Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 1, 2013

Here's where I am today. 

I am real with you. I made less than great food choices in November and December. I missed some workouts due to sickness last week. 

But I'm back with a vengeance. 

I can't wait to share these photos in the spring, summer, whenever as my "before" photos. 

Beast mode: ON. 
How are you motivated to make 2014 your fittest and healthiest year EVER?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Is it weird that I struggle with taking rest days?  Do "normal" people not look forward to sleeping in later, and giving their body a break from hard physical work?
Guys - every week I struggle so hard to force myself to take my rest day.  With my current muscle group split, I rest on Thursdays and Sundays.  Every Wednesday evening (cough*right now*cough), I start turning reasons around in my mind why I should get up and workout in the morning.
Who does that?!?
My alarm goes off at 4:30 AM on Mon, Tues, Weds, and Fri.  It goes off at 5:50 AM on Saturdays.  What's wrong with me, that I don't want to sleep until 6 AM on Thursday?
I've seen a ton of progress with my body in the last few months, and I know that's a big driving force with my motivation right now.  I've also started taking a pre-workout, which makes my workouts much "easier," if you will, to do.
Rest days are imperative for a healthy lifestyle, though.  Not only do they allow your physical body to rest and recover, they also prevent burnout. 
Things I try to focus on on rest days are eating the right, healthful foods, getting enough sleep, taking care of any food prep I need to take care of for the rest of the week, and thinking about how awesome that shoulder workout is going to feel on Friday morning! :)
What about you?  Do you struggle with rest days, or live for them?
What's your workout routine look like?
Am I totally weird?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Information Overload

When I get "into" something, I like to read about it and research it.  That's where I'm at right now with fat loss/lean muscle gain.
I've been researching IIFYM, clean eating, how to most effectively gain muscle, how to burn fat, etc.  I think I'm in a state of information overload right now.  Just for fun, here are a few sentences that I've read in the past few days that stand out to me:
Remember, your body is really smart and it wont burn muscle unless you do something really stupid like running 3000 miles or doing a drastic fad diet.

Drawbacks of Cardio for Muscle Building

  • Burns calories that could be used for muscle growth
  • “Over-training”
Cardio is good for your heart, your mental outlook and controlling your weight, but it can interfere with muscle growth if you're burning more calories that you're taking in.
4. Do INTENSE Cardiovascular Workouts 3-4 Times A Week.
Make sure that you are eating enough calories to enable you to make those improvements and show up better next time you step on stage. Though you might put on a little (note I said a little) body fat, the body fat will come off once you diet down for your next show.
As you can see, there's a plethora of information out there on the lovely interwebs to do one of two things:  either motivate, educate, and encourage me to be better, or confuse the living heck out of me.
Lately, it's doing the latter.
I have enough common sense, and have my own opinions about eating.  From all the reading ahd research I've been doing over the last few months, I think I'm going to work on meeting my macros from iifym with as much clean and healthy food as possible, and making sure I'm consuming enough of that food to sustain healthy muscle growth. (In the past, I haven't eaten nearly enough calories in a day as I should have been eating.  That's a whole other blog post for another day.)  I'm going to lift heavy, and cut cardio down to 4 days a week (right now, I do 6).  I'm going to continue to drink my gallon of water a day, and give a better effort to not letting it all go to crap on the weekends, which I tend to do.
I feel like if I start doing all that stuff, I'm going to have the muscle tone I want and lose enough of the fat to let that tone show through by the time summer 2014 arrives!
What about you?  Do you lift heavy?
What kind of split do you do?
I'm currently doing a 5-day split.
How much cardio do you do each week?



Monday, October 28, 2013

Sugar Free Challenge - Who's with me??

I've always thought that sugar was addicting.  Let me be clear, I am NOT against consuming sugar.  As I feel about life in general - everything in moderation.

But I was reading an article the other night out of National Geographic magazine about why we - as Americans - can't stop eating sugar.  It's in almost everything we eat in this country, and the amount of it that we consume is astounding.  I started reading the ingredient lists of common foods that I eat.  Yep, you guessed it - all completely full of sugar.  Just for fun, check some nutrition labels.  You'll be shocked.  I know I was.

So I got to thinking - how would I do giving it up for a week?  I've tried this before, and I've failed.  Then I found myself feeling like a slave to sugar.  That might be a bit dramatic, of course, but long story short - I'm going to give it another go.  Anyone else with me? 

Here are my guidelines:

1) Can't eat anything with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.  This includes corn syrup, since it's basically liquid sugar.

2) Natural sugars are ok: fruit and honey.

3)  Since I'm not fasting from sugar for any religious, or deeper reasons, I'm allowing artificial sweeteners (please save the "you're poisoning yourself" speech.  I've heard it 14,536 times already in my life.)  I can't quite give up caffeine, and I'd have a really hard time drinking black unsweetened coffee.  Ugh.

4) Workout supplements are exempt.  I haven't looked at the nutrition labels of my protein or pre-workout supps, but I'd hope they wouldn't be full of sugar anyway.

