure, or 3 sets with medium to heavy weight and sometimes I incorporate supersets and metabolic circuits. But I never have taken sets above 4 (other than that 6 week stint of metabolic circuit training - but that was light weight, just fast paced). This time, I did 5 sets. And I used the pyramid method. I started at a pretty light weight in a higher rep range and move up in weight, down in reps for each set. Here's the cool part: when you have exhausted those legs at the highest amount of weight for 6 reps and think you can't do anymore, go down in weight a bit (not all the way - just a bit) and hit it again for 12 reps. In your mind you can't imagine doing another 12 reps but just lowering that weight a little makes it feel feather light and you've suddenly got the will to go for 12 more! It surprised me - and I love that! So of course I had to share.

I was able to get my legs done today despite my back without it affecting my form at all. In fact, I didn't notice it at all until I did crunches, but I'd say it's 95% back to normal. Yay!

I was happy to get out of my comfort zone today. You know, speaking of that, you can apply that to any type of training you do. For example, I have a friend who loves to run. She has done quite a few half marathons and this year, she decided to get out of her comfort zone and do the full marathon. If you are a fan of running, you should check out her blog (on my side bar) Runnergirl. And Carmen, if you read this, I just had a thought, I hope I don't ever offend you with all my anti-cardio blabbering! I respect you as a friend, fellow stay-at-home-mother, and fitness fanatic. And I am totally proud of you for having the guts and determination to train hard and run that distance, especially with 3 little ones. I'm not really anti-cardio,  I'm just anti-tons of it daily ;) And please, all you devoted runners out there, don't take my opinions too personally. I'm sure there are plenty of you who run simply for the enjoyment of it, just like my fabulous friend. I run for enjoyment too, but it's probably on a much smaller scale, 30-45 minutes, after that, it's no longer fun for me. Not everyone is as obsessed with losing fat. There are many days when I wish it wasn't so important to me. But the fact is, it is important to me right now, and so I am devoted to finding the best ways to get the fat off and journaling my own findings. So far my findings are simply that HIIT + weight training = fat loss success. And if I can help just one person in their own personal fat loss journey, I would die happy =)

So anyway, there you have it. Have you gotten out of your comfort zone lately?


I have opinions. Like everyone else. It's just that I used to be too scared to voice them. I was always afraid of my opinions clashing with someone else's opinions and then getting into some heated debate about who is right. Plus, I used to think my opinions were probably stupid anyway. Well, I've grown up a bit since those days. I'm not as afraid to say what I think anymore. It depends on the crowd of people though. There are many situations where I'm pretty much the quietest girl in the room. I've accepted that this is just my personality, and that is what makes me ME.

But this blog is a way for me to voice all of my opinions regarding exercise and diet and all things related to getting healthy and fit. It's my "diary" online for the world to see. Not everyone is going to agree with everything I say. But that's ok. I am entitled to my opinion. Especially on my own personal space - my blog. I love to read comments. I rarely ever had anyone comment until Amanda stumbled across Fit Me (thanks girl, I really appreciate all your input!). I do wish that I had more readers and more comments at times. It's nice to hear different views on the same topic.

I know there is not one solid way of training for fitness. Everyone is different and therefore so are their needs. It also depends on what your goal is. My goal is to build sexy tight muscular legs and arms and have the tightest body possible. So I know that what is going to get me the body I desire is training with weights. It's not everybody's thing, but it's mine. And I like that. It's hard work. I mean come on, if it were easy, everyone would do it and we'd all have awesome bodies. I especially like the fact that not only am I training to become healthier but the rewards from ALL my hard work, time, dedication, sweat and tears are NOTICEABLE! You can tell when people lift weights. It just shows in that tight defined body. And I don't know about you, but if I'm going to spend my precious time doing some form of exercise, I'm gonna want it to show!! What's the definition of insanity again? HAHA...I know you know this!!

