Fitness Friday – Wagons

I have crashed the healthy diet wagon. I have been stuffing my face with bacon cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, ice cream, pizza, cookies and every other thing I felt I’ve been denying myself since January. My stomach hurts, it’s constantly trying to have conversations with people, I’m sluggish and I haven’t had a good night sleep in the last couple weeks.

In the midst of this delicious relapse I have not stopped exercising. Unlike so many times before when I have slipped and fallen, I have not thrown up my hands and played victim to my own self sabotage. Instead, I’ve worked harder, pushed myself further and said some really nasty things to myself which probably isn’t beneficial overall but it does help when trying to finish the last set of squats.

The point is, this will not last. This is my mid-year crisis happening early. I will go back to my chicken breast and vegetables soon enough. Until then, here is a workout photo because as much as I would love to share a food picture or recipe; my chocolate peanut butter ice cream isn’t very photogenic.


(apparently I’m not either)

Lastly, I decided to start doing a “Weekly Tip” and since this is the first week, I have two.

  1. Find a partner. Hell, find multiple partners (don’t be dirty). It is way more likely that you’re going to get out of bed at 6:30am to go for a run if you know someone else is up and waiting for you.
  2. Find a song that you haven’t listened to in 10-15 years and play it while you plank. You will be distracted realizing you still know all the words. For me it was In The End by Linkin Park (yes, that song came out 13 years ago). If that doesn’t distract you, take selfies.

Thanks for reading and sticking by me through all of my trips on the wagon, off the wagon, running next to the wagon, falling behind the wagon and of course crashing the wagon (I’ve never been a good driver). Hopefully I’ll have it fixed and running before too long.

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Fitness Friday – Least

So many bloggers, especially fitness bloggers (including myself) write about their favorite exercises. They write about how much they love to run or dead lift or squat. They write about their favorite type of fitness; yoga, cross-fit, piyo (what?), etc. Today I want to write about my least favorite exercises, the ones that make me feel completely and totally miserable but I do them anyway because I know I’m going to see results.

 

Dumbbell Shoulder Press:


The majority of my hatred for these is the process of getting into position. Whatever muscle group is being worked to lift the dumbbells off of my thighs and place them over my head is not as strong as the muscle group that’s used to press them. I’m also not a fan of spending the next day feeling like my shoulders are attached to my earlobes.

Rows:

I have no real reason for this. I just don’t like them.

Running:

You guys already know the details of this from previous posts but here’s a sweaty selfie anyway 😉

& saving the worst for last…

Split Squats:


(Taking a photo on a timer with 10 seconds to grab weights and get in position =nearly impossible. This is the best I could do)
Who knows how long I was doing goblet squats thinking they were split squats before someone told me.

I wish I was never corrected. These are killer! I see stars, I want to pass out, throw up and fall over throughout each set. The pain doesn’t stop when you stop either. For about two days afterwards I walk like a penguin mixed with a bull rider, it’s confusing and incredibly uncomfortable.

As strongly as I detest all of these things, there really is no greater feeling than successfully completing them.
Except maybe sitting on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and watching your favorite chick flick… 😉

Enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Fitness Friday – 100 Followers

I got this awesome alert the other day from my WordPress App:

100

Thank you all so much for following, liking, commenting and sharing. There have been days where I’ve considered skipping my work out or eating a doughnut and then I remember I have all of you to answer to so I turn off Downton Abbey, get off the couch and get my butt in gear. I really appreciate all of your support and encouragement along my journey to be sexier, oops, I mean healthier 😉
Thank you!!


The Food:

The other day I was craving Mexican food like there was no tomorrow (fake – unhealthy – American/Mexican food). I searched online for healthy enchiladas and all the recipes involved making every single part of the meal yourself. There was a sauce recipe, a seasoning recipe, a tortilla recipe… Hell, there was probably a way to make your cheese culture on there but I didn’t read that far. I wanted something quick and I wanted it right then. Instead of going to the local Mexican restaurant I went to the grocery store.
I ended up with a taco salad. There was lean, grass-fed ground beef on sale, I got lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapenos and I used a little bit of cheese. I also found these awesome ingredients: 


It took a minute to find taco seasoning without added sugar. I did not find this in with all the taco products (I mean, why would I?) but over with the gravy and chili mixes.
  salsa
When labels say things like this, I still read the ingredients. Just because it doesn’t contain “added sugar” doesn’t mean that there isn’t stevia, agave nectar, honey or some other natural sweeteners added. Fortunately, Drew’s truly was unsweetened!
I threw all of this stuff in a bowl together with a few black bean tortilla chips and boom! I felt like I was eating a bowl of junk food. It was delightful.


