Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I am seeing some changes in the mirror!

I was so excited last night. I was trying on all my clothes (I do this periodically whenever I feel like I've improved somehow), and feeling giddy. Finally, this hard work is paying off! Even though there is still jiggle, I can see muscle definition popping out everywhere. Even on my butt! When the fat is gone, it will look so good!

All the sacrifice, the deprivation, the sweat, the tears, the's really paying off! And if I can notice a change after 2 months, just thinking of what is in store for my body by May gives me butterflies!
My legs are starting to feel so firm. When I rub my hands over them I think, 'this is me?' I can't believe it!

I've been following this blog for a while now and the woman who writes it, gave some really helpful advice. I'm always whining about how I never seem to be able to build my hammies. She says they need to be trained with heavy weight. The kind that leave you only able to do small amount of reps. But then more sets. And also, (something else I didn't know) quads are the opposite. To train those, you need higher reps. I'm so thankful for her information! It's Ready In 5 Weeks in case you want to check her out. Good stuff!

I also found a article called Got Glutes? that I am really glad I stumbled upon. I am going to implement this training as soon as the new year rolls around. I'll be done with the fit trainer by then and my glutes need all the help they can get by May!

Today my workout was chest/shoulders/abs/sprints. Oh...sprints. Yesterday I did them in the afternoon because I was too tired after weight training. Today, I was tired again after weights but I did them anyway. I wanted to call it quits after 20 minutes. Truth be told, I wanted to stop after 10 minutes. But I kept on pushing and did the whole half hour. 30 minutes of sprinting, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. FOR 30 MINUTES! I consider myself in great shape but that shit was torture. It was damn hard, especially after you are already drained from an hour of weight training. My mom thinks I'm killing myself. And I can understand how she thinks that. I can. But it's necessary if I'm going to make some BIG changes by the end of December.

So now, I'm just drained. I'm going on very little calories (for me). I'm trying to maintain at just under 1300 calories. I find that by the end of the day I'm usually just a tad over that, especially since I never factor in things like flax oil and my calcium supplement, which together add 60 extra calories. I'm trying really hard to follow the correct macros too. And that in itself is hard. And time consuming. I have to sit down after every meal and figure it out. Today, I am already over my fat limit. I will hit my protein goal pretty head on. And maybe my carbs will go a little over after dinner. But it's a high carb day for me today (yay!) and I needed it. I seriously think that my calorie goal according to the website is wrong because even trying to keep my meals small and low in calories, needing to eat 5-6 times a day leaves me barely 200 calories for dinner most nights. I think that with my activity level factored in, I'm ok going a bit over. I need to listen to my body, and when I'm hungry, eat.

Even though I am carb cycling now, I still need to keep the same calorie level every day, which makes it a little tough for a macro counting newbie. I mean, I know exactly how many grams I'm to eat each day, but I still find it tough. It's such a tedious thing. I will be SO glad when I don't have to do it anymore. I can't wait until I am at a level where I am happy and can just maintain. Will I ever get there? Will it ever be enough? Will I ever be content with myself? I don't know...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Phase 3 - kicking my ASS!!


I had back/arms/abs/sprints today.

I was so wiped by the end of the weight training portion that I had to leave sprints until tonight. There was NO way I could have done 30 minutes of sprinting. Weight training alone took about an hour and a half. Because we got to the gym at 8:30 and left the floor at 10:15. So maybe 15 minutes in the locker room but everything else was working out.

Today - lots of supersets and working/active sets again. I surprised myself with some of the weight at a higher rep range. For instance, 40lbs for 15 reps wide grip pulldowns supersetted with 40lbs for 15 reps underhand cable pulldown. (supersetting, of course, meaning that there is no rest between these two exercises) I was able to complete all three sets at that weight and rep range. Which surprised me. I am getting stronger. I felt the burn, and pushed through it.

The working/active sets are things like doing a weighted exercise, such as bent over BB row immediately followed by mountain climbers (instead of resting) and then back to the row, and so on. Doing it this way really keeps your heart rate up, which is why I feel so wiped by the end of the workout. I am hoping that after the first week I can get more acclimated to this style of working out and will be able to finish up my sprints in the morning as well. Maybe I need to bring a protein bar or something to eat in between so that I can get a sense of renewed energy. I might try that tomorrow.

I see that there are low carb days coming up next week, although I've gotten a jump start on that already. Maybe she banishes all carbs, I haven't looked ahead at the menu. But I've been limiting mine to 2 a day. One at breakfast and one post workout. Not sure I should bring it down any farther than that.

I feel like I'm starting to get a cough again (wtf???) so I am taking zinc and vitamin c to ward it off. Hopefully that works. I would be SO pissed if I got sick again. I am so rarely sick, and to get two colds in the same year is literally unheard of for me. I was happy to find some children's zinc and vitamin c gummies because my little Emma always seems to get sick so easily. She needs that boost in her immune system.

It's a good thing that December is almost here because my supps are all getting low. I'm completely out of glucosamine and everything else is dwindling. I can go to GNC and use my gold card for a discount the first week of each month, which is quite nice. And there are a lot of 2 for one deals on protein powder. This is when my mom and I can split the cost and get a great deal.

Speaking of my mom, I am SO proud of her. She has been going to the gym with me EVERY day. Even when she doesn't really want to, she goes. The engine light is on in my van, and instead of getting it fixed (I'm too cheap...and a break down right before Christmas is not ideal $$$$), my mom is driving me everywhere, including the gym ;) So unless she really wants to disappoint me, she can't skip out. She has also hired a trainer for 3 mornings a week. She is still sore and her back bothers her to the point that she can hardly walk, but I am certain that if she just keeps toughing it out, she'll reap the benefits soon enough. Hopefully by summer, we will be different women!! If you would have told me that by Christmas this year, I would be going to a gym everyday WITH my mom, I would never have believed it. I love it.

My arms were SO pumped today. They were totally engorged with blood and felt so tight, like they could burst! And I was watching them pump in the mirror as I was doing bicep curls and they....looked....huge! It is so fun to see that. They certainly aren't huge in reality, but my arms have thinned out so much that all that is there IS muscle and that makes them appear big mid pump. If I'm not flexing in some way, I don't know that you'd be able to tell I had any muscle in my arms. Now, if I could just get my lower half to thin out so I could see the muscle....

It's there. I notice it when I'm squatting. Because when I'm standing in front of the mirror, I can see the muscle through my workout pants as I squat down. I know it's there. Definition in the quads. Lifting the butt and building the hammies, that is my ultimate goal. My mom still gives me the "heredity" speech. She tells me that I am just built to store fat there, same as her and her relatives. But I refuse to believe that. Every woman is built to store fat there, it's to protect unborn children. And yet, there are women who are lean in that area. I will never use the heredity excuse. I am a pear. Some people are apples. I wouldn't want to be either, but it is what it is. Pears and apples alike have to work the same to rid fat from trouble spots. But it CAN happen. Here's how I plan on making it happen for me: hard work, determination, and an undying will to succeed.

Never quit. Never give up. Make it happen. Live your dream.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Phase 3 - last 4 weeks

Well, it was the first day of phase 3 today. Oh. My. Goodness. I have a feeling that this month is gonna suck, just a little bit.