Here's a thought: look at a physique competitor. They have just ROCKIN' hard bodies. The women have firm muscular bodies while maintaining feminine curves (unless they take steroids, then they just look like men in bikinis....ew). Now look at the women that place in one of those competitions. Not only do they get a medal or a trophy or whatever it is to put on their shelf, but their bodies are basically a big trophy that they get to walk around with 24/7! Now THAT is the kind of trophy I want!

I'm very pro weight training. It's obvious. But that doesn't mean that I don't think other ways to exercise aren't good too. Running, walking, biking, swimming, bouncing on a trampoline....they are all GREAT ways to get your body moving. And something is better than nothing. Since my goal is muscle, I know simply walking won't get me there. Although I do enjoy it when I want to get away from kids, stress, or just clear my mind. It's more enjoyable when you don't feel like you HAVE to do it. If you don't like something but you have to do it, it's pretty much defined as a chore. And I don't want my workouts to feel like a chore. I do what I like.

So, my rant today is simple, it doesn't matter who you are, what your passion or goal, just get your body moving and do it in a way that's right for you. You are unique. You are individual. And only you can decide what is best for you. Just like I decide what is best for me. And I'll always be pro weight training on this blog. I've been inspired by the people who have worked damn hard to transform their bodies through weight training. And I'm hoping to inspire you too.

If you need more inspiration, look over to the right side of this page under "Fit blogs I love" and click on Summergirl's fit for change and check out the body that girl has built through clean eating and weight training. Absolutely incredible. Now tell me you don't want to look like that!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New books

I bought two new books last night:

The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno
Body for Life by Bill Phillips

I haven't read them yet, just sort of thumbed through the pages, speed reading a few parts here and there. But I can already tell that I'm really gonna love them!

Today was another great day from a nutrition standpoint. Workout suffered a bit today because DANG IT I hurt my back. The stupid thing about it is, two days ago I decided to try 10 minutes of standing ab work instead of my regular stuff. You know, just to change things up. And I don't know if I did it wrong, used to much back, not enough abs, or what. But I messed up something. Tonight, when I was laying on my back on the floor {trying to} exercise, I couldn't even sit up! I had to roll over on my side first. Ugh. I guess from now on I will stick to what I know works well and doesn't kill my back in the process.

I would write my day of food now but I'm in bed and I'm too tired and lazy to go downstairs and grab my journal. It's 11:30 and that's really late for me! I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to do legs tomorrow. I was supposed to do them today but my sweetie thought that I should wait until my back was feeling better so I didn't further injure myself. That is smart, no need to risk an injury. I remember last year at this time I had a badly sprained ankle and couldn't walk for 2 weeks. It took me a month to recover from that to the point where I could actually run again. I remember being on the treadmill and just crying because it hurt and I didn't think I was ever going to get better. Yucky memory!

On a side note, I bought a pair of SHORT shorts the other night that I plan on wearing this summer. Yep. I am THAT confident in my ability to rid myself of this last little jiggle that wants to hang of for dear life. I tried them on today thinking, oh man, I do NOT want to even look. And to my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! Some days I feel so close, like when I look in the mirror tomorrow, I'll finally see that change that I'm looking for. As you get leaner and leaner, the last of the fat clings to you like never before and it becomes so hard to rid yourself of it. That's when it's time to bring out the big guns. But as I've read, time and time again, just sticking to a clean as possible diet can make ALL the difference. It might take a while, but it will happen. And I'm counting on that! Even if it takes another 6 months, I'm in it for the long haul. Because if I gave up, six months from now I'd be no better than I am now. And I was able to see significant changes in just a couple months (after being at a standstill for a year) just through eating as clean as possible and giving up sugar. Just imagine the possibilities 6 months down the road??!! Just thinking about it gives me tingles!

See, I'm pretty new to the 'eat clean' concept. It's only been since mid January that I decided to jump into it. I always knew it was important to eat right but I didn't know it was THAT important! When you have a lot of fat to lose, it falls off rather quickly with minuscule changes. For me, after I started a solid exercise program and made some healthier choices, it literally seemed to fall off every week without feeling like it was a huge effort. But as I got leaner, it got harder. And now that I'm at 13% body fat, it's REALLY hard!