The Work Out

On Saturday I finally reached 5 pull-ups!!!


Yes, the last one was strained, my mouth was open and I didn’t think I was going to make it but I did – pretty or not.

I went jogging after leg day – Mistake.

My workout last night consisted of decline dumbbell bench presses. I’ve incorporated these because I really want to work the lower part of my chest. These look incredibly awkward and they are. They feel pretty good once you’re in position though.

  

My current max out (kind of) weight with the barbell:
Squats – 165lbs – 3 reps
Bench Press – 125lbs – 2 reps
Dead Lifts – I don’t want to talk about it 😉

Please check out the recipe tab where I’ve added another PurelyFruit recipe and my updated “Who’s Blogging” page.

Have a great weekend everyone! 😀 

Fitness Friday – Listen

Fitness Friday – Listen

This week has been full of huge smiles, lots of blushing and just an overwhelming feeling of humility and appreciation.

On Saturday my sister started poking my butt (if you’ve met Anne,  you know this isn’t anything shocking or abnormal) 
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Your butt… It seems higher.” she replied.
“Yeah!” I said.
“How did you do that?!”
“Squats Anne. Lots and lots of squats.”

On Sunday I was asked fitness/weight-lifting advice from someone who has been lifting a lot longer than I have.

On Monday a family friend (who is more into fitness than anyone I’ve ever met) asked me to teach her son how to weight lift!! We’re going to start on Monday.

There are times where you will be unable to see your own progress; in those moments (that can last for weeks or months) listen to the people around you, listen to their encouragement, their compliments and even their questions. They wouldn’t ask for advice if they didn’t see you progressing. They see what you can’t. They believe in you, even when you’re struggling to believe in yourself.
If you don’t have these people in your life, find them! They are a requirement for success.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you without photos.


(showing off my chin up skills after Valentine’s Day dinner)

My least favorite workout since I started this weight-lifting venture is rows. Every single kind of row; dumbbell rows (one arm/both arms/bent over), cable row (rope/bar/handles) has been the same: miserable. I also haven’t moved up in weight with rows since I started. I do seated dumbbell rows which seems a lot better but the cable rows still hate me! Kenny worked out with me last night and I explained my frustration to him. He watched me do them like this;and started chuckling. When I asked him what I was doing wrong he told me that I was too short for the machine. I wasn’t getting the “full range of motion.”
So now I’m going to try them like this:
If anyone has another idea, please let me know!  

I always try to look cute for my blog post pictures but today I will leave you all with a little piece of reality…

Thanks for reading, encouraging and being a crucial part of my fitness journey ❤

Fitness Friday – It’s Okay

  

I decided this week that it is okay to be comfortable. In the last two weeks I have stepped out of my comfort zone and I haven’t particularly cared for it. I have never been an athletic person. I never played sports, I was never into competing, gymnastics or fitness of any kind. I’ve never liked exercise classes or group activities. I don’t even like to dance.  People have a hard time believing this. They think that somewhere deep down I really want to dance, that if I just got up and busted a move, I would enjoy myself. This is not the case. The thought of any of these things causes panic. That place somewhere deep down that might want to dance? That place wants to cry just typing about it. This panicky, whiny, insecure part of myself certainly isn’t my favorite but it’s there and that’s okay. If I am comfortable taking ridiculous pictures of myself, blogging about my fitness journey and making a spectacle of myself via the internet but not in front of a group of people or face to face (or butt to face if it’s yoga) then so be it. I do not need to “get comfortable being uncomfortable” and life IS happening inside of my comfort zone.

So what brought on this realization? I went to a gym.
First, there were mirrors everywhere. I am the most narcissistic and vein person that I know and I am saying there were too many.
Second, it was packed.
Third, no matter what angle I tried an exercise, my entire body was visible to anyone and everyone in the gym because of the mirror walls.
It wasn’t a good experience. The lights were too bright, the music was annoying but most of all I was uncomfortable (the stressful, cortisol releasing kind of uncomfortable).

There were some pros. I did squats with 180 pounds… FOUR REPS!
I bench pressed 115 pounds… THREE TIMES!
This puts me in-between intermediate and advanced (according to these charts from ExRx.net).

Pounds Squat – Adult Women
Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
97 45 85 100 130 165
105 50 90 105 140 175
114 55 100 115 150 190
123 55 105 120 160 200
132 60 110 130 170 210
148 65 120 140 185 230
165 70 130 150 200 255
181 75 140 165 215 270
198 80 150 175 230 290
199+ 85 160 185 240 305
Pounds Bench Press – Adult Women
Body Weight Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
97 50 65 75 95 115
105 55 70 80 100 125
114 60 75 85 110 135
123 65 80 90 115 140
132 70 85 95 125 150
148 75 90 105 135 165
165 80 95 115 145 185
181 85 110 120 160 195
198 90 115 130 165 205
199+ 95 120 140 175 220

I am glad that I went. It just reassured me that I am not a gym or group fitness kind of person. And that’s okay.