With the focus on fat loss while retaining the muscle I've spent the last two months building, I had more heart pumping, lose your breath kind of moves today. Quite a few more supersets and active rest periods mixed in with work periods. A lot of jumping rope, some jump squats and long jumps. And as far as weight sets and reps, we stuck to 3 sets on everything and the reps went way up - to 30 in some cases, so obviously, the weight had to come down.

I actually like using lighter weight to squat. I feel like I am accomplishing more when I can get really low and keep tension on the legs. Heavy weight with low reps or lighter weight with high reps - they are both difficult but in different ways. It's nice to change pace like this. I am going to be so lost when I don't have a program like this to follow come January!

FYI: I don't like leg extensions. My quads burn so bad doing those. 30 reps about kills me. Done!

I was so wiped by the end of today's workout. Not sure if it had anything to do with my low cal eating. I really don't want my workouts to suffer this month!

I switched to a super strict diet on Saturday. Not sure how long I will be able to maintain it, but I'm shooting for a week just to see if I can see some result from it. If not, then I literally have NO idea how to lose fat. Basically I'm cutting calories to 1200 and eating very little carbs. If that doesn't do it.....then I don't know.

During the last couple of days of watching calories meticulously and cutting starchy carbs WAY down, I've noticed that I don't have any gas. And if you are a regular follower you'll know that quite frequently I complain about having terrible gas all the time. So not having any the last couple of days has opened my eyes to something. It could mean that I'm sensitive to wheat. Or, it could mean that I eat too much high fiber cereal. Maybe just too many carbs in general?? Maybe my stomach has a harder time digesting them? I mean, it hasn't solved the problem, but it has definitely given me some ideas to talk with my doctor about. I'd be interested to hear if anyone out there has had similar issues with that and what you did to resolve it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I stepped on the scale this morning (a day early) because I wanted to see where I stood in my serious quest for jiggle loss. The scale read 107.6 pounds. That can't be right, so I stepped off and on again. 108.0 pounds. And I stepped on and off again. Yep 107.6 pounds. WHAT is going ON?? I have never seen the scale at 107lbs. Well, ok, maybe when I was a kid, I had to pass it at some point. But since being an adult....never. I am trying so hard to gain weight and the scale is dropping. I just don't understand it. The last movement I had on the scale, I went down to 109 pounds from 111. That was the first month. Now in the second month I've lost 2 more pounds. And I STILL HAVE JIGGLE! Another crazy thing is that my measurements are exactly the same. Where is this weight loss coming from??

Well, I don't know. But I'm trying really hard just to trust what I'm doing. I'm just in the process of body recomposition. I don't need to understand it. I just need to be along for the ride until it takes me to the end. My goal. I always thought that losing fat and gaining muscle was black and white. You want to lose fat, you eat less and exercise more. You want to gain muscle, you lift weights and eat more. But apparently, there is some stranger science to it all that I still haven't figured out. After literally years and years of trying to understand and master it.

My husband's solution to my dilemma? "You need to eat more junk."

I don't think so.

The weird thing is, even though I want to gain weight, I still feel some sense of accomplishment when I see the scale go down. I suppose that is after years of associating a drop in the numbers on the scale with success. And even though I want to gain muscle, I think the reason I feel somewhat happy when I see my weight go down is because I'm hoping that it's fat loss. And it makes me feel as though all my efforts haven't been for nothing. Still, I can't help but be a little confused and disheartened when my measurements don't go down with the numbers on the scale. Because if it were fat loss, that should be reflected on the tape measure. I am used to seeing fluctuations on the scale depending on cycle days and carb consumption. But I've never gone this low. Aren't our bodies the most mysterious of creations?

I have an idea that I've been toying with. I would like to stop taking birth control pills. I've taken them for years and I can't help but wonder if it hinders my progress at all. Every woman is different and what affects one woman might not affect another. But it's certainly possible for me to think that pumping my system with synthetic estrogen could be taking it's toll. I haven't done enough research on the subject, but it is something that has been on my mind for a while. If you have any thoughts or helpful information on this, I would appreciate it very much.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 55

Had two whole days off of training and diet. Today, back at it. Did legs. And since I typically don't have cardio on legs, I didn't do the elliptical. But I did walk for 30 minutes after weights.

I have found some renewed motivation from somewhere and I am going to hit the diet hard over the next four weeks. I will be entering the final phase of the 12 week fit trainer starting Monday. Just the thought of this training regimen being over in 4 short weeks is scaring the crap out of me. I don't feel like I am anywhere near my goal body. And if I am going to make some sizable progress, I am going to have to cut calories. I have spent the last two months strictly building muscle by training as hard as I can with weights and eating as much as I can to support muscle growth. I think since there will be some carb cycling and sprinting and all that good stuff coming up, I am going to try some 1200 calorie days to see if I can't peel some of this damn fat off my thighs ONCE AND FOR ALL!!! It is still there, staring me down in the mirror day after day. Which says to me that I have to bite the bullet and get into a substantial calorie deficit week after week. I don't know what my legs would look like if I lost 4 pounds of fat but I don't think there is much fat to be lost anywhere else except the butt and thigh area. So I'm guessing it would look tons better. I do have a little cushion around my lower back, I can tell if I wear my tighter fitting jeans. So I could lose some there too, but just barely. It can't be more than a half a pound, if that. Really, it's all just guesstimating. BUT, I have got to try and get it off. 4 pounds. That's the goal I'm shooting for. If (or should I say when?) I get rid of 4 pounds, I can judge from there if I need to take off more.

Let's look at this from a mathematical standpoint. Say to maintain my weight I need 2000 calories a day (which, by my calculations, is maintenance for me). And I can truly stay at 1200 calories a day for 7 days, I will be in a 5600 calorie deficit. That is enough to lose over a pound and a half in 7 days. I know that keeping calories at 1200 a day will be a HUGE challenge for me. But if I can just maintain that for 7 days, to see if it works, and it does, I will be home free! Because I have NEVER been able to maintain that low of a calorie range for that time period. Usually after 2 days I feel it. That is when it becomes so important to fill up on veggies and water. But I've just got to try. Pissing around, not knowing how many calories I'm taking in, is just not getting me where I want to be fast enough. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I'll never know unless I try. I've got to give it my all. And if I am successful, I can reward myself with all my favorite Christmas goodies on Christmas Eve =)

So it's strict calorie counting for me. I started today. It's 3:15pm and I've got one more meal to go, and 400 calories left. I think I will have cauliflower mash and fish. And I've decided that when hunger strikes about 8pm (and it always does) I will have sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. That is a favorite snack of mine.

I'm scared. This goal scares me. But I've read that if your goal doesn't scare you at least a little bit, you haven't aimed high enough. It's time to get serious.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I AM a bodybuilder

Thanksgiving is over. I really love the Thanksgiving holiday, but it's hard to stick to a clean eating diet when you are around all the delicious food. At first, I had planned on not eating any of the worst offenders in the line up (mashed potatoes loaded with butter and cream, bread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cheese and crackers, pie, etc) and I was going to stick to turkey and fresh veggies but then I thought, why? One day to indulge a little in one of one the joys of being human is not going to set me back much. Holiday time with family, seeping with tradition, lovely food prepared for the special's one of the greatest days of the year. 