Anyway, enough rambling. Nite!


Here is Monday:

7:30 - 2 eggs, Ezekiel sprouted grain bread w/ butter, veggie drink
10:30 - oatmeal w/ almond milk & ground flax, 1 1/2 turkey sausage patty (post workout)
1:00 - 3 oz flank steak (yes, I actually weighed it!), 1/2 cup couscous, veggie drink
3:00 - vanilla protein drink, 2 slices sprouted grain bread w/ butter
5:45 - 1 cup white chili, 1 whole wheat roll

Total Calories = 1767

Not bad, but 267 over my target of 1500/day. It's amazing how quickly those calories add up, especially when it doesn't seem like I'm eating a whole lot. This really puts things into perspective for me as far as how much I probably eat when I'm not tracking calories. I can eat a LOT of food! I assume it's because I have a fast metabolism and I need the fuel for energy. Just a guess?

Ok, so did I get the hill climb in yesterday? I did! AND, I did hill sprints in the am. Oh. My. Lord. Those are the devil. Seriously. Sprinting is ok. I can live with sprints. In fact, I should do them more often. Ever notice the legs of a sprinter? I want hammies like that! Anyway, as I said, sprinting is ok, but sprinting uphill? Wow. My lungs were burning!

Yesterday = success!

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's on

Ok, well since June 1st is nearly here and I am NOWHERE NEAR where I want to be, I am freaking out a little bit. I need some SERIOUS help in the motivation and accountability department. I need a good challenge to keep myself in check. Not sure how I'm going to do this, but it'll come to me.

First, I will NOT buy any junk for my family. It's just too risky to have it in the house. I have already informed them of this and hubs said "fine" so at least he is prepared. However, this has happened before and then 2 days later he is sitting on the couch with a box of Bison Crunch ice cream and a bag of Hershey's Nuggets. I told him that I've got a month and a half to lose this damn jiggle on my thighs and he just laughed and said "whatever". It's there. Whether he thinks so or not. Bless him.

I don't think I'm a perfectionist but according to my mother and my husband I am. Ok fine, so I'm going to die early because I'm always stressing about things needing to be perfect. Whatever. Moving on....

Second, I need to go back to writing calorie totals and making sure I add them up at the end of each day (and blogging them). This is the ONLY way I am able to really see how much food I am taking in. I'm already exercising to my full capacity. It just wouldn't be something I could stick with if I added MORE - however, I am still aiming for 30 minute hill climbs 5 days a week. So, that means I'm going to have to watch how much I'm eating. Especially at dinner. God help me.

Third, I need need need to get that 30 minute hill climb in every single night this week (M-F) after dinner. It just HAS to happen. I want to see improvements by next Monday. I fear for the fate of the city if I bust my ass and starve myself for nothing. Ok, A)I'm totally kidding, I would never go on a rampage and B)I would not actually be starving, I eat very well ;) I'm also going to have to own up to it every night on the blog along with my calorie count. If I didn't do it, someone has to yell at me. Tell me what a lousy turd I am. That I'm just a useless skin tube. I'm talking drill sergeant, in your face with spit flying everywhere, yelling. Please? Somebody? Anybody? I don't know if I can do this on my own.

Ok's ON!!

Oh, and I wouldn't mind a little booty lift along with the thigh slimming. Is that too much to ask by June?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am....

I am strong. I am beautiful. I am courageous. I am confident. I am dedicated. I am consistent. I am diligent. I am persistent. I am passionate. I am worth it.

Every now and then I need to remind myself that I deserve my goal. At times, motivation can be low. I might feel as though I'll never get there and why am I doing this and yadda yadda yadda.  Sometimes, I would rather play piano, or paint, or photograph nature than get downstairs to workout. Even though I know my workout is just an hour out of the day. At times, I would rather eat goldfish and granola bars with the kids than drink a veggie smoothie. But I know that when my motivation is lower, it's probably due to hormones, and it won't be long until I pick up again.

