Saturday, December 7, 2013

XaBeat

Ever wonder what this XaBeat class that I'm always talking about is? Watch this video!

Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Leia and Kim did a fabulous job explaining some high points of the class. It's a very supportive, encouraging environment. Women empowering women and inspiring them. It's so much bigger than just a workout. And you'll never know unless you just experience it for yourself. Becoming an instructor, or inspirator, was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It just fits. I feel like I'm doing what I was meant to do. This class has literally changed my life. I've met SO many wonderful women and as a result have new friendships that I will treasure forever! Case and point, Leia is one of those women. She has been such a source of positive energy and support in my life and I thank God for letting our paths cross. Every single woman in that class has a story, a reason for being there. And they keep going because XaBeat is a release. It's an escape. We are not only doing something for our physical health, but our mental health as well. And I'm PROUD to be a part of this "new craze" ;)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

here was my day...



And for my workout: 50 minute walk around the track at the gym, 30 minute personal training (weights)
Extra Activity: snow blow and shovel driveway for 1 hour 15 minutes

BOOM!

December off to a GREAT start!

I've joined a group. It's a small group of women, who want to get healthier and more fit called "Tis the season to get ripped!". Basically it's a 30 day challenge through the month of December (yes, through Christmas) to eat clean, ditch the processed junk and workout more.

To succeed at a fitness goal you need:
*motivation
*accountability
*support
*determination
*consistency
...and I'm sure you could think of a few more, but these are what sticks out in my mind.

All these are a big deal to me. And through this group, I get the SUPPORT that I've never, ever gotten before. In the past, I've just been criticized and beaten down for my goals. Not here! I've never felt such real honest support and love from women, most of whom I've never met!

I now have the ACCOUNTABILITY that I so need. We have to take pictures of our meals and post a photo grid of the day describing what we ate and what we did for exercise. I have to say that already this has helped me immensely. Knowing that others are going to see what I ate has really pushed me to eat better.

I have been lacking in the MOTIVATION department for quite a long while now, but just hearing these women talk about their goals and how bad they want it, and seeing the workouts and healthy food that they've been eating and how hard they are working toward a goal that really means something to them, is so very motivating to me! I've always felt that it isn't really the fittest people that motivate me. Of course all the pro fitness models and competitors out there motivate me, but it's the people who struggle, the people that actually have weight to lose and work hard to do it that really fire me up.

CONSISTENCY. I think this one goes hand in hand with accountability. Because I have to post my workouts, I need to be consistent. Once I get my Fitbit Force, I'll be able to track my activity much easier than I have in the past. It will track my activity and calories burned, then automatically sync to my computer. I'll be able to keep track with ease! I've ordered it so I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival!!

I've definitely got the DETERMINATION. If not, I would have given up long ago. That's one thing I've got going for me.

But so far, this group has been just what I needed. Very helpful. The woman who put it together is a BeachBody coach and is a very good motivator. I'm thinking that down the road, (if I'm ever not crazy busy) I would like to sign up to be a coach too. Right now, I'm just too busy and adding one more thing to my plate wouldn't be smart. However, it's never very far from my mind. See, I've always known that the fitness industry was my passion. It's no surprise how I've gravitated to all things related to health and fitness. I am still very passionate about my photography business as well, but it's not something that keeps me active.


So here is an example of a photo grid like the ones we must post. Today, I had the most FABULOUS kale and cabbage salad! Before, I never got excited about salad, but this was incredible. The one tip that really helped me was to chop up a bunch of kale and red cabbage and put it in a plastic container in the fridge so that it's always ready to go. I just throw a bunch on a plate, add in some cucumber, tomatoes, a little feta cheese and avocado and done! Then I make my famous home made healthy ranch to dunk it in. And some organic quinoa flakes made into a hot cereal. YUM!!!!! Best lunch I've had in a looooooong time!!

And kale is pretty much the best food you can put into your body. A SUPER super food! So I'm going to have more with my salmon tonight! I LOVE love love love love getting excited about eating healthy again. So happy! It's so nice to have that passion back, that energy, that spark!


True that!!


Monday, November 25, 2013

girls who lift? HOT!

http://www.xplosivegrowth.com/2012/09/20/girls-get-your-guns-why-women-should-lift-weights/

Read from the link above about why us women should lift weights.


We all know that any exercise is better than no exercise. Do yourself a favor and just do something! Ok, so you've started where pretty much everyone starts.....the cardio machines. But now that you've got some training under your belt, and you have probably shed some weight, you are going to want to start doing something that actually morphs you into that super fit, super hot body you're after - it's time to bring out the iron! If you want strong defined arms, a great butt and a hot pair of legs, cardio alone won't get you there. You need to lift to change the shape of your body. But be prepared to work HARD. The reason these ladies look as good as they do is because they train harder than you.


Lifting weights and still not changing? Check your diet! It's true, if you lift weights consistently, you can pretty much eat whatever you want (at least for me that is the case), but if you are really serious about making some significant changes to your body composition, diet has to tighten up. A lot.


Girls that lift are HOT. Plain and simple. But you knew this already, didn't you ;)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flu shots

Today is my first day of personal training. It would have been Monday but I was home with a sick little girl. She is home again today but thankfully Gram is able to stay home with her so I didn't need to miss work or training. I felt bad leaving her this morning though. She cried. You know how when you are sick, no one is quite like mom? I remember feeling that way, and still do actually. Something special in a mother's unconditional love for her child.

I'm really excited to get into serious weight lifting again. I'm done with boot camp (thank heavens). I can't wait to build up my shoulders again. They aren't nearly as nice as they once were. Although when I'm teaching, I can see how muscular my arms still are, and I get compliments all the time on them, so it could really be a lot worse. You can certainly tell who just "works out" and who lifts weights ;)

I want you to read an article. Opinions are encouraged. It's about the flu shot. Some people are absolutely certain the flu shot is necessary. I'm not one of those people. You'll never see me first in line at the clinic to get one. And this article only solidifies my beliefs even more.

http://www.healthsprout.com/johns-hopkins-scientist-slams-flu-vaccine/

This is one of those things that will always have strong opposing sides to it. We are pushed to get the flu shot because we've been told it's good, it's necessary, it works. Just like it seems that we can so easily get a prescription for EVERYTHING. You have an little ache or a pain - take a pill! There's a pill for anything that ails you. Natural remedies (including eating right and exercising), it seems, are never the first form of action. I think it all comes down to the drug companies who don't really have your best interest in mind, only their bottom line . Of COURSE they're going to tell you that you need it! There are plenty of circumstances that require medications, but generally speaking, I think we are far too hasty to get it.

Do you know, I mean really know, what's in that flu shot you are taking and giving your kids?? Read the article and find out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's enough

Remember a few weeks back, that photo of Maria King and her 3 small children that said, "What's your excuse?" that ignited a whirlwind of feedback - good and bad?

My first reaction to that photo was good for her! WOW! We need to get proof out there that through determination and hard work, we mom's aren't destined to hang up the bikini forever. Too many women use excuses not to get back into shape - it just doesn't run in the family, I don't have time, etc. And she called us on it. We don't make ourselves a priority. And we really do need to take care of ourselves if we are going to properly care for our families. How else are we going to have energy to keep up with those little ones?

I know what it takes to get back into shape after baby. She only had 35 pounds to lose. I had 60! And when it was all said and done, I lost a total of 71 pounds! I had a baby and 2 other younger children which made working out and "dieting" a bit of a juggle, but I made it happen. The one thing I didn't have was a job outside the home.

And lets be honest, that made it a hell of a lot easier.

Because if I had a job to get to, chances are the LAST thing I'd want to do after waking up multiple times during the night with a baby, would be to wake up at 4am to get my workout in. Nope, I could wait until 11:00 am if I wanted, when the baby would go down for a nap, then head downstairs and get er done! In that sense, I had it easy. So for me to preach to everyone else the "no excuses" line, would be a little bit hypocritical. I still did the work, which was not easy, I just had a bit of a time advantage.

I read a response article recently, written very well by a woman named Saralyn Ward. She was obviously on Maria's side but thought she should change the tag line. She didn't believe "What's your excuse?" was what she should have chosen. I can see her point. She said, "I understand your well-intentioned point, but the last thing any of us mommies needs is a second helping of guilt or shame."

I loved that line.

Because it's absolutely the truth. Aren't we all just a little too hard on ourselves? We women can be our own worst enemy. We pick apart our every flaw and strive for a perfection that we will never attain. We feel shame for not being our sexier pre-mommy selves and we feel guilt for not making it happen as quickly (or at all) like so-and-so did. We compare ourselves to others and that is the worst thing we can possibly do. It can destroy the motivation we really need to get ourselves moving in the right direction.