I could have held fast, been strong willed. But I wanted to fully enjoy myself. And I did. I had a little of everything. And THAT was the key for me...."little". I had a marvelous day.  I didn't feel stuffed, only satisfied. I was happy knowing I didn't overindulge and put thousands of extra calories into my body. There was one thing I did pass up though.....eggnog. I think eggnog is probably one of the worst things you can ingest during the holiday season. One cup of that stuff can top 450 calories!

This morning, instead of going to the gym, I stayed in bed. Partly because Emma was coughing for hours on end during the night and I felt like I didn't sleep a wink and partly because my shoulder is still bothering me quite a bit and I figure an extra day to rest it might be wise. My husband, who seems forever hell bent on talking me out of weight training, suggested that I stop because of this "injury". I have had little strains like this before. I'm not going to quit this lifestyle because of it. The benefits far outweigh any negatives. But it is important to be smart about it, like not aggravating an injury further. I'm committed, not stupid.

He tells me a story of his late grandmother, who had worked hard physically all her life and by her 70's could hardly raise her arms to shoulder height. But maybe her stress and overuse injuries led to that, as far as I'm aware, she wasn't lifting weights to strengthen her bones and joints. I am. And I fully intend on still doing cartwheels when I'm 70.

He might think it's weird that I choose to inflict muscle soreness day after day and sometimes risk injuries, but that comes with the territory. It comes with any sport.  Runners, bikers, football players, soccer players all risk has it's risks. But I'm not going to sit on the couch in fear. I will never stop. Weight training exercises (if done right) do not put strain on joints. There are literally thousands of variations of exercises you can do with careful fluid movements, which strengthen muscles, joints and bones. Not to mention lower stress, prevent weight gain, improve cognitive function, release "happy hormones", lower cholesterol, and a plethora of other benefits. There is no pounding stress on joints that other forms of exercise put on the body. I know quite a few former runners who can no longer run because of damage done. Bad knees, bad ankles, hip flexors that will never be the same. I'll be lifting long after they have hung up their 200th pair of kicks.

How many bodybuilders do I know that can't lift anymore because of injuries? None. Not to say they aren't out there. But I don't know any personally.

Sorry, honey, you'll never be able to convince me that lifting is anything but good for a body. And I guess I am ok with constantly defending my decision to lift weights. I have to stand up for what I believe in. My passion is my purpose. Like it, or not. Understand it or not. This is who I am.

Monday, November 21, 2011

More meal ideas

Cutting carbs? Hate missing out on potatoes at dinner? I have the solution. What does this picture look like to you - mashed potatoes? Wrong. It's cauliflower.

Here's a beautiful way to eat cauliflower: cut up an entire head of cauliflower and put it in a microwavable steamer bag. My microwave steams it in 4 minutes. Then, I put it in my Ninja (powerful blender) with some butter and whip it good. Add salt and pepper to taste. It turns out so creamy and flavorful, you'd hardly know it wasn't potatoes!

Pair it with some home made turkey meatballs and your golden! Perfect blustery day meal.

Another meal I've been into lately: cauliflower, ground beef and cheese

It seems pretty simple but these are the flavors I've been craving lately. I love beef. I'm more of a cow person than a chicken person, if that makes sense. What I do is just cook up some extra lean ground beef, steam some cauliflower and put them together on the plate. And sprinkle with some lowfat cheese, of course. Season with salt and pepper. Super easy. Super yummy.

I realized on my last legs day that the bar I've been using to squat is actually 15lbs, not 10lbs like I had previously thought. That totally made my day, just knowing I was lifting 5lbs more. Sometimes such small things make me happy.

I've been battling a sore left arm for a week. I am not sure if it is a rotator cuff issue or otherwise. It's sort of hard to pin point the pain. I've been rubbing myself good with icy hot but it doesn't do anything but make my eyes sting.

Today was an arms day which made me nervous. I don't want to injure myself but I don't think it's bad enough to take the day off. So I just warmed up REALLY good and long first and that made a HUGE difference. I think that might be my problem, I am too impatient to take the time for warm ups and start with cold muscles. One word - stupid.

I had a good workout, despite the sore shoulder. I love working my arms anymore because when I'm done, they look huge! All the blood surging through my biceps today made them feel like they could just burst open. I love that feeling.

Measurements today were the same....ugh. I'm not gaining any weight yet. And I'm not losing any fat. Stagnate. But I can see my body changing. They are minor changes, things no one else would notice. I am really anxious to see what I can do by May.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Apple Cider Cake

Ok friends, I have another AMAZING recipe to share with you today!! I'm really excited about this because it was a recipe for cookies that I tweaked and made my own. Oh, and turned it into cake!

Recipe for Apple Cider Cake:

1 cup xylitol (or whatever sugar substitute you prefer)
1 (4 oz) container of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup apple cider
3 egg white
2 1/2 cups oat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
3/4 cups almonds, chopped

1. Beat xylitol and apple sauce. Add cider and egg, beat until smooth.

2. At low speed, gradually blend in flour, cinnamon, soda and salt.

3. Stir in apples and almonds.

4. Pour into greased 9x9 round cake pan.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Depending on the oven, check it at 20 minutes.


You can even make a cider glaze if you are feeling a bit naughty :-)

Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tbsp cider until smooth. Pour over cake.

Nutritent Information: (without the glaze)
makes 8 servings
calories: 228
total fat: 6.4
sodium: 254
carbs: 36.8
fiber: 5.4
sugars: 8.3
protein: 7.2

Now, imagine if you added some vanilla protein powder in place of some of the flour? You'd have even more protein! I might have to try this next time.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 44 - Legs

Hello again. Seems like forever since I've blogged. Even though it's really only been a few days. After my drunken stupor I put myself in last Thursday and then my planned "cheat" on Saturday (hey, it was my birthday, I had to have cake!), I am no worse for wear. Of course, I don't feel like I made any progress last week, but it's all good.

I boiled another whole chicken and I am LOVING it. It is so super convenient for me to just pull some cold chicken out of the fridge and eat it when I need protein. It's fast, it's easy, it's tasty. All important things. I'm not usually a big eater of chicken. I like it, I just don't get excited about it cooked the healthy way. It's bland. I guess I'm just not a very good chef.

There is this app for phones called MyFitnessPal that I am sort of digging. You can track all your meals and exercises from your phone. My brother says he even scans the bar codes from food packaging to enter his food, which sounds totally awesome, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. I'm a newbie to this awesome Windows phone that I got for my birthday. I used to think the phone I had before was good enough, but now that I have this beauty, I can see why my husband always has his in his hand. It's addicting.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I didn't have any cardio today. It was legs day, which is a little switch up from previous weeks. I was so happy and surprised that I yelled "YESSSS!" and that made my husband excited to find out what I was so excited about. "I don't have cardio today! WOOT!" And he laughed.

