Thursday, June 5, 2014


I would post this throw back pic on Facebook, but I don't want to be "that girl".
Really, I get it when people are annoyed when others post selfies too often. I'm not a huge selfie person, although I do them now and again for fun. Mainly to play with editing apps on my phone.
And I totally get that people who post body pics, like those above, are usually considered people who are just looking for attention. Well, I'm not looking for attention with these photos, I want to inspire people. I want to inspire myself. Body goals are difficult - but possible.
 Most of these pictures were about 2-3 years ago, when I was very lean and muscular. I was damn proud of my body and all the work it took to get it to look the way it did. I felt very empowered by it. At the time, I had no job outside my home and I felt as though I was accomplishing something by sculpting a body that could possibly enter a fitness competition one day.
When you work really really hard to sculpt your body, you take pride in it. All that time, pain, sacrifice, tears (yes, there are tears), and hard work you put in for a body that not many people have, there is a huge sense of accomplishment and pride. Not that I want to show off, but I do want to show what I am capable of. I used to take a TON of progress "selfies". Not to share with the world, but for my own way of tracking progress. A picture doesn't lie. I can't fake having a lean muscular body. This was real. This was me. And I can look back and say "Damn!". And to think at this point in my life, I was striving daily, constantly, to be better - leaner, fitter, more muscular. It was extremely hard at that point to improve farther. And only tightening up my diet to a point where I was unwilling to go, would have gotten me there.
My marriage would have only suffered farther.
I've read many instances where situations like this affect marriages. I didn't know how my personal eating habits and training could possibly be such a big deal to my husband. He wasn't being deprived of anything he loved to eat. And I still ate "naughty" stuff now and then - just not to excess. But the hard muscular body of a fit freak was not one he wanted to be married to. He likes soft, womanly bodies. I like fit bodies. I think once you have put in the work, and made the sacrifices, and know what it takes to get there, you have a better appreciation for them. And you know what mental and physical strength are required to get you there. It's admiration that goes farther than just the exterior body. The determination and dedication and HEART it takes is simply immeasurable. If you've never had a passion for body sculpting, I suppose it's hard to understand and have that level of appreciation.
It's not just a hot looking body, but an amazing inner strength and will.
I can look back at these pictures and say, "wow! That was me! I did that!" It's amazing what we can do with our bodies. And I've learned that it takes so little time to let a great body slip away. Years of hard work can disappear in a matter of a months. Getting it back doesn't take quite as long, muscle memory is pretty amazing, but it's still a battle.
I don't care who thinks I'm being vain, shallow, showing off, or any other hateful and jealous words I can't think of at the moment. I don't! I worked HARD for exactly what you see in those pictures. I had a goal, and had the heart and the passion to get there. We make choices and we live our lives in a way that moves us closer to what matters. At the time, my body goal mattered. It still matters some, just not as much. I've got multiple jobs which means more responsibilities. Priorities would have to switch if I had a serious body goal. But right now, it's just not an important enough for me to focus on. My kids are growing so fast and I don't want their childhood to slip away while I'm too wrapped up in a personal goal. It can wait.
This is why I can look back at these pictures and instead of feeling sad that I don't have that body anymore, I can be proud that I once did, and that I was strong enough to let it go.
For my family, for my kids, and for our happiness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How we lose fat

So, I gave you the secret to my plateau busting, fat torching method - hopefully you gave it a try and found out how fun and rewarding it is! But did you ever wonder why these type of workouts are so much better at getting rid of your stored fat, in comparison to other workouts? Well, I wondered. So I researched it a little and what I found was super interesting.

Ok, we all know that we have fat cells (about 25 billion in a human adult). That's a lot of potential for fat storage! And we also know that we don't actually lose fat cells, but rather shrink them.

The type of exercise I've been incorporating into my workouts consists of metabolic bursting. Basically, it's a warm up, then cyclical bursting (going all out hard as you can for a short time, then recovering), then a cooling down period. And the reason this works so great is that immediately afterwards, your body will dump free fatty acids into your bloodstream where they can be burned off and expelled from your body via waste, breath, sweat, etc..

This is probably why it's important to incorporate some type of exercise that gives you that EPOC (post exercise oxygen consumption) where you are in a continued state of fat burning once exercise is over. EPOC burns calories, so it is important for anyone trying to lose weight to increase the time spent in EPOC. Resistance training has a greater effect on post-exercise oxygen consumption than cardiovascular training.