And thanks to Facebook, we are bombarded by people who must post every freaking workout they do. Every. Single. One. If it's not humorous or entertaining in any way, it's just cluttering up my news feed. Thankfully we are allowed to filter what we see and don't see in our feeds and I have taken full advantage of this feature ;)

I'm not sure if the point is to motivate people or if it's the need for validation. Either way, I think it works negatively.

I still make time to take care of my body, but I have other priorities. It's easy to make yourself #1 priority when you are home all day like I was. I definitely juggle home life with work life and my fit life now. Being a fitness instructor, I have opportunities to get workouts in that I might not have otherwise done. AND get paid for it! You workout a LOT harder when you teach too. That is a real positive for me. However, when it comes to the workouts that I feel really "count" - for me it's weight lifting - that will tend to get put on the back burner over everything else (boo). Especially now that my babies' childhood days are slipping away faster than I'd like. But my time with them is priority now.

I would LOVE to look like Maria King. And what if I did? What if YOU did? Just let that sink in. If you had her body in all it's perfect glory, what would it change? Would it make your marriage better? Would it make your kids love you more? Would you have more friends?

When I had my best body ever, those were some of the loneliest days of my life. You tend to drive everyone around you crazy with your fitness obsession because (NEWSFLASH) not everyone is as into it as you and truth be told, just get sick of hearing about it. They may be nice about it, and would probably never tell you to shut the hell up already, but chances are, they are thinking it some days! I'm NOT saying that you shouldn't strive for greatness, or that you shouldn't go after a goal to be fit and have a healthy body. But don't put too much pressure on yourself to fit into your idea of a perfect body (or anyone else's idea for that matter). Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Strive for happiness and balance. Not perfection.

Moms, we are all doing what we can with what we have. And that is enough.




Friday, October 25, 2013

Promote what you love


A beautiful woman I know posted this on Facebook recently and I just had to steal it. It's a wonderful reminder for everyone (myself included). I thought of myself when I read this. Because I love to hate on cardio (running, in particular). But I really want to try and just build up what I love (strength training) instead. Negativity never gets us anywhere. Whether you hear it or say it or think it - it's NO GOOD! I know a ton of people who are runners, all of whom I admire, and I want to be supportive of them. I'm proud of all my friends that  put in the effort it takes to workout - no matter what that workout may be. Because it does require a level of commitment that is not always easy. Especially for people with careers and kids. We lead busy lives and finding holes in our schedules to squeeze in some time for ourselves can be challenging!

It's easy to get caught up in our own "thing" and forget that everyone has individual tastes and preferences. It doesn't matter if one is better than the other. It's not about being right or wrong. If studies came out suddenly about how it has been proven that running was better than weight lifting for A,B or C, it wouldn't matter. I would still be lifting until I couldn't lift anymore. It's about passion. Whatever ignites that passion within us, what drives us and motivates us and gets us out of bed early every morning.....THAT is what matters.

I want this blog to be a source of inspiration and motivation, not negativity. I will always promote fat loss and getting into the best shape of your life with strength training over any other form of exercise out there. But it isn't the end all be all and never will be. So I will try (really I will) to post with more helpful and positive insights into the weight lifting world, rather than name all the reasons why you should stay away from the treadmill.

There are a lot of people who can't run or lift weights for various reasons. And so they walk. Which is a GREAT way to workout, especially if you do it daily. Even if you could do other things but choose to walk instead, that's OK! We all have different goals. The goals of a walker are probably very different than the goals of a weight lifter. But the one common link is that we want good health, vitality and weight management. As some-what of a fitness professional, I need to be encouraging and supportive, no matter what platform you choose.

My mother can't run. But she can lift, and does. She goes to the gym twice a week to lift. If the tables were turned and she could run but not lift, I would be behind her 100%! I would cheer her on, despite the fact that it wouldn't be my first choice for exercise. Everyone is different. Every situation is different.

I will probably never change my mind about running. The way it affects your body good and bad. But the good part about that is, I don't have to care on a personal level. Because it's not MY body. Don't get me wrong, I care about everyone, but what you do to yourself is your own business. Being a fitness instructor and working in a gym environment daily, I have to promote all kinds of fitness, even the stuff I don't particularly enjoy.

All that being said, remember this, lift others up, even if what they do is not what you would do.




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Uffda

Oh dear Lord. I just came from boot camp a little while ago and apart from my very first class last summer, this was probably the toughest one yet. I really thought I would either pass out from exhaustion or puke. I'm SO thankful that I did neither. Guess I'm tougher than I think.

He warned me today - it was going to be cardio. Not your run of the mill cardio! We started with lines. Or suicides. I'm not sure what you call them, we just call them lines. It's on the basketball court and you run to the first line, back to start, second line, back to start, third line, back to start, all the way down, back to start (touching the floor each time). We did 3 sets - 3 times. OMFG! I know you know what these are. You did them in school. How long has it been since you've done them? Yeah. By the 3rd set, on the 3rd round, my quads were so tired I thought I might just collapse because it felt like my legs just couldn't hold me up any longer. CRAZY!

In between that we did a lot of plyometrics. Like frog hops up and down the court. It's basically a moving jump squat. Then Lemur jumps, which is basically a jump squat sideways. Burpees. And crunches. It. Was. Hell. I know plyos are killer. I used to do a lot of jump squats. They are EXCELLENT for building your fast twitch muscles - which make you stronger and faster. And I can handle intense exercise pretty well. The thing that sucks about this class is that it's an hour long, and he doesn't give us breaks. We move right from one exercise to the next. I've never pushed myself this hard. Ever. For a straight hour, to do those types of exercises, one right after another, I would never have thought it was even possible for my body to do it. But I did it. I always hear, "you are stronger than you think" and now I believe it! Next time I go to grab a set of dumbbells, I'm going to reach for 5lbs heavier than I think I can handle ;)

I am going to finish my last session of boot camp next week Tuesday and then I'm going to start personal training. I like boot camp, but there is just too much cardio work for my needs. I get enough cardio dancing every week. Time for heavy squats again! They scare the crap out of me. They are so hard. How heavy do you go??




Monday, October 7, 2013

Still Killing It!!

Day 4 - I can't believe it! Only 3 days to go of my depletion week!!

I have to admit though, yesterday was the toughest day so far. I was energetic and going strong the first part of the day but I could tell, my mood was starting to deteriorate a tad towards evening. I was hungry. And my husband decided to make Danish pastries from scratch. I had to smell them cooking and watch everyone eat them. They looked fantastic. He even asked me if I wanted a bite. Nope!

I prepared him before he started baking. I said, don't freak out, but I'm doing a no carb glycogen depletion right now so I won't be eating any fabulous pastries. However, it's only 7 days and by Thursday, it will be all over. He said, OK. And that was it. Of course he still had to try and get me to take a bite, but that's just him.

Last night, I was NOT thrilled about dinner at all. I barely ate anything because it just wasn't at all appealing to me. I couldn't wait to get up this morning and have my eggs. I love eggs. I think the real test has yet to come. I have boot camp tomorrow and I'm not sure how good I'll do after having not a single starch for fuel in 4 days. And boot camp on Thursday again. I don't get my "cheat meal" until that evening. And I have a feeling it's going to be the best meal ever!!

I do find that I really had good energy after my ground beef with peppers and onions dish. So I might have to make that again. But I'm just a beef lover in general. I'll take that over chicken any day.

It's been extremely helpful to have a supportive group of friends through this experience. One of the first things my girlfriends said to me this morning was, "How are you doing with you no carb thing?" and that they were thinking of me over the weekend, hoping I wasn't suffering too much. Which I thought was so sweet. Usually you'll get the, "Why are you doing that? It sounds so extreme. That can't be good for you." speech.

So diet yesterday was:

#1: 1 whole egg, 2 whites, sprinkle of raw cheese
#2: raw veggies (mushrooms, cucumbers, radishes) dunked in my homemade ranch - made with veganaise
#3: boiled chicken, with broccoli, celery, radishes, dressed with veganaise "ranch"
#4: 1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese flavored with pumpkin pie spice and stevia (this definitely helped with my craving for something dessert like!) and I know I'm not supposed to have any protein bars this week but I had half of a Quest bar. It only had 5 active carbs so I figured it would be alright. These are THE go to bar when you absolutely NEED to eat clean and healthy. A whopping 19 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein in the whole bar.
#5: boiled chicken and salad - very blah to me. I could never live on chicken and salad.

Are you starting to see my pattern? I've been sticking to the same stuff for breakfast and snacks. My lunch and dinner meals are usually the ones that change. Not sure what I'm making for dinner tonight. Probably my "go to" vegetable - cauliflower mash with something beefy ;)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 2 Also A Success!