I am steadily trying to increase weight, whether I think I can or not. This is what went down today:

Narrow stance squats: 2 sets of 15 reps at 50lbs, 1 set of 10 reps at 90lbs, 1 set of 8 reps at 90lbs.  When I joined the gym a few weeks ago I remember how awful I felt because I could barely squat 60lbs. I'm getting up there!

Narrow stance leg press: 8 reps at 160lbs, 8 reps at 160lbs, 6 reps at 140lbs, 8 reps at 140lbs

BB step ups with 45lb bar: 8 reps each leg X 4 sets

Walking 'double' lunges: using 15lb dumbbells, 6 sets of 10 reps

Single leg BB squat (foot on bench): 8 at 50lbs/ 8 at 30lbs/ 8 at 30lbs/ 8 at 30lbs (each leg)

Seated calf raise: 15 at 55lbs/ 15 at 55lbs/ 13 at 55lbs

Standing calf raise: 10 at 25lbs/ 10 at 25lbs/ 15 at 25lbs

Leg extension: 10 at 70lbs/ 10 at 70lbs/ 10 at 50lbs --- my legs were so done here


It felt like a great workout. I was sweating like CRAZY! I went a bit later today since I had to bring my husband into the hospital to get his tonsils out and it was so dead there! By the end of my workout, I was the only one in the weight room! Nice!

I keep looking at myself in the mirror and I don't notice any change where I want it. I still have what I call a big divet on the outside of each leg created by sagging fat. Disgusting, I know. And some days, I swear my cellulite has actually gotten worse! Lumpy lumpy lumpy. I am hoping it's one of those things that gets worse before it gets better. Because it just doesn't make any sense to me that it should look worse after all my efforts these past 6 weeks. Maybe it is being pushed to the surface? I don't know. But I CAN NOT WAIT for it to be gone. I am so impatient. I want it to happen now! It's so frustrating. I will keep doing what I am doing and have faith that one day, it will disappear.

I am supposed to be watching calories now. On lighter workout days, I am to follow a calorie intake of about 1336 and on legs days, for instance, I am to intake around 1636. I hate calorie counting with a passion. But I guess I have to learn to like it. In the past two weeks I should have been cutting back on carbs later in the day. Just isn't happening. So yesterday I decided it was time to get serious. I mean, do I want this or not??!! So, I made lasagna and garlic toast for the family (yum) while I guessed it, cold chicken and salad. It was good but I don't know why I torture myself like that.

Tonight, I am making tacos. It's easy enough to have salad with taco meat without feeling deprived. I bought all kinds of convenience foods for the kids this week since my husband will be home feeling miserable and I wanted to make things as easy as possible. So they have things like chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot dogs, sloppy joes, etc. on the menu this week. Which they love. And I even bought Hanna potato bread, which I never do. Cuz it's white. And it turns to sugar the moment it hits her tongue. I always feel guilty when I do this. What kind of a mother buys their kids crap like that to eat?? It makes me want to cry. They rely on me to make them nutritious food to feed their growing bodies properly. Even if sometimes they don't always enjoy it. What is it saying to them if I refuse to eat the junk I buy for them? To me it says, I don't care about your health as much as I care about mine. To me it says, I am too lazy to put for the effort that is required in getting you to sit up to the table and try everything on your plate - even the broccoli. I don' know, I am just feeling bad about it and needed to vent.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today was not a good day

I went out with my sister last night. I got completely schnockered. It wasn't planned. I only intended on having A glass of wine. But....

I was sick. Oh was I sick. And today...was...awful. This is why I do not drink more than a glass of wine very occasionally. It was a completely wasted day for me. Sad, because the girls didn't have school today so I could have done all kinds of fun things with them. Instead, I was in bed most of the day, nursing a hangover.

Not only is this just plain stupid, but it was completely out of the realm of my strict diet plan. I knew that I had to eat something to get myself feeling human again but the thought of food was just nauseating all day. And finally, when I started feeling better, the only thing I wanted was pizza. Nothing else was going to come even close. So I ordered pizza. And I ate pizza. Another no-no for a clean eater.

But I'm not feeling horribly bad about it. Which is good. Afterall, I knew that I would eventually eat pizza again. As long as I don't make it an every Friday night event, I can live with myself. I didn't eat an ounce of protein all day (unless you count all the cheese on the pizza). Time to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back to it tomorrow.

Obviously, I didn't go to the gym either. I was in NO condition for a workout this morning. So I will just use Sunday as a make up cardio day and do shoulders and legs tomorrow.

I did have a good time last night though. Probably good enough to last me at least 6 months ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 39

I just realized that I forgot to post yesterday! Oops. It was leg day, here's how I rolled:

Leg ext. - 2 warm up sets: 30 reps at 40lbs

Wide BB squat - 2 lighter sets of 15 and 2 heavier sets to failure: 15 X 50lbs/ 15 X 50lbs/ 13 @ 80lbs/ 12 @ 80lbs  ... I am going to keep adding 10lbs to this damn bar every leg day. I am such a cupcake compared to other blogs I read where other women are pushing insane amounts of weight on squats, deadlifts and leg press. I am trying to be smart about it though. The last thing I want is an injury. It will come.

Leg Press - 8 at 90lbs/ 8 at160lbs/ 8 at 160lbs/ 6 at 160  ... I am happy that I decided to really up the weight from 90lbs to see what I could do. Again, I read about girls pressing 220-250lbs and I think "holy shit!" I want muscles like that!

Walking lunges - this was supposed to be baby steps with the barbell but there isn't really a place to do walking lunges, with a barbell, where I don't feel in the way or like I could injure someone at the gym. So I just use dumbbells. 20lbs in each hand, take 20 steps and I do it 3 time.

BB step ups - just using the 45lb barbell, 10 X 3

Plie DB squat - 15 at 30lbs/ 15 at 35lbs/ 15 at 40lbs  ... will start at 40lbs next time

Seated calf raise - 20 at 25lbs/ 20 at 25lbs/ 8 at 70lbs/ 6 at 55lbs ... there is no rhyme or reason to this exercise when I do it. I just really dislike it.

I skipped the standing calf raise because someone was using it. Oh darn.


On to today: Arms/Abs/Cardio

EZ bar bicep curl - 15lbs plus bar weight (10lbs?) x 10 for 3 sets

Overhead cable curl: 10 at 30lbs/ 10 at 30lbs/ 8 at 35lbs
cable hammer curl w/ rope: 10 at 50lbs/ 10 at 50lbs/ 8 at 50lbs/ 10 at 40lbs/ 8 at 40lbs ... there was someone using the cables so I couldn't superset this until after a few round of the hammer curl.
End superset

Alt hammer curl - 10 at 15lbs/ 10 at 15lbs/ 6 at 20lbs/ 6 at 15lbs each arm

Bench dips - 15 x 3

Skull crushers - 10 at 10lbs each hand x 3 sets

Seated tricep ext. - 10 at 20lbs/ 10 at 20lbs/ 8 at 20lbs

Tricep pushdown (rope) - 10 at 40lbs x 3 sets

Air bike - 50 reps/ 30 reps

Jackknife sit ups - 10 reps/ 10 reps

Scissor kicks - 50 reps

Hanging leg raises - 3 x 10

Cardio - 30 minutes on elliptical; 10 crossramp, 8 tension


Can someone give me some good fish recipes? I love fish. I just can't cook it very well. If I go out to eat and have fish, I'm in love. Or if I am eating fish after someone who knows how to cook it makes it (like Andreas' mom), I'm in love. But when I try to make it, not so much love. I like pretty much anything: tilapia, halibut, salmon, etc. But I've been sticking to canned tuna because I just can't seem to cook fish and make it taste good. I guess I can grill halibut, that is pretty easy. Grilling always makes anything taste better. But when there is 3 feet of snow on the deck, I can't really grill, so I need some ideas.