Here's a break down of what happens:
1) fat is broken down into chylomicrons which enter the blood
2) enzymes called lipoprotein lipases break fats into fatty acids
3) Fatty acids are absorbed into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. Once in the liver, fatty acids can either be further broken down or used to make glucose. The liver can only store 100g of glycogen (stored glucose) and muscles can store 500g of glycogen. Anything more will be stored in fat cells.

*Carbs are broken down into glucose, making it widely available to the body. So you can easily see how easily eating too many carbs will easily make you store them as excess fat.

Fat cells release their contents (triaglycerol) into the blood as free fatty acids and they are transported to the tissues needing fuel. So after I do a short bursting workout (average of 10-12 minutes or so), I lift some weights or do some form of strength training because I figure that my muscles are using these FFA's so they don't just get restored in my fat cells. It seems to make sense to me, especially since I'm noticing change. However, I don't claim to understand all of this science stuff. It's still pretty Greek to me.

Prior to this form of working out, I had been exercising - burning mega calories in fact - yet not really seeing much in the way of results for all my hard work. Whether I made my metabolism sluggish doing some stupid things in the past or just fell into bad habits for too long, I'm not entirely certain which culprit was to blame. I did know one thing, something needed to be done differently. And sometimes, that's all it takes. We know how important it is to confuse the body every now and then and that is why you run the risk of plateauing and never getting anywhere with fat loss if you do the same exercise day after day.

I think the whole biochemical process of fat loss is intriguing (and confusing) but it's important to at least be somewhat aware of what goes on in your body so you can understand why some things work and other things don't. There is a reason some people get results while others seem to be on the hamster wheel going nowhere with their fat loss efforts. Everyone deserves to get rewarded for their hard work! If only it didn't need to seem so complicated! But in my experience, the leaner you get, the harder it is!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

YOU are awesome!!

I've never been big on competition. I get the competitive mindset though. I understand that it can drive people to do better. But I'm not at all competitive. Maybe some people would just call me a slacker. I can live with that.

This little meme describes my attitude - I hope we all make it. Because I do. I want everyone to succeed at what they do so they can live a happy life. Just think of what the world would be like if we were all a little happier?

There will always be someone smarter than you, prettier than you, faster than you, richer than you, funnier than you, stronger than you. But...

And yes...that means YOU!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We are human. Nothing is perfect 100% of the time. But as long as we are trying and we are consciously making an effort everyday to change for the better, it counts.

One of the things I am changing is my diet. I know I say this often because I fall off the wagon a lot. But after my little vacation and feeling like a bloated whale when I got home, eating clean was a welcomed change! Usually it scares the hell out of me to know that I'm not going to get French fries or chocolate or some other naughty craving that I indulge in. This time it was different, I actually craved healthy whole food. That's how I know I'm ready. It's hard to force it. I've realized this a long time ago. When you are ready to change for real, it won't feel forced.

So this is the second day into my clean diet and already I feel so much better. Before I was tired and just felt heavy. The first day wasn't hard, but I had a headache....probably from not feeding myself it's usual diet as of late - sugar. But today the headache is gone and I'm already feeling that sluggishness fade.

I'm back to drinking my jug-o-detox. This time, instead of cranberry juice, I am using tart cherry juice. I think I like the flavor a tad better. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, I try to drink a jug a day of this blend that is supposed to help your body detoxify junk. It's a couple TBSP cranberry juice (the pure 100% stuff, nothing added), a couple TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice, a cup of detox tea (buy at grocery store - it's actually called "detox") and water. And for my own added flare, I add a cinnamon stick. This is my jug:

It's only 11am and I've already almost drank the entire jug. I really try to drink as much as I can in the morning, otherwise I don't do so well getting adequate water intake for the day.
I got teased a lot at first, carrying my jug into work every morning, but eventually people just became intrigued by it and commended me on my healthy efforts.
And my meals are pretty much the same. Today I had Ezekiel brand sprouted grain English muffin (cinnamon raisin - yum!), with 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, half avocado and 2 slices tomato. Oh, and I put real butter on the English muffin.
It is delicious!
And morning snack is full fat Greek yogurt (plain - no flavored crap with added sugar) and blueberries and cinnamon. I add in a few drops of liquid stevia for sweetness. I have found the KING of all Greek yogurt. I used to always buy Chobani or Fage, thinking those were the best brands but I bought Greek Gods brand just to be different and OMG! This is seriously the most luxurious yogurt there is! I seriously sound like I'm aroused when I'm eating it because I can't NOT moan! It's that good.