Now that I have 2 days under my belt, I feel unstoppable! I survived the theater surrounded by my children eating candy. And a candy gorge-and-barf-o-rama at home (something that typically happens here on weekends).

Yesterday, I took the kids to see Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2. Before we went, we stopped at a gas station to buy our treats because I hate how they gouge you at the theater. $4 for a bottle of water? Really? It's insane. So I bought junior mints, peanut butter cups, and sour gummies. Oh, and Eden had to have pop tarts. I was sitting in the middle, doling out the junior mints and unwrapping mini peanut butter cups, without even licking my fingers afterwards. I was SUPER proud of my level of willpower. But I'm totally serious about this. Going no carb is extremely hard and I do NOT want to have to start this week over. When I've set my mind to something, there is nothing getting in my way. Plus, after today, I only have 3 full days left. And I'm celebrating on Thursday night with wine, pasta and good friends!

Of course, by habit, while at the grocery store I bought 4 bags of candy to fill the empty candy jar at home.


Incidentally, this is the same candy jar our dog ate from the time we had to take her to the animal ER. She had eaten almost the entire contents of this jar, and when they made her vomit it up, some of the candy was still whole in the wrapper. What a pig! Funny thing is, she has never seemed interested in the candy until I bought peanut butter filled Treasures. She must have REALLY liked the smell of those!

Anyway, this is THE JAR. Our infamous candy jar that is usually always stocked with Hershey's Nuggets. The toffee almond ones. These are my husband's absolute favorite. But I also like to fill it with caramel kisses,  mini snickers and various other little candy bars. This time I got 3 musketeers for my kids to try but they didn't like them so much. I used to love them as a kid. Now, I'm all about the snickers.

I haven't gotten a candy this time around, despite everyone around me constantly hoarking them down. I don't know if that's a word, but we use it all the time around here.

So, enough about my super human will power. On to yesterday's diet. 

#1: 1 whole egg, 2 whites, mushrooms cooked in organic butter, sprinkle of raw organic cheese
#2: leftover ground beef, onion, green pepper from the previous day
#3: tuna, celery, green onion, radishes, broccoli (all finely chopped) mixed with veganaise (0 carbs and tasty) with curry powder. The curry powder makes this! It's a very tasty dish.
#4: 1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
#5: sirloin steak, cauliflower mash with organic butter and raw cheese, small lettuce salad

The goal of each day is to stay at 20g of active carbs. Active carbs are total carb count minus fiber. Each vegetable that I'm allowed to eat has a certain carb amount. Like cucumbers are zero, so I can really eat all I want of those, but cauliflower is 3. I can't eat carrots, peas, corn or zucchini. I really don't care about that except for the zucchini. I love that stuff :(

So there is day two. Surprisingly, I am not starving to death or very dizzy. I read some tips online and one thing that I think has helped a lot is making sure to drink lots of water and adding a little salt to it. Apparently the dizziness is usually the lack of potassium. I'm boiling a chicken today so I can have yummy home made broth to sip on the rest of this week. Yay!

I'm really interested to see how my clothes fit by the week! My pants are already WAY looser! 

Today, I'm dancing with a friend again. We usually go about 2 hours. It's going to be about a 1200 calorie burn day again today! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Right on track

Today is the 2nd day of my depletion week. Going well! Way better than anticipated. But it's still early.

Here is what I ate yesterday:
#1: 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites
#2: 1 large cucumber with tsp olive oil
#3: 1-3oz can tuna in water with chopped celery, green onion and 1 TBSP Veganaise
#4: 3 oz portion of left over pork roast
#5: extra lean ground beef with green bell pepper and onion and a sprinkle of RAW organic sharp cheddar

Nothing eaten past 6pm. Success!

AND, I had energy to dance with a friend for nearly 2 hours. We have a time set up to practice for a couple hours 2 days a week. It's so much fun!

My dance class with the kiddos went well also. I taught them some jazz steps last night and we incorporated those moves into a routine. At the end of the class, we invited the moms in to watch and got them to join in! It was super fun! I choreographed the dance to You Spin Me Round (like a record) by none other than Alvin & The Chipmunks. It was too cute. I really do like teaching this class, although I don't think I would have the patience to teach as a career. Uff da!

My body has really gone through a lot in the past couple of weeks and there are days when I am literally just laid out. I am usually pretty good about keeping up with everything but Thursday was one of those days where I was just DONE. So I told my boot camp trainer that I was taking the day off and came home to do nothing. Except that even when I'm "doing nothing", I'm still working. Design duty on the computer still calls. Gotta keep my clients happy :) But it's relaxing and fun, so it seems almost wrong to call it work.

Ok, gotta go. Mom duty calls! I'll keep posting my diet and how it's going with the energy levels. Later!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

fluid levels affect weight

The count down: 2 days! Two more days of eating whatever I want. I opened one of my favorite bottles of wine last night to celebrate the last days of my dietary freedom. I'm scared. But it's ONLY 7 days of scary before a lifetime of good, right?!

Today, I'm shaking it with a couple of awesome girls at the gym. We are going in to use the studio for practice. It'll be fun! Then tonight I teach the kiddos at 6:30 and XaBeat at 7:30. After tonight, I only have one co-teaching class left and I will be officially certified! Hopefully I can get a class started within the next two weeks. SO excited!

I've got my material all printed out and ready to go for lesson one of my dance class tonight. Intro to ballet. Going over the 5 basic steps, some terminology, and learning how to stretch. I can't wait to meet all the little ones! Hopefully I do OK! I've never had to teach little ones before. It's kind of freaking me out, to be honest. But I signed my own daughter up so that might make it a little easier for me.

I'm a little sore in the legs and butt today from all the squats Keith made us do yesterday. It's always such a great feeling. It makes me aware of the muscles I've worked and reminds me that I'm doing something great for my body. It's also a constant reminder that right now, I'm burning more calories than the folks who don't strength train their bodies. Therefore, I can eat more (and drink more wine!) without gaining weight. However, when it's crunch time, and I want to lose extra padding, I will have to buck up and eat only very nutritious foods in the proper proportions. That's always going to be the hardest part.

Don't have a whole lot to say. My mind is swirling with the 50 million things I've got going on this week so I can't devote a lot of time into researching for a very informational post. But as far as the feeling of gaining weight once you start a new workout/diet routine, here is some information that I found:

When you start a new exercise routine or ramp up the one you're already on, your body builds new muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is denser than fat, meaning it weighs more per square inch -- so even if you lose fat, any muscle gain may increase your weight.

Most of your body is composed of water, and fluctuations in fluid levels may affect your weight even as you lose fat. When your body adapts to a new workout, you may experience a condition called delayed onset muscle soreness. This causes tenderness for several days after exercise and also results in fluid retention within your muscles. In addition, newly pumped muscles store more glycogen, a form of sugar used for fuel -- and for each gram of glycogen, muscles retain about 3 grams of water.

So there you have it! :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

get skinny without exercise

I bet that got your attention!

Don't you love those ads you see in places like the Facebook sidebar that say stuff like "Snooki is skinny! And she didn't even have to exercise!"

Uh huh....

Ok. You are either A) lying or B) promoting anorexia

Because if you are getting "skinny" without exercise, my guess is it's probably not very good for you.

But we are a lazy society and of course it's appealing to hear that we can have a great body and not have to work hard for it.

By the way, I didn't click on the ad, so I can't elaborate much beyond that. Sorry.

I'm going to try something to "reset" my metabolism but I'm a little scared to start it. It's a carb cycling program but before you start it, you need to deplete yourself for 7 days. Yikes! 7 days without ANY starches. No fruit. No bread. No beans. Even some veggies are a no-no. NO WINE!!! OMG - that right there is going to KILL me! I think part of the reason I stayed so lean all those years is because I rarely drank. Now I'm pretty much a wino!

But after the initial 7 days, you get a re-feed meal and then you start to incorporate certain foods back into your diet. I love the concept. I've known for a long time that carb cycling works well. The problem is that it doesn't allow me to shove my face into cake every day. (hehe) No, actually it's quite nice because you can always see that light at the end of the tunnel. Versus "dieting", where certain things just aren't allowed. Ever.

I'm trying to decide when the best time to start it would be. I'm thinking Friday (after wine night Thursday). That way, I can rejoice at the end of my depletion week with (what else?) a glass of wine! Although it's always been hard to do low/no carbs over the weekend. Ugh, it's just never easy, is it. However, with my husband always working, it might be easier than ever. He is typically very sensitive to my eating habits, especially when I deprive myself of certain things. The trick is not to point it out. If I sit down to dinner and whine about not getting to eat potatoes, it's blaringly obvious that I'm omitting something from my diet and it's making me miserable. On the other hand, if I just don't take a potato and eat the rest of my food without complaining about not getting potatoes like everyone else, it may just go undetected. BaBAM! I'm smart, right?