Instead, I can run around in the dark and the mud and feel more confident than ever!
Last night we decided to take our cardio outside. We walked the length of the yard and back, sprinted, did lunges and ended by dropping down and doing push-ups. We did three sets of this (about thirty minutes). It was muddy, the sprinting was rough but we had fun! I definitely want to do more endurance training. Thanks Aunt Linda for the sprinting suggestion!


  
It’s really hard to get good pictures of high-intensity evening workouts! This is the best I could do.

For anyone out there who is also uncomfortable in group settings, stressed out by trips to the gym and awkward in fitness classes, it’s okay! We are not all the same. Just keep yourself motivated and keep pushing on, even it means late night muddy workout sessions!

Fitness Friday – Be Proud

You, as you are right now, are where someone else wants to be.

Let that sit for a minute.

Got it?

Don’t believe me?
If you are four hundred pounds, there is someone out there who is five hundred that wants to be four. If you are a hundred and fifty pounds there is someone out there who is two hundred and wants to lose fifty.
Be proud of where you are and who you are right now.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue working and improving. It just means that you should appreciate where you are, how far you’ve come and who you might be inspiring. Hold your head high because someone out there is working their tail off to get to where you are.

That was my big epiphany this week and I’m going to try to take my own advice!

Since I ditched the scale a couple of weeks ago I have been feeling great! I still spend a lot of time in the mirror but lately it’s because I find myself so darn attractive I just can’t help myself. I’m probably more fit than I have ever been in my life and I’m enjoying every minute of it! Okay, maybe not EVERY minute but still…

I made the ultimate “basic white girl” protein shake the other day; vanilla protein, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. This morning I did vanilla protein, pumpkin pie spice and coffee. Basic or not, it’s delightful!

Last night was level two with Jillian Michaels. It was terrible.


We were both pretty convinced we were going to throw up and die.

As far as weights go, we decided to change up our rows a little bit. I wanted to switch it up because I had not added any weight since we started and I felt like I was straining my neck. Doing it with dumbbells instead of on a machine is a whole different painful ballgame. Sadly, I’m only using fifteen pounds!
 

There was a time when I liked squats more than deadlifts. That time is gone. Squatting with 100 pounds is intense. They do make me feel good though, the next day, after I’ve blocked out the pain…

It’s been a great week!

Thanks for reading. Until next Friday!

Fitness Friday – Delayed

Fitness Friday – Delayed

Friday was absolutely crazy for me and I apologize for missing my post. I realized that I will also be out of town this coming Friday and said screw it, today is Fitness Friday-Monday 😉

I have never had a fitness partner. I was always too insecure to workout in public or with other people. I didn’t want them to see me sweating like a man, breathing like a 90 year old and lifting like a toddler. So when Kayla and I decided to start working out together I was skeptical, to say the least. I have never improved so much or been so consistent with exercise before in my life. It is so helpful to have someone there to spot you, lift weights off of you before you drop them on your face and guide your left arm (that has a mind of it’s own) to it’s proper place.
Besides just the actual safety aspect of it, she’s freaking nice all the time. I don’t know how it’s possible. Randomly mid-workout she’ll say, “Your arms look awesome! I’m taking a picture” and “You’re a beast! Keep going!” Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get whiny and say I can’t do the last set and she’ll call me a bitch and tell me to get to it, but somehow even that is nice and motivating. My point in all of this? If you don’t have a workout partner, get one. She has made all the difference!

Plus you get texts like this. Watching someone else’s progress is almost as fun as seeing your own.

Highlights from last week in photos:
Made my very first green shake, it was sort of delightful.

My triceps muscle is starting to look intense.

One of the pictures where Kayla said “stop! I’m taking a picture of your arm”

I was not able to wear these pants this summer. That is some pretty great progress.

IMG_2444

Also last week we moved up in weight on almost all of our workouts. Here’s our 11 week progress.

When we started:                             Now:
Squats – 50lbs                                  100lbs
Dead Lifts – 60lbs                             110lbs
Shoulder Press – 30lbs                      60lbs (6 week progress)
Bench Press – 50lbs                           70lbs
Push Ups – 5                                       23
Pull Ups – 0                                           2

We do more than this but I’ve seen more improvement in these specific workouts than in rows, lat pull downs, tricep pushdowns, etc.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. Sorry I missed last Friday and will probably miss this Friday but don’t panic, I’ll be back 😉