I tried a recipe from the 20 Healthy Raw Snacks report I talked about a few posts back. It was orange chocolate squares, and it is delicious! I am going to make all kinds of these bars for over the holidays. That way, I can feel like I am indulging with the rest of the family, but with zero guilt! The recipe I tried wasn't difficult but it was a little time consuming. Especially considering you need to soak the dates and figs for an hour. But, definitely worth the effort!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 37 Chest/Abs/Cardio

I am drinking a "green shake" as I type this. I guess it doesn't really qualify as a shake, but it's green.

Here's what's in it:

It's SO much easier for me to just drink my veggies. Even though it looks disgusting and the pulpy consistency would be a turn off for most people, I would imagine. I really do enjoy it though. The only thing I don't enjoy is my grocery bill after having to buy so much damn fresh produce.

It really is more expensive to eat healthier. Last week, I conducted my own little experiment. I bought prepacked, easy to make foods for my family. I ate my usual foods still, which was a nuisance because I had to make two meals each time we ate together. But, for the sake of an experiment, I didn't complain. Here's what I found out: my grocery bill was at least $80 cheaper for the week. No lie. Of course the grocery bill depends on so many things. Such as, do we need to buy Tide and shampoo and paper towels and other non-food items? Anyway, I bought things like, frozen pizza, ring sausage (polish sausage), boxed flavored rice, boxed flavored noodles, boxed flavored potatoes, canned soup, frozen breaded chicken patties, etc. It made dinner a snap and everyone liked the food for the most part. AND it was cheaper.

I can't solely blame us as individuals, for being overweight and unhealthy in this country. We have uber busy schedules: work, kids, after school activities, meetings, house cleaning, homework, the list goes on and on. Some people probably just eek by on low energy and are forced to buy/make convenient food. And then get sucked into a trap. A vicious cycle that never ends. We eat the quick easy food because we are tired and stressed and then stayed tired because the food is almost void of nutritional value. At least, this is how I imagine it probably is.

Then factor in the amount of money you probably would save buying convenience foods and who would want to eat healthier? Quicker, easier, cheaper sounds good to most people. And healthy takes the back burner. I totally get that. I wonder often what shape my health and body would be in right now if I had a full time job or if my husband didn't bring in a very good income. People do what they can with what they have. It certainly would make living healthier more difficult for some. But not impossible. I guess it comes down to priorities. What are you willing to give up for health?

Workout today:

Wide grip bench press: I really need to find out the weight of this bar. But, if it truly is 45lbs, then I did 8 at 45lbs/ 8 at 60lbs/ 8 at 65lbs/ 6 at 70lbs/ 4 at 70lbs/ 8 at 60lbs

Push ups: 45

Cable crossover: 10 reps at 30lbs X 3 sets/ 8 reps at 35lbs

Smith machine incline bench press: Not sure the weight of this bar, maybe 10lbs? So, 30lbs for 7 reps/ 5 reps/ 5 reps/ and 20lbs for 10 reps

subbed side to side pushups for vertical fly: 10 at 30lbs X 3 sets

toe touchers: 20 reps
crunches: 20 reps
End superset
(that was supposed to be 3 sets but I got the most horrible cramp in my upper abs that I couldn't continue. It was the strangest feeling ever. I would've thought I was having a heart attack if I wasn't positive it was just a cramp. OUCH!)

Roman chair: 3 X 10

Cable crunch: 50lbs for 5 reps/ 40lbs for 10 reps X 2 sets

Cardio: 30 minutes on elliptical - tension at 8 incline at 10 (it's not really called incline, it's cross-something-or-other but I can't ever remember the word. Anyway, I'm actually getting used to this machine and don't hate it quite as much. It can be a pretty tough workout if you want it to be! Even at the easiest setting I can imagine it to be a better leg workout than, say, walking.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 36

Back at it today after my one rest day yesterday. Worked my back and did cardio.

Wide grip pull ups: 10 X 3 (assisted set at 10)

Bent over BB row: 65lbs - 8/6/6 reps and 55lbs - 6 reps - I don't know if this is the true weight because I don't know what the bar weighs. Candice said 45lbs but it didn't seem that heavy so I just don't know.
Seated cable row: 50lbs - 8/6/6 reps and 40lbs - 6 reps
End superset

Wide grip lat pull down: 10 reps at 50lbs X 3 and 10 reps at 30lbs

One arm DB row: 10 reps at 25lb/ 8 reps at 30lbs X 2

Hammer strength lat pull: 10 reps at 65lbs X 3

Back extensions: 10 reps body weight and 10 reps with 10lb plate X 2

Cardio: 30 minutes on elliptical, tension 8, incline 10


Yes, I actually stayed on the elliptical the entire 30 minutes! Surprised even myself. I hate that thing. It's so much easier just to run. But I want to broaden my horizons, so there you go.

For breakfast I drank a home made veggie concoction. I used kale, spinach, tomato, cucumber and a carrot. Then, on my way to the gym I ate a muesli bar (196 cal) for energy. After my workout I had my regular protein drink (120 cal) and 2 home made protein bars (116 cal) (cinnamon swirl). Lunch was 5 home made turkey meatballs (170 cal), 3 kavli crispbreads (50cal) with 1 laughing cow wedge (35cal).

For pm snack I intend on having another veggie blend with a can of tuna and either sprouted grain bread or some oatmeal and for dinner I am going to make an omelet while the rest of the family gets ring sausage, cheesy rice and broccoli.

I was hoping to try some new recipes today but I see that the day is flying by already and I need to get to the store. So I better get off this thing!

Set your motivation level at 10 and have a super Monday!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Ok, so I downloaded a couple of FREE reports today that I think you might find helpful in your quest to eat better. "Stop Cravings Fast" & "20 Healthy Raw Snacks".

You can find them yourself here:

The author is a nutrition expert and a national champion bodybuilder.

Among the very interesting information in her reports were:
1) fresh vegetable juice acts as an appetite suppressant & craving killer.
2) fresh vegetable juice stabilizes blood sugar & satisfies the sweet tooth
3) you can be free from food cravings in a matter of days
4) she has recipes for delicious sounding treats so you can have a splurge now and then without feeling guilty about eating something processed or sugar heavy.

I know I am definitely testing some recipes out tomorrow! And I'm getting back into juicing tomorrow too. Was the only way I was able to get all my veggies in, so I need to start up again!!

The 20 recipes she shares for free is just a taste. She also has a book with 100 recipes for sale.

Day 35

Food should come from the kitchen, not the chemist. Do you know what was in the food you ate today? Erase all doubt and eat whole foods most of the time. You know the saying "abs are made in the kitchen"? There is definitely truth in that.