I wish I had a little friendly competition to motivate me (like my blogger friend, Amanda is doing). The truth is, I really don't know of anyone else who is trying to better their body through weight training and clean eating. I know plenty of runners. In fact, every single person I know that has an interest in fitness is a runner. And as far as I know, they aren't interested in body recomposition the way I am. And not a single one that tries to eat clean. Sometimes this blog doesn't seem like it's doing the trick for me anymore. I share just about everything - including owning up to flaws and diet busting days. But that almost doesn't scare me enough anymore.

One day, I would like to enter a bodybuilding/fitness competition. That would be the ULTIMATE long term goal for me. I could even say, maybe by the time I'm 40? That certainly leaves plenty of time to train, especially considering the years I've already put in (which should count as a great start). Even though that's a bit distant, it's good to have long and short term goals.

Right now, I am drinking my pre-breakfast green smoothie, and I think I've hit on a really yummy combination today (it's always different). But this time, spinach, strawberries, celery & carrots = YUM! I wouldn't grab this for a snack when I'm hungry, but I know it's good for me and I am trying to get those veggies in. So the best time of day for me to drink these is morning and evening. Not sure why I just told you that, maybe I thought you'd like to try it? It's really not as bad as it seems ;) I'm always trying to push things that most people view as weird (i.e., women weight lifting and drinking vegetables) but with the results I have been able to get from it, am I wrong????

Friday, April 8, 2011


Friday's Diet

7:00 am - shredded wheat w/ almond milk (I'm addicted)
10:30 am - 1 egg, 3 tbsp egg whites, sprouted grain bread w/ provolone (PW)
1:30 pm - veggie blend drink, chicken salad
4:30 pm - shredded wheat w/ almond milk (yes, again), leftover pizza slice
6:00 pm - my healthy micro cake
8:30 pm - 2 slices sprouted grain bread w/ provolone & all fruit jelly, 1/2 C. 1% cottage cheese

total calories = 1757
total fat = 53.7g
total protein = 106.6g
total carbs = 212.2g
total fiber = 39.6g

I should have also listed what the week looked like for workouts. I'll do that now.

Monday = heavy legs day & leg lifts
Tuesday = intervals & abs
Wednesday = arms #1 & abs
Thursday = intervals & leg lifts
Friday = hill climbs & trampoline & abs
Saturday = arms #2 & leg lifts
Sunday = rest

Less than 2 months to goal. Getting kinda scared. I'm going to have to kick it up a notch. I am feeling good about it though. I've busted my plateau (Finally! March was good to me!) and made some progress. But there are still improvements to be made. I have to hang in there for two more months - take it as hard core as I can - and then it's smooth sailing. Maintenance is going to be a piece of cake!

Each week I ask myself how I can improve. I look at my food journal and my workout journal and I say, "Did I skip any workouts? Was there something I shouldn't have eaten? Did I sit too much?" This next week, I want to shoot for an incline walk 5 nights (in addition to my morning workouts). If I can get in an extra 150-225 minutes a week of extra movement, it will really add up after 2 months. This is easier said than done because I really like my evenings free to relax with the family. It all depends on how focused I am on any given day. Typically I am super focused in the morning and taper off, which is probably not uncommon. This is why I like to workout early in the day, because once it gets to be about 3:00 - the girls get home from school and it starts getting chaotic, my stress level goes up, my energy goes down.

In case you ever find yourself wondering why you should incorporate strength training into your fitness routine, take a look at this.

Here's something I saw today:
cardio = good
strength = good
both = better

That's a good way to look at it I guess.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I've been a bad girl! I went out last night with my sister and our friend Mary (whom we call Millie) because it is her birthday on Saturday. I got seriously d-r-u-n-k! I mean, I had to go home with my sister and spent half the night on her cold bathroom floor with my head in the toilet. This is NOT normal behavior for me. Especially while I'm training.

So my mom calls me up to tease me this morning (because she was babysitting my little one while I was trying to recover), and she says, "I can't believe you did that! You are SO picky and careful about what you put into your body!" This is very true. And I can't believe it either.