We'll see. I'm sort of pumped about getting into my new jeans. And today, I noticed that I can pull my fat pants down without unbuttoning or unzipping them. So I am definitely shrinking! It's always fun to realize that moment when you are actually making improvements. You know, it's true what they say about feeling fatter just before you get smaller. I was just complaining not two weeks ago about how I didn't understand how I could feel bigger with all the extra activity I was squeezing into my day. But something about "shifting" and blah blah blah.... I don't remember exactly, but if I come across that information again, I'll share it.

p.s. Today, boot camp was kind of fun, except he made us do push ups on the curb and now the bottom portion of my palms are on fire. Who knew curbs were so rough! I could have done way more push ups if I had a towel or something to cushion the palms of my hands! Ouch!





Monday, September 30, 2013

Motivation. Running. Weight Lifting. Cycling. Oh my!

Here's a little motivation for anyone looking to perk up their booty. It's not perfect by any means, but I was very happy with the change I saw. See, you can be skinny and still have an unattractive physique. Flat saggy butts are NOT sexy!
 
I will always have knees that turn slightly inward even when I'm standing straight. I don't like it but I can't do anything about it. So I focus on things I CAN change - like my booty!
As JNL would say, "Glutes on salute!"

 
It's pretty far out of my comfort zone to show you pics of my rear, but I just want you to see how much of an improvement you can make if you are doing the right kind of workouts. I still have a long way to go to get to where I would like to be. But I'm definitely happy with where I'm at. Of course, if I had the will power to eat properly all the time, it would help out a lot.
 
I'm proud of my butt! I worked hard to build my backside. How? Heavy squats and lunges. I used dumbbells for a few years before graduating to a barbell. And it wasn't until I started using heavier weight that I noticed a significant change in the shape of my backside. The dumbbells are still great for you in terms of lean muscle and fat loss. But to really build it up, it's going to take many months, even years of heavy lifting. At least, in my experience that was the case. I read one time that it can take up to 2 years to build a butt. However, I've seen before and afters of women who have completely changed the shape of their butt in just 4-6 months. This requires extremely hard work and dedication to both heavy lifting and strict diet.
 
If you are willing to put in the work, pull up your big girl panties and lift the weight, you WILL reap the rewards! And you will have to get used to dealing with muscle soreness. Because it's just part of the package. But it's totally worth it. Don't underestimate the power of ice. I never ever used to ice my sore or pulled muscles until recently and it's been a life saver!
 
 
Oh, and here's something else. A couple of posts ago, I posted a link about overrated exercises. Well, I think I can tell you what a very underrated exercise is.....cycling! I kid you not, if you try a cycling class, it will kick your ass! And I bet you would get some pretty nice legs as a result. My trainer is also a cycling instructor and he gave us a taste at boot camp last week. Holy shit! It was very tough! You burn and burn and burn some more. It's not for pansies! But seriously, if you want to firm up your legs and get a good cardio blast while doing it, cycling is where it's at!
 
 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

weights GOOD

I had this post ready to go a few days ago but for some odd reason, my computer isn't letting me upload images. So, after days of trying and failing, I broke out my laptop and it worked from there. Not sure what the issue is. It's weird to think I have a college degree in computer programming, yet everything else about computers seems to be Greek to me. It frustrates the crap out of me.

Anyway, the first link is quite interesting. For me, most of the exercises listed here are not a surprise, although there was one that made me say "really?". Can you guess which one?

A list of the most overrated exercises. An interesting read.

http://www.liftingrevolution.com/the-8-most-overrated-gym-exercises-for-women/

And another interesting read for anyone running and running and running and not losing the weight like they thought they would.

http://optimalmetabolictraining.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/marathon-training-making-you-fat/

This is not to dis those who like to run. I could care less what you like to do for fun. I like drinking wine for fun. But that's just me. It's the folks that are running to try and lose fat that I'm trying to reach here. Because it's not the answer, and I've been preaching this for years.

I just had a conversation with my boss the other day, who also happens to be a very great personal trainer. He was asking me how boot camp was going and I was talking to him a little about my weight lifting history. He remembers me in the gym every morning, busting it out. He said, "you were pretty intense". Yep. I was. And I had a kick ass metabolism as a result. I could eat anything I wanted and not gain weight. In fact, when I tried to gain weight, I couldn't because I burned through everything so quickly.

Anyway, to answer his question about boot camp, I said it was good but I hated the running portion. It's not much, but I don't like to do it, so I dread it when I know it's coming. I confessed that I wasn't much of a cardio lover. He said he wasn't either. And in fact, even when he is the most cut, he does no cardio at all. He also said that it amazed him how many people climb onto those machines day after day and never EVER change. Not doing anything to ignite their fat burning furnace. People still believe that the treadmill is where it's at.

I think that the belief women get "bulky" when they lift weights is probably one of those myths that in this day and age, has finally been put to rest. At least I hope it is! Because trust me ladies, if lifting weights made you big, I'd look like freakin' Arnold by now! It's NOT that easy. You have to work DAMN hard to gain muscle. I'm not talking about squatting with little 10lb dumbbells (although that would definitely benefit you more than running would - in terms of physique improvement). But it simply WILL NOT make you big.

To put it plain and simple, if you are just looking to become a smaller version of you, keeping your current proportions intact, even just dieting alone will get you there. Temporarily. And I say that because your metabolism will be slower and you will be smaller and not needing as many calories anymore so if you go off you diet, you'll balloon. Dieting alone is not the answer. Being "smaller" isn't good enough. You have to change your physique. And the only way to do that is to add muscle and get your metabolism working for you, not against you. How you do this, is lifting weights. Not cardio.

Ok, off my soap box now. Here are a couple of pictures that made me smile today:




Monday, September 23, 2013

I have met a goal!

Well, here we go. The start of another week. Last week was just freakin' crazy, yo! I'm talking, flat out, cra-shizzle. I don't know what that means, but I suspect it conveys my message very clearly. I was busy with work-work, home-work (there is a distinction), work outs, teaching XaBeat classes, errands and picking Hanna up from Tech every day. I wouldn't even mention that last one except for that it's at the WORST time possible for our family - 6pm. Why do activities always have to mess with dinner?? It's the one small portion of our day when we can sit down together as a family and talk without distractions. It irritates me like nothing else when school activities mess with my family time. Anyway, by Friday I was SO ready for the weekend. I had a quiet calm weekend and it was great. Makes it even harder to face Monday though.

I mention being torn a lot on this blog, and have done so since I was barely 110lbs trying to get "fitter". I would go back and forth between my love of eating whatever the hell I wanted and having a tight lean body. Some days one was more important than the other, and vice versa. It's the same now, only I'm 10lbs heavier. Maybe even 15lb - who knows. I try not to step on the scale anymore. All I know is, my "fat pants" that I bought when my regular pants were starting to get snug, seem tight now. OMG! What the hell is happening to me??!! Am I in the final debilitating stages of womanhood? HAHA....if you watch Futurama, you might recognize that line. Maybe it's all the sodium. Maybe it's all in my head.

I'm not trying to diet. I deprive myself of nothing. If I want cookies, I'll eat cookies. Whereas before, I would limit myself and deprive myself. Was I happy with myself? Yes and no. Mostly I wasn't because I always felt like I still needed to improve this or that about my body and I felt like I missed out on living like everyone else. But I did enjoy being small, in a way. There was very much a sense of accomplishment in that. I worked hard for it! And it felt so good to feel pants I couldn't even get up over my hips at one time, slide on with ease and feel loose! That part was very satisfying. It was my high.

These days, I'm trying hard not to freak out about my bigger body. It's a constant battle. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't need to fit into size 2 jeans anymore to feel self worth. I'm more than a jean size. Everyone on the planet thought I was too thin before and now I look better. I look healthy. I am normal. Still thin, just not unhealthy thin. I've done what I wanted to do (which was gain weight) and I knew way back when I started it was going to be a mental struggle when it finally happened. It didn't happen over night either. I tried for a long time to gain weight to no avail. My metabolism was so high. I literally pigged out for months before the scale moved. And not really even until I cut the exercise WAY down did I notice a change. The one thing I worry about now is how much damage I did to my metabolism. I mean, a little weight gain on my body is fine, but I don't want it to keep going.