So there you have it.  If it's fresh produce, all is good.  If it comes with a nutrition label and sugar or corn syrup is one of the first ingredients listed, it goes either back in the cupboard, or in the trash.  This is kind of a big deal coming from the girl who has the biggest sweet tooth ever.  AND the week of Halloween.  (What am I thinking?)

What do you all think?  Who wants to challenge themselves this week?  I started when I woke up at 4:30 am this morning, but you can start whenever you want.

Aaaaaand, GO!

Keep me posted on your progress!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Getting off Track / Workouts

Sometimes things happen.  Maybe they're within our realm of control, maybe they're not.

But we're human. 

Last weekend, I was terribly sick with the flu.  I came down with it Sunday afternoon around 2:30 pm and didn't get out of bed until Monday evening around 6 pm.  I never get sick like that, and it was horrible.

Then on Wednesday, my youngest son - who has a serious health condition as it is - came down with the same flu virus, but his lasted up until last evening.  Four miserable days of a sick little guy, and being up between 4 and 5 times a night checking on him.

Needless to say, I didn't do so awesome of a job of getting to the gym last week.  I was recovering, then just plain exhausted.  Along with my exhaustion came a lot of worry about my sweet little man, which led to a little bit of emotional eating, I'm not even going to lie to you.

Sunday 09/01
REST DAY - as is my routine. 

Monday 09/02
No Gym - so very sick.

Tuesday 09/03
No Gym - trying to recover.

Wednesday 09/04
Core and Ab Work, though my head was still pounding every time I moved.
30 minutes on the elliptical.

Then, the dang flu virus attacked my Jameson.

Thursday 09/05
No Gym - home with Jameson, and up several times in the night.

Friday 09/06
15 minutes at 7.1 mph, 1.5% incline
15 minutes elliptical
(Up several times in the night)

Saturday 09/07
No Gym - up several times in the night with Jameson.

So as you can see - not great.  But like I said, these things happen.

It's never an excuse to say, "Well, I've screwed up, might as well just take this week off as well."

I can imagine how easy it would be to completely fall off the bus.  I got right back at it this morning.  I had over a quart of water in me before leaving my house at 7:15.  I had a great arms/chest workout, followed by a 3.31 mile run.  I had a healthy morning snack, and am about to eat some protein for lunch.

Life happens.  You have to keep your goals and priorities in the forefront of your mind, and go out and get what you want!  You've got this. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Body Fat Percentage

If I've learned anything in my intense research and my following of fitness accounts on social media, it's that the real way to measure your physique is by body fat percentage.  Weight is a number.  Height is a number.  BMI is a number.  They don't mean jack squat.  Really, they don't.
A 4'9" girl who's in the gym every day and weighs 150 pounds because she busts her ass and has wicked muscle definition is going to look quite different from her 5'3" counterpart who weighs the same, eats what she wants, and hasn't been to a gym once in her life.  Would you not agree?
About five weeks ago, I ran with a couple girlfriends, and one of them brought a body fat percentage calculator with her for the other two of use to use.  I was super excited to get the result of 20.5%, as I thought I was closer to 22%.
Today, I was in the gym and decided to use the gym's calculator to test again, to see if I'd improved at all.  Today's result was 21.5%.
Now, I don't think I've gained a percentage point in body fat in the last five weeks, but I also don't think I've lost any.  I think it's a case of lack of conformity between the two different brands of body fat calculators.  My best guess is that I'm somewhere between 21% and 21.5% body fat. 
So that got me to thinking, what's average?  I found a couple of sources:
Average body fat percentage for women in the USA
34% - Source
8-15% = athletic
16-23% = good
24-30% = acceptable
31-36% = overweight
>37% = obese
10-13% = essential fat
14-20% = athletes
21-24% = fitness
25-31% = average
32%+ = obese
So that being said, what kind of goal do I set for myself moving forward from this point?

I do feel that I've "fluffed" up a bit in the past month or so.  I know I've eaten more calories than I've been used to, but I've done my best to make them healthy.  I'm going to continue to work towards a body fat percentage of under 20% by Thanksgiving, and hopefully somewhere around 18% by next spring.

Do you know what your body fat percentage is? 

Do you have any body fat percentage goals?

What kind of workouts do you do?

Do you lift?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Workouts: August 25 - 31

I can't believe August is over already!  What the heckballz happened??

Sunday 8/25 - Rest Day, as usual

Monday 8/26 - Arms + 30 minutes HIIT on the elliptical

Tuesday 8/27 - 3.60 miles + legs
(Leg day AND running in the same day?  I'm crazy, yes.)

Wednesday 8/28 - 30 minutes elliptical + a few random ab exercises
My gym finally caught on to the fact that my two week free trial ended three weeks ago.  I was locked out. :(

Thursday 8/29 - 3.35 mile run + arms (I have an actual gym membership now, no worries.)

Friday 8/30 - 30 mins HIIT elliptical + leg day

Saturday 8/31 - 10 minutes treadmill (7.1 mph @ 1.5% incline) + 20 minutes HIIT elliptical + core work

Miles for the week: 8.28
Miles for August: 41.53
Miles for 2013: 338.29