And for lunch, I will have a lettuce salad consisting of kale, spinach and cabbage. Then I will add beans for protein (navy, black, kidney, etc) and some raw organic cheddar, maybe some slices of avocado or hard boiled egg whites and olives. YUM! I make my own homemade ranch dressing out of Veganaise and spices. Delish! Yes, I'm a ranch girl. I just can't get excited about salad dressed with oil and vinegar. I love the creamy flavor of ranch. And I can have a healthier, just as tasty version made at home. Perfection!
Dinner will always be different. Last night I made beef stir fry with broccoli shreds, bean sprouts and snap peas. Brown rice on the side. Tonight I will make tilapia with a healthy topping made from Veganaise, lemon juice and raw cheddar, along side faux-tatoes (which is just a fancy way of saying cauliflower that has been steamed and blended with butter to look like mashed potatoes. Maybe also some roasted brussel sprouts :)
I hope you can get inspired by healthy cooking and eating whole, delicious foods! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

About me

What up?! Yeah, I know. It's been a while. HAPPY 2014! We made it another year! Whoop!

What's with the odd photo grid you ask? Here is what I felt represented me yesterday:
1) my favorite healthy food - cabbage, broccoli, kale salad. Can't get enough of it!
2) despite feeling like I'm getting nowhere at times with my body goals, I catch glimpses of myself once in a while and feel like telling myself "What the heck am I complaining about?? My body could be a LOT worse! I look damn good!" ...and then I have to photograph myself to prove it :)
3) I've been sick. AGAIN!!! Ugh, this has been a bad fall/winter for me. Sinus infection #2. And it's kicking my ass!
4) I am learning self love. Basking in the sunshine even on the coldest of days....I am ok with who I am and proud of how far I've come despite some challenges. We all face our own challenges and demons daily - I've accepted mine and roll with it.

I've finished my fitness "support group" that I was a part of in December. Although I didn't manage to change a whole lot, I definitely feel a huge improvement in the way I think about everything. I have really been lucky this year as far as meeting the right people. Through dance and other areas of fitness I have made incredible friendships in 2013. So despite the last year being a bit rocky, it definitely had some of the best upsides as well!

One of my sweet friends told me once that even though I felt bad a lot on the inside, I never lost my sparkle. That's something that I'll never forget! Even when we struggle, we shine! And now that things are immensely better, I feel even shinier ;)

The purpose of the photo grid is, well....I have a couple reasons for doing it. I've learned that we are so different in what we do and how we are feeling from day to day, it's important to document it. I want to post how I'm feeling, how I'm eating, how I'm training...and whatever else I feel like. It's like getting the day out and wiping the slate clean for tomorrow. Each sunrise is a rebirth. A chance to start over. A move closer to our goal. Also, I am going to TRY to do the 365 photo challenge this year (I've failed at this every year). All it is basically is to just take a photo of something every day. Should be easy, especially for me, one would think. BUT....ah life.

And a mini challenge INSIDE that challenge is a month of "specific" photos. Yesterday was "selfie". So I took a few ;) I typically don't like to take selfies. I honestly don't enjoy being in front of the camera at all. But, for one day, I sucked it up!

Here is one (of the many) challenges out there (in case you choose to try one):

I like this one because it's a "get to know you" kind of thing. So since I'm a day behind, here are numbers 1 & 2:
#1. See photo above. And 10 facts - here we go:
1) I am super incredibly highly mega sensitive - I can cry over just about anything, it doesn't have to be sad.
2) I have an addictive personality.
3) I had a seriously huge night terror/panic attack that lasted close to 8 hours. I was literally afraid to fall asleep for almost a year. Even walking into my bedroom was hard for months afterwards. It's been over two years and I still suffer from small flashback attacks.
4) I have social anxiety - which I've now learned to control (without alcohol or medication).
5) I used to drink a lot in my 20's simply because of this anxiety. It helped me lose that fear.
6) I got my first tattoo when I was 18. I hid it from my parents. I also hid my pierced ear cartilage from my dad because I was afraid he would think it was too "wild" and make me take it out.
7) I hid my first pregnancy from my family even though I was 22, because I wasn't married yet. They didn't know about it until I was 6 months along and ended up in the hospital with early contractions.
8) Me and pregnancy don't get along. I've had problems with all of them. Lost one.
9) I have a degree in computer programming.
10) I am a certified fitness instructor, a graphic designer, a photographer and a mixologist ;)

And #2.
My relationship status is MARRIED and I would describe it right now as "warmer".