That's why I'm trying to do a lot of metabolic density training. I'm not necessarily eating in a way that would fine tune my metabolism but one day, when I'm ready, that will come. I'm having far too much fun enjoying life. I have a glass of wine almost every night. I go out for pasta and wine with my girlfriend every week. Sometimes we go out for wine and appetizers too. Like I said, I eat dessert when I want it. I glop gravy on my mashed potatoes. And now I've got more padding on my hips and a soft round belly. But probably what shocked me the most is how comfortable I've gotten in my own skin.

I'm taking a risk with a tmi situation coming up, so be forewarned. But when my husband and I are together, I don't try and suck in my stomach like I used to back when I didn't even need to suck it in. I don't push his hand away when he caresses my thighs or backside. I feel womanly and beautiful. There are still times when I get frustrated and think "what have I done to myself?!" because I want to wear something in my closet that is now too tight. And I think of all the years of hard work - GONE! Almost like it was all for nothing. That part is sad. But I try to think of how much better things have gotten and how I've really grown to love and accept myself. It's wasn't easy.

I still talk about fitness and will probably try to shave off a few pounds now and then. It's just how I am. But I want to keep my attitude about it all pretty chill. There is no finish line and I am not in competition with anyone or anything. I want to keep loving life the way I have been. Great food, great friends, great times. And my home life has been wonderful on top of it all. Things are about as good as it gets, and I'm happy. Goal accomplished!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home made

Home made food is always more work to prepare. You have to find recipes and make them from scratch. But you will definitely know what you are eating and can adjust it to your needs.

I am always looking for new tasty recipes. I get some really great stuff via email subscriptions and here is one I'd like to try. From the author of Wheat Belly...

Trail Mix Bars

These bars have many of the wonderful nuts, seeds, and crunch of a trail mix–but without the sugar load. This poses only a modest carbohydrate exposure, as the dates provide 4 grams sugar per date. However, if you are a marathon runner, triathlete, or other long-duration exerciser and would like to use these bars as your during-exercise carbohydrate source, they are easily modified to increase carbohydrate content to suit your needs. You can add more 2-3 more dates, for instance, or more raisins or apricots, ground in your food chopper or food processor in the first step. If you are not a long-duration athlete, leave these bars as is!

Ingredients for every 2 bars (e.g., multiply ingredients by 4 to obtain 8 bars):

 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
1-2 whole pitted dates
1 tablespoon walnut fragments
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sweetener equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar or sweeten to taste
1 tablespoon coconut milk (full thickness), room temperature
1/2 tablespoon almond butter, room temperature

 Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Combine coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dates and grind in food chopper or food processor until consistency of coarse coffee grounds. Pour into bowl.

Add walnut fragments, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and sweetener and mix thoroughly. Taste batter to ensure degree of sweetness. Stir in coconut milk and almond butter by hand. (If almond butter is too thick, microwave prior to adding to mix in 15 second increments to obtain a liquid consistency.)

On parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, divide dough into two parts (or into as many bars as you desire). Shape into bar shape with the flat edge of a butter knife.

 Bake for 60 minutes. Remove and cool.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 Exercises you should NEVER do to lose weight

1) crunches
2) long slow cardio (whether it be elliptical or treadmill, etc)
3) toning exercises (such as tricep kickbacks) There isn't enough resistance to produce results.

You would have to do 22,000 crunches to lose 1lb of body fat. And hurt your back and neck in the process.

You would have to run 50 hours to lose 1lb of weight. And not necessarily fat. In other words, you would have to run from 8am - 6pm Monday - Friday. OMFG!

And why? Article in Obesity Review explained that cardio doesn't work for 4 reasons.
1) Some people eat more. I know I do! It's because your body NEEDS the carbs to fuel that long ass workout.
2) Calorie burning at rest decreases with cardio. This explains a lot.
3) Lean tissue is often lost. You know, the stuff that actually helps you BURN fat at rest.
4) Cardio causes you to do less activity over the course of the day.

When you spend hours doing cardio, you wreck your metabolism. Mayo Clinic Proceedings Journal concluded that there are potential harmful effects from excessive endurance exercise. Apparently those long cardio workouts can cause dangerous changes in your heart and large arteries. It creates *patch myocardial fibrosis and could lead to arrhythmias. One of the lead researchers & a cardiologist at the heart institute of Saint Luke's hospital says if you want to run a marathon, do one, and cross it off your bucket list, then move onto exercise that's more ideal to producing long-term health benefits and improving your longevity. So basically, long bouts of cardio is not only horrible for fat loss, but it can cause irreversible damage to your heart. I'm sure the run happy community will just scoff at this anyway. Do what you love.

I have a dear true friend who uses an elliptical and will do it at 2 hours a crack and I literally cringe when she tells me this. I've tried to mention these things I am telling you now, but she insists that this is how she has lost weight in the past. The one problem with it is that she rarely can motivate to get on that machine for 2 hours every day like she wants to. Because she dreads it, I imagine. Seriously, who wants to be on a cardio machine for 2 hours? And how much weight has she lost in the past month that she has had the machine? I'll let you guess. It breaks my heart because I love her so.

I just went through training to become a XaBeat instructor. XaBeat is an hour long cardio class so you might think me a hypocrite. But if you haven't been to a class, you probably don't know anything about it. We use intervals and there are tons of full body, muscle defining movements like squats involved. Just yesterday, a Body Attack instructor came to class and afterwards, congratulated us on making her sweat. She said, "I don't normally sweat" and she was drenched! For me personally, I love it because I like to dance and it is so fun and high energy. Also, I love meeting all the lovely ladies that come to class. It's women motivating and inspiring other women. It's about bringing out our sensuality and confidence. (sorry, just had to do a little promoting there!)

Today, I started my second round of KBBC (Keith's Brutal Boot Camp). It was an hour spent doing intervals. A then B then A....and on and on for an hour. No breaks.

A) 2 minute run
B) 2 minute exercise (jumping jacks, push ups, squats, plank crawl, etc)

This type of training is what works for fat loss. It's called metabolic density training and it sends your metabolism sky high for days after the workout! When you start exercising correctly, you create biochemical changes in your body, that increase the number of specific enzymes which burn more fat for energy, and increase post exercise burn. Which is why I had a body composition test done today. I am going to be interested to see what the change is after 1, 2 and 3 months!

So this guy, Craig Ballantyne, is the Turbulence Training guru. He has 15 years experience and done extensive scientific tests on this stuff. His research is proven. And the reason his type of training works so well is because it's easy to do a short workout every day. You don't dread a short workout. Even if you know it will be intense. It's easy to stick to. So if you want to check it out, Bing Craig Ballantyne. Or like Turbulence Training on FB. Incidentally, I got my information today from one of his vids.

Or you can stick with what you're doing since it's working so well for you ;)

* Patch Myocardial Fibrosis - a condition that involves the impairment of the heart's muscle cells and belongs to a class of diseases collectively known as fibrosis, which denotes hardening or scarring of tissue

Friday, August 30, 2013

end of summer boot camp

Last night was the last summer session of Keith's Brutal Bootcamp. It was easy, relative to past sessions. I did a half hour of Dance Fit, left mid class to get to bootcamp. And basically it was a regular warm up with a bunch of challenges like: exercises until you simply can't do them anymore.

race around the track with ankle bands on
bicep curls with the band
push ups
plank
wall sit
etc.

And if you won the challenge, you didn't have to do burpees. I only won one challenge. The women in the group are all much stronger than me since they have been in it since spring. I can't wait to get there!

Sorry about the downer of a post yesterday. I was beyond frustrated and it's good for me to get it out into the universe. I know that some people DO care about me and my situation, so that is a comfort. Thanks. You know who you are ;)

Since I've been so depressed and stressed out this year, I feel like I'm in an endless rut and never have anything to get excited about, I decided to make an effort to think of things that will cheer me up.

Things to look forward to:
1) Long weekend - I want to go to Duluth with my kids (husband, optional)
2) XaBeat training weekend coming up September 14th & 15th. 2, 8 hour days of nonstop dancing. Should be a nice calorie burn there! I'll have to load up on some good carbs a day or two before!
3) The next two weeks off from bootcamp! Which means, I won't have to miss wine tasting night at the Cork! It's Thursday evening, same as bootcamp :(  I've been missing it!
4) Next week is a short week!
5) I'm having a pizza/bender night tonight with my kiddos (if I don't leave town)

I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel now, but it's something. Have a good one friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Because this fits my situation to a T

"The blaming partner will always tell you that their behaviour was caused by what you said or did."

Yes indeed - If I had not been so "obsessive" with fitness, my husband could probably still tell me he loved me.

There are so many things I find ridiculous about this.

First, I'd like to point out how ironic it is that someone on blood pressure medication (or is it cholesterol meds - or both) can criticize me about health status. My doctor always raved about my numbers and commended me on my efforts to stay healthy. And, I'm not on medication to keep my health in check.