Yesterday was legs day. My first Saturday gym experienced. I got up and went right away to try and beat the crowd. It wasn't any busier than usual, so I was happy about that. I was also happy that I had no cardio scheduled.

Here's what I did:

Seated leg curl: 10 @ 40lbs X 3 sets

Leg extensions: 10 @ 90lbs X 2 sets, then down to 7 reps, and 4 reps, and finally 8 @ 50lbs

walking lunges: 20 @ 15lb dbs X 3 sets
abductor machine: 10 @ 70lbs & 10 @ 60lbs X 3 sets
End Superset

lying leg curls: 15 @ 35lbs X 3 sets
adductor machine: 15 @ 70lbs X 3 sets
End Superset

Stiff leg deadlift: put 50lbs on the bar, did 10. Moved up to 70lbs on the bar, did 10 for 2 sets.

Single leg BB squat: warm up 10 reps with 50lbs on both legs. 10 @ 20lbs on the bar for 2 sets. Then 10 at 30lbs on the bar. They were really hard on one leg with my free leg just bent behind me. However, when I crossed my free leg over the thigh of my standing leg, it was much easier to get really low. Not sure if that is proper form or not, but I could still feel muscles working so I can't imagine it being all bad. I will have to Bing it.

Leg press: started at 90lbs for 10 reps. Thought, what the heck, I know my legs should be able to push way more than that. So I took it to 110lbs for 8 reps. Then I took it to 130lbs for 8 reps. And finally, I challenged myself further and put 150lbs on the machine and pushed out 6 reps! Woot! Just goes to show that your mind is your biggest limitation.

Seated calf raises: 10 @ 70lbs, 10 @ 55lbs, 10 @ 70lbs, 5 @ 55lbs, 5 @ 40lbs

Standing calf raises: 10 @ 12.5lbs X 3 sets


I made turkey meatballs, steamed broccoli, and sliced tomatoes last night for myself while my family ate meatballs from ground beef, mashed potatoes and corn. Sometimes it is a pain that my family won't eat the same food as me. It's not every night that I feel like making two different dinners. But, I now have lots of leftover turkey meatballs for lunch this week. I also want to boil another whole chicken. I loved the convenience of having chicken meat in the fridge to eat whenever I was hungry for something. Like I said, cold chicken with a little salt hits the spot for me.

After I got the dinner dishes cleaned up, we all headed to the family room to watch a movie together. We chose Elf to get us in the holiday spirit. It was hard watching the movie and not having popcorn with the others. And my urge for something in the evening has been overwhelming this past week. I have been eating carbs when I shouldn't be (after my pm snack) and I've been eating past 7pm. Sometimes because I am really truly hungry and other times because I just feel the need to munch. But as long as it isn't on potato chips, I can live with myself.

I had a homemade protein bar last night. And the night before that I had some Wasa flatbread and low cal cheese. Looking back, I probably won't have much for results tomorrow because of my evening munchies. But this week, I am going to try to find some renewed willpower and just not eat after dinner. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

To the best online friend I'll ever have

This post is for my sweet friend, Amanda.

I know I've never met you, but I feel like we've been friends forever. We seem to go through the same struggles, know exactly how the other is feeling, and in all honestly, it's nice to have someone to talk to who has the same goals.

Don't don't DON'T give up!! I know exactly what you are going through. The mental anguish can be harder than the actual lifestyle itself! You end up questioning your goals. Why are they so important? You just want to feel like every other normal person around you, having fun with friends, living it up, eating great food, drinking great wine, having lots of laughs. Sometimes, I feel like I am missing out on that too. But I know that I did plenty enough partying in my 20's. That's part of the reason I got into the mess I am in (flabby, jiggly thighs).

Sometimes people will ask me to give them a diet plan, tell them what to do so they can have a better body. But when I tell them, they seem disappointed to find out that it's actually really hard. No one is very willing to give up happy hour and white bread. But ultimately, if you want the body, those changes simply have to be made. And a lot of times, they aren't ready to give that up yet. And that's fine. I certainly don't want to tell anyone that need to give up all that makes them happy. Simply to weigh the pros and cons for themselves. How bad do you want it? If you don't want to give up those things, maybe you don't really want the body that bad.

Amanda, it sounds like people around you love you for who you are and think you look damn hot already. You are very fortunate to have that. You have a husband who thinks you are perfect as is. Mine is like that too. He's just the sweetest to me. But friends and family don't understand us because they don't have the passion for it that we do. They don't have that fire burning deep within us that drives us forward, that helps us dig deep into our inner will and find the strength to keep pushing.

Sometimes I look at pictures of figure competitors and think, "I want that SO BAD!" and some days I think I'll never get there. I think that the people who are in that kind of shape must have been exercising all their life and never really had to play catch up like I am. But I know that isn't true. Through, I have come to know other woman who have started out in much worse shape than I did and now have a body that I would do anything for. This is my inspiration. This is my proof that it IS possible. Those girls aren't any different than us. They got there through determination, hard work, and will power. They faced the same struggles as us. They were tempted by food. They had ups and downs. But they wanted it really bad. And they went for it with brut force.

It will take a while, yes. But the general consensus seems to say that 6 to 8 months is what you need for a total change. When you think about it, that amount of time really flies by. Sure it seems like a long time in terms of eating totally clean, giving up alcohol, and working out hard core 6 days a week. But it really isn't. What does seem like a long time is all the years and years of hard work I've put in and not really gotten the results I want. And it's because I've only made half-assed attempts at feeding myself properly. That has GOT to be the missing link. Because I've exercised myself thinner than most 36 year old women with 3 children, but I've not yet achieved the hard body I desire. And I truly believe that has everything to do with how often I allowed myself to "cheat" on my diet. There just isn't another explanation. Because I've put in the work training. I really have.

Eat right is a PAIN in the ASS!!! I love food. If I wasn't so obsessed with having the best body possible, I would probably be baking or cooking for a living. I love watching Food Network and reading Food & Wine magazine. But sometimes it sucks when I can't truly appreciate my passion as a foodie because my passion for having a killer body is much stronger.

We (you and I) could just let it go. We could coast on the way we look now and the exercise we do now, for probably a really long time, and still look great in clothes. But I know for a fact that neither one of us would be truly happy. I know because I've tried. I gave myself a complete break from clean eating for a while. I threw caution to the wind and I ate whatever the hell I wanted with the rest of my family. It seemed nice in the beginning but it didn't take long before I noticed that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I started to feel miserable. Tired. Lazy. And I was going through mental anguish the same as when I was eating clean, just in a different way. Instead of longing for the taste of french fries, I was longing to feel lean and fit again. I wasn't happy feeling bloated in my skinny jeans. I wasn't happy walking around in my loose pj bottoms because they were more comfortable. I stopped and thought, "What the hell am I doing? This isn't me. This isn't making me happy". Sure the food tasted good. But 20 minutes of bliss 3 times a day was NOT enough. I want the feeling of bliss 24/7 that having a kick ass body will give me.