We drank two bottles of wine between the 3 of us, then I had a martini, after that I was GONE. And it was only 10:30. I guess it's partly because I have no tolerance for alcohol anymore and partly because I only had a few squares of cheese and tiny pieces of bread for dinner. But sheesh did I get horribly sick. I will NEVER do that again (I hope). I spent most of the day in my bed trying to sleep. I got up and showered at about 3:00, ate some sprouted grain bread with lots of yummy butter and then I started to feel human again.

I have been searching my soul for a reason that I might have let myself go like that and I come up with nothing. One glass of wine - that is my limit. Why I kept going, I just don't know. But it was fun. We laughed until we cried. We danced. It was a good night. And even though I know not eating isn't a good thing typically, at least I feel a little better knowing that my calorie intake today was practically nothing. I realize that is a stupid way to look at it.

I read on a blog once that if you throw away the hard work you did all week on a night drinking or binge on unhealthy food, you just aren't serious about getting the body you desire or becoming fit. I have to disagree. I am more serious than anyone I know about being health conscious and exercising to improve my body. The results that I am after and the passion I feel about getting there is very real. I sacrifice a lot on a daily basis. If I make a mistake, I'm not going to feel guilty about not being serious enough. Because I'm human, I'm flawed. I will just get back up and work as hard as always to achieve my goal. While I do agree that to do this often would mean I probably wasn't all that serious about it, I don't think that straying from my plan once every 3 months is going to label me a failure.

And on to last Thursday's nutrition log:

7:00 am - shredded wheat & bran with almond milk, 1/2 avocado
10:00 am - 2 eggs, 1 slice sprouted grain bread with butter
1:00 pm - (post workout) chicken breast, yam
3:30 pm - 1 slice provolone, 1 banana
5:30 pm - chicken breast, mashed potatoes, veggie blended drink

Total calories = 1524
total fat 58.4g
total protein 96.9g
total carbs 162g
total fiber 30g

Pretty ok day. Not perfect, but it never is.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Out with the old

This is what I used to look like. It is 1999. Hanna, my first born, is the baby.

Yesterday when I was at my mom's I wanted to find this picture. I remember coming across it last time I was looking through her photo albums and being horrified. This was not the only "winner" in the album, but it stuck out so much in my mind that I had to find it again. I wanted to have it to remind myself how far I've actually improved myself (inside and out) since those days.

This was a time period when I was cruel to my body. I ate crappy fattening food EVERY day and never exercised. I drank a lot too. I was very hard on my body in my 20's. I had been so used to being thin that I didn't even realize how fluffy I was becoming. I must have been about 145lbs here. I am 111 lbs now. Maybe you can't see it really well but my belly was all soft and squishy and I had absolutely NO muscle definition anywhere.

This is now. And I am proud of what I've accomplished.

I work hard every day to try and improve my body from the inside out. Not only do I strive to become as fit as possible but I am constantly trying to become a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend....a better person. It's incredibly hard to change old habits, but I think that if I am consistently aware and dedicated to change, it will happen.

And now the Wednesday food diary entry:

8:00 am - Oatmeal with Almond Milk
11:00 am - pkg. South Beach Nuts
12:30 pm - Hu Hot - all healthy veggies & fish (no rice or noodles)
5:30 pm - thin crust pizza & veggie blended drink
8:00 pm - (post workout) 1/2 banana & protein powder drink

Total Calories = 1835
And I won't list my fat/protein/carb/fiber numbers because I forgot to write down my totals from the pizza, so they wouldn't be accurate. I did remember to jot down the calories though.

Another ok day for me. I made smart choices when eating out for lunch. For dinner, I probably could have chosen something healthier than pizza but the slices were small and thin and loaded with veg.