Just because I'm on the small side by nature, AND happen to like being an active, fit individual, doesn't mean I've got a raging out of control problem. Certainly not any bigger of a problem than someone with...oh, say, a major sugar addiction. And anyone with half a brain knows what too much sugar on a daily basis does to you. Getting put down for being too skinny is the same as being put down for being fat. Only it's not considered taboo like it is to call out someone for being fat. You would never say to an overweight person, gee, I think you're too fat, you should eat less and workout more. So why is it ok to unleash your opinion on a skinny person. Obviously they eat like birds and over exercise, right? I mean, it's not like we are all made differently, with different DNA and genes and metabolism and stuff and junk. Oh wait, we ARE all different, aren't we!

I love those people who "care" about your health so much that they try to stuff you with cupcakes and pizza and encourage you to STOP GETTING ALL THAT EXERCISE! Because that's promoting a picture of health, isn't it. No, it actually isn't. But it is showing off a great example of hypocrisy.

I think it all boils down to two things: jealousy and control. Say what you will, but this is my opinion. Hey, you have yours, I have mine. Haters gonna hate. Love isn't supposed to be conditional. That's called control.

True Story: I have actually been told that I get all the exercise I need doing stuff like walking to my car. Yeah. Uh-huh. Let me give you a standing ovation for your brilliant work in that think tank.

The following are statements directly from Mayo Clinic doctor, Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.

"How much should the average adult exercise every day?

Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity.

Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines."

For those who can't count - that's 5 cardio sessions and 2 strength training sessions for a grand total of 7 sessions of exercise per week. A bit more than walk to your car would you say? But what does he know, he's only a doctor for the MAYO EFFING CLINIC.

Oh, and did you also get that part about some vigorous activity being acceptable? Imagine that!

I....had a dream. Once upon a time. A frivolous little unimportant goal. I wanted to compete in a figure competition. And anyone who has ever thrown around this idea themselves knows what type of training and diet habits are involved in prepping for a competition. It's very strict. But it isn't long term, either.

Maybe you think it's a stupid dream. But you are not me. Maybe I think having the world's largest bug collection is a stupid dream. But I am not a bug collector. I wouldn't understand. That's the funny thing about dreams, they can be WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT. Hence the definition of the word dream: something hoped for: something that somebody hopes, longs, or is ambitious for, usually something difficult to attain or far removed from present circumstances

hope...
ambitious...
difficult to attain...

So what do you do when someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally, continually squashes your dreams because it isn't what they want? It doesn't make them happy?

This picture is SO true for me. Notice how those closest to you are some of the first to try and stop you from reaching your goals.



And can I also get a HOLLA from all the guys who really just hate it when their girlfriends/wives take care of their bodies?

cricket...........cricket...........cricket...............

no? hmmm, go figure.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

training schedule (tentative)

I'm trying to get back into training regularly so that I don't feel so dumpy anymore, and it's almost like my common sense has gotten fogged over with the rest of what I knew how to train for health. I was trying to make a workout schedule on Sunday and a really good solid plan that I could stick to seemed to elude me. Here's what I came up with:

Sunday: HIIT
              Weight training circuit
              XaBeat

Monday: Rest

Tuesday - Boot Camp
                 XaBeat

Wednesday: HIIT
                     Weight training circuit

Thursday: XaBeat (only half hour)
                 Boot Camp

Friday: Weight training circuit

Saturday: XaBeat
                HIIT

My goal was to get both my boot camp sessions in, 3 HIIT sessions in, 3 lighter weight training sessions in, and 3-4 XaBeat classes in a week. The only thing is, I'm not sure if I'm over reaching with this schedule. Boot camp and HIIT are two major stressors to the body (which is my main concern). I love the fact that both are going to help me torch calories and get my metabolism skyrocketing again, but I'm hoping that it isn't going to effect my cortisol levels. I've already been under enormous amounts of stress this year and I'm not sure adding to it would be wise.

Also, adding a weight training circuit 3 times per week - is that wise? This isn't a super heavy sets type of workout. Just moderate weight at moderate intensity. Something that I can handle doing, and enjoy it, not dread it (like boot camp).

And XaBeat, is just fun. It's an easy way to burn an extra 2000 calories a week. It's not a stressor at all.

I think I like this schedule, it seems doable. I am hoping that my first week on this schedule is successful. If I could just get my eating under control....

I try not to beat myself up. It's a mental game. I absolutely KNOW that I need to eat, especially when I'm working out hard. I absolutely KNOW that if I try to cut back too much, I won't be doing my body any favors. Yet, I've got this mental block about it. I associate eating with gaining weight - when instead I need to be constantly reminding myself that eating healthy at the appropriate times is fueling my next workout. If I don't have fuel in the tank, I'll run out of gas. And if I don't give it 110% when I workout, I'm missing out on a bigger calorie burn. And in the end, that it what I want. Because I am NOT liking the soft belly that this past year of incredibly high emotional stress has created. People, believe me when I tell you that stress is BAD BAD BAD for your body! I totally believe in the stress hormone cortisol contributing to belly fat. I'm trying so hard on a daily basis to destress myself but I have a loooong way to go to learn the proper techniques. I could actually benefit from a little Yoga or Bodyflow. What I should do is make meditation and stretching a part of my bedtime routine.

I know that LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio would be helpful for destressing, but I'm never going to stick to a plan that involves me running for an hour most days of the week. Plus, I can count my XaBeat sessions into that category. I like to go for walks too. And that is a great way to sneak in some destressing time. My problem is I lack the motivation to get up and do it in the evening. Depression is fierce animal, but I will beat it!!

I've been reading a little bit, trying to find a good rhythm that will suit my goals. It always comes down to which type of cardio to add to my program. Weight training is always number one. No matter what I read, that always gets the award for "best exercise" because of the multiple benefits for people seeking to achieve fat loss, metabolic increase, tight body and overall good health. It's the cardio that is always split. Some think longer steady state is best, others think HIIT is best. When it comes down to it, I think just deciding which YOU like better is the key. Because a 15-20 or even 30 minute session of higher intensity intervals will always be more appealing to me, I'm more likely to get it done. It sucks - I literally have to give myself a pep talk every time - I know I'm going to get uncomfortable - but in the end, it goes by so much quicker and I know it is torching calories and raising my metabolic rate much more so than an hour of jogging. This works for ME, because I jog slow therefore I don't burn much for calories. Now if your steady state cardio is running a 6 minute mile, your still getting a good calorie burn, even if it's "steady state". It's all relative.

I try not to be too one sided about fitness. I've branched out BIG TIME since I first fell in love with weight training. I'm going to be a XaBeat instructor next month for crying out loud! If that isn't branching out, I don't know what is! But I will say that when I was in the best shape of my life (about a year and a half ago) it was because of my dedication to weight training. I did next to nothing for cardio. And that's how I liked it. If you can get into the best shape of your life doing something you love, you shouldn't do it any other way ;)


Monday, August 26, 2013

yesterday and today

Training day off today.

Yesterday - 15 minute sprints and metabolic circuit training with weights. Lots of sweat and one pulled butt muscle. Ouch!

Diet....ugh. Started out great. It always starts out great. The only bad thing was wine and cheese right before bed. Could have been worse. Oh, and a cupcake. But I stuffed myself with veggies. Spinach and kale and cabbage and brussel sprouts and broccoli slaw and cucumbers and .....LOTS of veggies. So that was good.

Tomorrow - boot camp in the afternoon and XaBeat in the evening. I am hoping I can stick the diet ALL day.

It's been hot here. REALLY hot. In fact, they closed 5 elementary schools in town through Wednesday because of it. I feel terrible for the people who have outside jobs. It must be awful. I don't even think my trainer will take us outside this week for boot camp. No need to risk getting heat stroke for a little outdoor running, especially when it can be done inside. I'm praying he has mercy on us (and brains).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Yummy Treat Idea

Craving something sweet? This is an idea

1 brown rice cake (I can only find these at Swanson Health Products, haven't seen them in the grocery store yet, only the white rice cakes)
Top that with whipped cream cheese
And on top of that, spread a little bit of Nutella

It's a good way to satisfy a sweet tooth and need for crunch!

Today, my diet has been all over the place. I'm SO HUNGRY! I think I'm hungrier when I work out hard - that's a given. And you need to eat when you workout hard. Eating (healthfully) and exercising work synergistically together.