We live in an area of the world where it's only swim suit season 3 months out of the year. And of those 3 months, I'm not at the lake or swimming pool even all that much. But maybe that is because it's so hard for me to wear a bikini in public. I think if I looked better, I would probably be there more. This will make me question why on earth is it so important. I still don't really have a definite answer to that question. I might never know. But the fact is, it IS important to me, for whatever reason. So important that I will never give up. And that right there is the way I am going to make it a reality. I will NEVER give up.

Sometimes I will read cooking blogs where these plump happy go lucky women are feeding their families incredible tasting comfort foods day in and day out and I think, "Gosh, they really have it made. They seem so happy and content". But that's them, not me. I know that I would never feel truly content that way.

I feel that I am already in really great shape compared to my peers. A lot of people just don't make fitness a priority and by their 30's, that starts to show on their bodies. They get tired and sluggish and their body follows suit. Our metabolisms slow down as we age and if we don't do something to counteract it, we will inevitably gain weight. It is almost like a high when people notice the shape I am in and compliment me for it or ask me to help them achieve a weight loss goal. Here I am, no degree in fitness or nutrition whatsoever, and yet, I am able to help people through my own trial and error. It really is a satisfaction like I've never known.

You asked about my pictures and if the difference came about since I've been following Jamie's fit trainer and the honest answer is, I don't know. Because I didn't take before and after pictures the day before I started. The picture from May was the most recent one I had of my rear end. I know that I didn't lose anything over the summer months and all of a sudden, when I started phase 1 of the fit trainer, my jeans got looser and my weight went down to 109 (from 111). It was probably the combination of eating totally clean and lifting weights again. Remember, I hadn't lifted weights for months because I was on an intense cardio kick, thinking that might spur some fat loss. So maybe it was the change up I needed to get past the plateau.

I would say that if you are stuck in a rut, and you aren't doing the fit trainer exactly as it is laid out, you should give it a try. Start in phase 1. I had a hard time with not doing a lick of cardio in the first month but I followed the rules diligently because Jamie says, IT WILL WORK. She said it is the exactly plan she used herself. And she also mentions in one of the videos that I watched, it takes a good 6-8 months to see substantial results. Another blogger I follow, says it took her a good 6 months of eating clean and weight training to transform her body. So it does take time. I was guilty of wanting quick fixes in the past. I was drawn to programs that promised quick results but I could never stick to them. Not once. For some reason, I have been able to stick to this. I don't know if it was because the first month felt so easy and I still got some movement on the tape measure or if it was because I really truly like weight lifting over all other methods of training. But whatever the reason, for me, I like this plan. I don't feel bored because she changes up the exercises and routines every week. And I trust her. This isn't a plan that I've had to pay for so I know she isn't in it to sell you a quick easy fix. Plus, if you haven't made her homemade protein bars yet, you should! They have REALLY helped me stick to clean eating and getting enough protein in. They taste like cake! It's awesome.

I hope that helps. Even if just a little. Because I hate to hear that you are struggling and getting tugged in two different directions. It's hard to give up certain joys and pleasures when we have spent our whole lives being programed into thinking they ARE pleasures. All good times seem to be centered around naughty food: parties, holidays, weekends, etc. Imagine how different we would be right now if we were served raw broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers on birthdays instead of cake! We just need to rewire ourselves into not associating bad food with a good time. NOT an easy task. But a necessary one if we are to succeed.

Don't give up! I need you =) But, you know, if you need a break, give yourself a good week or two where you don't give two hoots about what you are eating and see if that is what you need to get yourself back into the game. You'll have rested your mind and will. But after your break, be ready to bring it! Give it 110%, set a goal for just a week. When you've gone a week eating clean, set a new goal for 2 weeks. Soon, you won't even need to set food goals anymore. I know it's hard but I know you can do it. You've got the same drive and determination that it takes to get there. You want it just as bad as I do. We can do this!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 33 - before and after photos

I will share my workout as usual but first....picture time.

If you are not a believer of what weight training can do for your body yet, this might be a little inspiration for you.



I honestly don't know why the pictures won't just go side by side and be happy but whatever...

That "before" picture was taken in May 2011. I don't think I have a more recent picture to use since my backside is probably the least photographed area of my body...haha. Understandably, too. Look at the saddlebags! Can you see NOW why I wanted desperately to loose fat, even though I was practically skin and bones the way it was??!!??!! The fat was there! That picture is proof. Yuck! Saggy butt. No tone or definition whatsoever. Do you see why cardio alone is not the answer? Maybe in the right kind of jeans you'll look good, but at the beach? Not so much.

The picture on the right is recent, taken yesterday. While it is MUCH better in that my saddlebags have gone down quite a bit and my butt seems to be more lifted, I still have a LONG way to go to achieve that tight, defined muscular look I crave. I still have cellulite that clings on for dear life but once I shed the fat off that thigh area, I am positive I will finally be rid of it.

Being able to post a before and after shot of my butt is a MAJOR milestone for me. The mere fact that I have proof of improvement is a big time motivator. And I am SO EXCITED to show my end result in May.

Cardio, cardio, cardio is NOT the answer. Sure, I see plenty of skinny girls on the treadmill at the gym. But they jiggle all over and have zero definition. No tone in their arms whatsoever. I don't mean to sound judgemental. Because they are busting their asses day after day to stay fit instead of doing nothing. But I am trying to shed some light for those of you who want the same thing I want. A DEFINED body. It isn't enough for me to be "skinny" anymore.

Here's another thing cardio won't give you....


Yeah, I'm building it! And it's just going to get better and better. I dislike flat pancake butts. But if you are a cardio junkie, that's what you'll end up with. Unless you start squatting, baby! Lift it!

Here's another couple of pictures I want to show you. These are spaced out over about 5 years, but still, you can see what my arms looked like before I ever lifted a dumbbell and after weight training.

after my love affair with weights
before weight training

My mom would be one of those people who prefers my look on the left. She would say I look healthy and beautiful. But I was not happy with myself. I am much more confident and I feel so much better now than I did back then.

Today's workout went like this:

Smith machine overhead press: 1 warm up set, plus 3 sets of 10. I used 40lbs.

Upright DB rows: 3 sets of 10. I used 12lb dbs. I probably could have used 15's...not sure what I was thinking.
Standing DB military press: 3 sets of 10. I used 12lb dbs. This was actually tough supersetted.
End superset

Incline bench front delt raise: 3 sets of 10 light weight. I used 5lb dbs.

Cable seated lat raise: 3 sets of 10. I used 15lbs each cable. Last set was a drop set. I used 10lbs.

Lat raise: 3 sets of 10. I used 8lb dbs. I went up to 10lbs on the second set but it was a real struggle to get them done with good form so I went back down to 8lbs on the last set. Did an extra drop set with 5lb dbs for 12 reps.

Rear delt raise: 3 sets of 10. I used 10lb dbs. Last set was a drop set. I used 8lbs and did 12 reps.

Cardio: 30 minutes on the treadmill at 6 mph.


The gym was really quiet today. I love that. I also love that on most days, I see the same people working out when I do. It makes me feel safe or secure somehow, if that makes any sense.