I just noticed I didn't have eggs this day either! Two days in a row. Odd. This day was ok for veggies but looking at the rest of the week I definitely need to improve that. I usually drink my veggies daily (as you can see) but there are times when I completely space it out or just don't have enough in the house. I barely got one serving of veg a day, I bet, before I got the Ninja blender. I really like to blend and drink my veggies because otherwise I just don't get enough. I'm honestly NOT CRAZY about vegetables. I could survive on bread and cheese and nothing else. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesdays Food Diary

8:00 am - 1/2 C. Oatmeal
11:00 am - 1% cottage cheese, diced peaches(no syrup)
1:45 pm - crab salad w/light mayo, shredded wheat & bran w/unsweetened almond milk
3:30 pm - blended veggie drink (assorted green veggies & frozen strawberries)
5:30 pm - spaghetti squash w/homemade spaghetti sauce (no salt added tomato sauce, extra lean ground beef)

total calories = 1067 (another shockingly low day for me)
total fat grams = 20.2
total protein grams = 68.3
total carb grams = 163.8
total fiber grams = 24.5

All in all I'm pretty pleased with this day. It is a bit odd that I didn't have eggs. I guess I was just too excited to have the crab I got at the store that day ;)

Some days are easier than others to eat healthfully. It is still difficult for me to pass up dessert at times but I try to stay focused on my overall goal and remind myself that I need to sacrifice the things that don't do my body any favors if I ever want to get there. The sweet/salty/fatty food I crave at times might taste nice, but it doesn't last. Being fit WILL last, and it will feel GREAT!

Still, sometimes I would like nothing more than to devour a huge plate of salty greasy fries or a bucket of fried chicken or half a chocolate cake with an inch of frosting.

Last night I said to my husband that I couldn't wait for summer so I could eat ice cream again. And he said, "Yay! It stresses me out when you refuse to eat that stuff". Weird. How on earth could it be stressful on HIM???? Great, now I'm going to feel guilty about stressing him out when I don't eat junk. No way. That would be dumb. He can stress about it, that's his problem I guess ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

calories, proteins, fats, carbs, OH MY!

Part 1: (of a long blog....please hang in there!)

I just have to quickly share something with you. I was reading the All You magazine last night and I usually never read the horoscopes but for some reason this time I chose to look them over. Here's what mine says:

"Use your powers of concentration and willpower to achieve a personal health or fitness goal. With five planets powering up your wellness zone, small steps taken now can lead to big results later in the year. Pace yourself, though, as the weekend-warrior approach might backfire and leave you a wounded warrior. Find a realistic diet and exercise program that you can stick to."

That could not have spoken to me any better if it had lips and vocal chords! Although I'm not sure what they mean by weekend-warrior. Doesn't sound like it applies to me though. Even though I don't really believe in this stuff, it was cool to read. Especially when all the other signs were talking about money, career, relationships, family, kids, creativity, etc.

Part 2: (as promised.....nutrition diary for the past week)

I REAAAAAALLLLLLY don't want to do this after last night. Remember how in my last post I said that I would be pretty much on track as long as I didn't pig out Sunday night, and that I didn't expect that to happen? Well, I should never have said that because it was like an invitation for the munchies devil to take over my body. I don't know WHAT came over me. I guess it was a long time coming.

I want to explain a couple things before I get started.

I don't pay any attention to BMI (body mass index) because I'm pretty sure it is going to tell me that I am underweight for my height, age, blah blah blah. I'm not interested in that number. Here are the numbers I am interested in:

My BMR (basal metabolic rate - which is total calories my body burns for normal bodily functions: digestion, circulation, respiration, temperature regulation, etc.) is 1285 calories. This is what my body burns without me even having to think about it.

My TDEE (total daily energy expenditure - which is what I burn in 24 hours including exercise and BMR functions) is 1992 calories. Let's round it up to 2000, a nice even number - this is my maintenance level. So basically, to lose fat, I'm going to need to take in less than this number every day in calories.

Now, when I look at that on a weekly scale, to not gain or lose any weight, I should keep my calories at 13,944 per week. My goal for this past week was 10,500 calories - that would have put me in a nice position to lose 1 pound. How do I know? Because you have to have a 3,500 calorie deficit in order to lose a pound. And a pound a week is a safe number. Still with me?