Breakfast: egg and cheese sandwich (150 calories & 28% of daily fiber)
Snack: almonds, pine nuts, 80 cal Greek yogurt, 3 Kavli crisps (50 cal)
Lunch: Special K with unsweetened almond milk, 45 cal bread and slice sharp cheddar
Snack: brown rice cake with whipped cream cheese & Nutella
Dinner: (will be grilled salmon and fresh from the garden green beans, and maybe some wild rice)

You see that I'm still not eating properly. Not nearly enough protein or vegetables. Grrrr!

Nothing for exercise so far today. I don't know if I'll walk tonight or not. I'm still feeling lazy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Boot Camp - day 2

Cardio/endurance day. Not as bad as Tuesday's workout but still tough. I'm realizing how out of shape I have gotten! It really happened quickly. Just the little running we did was tough for me and then the challenges in between are tough, especially in the heat. But I pushed through it and so glad I did. Although during that hour there were many times I told myself I couldn't do it and probably wouldn't be back for this punishment. I guess the class started with 30 people and they dropped out like flies! Considering there were only 5 of us in the class tonight, that really shows how tough it is.

So today was some running, lots of squats, pulsating squats, sprints, push ups, sit ups, planks, step ups, shuffling and ended with some challenges. On the list for challenge options were 50 burpees (no stopping), 200 push ups, 1000 sit ups, 3 foot box jump, inch worm around the track, side step with band around the track, and many many more. ALL of which were absolutely killers. I chose 50 burpees, banded side step and the spin bike on level 16.

I was still very sore today and quite worried about how I would handle it but I think the movement helped loosen me up. Such a wonderful supportive group of ladies too. I've really grown to love group exercise. It pushes you and gives you the support you just don't get working out alone. I would recommend it to anyone.

Diet today started out great!

breakfast: 2 eggs & FiberDX drink
snack: almonds & granny smith apple
lunch: 1/2 broiled chicken breast & salad
snack: Greek yogurt and 3 Kavli crisps
dinner: meat marinara over whole wheat toast & 1 slice cheese pizza (boo!)
dessert: 2 mini snickers...could have been worse! I'm weaning myself sloooowly ;)

All in all, not a terrible day for diet. A lot of areas that need improving though!

My goal for each week is going to be 2 boot camp sessions, 3 - 15 minute intense interval sessions, and 4 Dance Fit sessions each week. I might vary it a little but I would be happy accomplishing that.

I did wear my heart rate monitor but it slid down (like I knew it would) so I took it off. I had burned 200 calories at the time and I was 23 minutes in.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SO SORE!

I'm so incredibly sore today and it just gets worse as the day goes on. I've been waddling around all day like a pregnant woman. Quads, butt and biceps KILL right now. I don't know how I'm going to survive tomorrow's boot camp since the second day after is just as bad as the first, even worse most times. I'm slightly comforted by the fact that he said we wouldn't be using any weight. However, I know he plans on a more cardio/endurance type workout OUTSIDE and it doesn't have me very excited.

My workout buddy bailed on me. One workout. Done. She can't handle that type of training. So it's just me and two other women that have been doing the class for a while. I'm all blubber and no stamina so it will be interesting for sure.

Diet today:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, one piece toast (white Fiber One bread - not the best choice)
Snack: small serving of whole wheat rigatoni with meat sauce
Lunch: small round of flatbread with chicken, spinach and artichoke
Dinner: small serving of whole wheat rigatoni with meat sauce (yes, again)
Dessert: snickers (damn it!!)

I will do better tomorrow. I promise.

Exercise today:

If anything, I might take a walk on the treadmill but as tired as I am, it's probably not going to happen :(

I will be so happy when I get my stamina and strength back.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

holy crap!

Ok, so two posts in one day is almost unheard of from me, and likely won't happen too often but I just couldn't wait to tell you about boot camp.

Oh.....my.....GOD. Harder than I could have ever imagined.


Nearly 600 calories in one hour. It was....wow.



First we warmed up by taking a run OUTSIDE in this insane heat and humidity. Then we continued our warm up inside doing things like walking lunges (forward and backwards), high knees and butt kicks.

Now we get to the fun part. He tells us we can choose a weight. Either pick a 45lb plate for 3 laps around the track, a 35lb weight for 4 laps around the track or a 25lb weight for 5 laps. I picked up the 45lb plate and said, "Do you think I can handle it?" and he said, "no problem". So, like the fool I am, I chose the 45. Did my 3 laps around the track. It was doable. Then we had to run a few laps.

And now, for the kicker. He said the weight we chose would be an important decision. Boy was he right! Because now we had to do 3 laps with this weight (in my case, a huge 45lb plate) only this time, we had to lunge the 3 laps! Thaaaaaaaaaaat's right. Walking lunges, 3 times around the track, while holding a 45lb plate! Can you even fathom this??? I seriously thought he was joking. No way is he making us do this. No way CAN I do this. He wasn't joking. And yes, we did.

Not only that, but every so often, we had to stop and do shoulder presses and bicep curls with this weight. AND (yes there is more), if we set the weight down at all to rest, he added 5 burpees to the end of the workout. I'll say it again, oh.....my......GOD! I would never in a million years have pushed myself this hard. Ever. EVER! I honestly cannot believe I did it. It was that tough. Oh, and I got 15 burpees in the end ;)

I used to think I was pretty bad ass. I did some pretty intense workouts on my own. I've tried many programs and done DVD workouts like The Firm, Insanity, Turbo, and Ripped. This work out pushed me WAY harder.

Unbelievable! And I'm going back Thursday for more punishment. Help me Jesus!

Oh, and I had my planned protein bar and since I worked so hard, a little leftover steak too ;)  I can't wait to see what I look like a month, two months, three months from now!!!

Boot camp

I can't believe it's the end of August. This year has flown by. Yet....it hasn't.

This has been one of the toughest years of my life. So while going through the days seems slow, looking back I can't believe how fast it's actually gone. We always say that though, right? Time goes by so fast. For everyone.

I have tried to get my motivation back. For months I have tried and failed. My focus has been on my family and my marriage. I don't make my body and my health a priority anymore. Case and point, I'm eating chili cheese corn chips as I type this. I like to defend this lack of self care on my changing priorities. I like to think that I'm not as selfish as I used to be.

But I don't feel like myself. Not only because my health habits have changed, but my life in general has changed immensely in the past year. I need to feel like me again. I need to feel good about myself. Confident, energetic, healthy, and happy. So I'm going to try something that I am hoping will give me a little boost. Boot camp.

I had talked briefly to one of the trainers that works at the gym about this class he teaches. It's an hour long and it basically pushes you to the point of exhaustion. This is what I need. It's twice a week, which is perfect. Because you can't do too much of this type of training - bad for cortisol levels. So my first class is today. I'm scared and excited at the same time. Scared because I know that I've lost levels of muscle and fitness. I can see it and I can feel it. But excited because I know I can get it back. I need a trainer, and some accountability. This will be the kick start that I need to get myself back on track.

I'm going to try REALLY REALLY HARD to post more often (like daily again) to keep myself accountable. What I eat and my workouts. And I am asking for your help. Keep me accountable. Keep me motivated. If I miss a post, ask me what the hell happened. If I skip a workout, ask me what my lame ass excuse was for skipping it.

I've gone on long enough in this fog that I'm in. It's not only hurting me, but my kids. I've been trying to hold it together for them but I'm failing at that too. I know that if only I can start feeding my body better and weight training regularly again, I will get those feel-good hormones surging again. That will be my anti-depressant, my therapy. I know this and have known it all along, just needed to take that first step. Like I always preached to other people, the first step is always the hardest.

I know that I can make myself a priority again without making it feel like selfishness. I know that I can live a healthy lifestyle without it hurting or affecting my family members. I know that I can find a healthy balance, where I am happy and satisfied with my progress and no one else is bothered by it in the least.

So, to stay with my plan, here is what I've eaten so far today (don't judge...LOL)

Breakfast: 2 eggs
Snack #1: small handful almonds
Lunch: Special K cereal w/ almond milk, 100 calorie Greek Yogurt, and a heap of chili cheese corn chips (FAIL!)
*the rest is planned meals
Post Work Out: protein bar
Dinner: shredded zucchini "spaghetti"

And I will post about the workout later today. What it entailed and how I held up. I'm planning on wearing my heart rate monitor but it likes to slide down during intense exercise.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here is my day...

Up at 4:30 to workout
Work six hours at Courts
Come home and work on Prints Charming orders
Work tonight at the pet walk
And a co-curricular meeting at Davies tonight

Anything more I can cram into my day?? I'm thinking my husband will enjoy a nice frozen pizza for dinner tonight!

Holy crap, I'm a zombie right now and just want to sleep. I thought I'd take a break and whine a little. I can hardly see straight, so why I'm attempting to type a worthwhile blog post is beyond me.