Things I need to improve on are:
1) Weeks 5-8 I'm supposed to be cutting back on carbs. Which means, tapering starchy carbs and replacing them with fibrous carbs like broccoli for my evening meal. This is HARD because I am so hungry. Probably due to adding cardio now.
2) I need to add more veggies in general. I've been slacking at that.

One thing I have discovered that I love: cold chicken with a tish of salt

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 32

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

At the gym today, I felt pretty satisfied with myself. I had arms/abs/cardio on the schedule. After my bicep and tricep exercises, my arms looked huge! They really must have had a lot of blood flowing through them. I wanted to take my phone out and snap a photo but I would have felt super stupid.

BB curl - I don't know how to gauge my poundage on this one because I don't know how much the bar weighed. It wasn't as much as the 45lb bars but it was heavier than the EZ bar. I added 10lbs and curled for 10 reps. Then I added 15lbs and curled for 6 reps. Went back down to adding 10lbs and curled for 10.

Overhead cable curl - 30lbs each arm, 10 reps X 3 sets - one additional set of 6 reps at 35lbs
Cable hammer curl - 40lbs for 10 reps, 35lbs for 10 reps and 2 sets, 40lbs for 6 reps

Alt. hammer curl - 15lbs 10 reps each arm X 3 sets. Really proud of this one. Never gotten 3 sets of 10 with 15lb dumbbells.

Bench dips - 3 sets of 15 reps - up from last week =)

Skull crushers - 10lb each arm, 8 reps X 3 sets (arms really shaky here)

Seated tricep ext - 15lb, 10 reps for 2 sets, 10 reps at 20lbs - this is the first time I've been able to do 20lbs without pain in my elbow.

Triceps push down with rope attachment - 8 reps at 15lbs for 3 sets (seemed like such a light weight but my tris were done)

Air bike - 3 X 25

Hanging leg raises - 3 X 10

Jackknife was too hard for me, not sure if I was doing it right so I did the ball pass instead.

And then treadmill for 30 minutes at 6mph.

My buns are feeling yesterday's workout. I LOVE that! And my calves aren't very sore this week so I'm happy.

*Thanks for the helpful comment, Amanda. I will have to try that after phase 3. I'll be looking for a new routine and since I think phase 3 is more about high reps with lower weight, it will be a good change of pace afterwards.*

I bought 10 bags of candy for Halloween this year. And the girls really raked in the swag trick-or-treating. Halloween is over, there is still tons of candy laying around. I haven't had a single piece. If I happen to look at the bowl as I walk past it, I don't even feel tempted by it. That is the difference a month makes. A month without sugar. A month without fried food. A month without processed food. A month of clean whole foods. I am proud of it. I am not looking back.

Does that mean I'm never going to eat pizza or french fries or chocolate cake again? Hell no. I know that eventually I will. But while I'm training over the remaining 7 months, I don't have any intention of doing so. Yes, over Thanksgiving. Yes, over Christmas. No excuses.

I used to think there was no way I could do it. I can't eat like a bodybuilder. There was no way, in my mind, I could resist temptation. Now, I think I can I know I can do it. The difference is what I choose to believe. "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." ~ one of my favorite quotes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 31

Jamie Eason - my inspiration

I know that I am doing good things. I am eating properly and I am working out every scheduled day - following Jamie Eason's 12 week fit trainer on I have been patient and diligent through phase 1 and now am on to phase 2. When I look in the mirror, I don't see any change happening yet. It's only been 31 days, so I am trying very very hard to practice this new thing I learned called patience.

Still, sometimes I can't help but let the self doubt creep in. When I'm standing in the squat rack, under the same amount of weight as last week, I start to wonder if I'm ever going to progress, get stronger, lift more. This is about the time that having a trainer by my side, yelling at me to give it one more rep, telling me to go lower, don't stop, feel the burn and love it....would be helpful. I definitely think I'm pushing myself harder at the gym, but maybe not as hard as I would with someone to make me do it. Next time, come hell or high water, I am adding 10 more pounds to that damn bar!

Today was legs day so no cardio (yay!)

Leg extensions: 2 warm up sets - 30 reps @ 40lbs each set (burn!)

Wide stance squat: 2 lighter sets - 15 reps @ 50lbs each set, then 2 heavier sets to failure: 11 reps @ 70lbs and 10 reps @ 70lbs

Leg press: 8 reps @ 90lbs for 4 sets

Walking DB lunges: 2-20lb dbs 20 reps for 3 sets

DB step ups: using 10lb dbs - 10 reps for 3 sets

Plie DB squat: 15 reps @ 20lbs, 15 reps @ 25lbs, 15 reps @ 30lbs - I think I will start with 30lbs next time because they were pretty easy, although my legs were shaking by this time

Standing calf raises ( nemisis, we meet again): 20 @ 25lbs, 20 @ 12.5lbs, 15 @ 12.5 lbs

Seated calf raises: 20 @ 25lbs for 3 sets

Then, I added the hip abduction & adduction machines because my mom went with this morning and I was showing her how to use them. So while she did one, I did the other and then we switched. These are fun! Never used them before.

abduction: 10 reps at 50lbs for 3 sets
adduction: 10 reps at 50lbs for 3 sets


This week starts the 6 day split so I'll be working out Saturday too. Hope it isn't too busy there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 30 - chest/abs/cardio

Second day of Phase 2.

I am surprised at how long I was at the gym today. I dropped Hanna off at school at 8:30 then went straight to the gym. When I left, it was 10:30. Of course some of that time is in the locker room before and after, but still, 2 hours is a long time. It's longer now that I have to add 30 minutes of cardio to the end of my weight training. I have a feeling my weight is really going to start to drop now. It has me a bit concerned. Hopefully I can get the muscle to catch up.

I felt like I had a really great workout today. I'm starting to really get to know the equipment, where everything I need is, what is available and how to make it function for my needs. For cardio I did the elliptical for 20 minutes, then I did sprints on the treadmill for the last 10 minutes. I just couldn't take the elliptical any longer. I'm not a fan.

Strength workout as follows:
wide grip BB bench press - 8 @ 60lbs X 5 sets

push ups - 10 X 3 sets (as scheduled for 15 reps per set but the bench press must have worn me out cuz I could barely make the 10 reps.....sheesh, what has happened to me?)

cable crossover - 15lbs each side for 10 reps X 3 sets, plus 4 @ 20lbs

smith machine incline bench press - just lifted the bar (45lbs) 8/8/7 reps

side to side push ups - didn't do these because my arms were spent. will have to get them done tonight.

toe touchers - 10 X 3
crunches - 10 X 3
(was supposed to do 20 of each on each set)
end superset

roman chair - 10 X 3

cable crunch - 10 @ 90lbs/ 10 @ 100lbs / 12 @ 100lbs/ 6 @ 110lbs

30 minute cardio

There you have it. I'm a bit disappointed that I sometimes can't do all the reps scheduled for the weight I'm using but I can only do what I'm capable of. Most of these exercises I'm doing to failure on the last set (with the exception of abs), and in some cases I have to stop for a couple seconds before I can even get all 10 (incline BB press & push ups last set).

Training to failure is a skill that takes time to learn. It's totally a mental game. I need to get past the set number of reps being 8 or 10 or 12 and just keep pushing past it until I just can't lift another rep.