Well, it wasn't all bad. If I wouldn't have gotten the munchies last night I probably would have been very close to hitting that goal. My final number was 11,881 calories for the week. Which means I had a 2,063 calorie deficit. And if I keep up those numbers this week, I will definitely have lost a pound.

I can't be too unhappy about that.

So now let's look at calorie totals and macro nutrient ratios for each day:
calories = 1107 (very low for me, can't believe I was able to function on this little food)
fat = 33.2% of total calories
protein = 29.4% of total calories
carbs = 45.8% of total calories
calories = 1067
fat = 17%
protein = 29.3%
carbs = 45.8%
calories = 1835
fat = 13.4%
protein = 12.3%
carbs = 21.1%
*note: the percentages should actually be higher but I forgot to record fat/protein/carb. Calories are correct.
calories = 1524
fat = 34.5%
protein = 25.4%
carbs = 42.5%
calories = 1757
fat = 27.5%
protein = 24.2%
carbs = 48.3%
SATURDAY - here's where it starts to get ugly
calories = 2322
fat = 32.6%
protein = 22%
carbs = 40%
calories = 2429
fat = 36%
protein = 21.3%
carbs = 46.2%

Baseline ratios look something like this:
50-55% carbohydrates
30% protein
15-20% fat

It seems as though I am actually right where I want to be with my carb ratios falling under 50% but I definitely need to up my protein intake, which always seems to be the case. I am not happy with any of my protein percentages. They just have to go up. And my fat intake is surprisingly high, although I know that most of it is in the form of healthy fats so I'm not worried. Although I really could work on lowering that and upping protein for the sake of trial & error.

This was one GIANT pain in the ass, keeping track of everything I ate and then calculating it all. But I have read that to get the best idea of where you are and what you need to improve on, this will help your chances of success immensely! Now that I have a baseline for myself, I know exactly what I need to do in order to speed up my fat loss.

All of my calculations come from a FANTASTIC book (it's my bible - I read it time and time again) Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto and you can find it  here.

And since this post got quite long, I think I will post exactly what I ate each day this week along with the numbers, so it isn't so overwhelming. And since it's Monday, here's what I ate last Monday:

8:00 am - 1/2 C. rolled oats, 1/2 C. 1% cottage cheese
11:00 am (post workout) - fruit smoothie & protein powder
1:30 pm - 2 whole eggs, 1 slice sprouted grain Ezekiel bread w/ 1/2 tbsp real butter
5:45 pm - wild rice & chicken casserole
6:30 pm - 3 minute home-made healthy microwave cake (no flour, no butter, no kidding!) I posted the recipe for this here.

total calories = 1107
total fat grams = 40.9
total protein grams = 81.4
total carb grams = 127
total fibre grams = 19.2

*note: this wouldn't be a perfect sample day since my numbers weren't stellar and my eating times weren't ideal. But it is what it is. I'm not saying you should follow it! ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I caved. I don't know what to say for myself except that I am human.

I ate potato chips last night. First time in almost 3 months that I've eaten naughty food like that. And you know what? It tasted DAMN good! I am a little disappointed that I couldn't at least wait until my "12 weeks" was up but oh well. I don't expect the setback to be very significant.

It was actually FUN to sit on the couch watching a movie with my husband and child and join in on the bag of potato chips. Usually I politely decline their constant offers of chips and candy. This time, however, I gave in to my craving. I didn't pig out though. I ate them slooooooowly and savored the taste.