This week I'm starting something new: get a workout in before I leave for work. So far, I'm 2 for 2. It hasn't been hard getting up and getting it done, but I definitely feel it towards afternoon. It's a whole different ball game for me now that I'm working.

I have been sleeping good lately but not last night. I was looking at the clock every half hour, I swear. Ugh! Isn't exercise supposed to help you sleep better??

I've got grocery shopping that needs to be done, laundry that needs to be done, menu planning and cooking that needs to be done......and I'm practically asleep on my feet. Feeling a little like I might earn my super mom cape by the end of this day.

Still learning how to balance a work life and my mom life. I have always had a lot of respect for the working moms of the world, maybe even more now that I am trying to do the juggle myself. It's SO much easier to put yourself on the back burner when you don't have as much free time. I truly have a greater understanding of how easy it is to say no to yourself. Most nights I would much rather stay home and enjoy family time than go to the gym. And even that isn't always going to be an option. I'll be teaching classes at some point next month and there will go even more of my free time! Some days, I'm not sure how I'll handle it all.

This year has been one hell of a ride! More ups and downs than I'm used to. It has been hard. A TON of stress. MAJOR changes in my life. I'm ready for things to slow down and get back to normal, but I don't even know what that is anymore! Maybe this is normal? It's definitely shown me what I'm made of. It's amazing what we can learn about ourselves and how much more we are capable of than we think. I believe in myself a heck of a lot more than I did!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Different

I am such a different person than I was a year ago.

I used to be a stay at home mom, doing stay at home mom things. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I did it for nearly 10 years. And I really enjoyed it. But it was time to move on to the next stage in my life. My kids are pretty self sufficient for the most part. They play really well together, they help each other out when I'm busy, and they do a LOT more chores now that I'm a working girl. I leave for work at 6:30 and I can leave a list of chores for them to do and I almost feel guilty coming home to a clean house every day. Almost ;)

Really, though, it's an absolute dream. Cleaning up after everyone constantly and never really feeling appreciated for all I did got to be draining. It's hard to motivate yourself day after day in that situation. Same old monotonous stuff. Every. Day. Then I got a job. And suddenly things seemed to get better. My kids had to take on more responsibility for themselves (which they should've done long ago) and some of the burden was off me! I was so busy doing every little thing for them that they never really had much of an opportunity to learn to do things for themselves. My husband didn't feel like he's was stuck being the only provider for the rest of our lives together. I didn't realize it, but he felt under appreciated too because he was earning all the income and trying to save for retirement while I was contributing nothing.

I've added more hours to my work day. So I'm working 6 hours a day at the gym. Plus the work I do for my business. AND I will be a fitness instructor next month and that will add some hours to the week. I feel.......I don't know the word. Grown up? Responsible? I mean, I know I was responsible before, but this feels different somehow. I feel like I'm pulling my own weight. I feel more like an equal to my partner. I feel like I have the right to buy those shoes I've been wanting. Because I've earned it. I always felt that I earned what I bought in the past, but felt bad that the payee had to be my husband. Now, I am my own boss. I set my own prices. Plus I have a job that directly deposits checks to my account twice a month. It feels damn good to earn my own money!!

But it's not just the fact that I'm truly busier and making money, I'm different because I'm not so obsessed with fitness and diet like I was a year ago. And I can say obsessed because I was. I knew it. I don't try to defend it anymore. I was dedicated to my body and my health. I still am, but I think in a healthier way. I'm not balls to the wall anymore. And I think I know why. I've got other things occupying my mind. I'm not at home all day, thinking about my next workout, or my next healthy meal or finding every fitness article and exercise routine written to help me achieve some frivolous goal, that in the end, would not have proved a thing in this world other than to say I was in better shape than 90% of my peers. Simply put, I don't have all the free time to think of my selfish aspirations.

The funny thing is, I've gained 10 pounds, and some days I love it! And some days I feel like such a cow. And then I'll stop myself and say, "Hey! You are finally at a healthy weight! You are still way below average! Teetering on the edge of underweight for your age. How can you be a cow!" It's just so hard to get used to the new me being.......normal! (for lack of a better word) Are grown women with 3 kids supposed to fit into size 2 jeans??!! That's just not normal! Although that's what I was - and still trying to get smaller!! That's messed up!

I don't freak out if I miss a workout. I don't freak out if I have pizza or French fries or ice cream. I don't try to starve myself or workout for 3 hours a day. I don't worry about LBM or BMI or MHR. I'm just chill. Sure I have days where I'm very self aware and can't seem to get over my new fluffier body. It's hard to look, sometimes, at my round belly where a nice hard six pack used to be. It's sad to see my back slowly lose definition with each passing month. But if it was on the top of my priority list, I would do something about it. And right now, I'm just too happy with where I'm at to be bothered! And I think before I wasn't truly happy with my situation, so I was trying to mask it with something I felt I could control. My body. If I could be a tight, lean, fit, person, I could at least say I had done something successful with my life. As a stay at home mom, I struggled with that. But if I was in control of my body, more so than the average squishy mom my age, I at least could pride myself in that. Because I felt there was nothing else. It wasn't enough to say I had raised 3 wonderful little people? It wasn't enough to be the backbone of my family? I don't know....

I'm not a glamorous business women who earns a 6 digit salary. But I am an entrepreneur and I have a job that makes me very happy. I can have pride in that. My body is so-so. And for once in my life - THAT'S JUST FINE!!

I'm sure that once I am teaching fitness classes, my newfound fluff will disappear. Not that it matters, it's just a perk ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Want a quickie?

A post, that is. What did you think I meant?

Today: EXHAUSTED!!

I'm going on very little sleep since Sunday night. Not quite sure what the deal is but I've been sleeping just awful. Or should I say, NOT sleeping just fine?

It probably didn't help that yesterday I burned twice the amount of calories I actually took in. That's only with exercise, not counting what your body naturally burns to function! Oy vey! Sometimes I surprise myself.

It was my idea of THE perfect day yesterday. Weather was not too hot, little breeze, sunshine with a few little clouds. Gorgeous. So I took the girls on a little bike ride to the apple orchard. Eden fell off her bike....twice. One bruised knee, one scraped knee, and a bump on the head. She's a real trooper though. Gets back on "Angus" - her bike, and keeps on truckin'. That's my girl!

Then, I did a weight training circuit session. And, of course, XaBeat to finish off the day. I can hardly walk, barely sit, and forget about trying to reach anything on ground level. Ouch! Today is looking like a good day for a swim. Mowed the lawn and cleaned the pool, got the chemicals in balance, it's all ready to go.

One fun way to squeeze in a workout is doing exercises in the pool. I love running in the pool - it feels really good to go all out, loose your breath completely and just fall into the water. High knees, lunges, kickbacks, jumping jacks.....almost anything! Even arm exercises. Because the resistance of the water is like adding weight, and really easy on the joints.

What will you be training today??


p.s. Training was originally scheduled for this past weekend but got pushed back to mid September. I was so bummed but nothing I can do about it. I'm really looking forward to it though! Just have to wait a little longer.

p.p.s. Just a couple more days until our fun girls weekend. Hotel for two nights, relaxing, swimming, watching movies, eating naughty food, NO DOG.....total bliss!! We decided we needed to have a little fun too, while Emma and Andreas are on their 2 week vacation in Sweden. The last time I had a vacation was two summers ago in New York - and it was only a few days. I think I'm about due, wouldn't you say??

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

easy healthy meals

 
So, I've been on a healthy eating kick again and I've discovered some really easy and delicious meal ideas (and sides). Here are a couple of my favorites as of late (photos with my phone never turn out very well - sorry):
 
Breakfast - 1/2 cup of black beans heated up, 2 whole eggs, a little bit of chopped avocado, and fresh salsa. Oh heaven!
 
 
 
 
My new favorite side - roasted brussel sprouts & leeks
Cut the brussel sprouts in half, then boil them for about a minute or two with some sliced leeks. Then coat them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them for about 15-20 minutes at 400-425 degrees. They are extra delicious with the leeks. I love the crispy ones!

 
I ate the cold leftovers before I went to bed last night! I've never really craved vegetables the way I crave these. They are THAT good. And oh so good for you too!

Monday, July 8, 2013

awesome product!

I just wanted to give you a quick tip for AWESOME sexy beach hair.
 
I've been wanting to get myself to VS for some of their beach hair wave spray but I can't seem to get to the mall more than twice per year. So, today, while at Walmart getting some more pool chemicals I happened upon this little miracle:
 
 
Not only did it work incredibly well (my hair felt and looked just like I stepped out of the ocean and air dried on the beach) but it smelled FANTASTIC! Just look at the luscious wavy results!
 
 
I highly recommend it!!