I read that when you give up junk food and sugar, if you can make it two weeks, you almost never crave it anymore. I personally don't think that is entirely true. Sure, it does get easier to live without it, but I think that is simply because if you go for an extended period of time without it, you get this sense of pride in yourself for being able to handle it. Then, you don't want to go and ruin it. At least that's how I feel. I still have cravings. Sometimes, they are really bad. But mostly they are tolerable. There was a week not too long ago when all I wanted to do was eat mountains of chocolate. I honestly don't know how I got past that week without giving in. This potato chip craving last night was relatively mild in comparison but I just wanted a tiny piece of my "old" life back. Sometimes, I wish that I wouldn't care so much about what my body looked like and just ate freely like I used to. I know that I will never be that way again. I guess looking at it in a health perspective, that's a good thing. I could go back to eating what I wanted and probably not look a whole lot different in my clothes. I think I was always able to metabolize food quickly. But in a swimsuit.....yuk.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my moment of weakness with you ;)

Tomorrow, I plan on posting my food diary for the past week. I have meticulously documented EVERYTHING I've eaten for an entire week, including calories and macronutrient ratios. If my calculations are correct, theoretically I should have lost a pound the way it's looking so far (assuming I don't pig out today - which I don't expect to happen). I certainly don't feel as if I've lost a pound. But we'll see when I step on the scale and take measurements tomorrow.

Incidentally, I don't need to lose weight but how else am I going to get the last of the jiggle of my thighs????? It seems as though fat loss is the only answer. And at 13% bodyfat, there is still some there to lose.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Friday

I admire you people who workout first thing in the morning. I have a hard enough time just being upright for the first hour. But to roll out of bed and hit the gym right away is impressive. I usually don't workout until around 9 or 10 am, this gives me a chance to wake up, eat, let my food settle, feed Emma and get her started on something that will occupy her for an hour, check email/FB/etc. and that is my morning.

I honestly don't think I would be as fit as I am if I had a job outside the home. I would probably be a lot more fit if the internet didn't exist! But it's scary to think about because I'm not an early morning exerciser. I don't mind working out in the evening but sometimes I get tired and it's easier to skip them then. Plus I think it keeps me awake. I did arms two days ago before bed and I slept horribly that night. I think the two go hand in hand. So if I have to get a job outside the home someday......yikes!

Also I wanted to mention that the mini trampoline is great. The kids are always begging to go on it but since it's not a "toy" I don't let them unless I am there to watch. We had a fun little fitness night two nights ago where the kids were all downstairs as I did my workout. They took turns on the treadmill, weight bench and trampoline. It was so fun for them they have been asking to do it again! In fact, as soon as we were done that night Hanna said, "Can we do this again tomorrow night?" and then Eden said, "yeah, let's do it EVERY night!". I love love love when my kids get excited about exercise. I am really hoping that it becomes a natural part of their lives so they never have to struggle with being overweight.

Truth be told, Hanna is already struggling and it's painful to watch. It never used to bother her (or at least she never said anything) but now she is starting to always want to cover her belly, wear baggy sweatshirts and says "she's fat" on a regular basis. My heart just aches for her when she says that. So I've told her that she needs to start coming downstairs with me at night and running on the treadmill. And I told her I would train her with weights 3 times per week also. The only problem so far is the amount of homework she always has. I am going to help her get into much better shape by summer's end.

Of course I love her just the way she is and I wouldn't make her lose weight because I want her to be thinner, but I am concerned for her health later on. And I'm sure that the longer she waits to get it under control the harder it will become. At the beginning of the year when I took her to the doctor she said that Hanna was fine as long as she didn't gain any more weight. Well, since then she has gained 11 more pounds. And I feel horrible as a mother. I should have been watching her more closely, making her eat healthier, making her exercise.

Seeing mom's passion for fitness and nutrition and definitely rubbed off on my younger two girls but so far it hasn't really impacted Hanna. I don't know if she really cares. I thought she'd be interested in weight lifting at school but when I brought it up she said she would never do that because she didn't want to be the only girl. That's sad. However, I probably would've felt the same way when I was her age.

It's hard enough just to keep myself motivated some days, adding another person or two (my mother also wants me to train her) is going to be challenging. But I want so much for both of them to be in better shape because I love them and want them to be happier and healthier, so I will do what I can. I'm no professional but I do have a pretty good foundation. I've been able to do it for myself so the least I can do is share my knowledge and help out my family.

Have a great weekend everyone! Get inspired! Inspire others! Being fit is a lifestyle!