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Wow! It’s been MONTHS!

So, I have majorly slacked on blogging. BIG TIME. I have been so busy with life in general and my new goal of competing. Yes, I said competing. Competing in bodybuilding- Figure to be exact. I spent 2013 bringing my nutrition in check and building muscle. I went through a solid bulk for most of the year (where you up your calories and weight train like mad ) and in December I hired a coach. I have been working with Shane ever since (Shane Heugly and his wife Tiffany) aka Team Heugly. It was the best decision I have ever made, as I would have never been able, as a first timer, to do this contest prep on my own. So many variables to take into consideration and just was not knowledgeable enough to do it on my own. This journey has taught me many MANY things not only about myself, but about dieting/nutrition, weight training and the industry.  It has been a long 5 months so far, but well worth the blood,sweat and tears. I am currently 3 weeks out from my very first competition (I will be competing down in Philly) and things have started to get pretty tough, I won’t lie…this industry is NOT for everyone that is for sure and it certainly takes a HUGE amount of discipline to do it.

 

I get a lot of questions from people asking me how I do it, to..do you really want to look like a man? To which I want to take a few lines to answer to this. First of all, how is it ok to ask a woman if she is ok looking like a man? Really?  First of all, I am VERY feminine and I look NOTHING like a man. I have muscles, does that equal me looking like a man? NO. Second, you are RUDE. Third, how about saying something like “Wow girl, that takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and although the look is not for me, I appreciate the hard work you put in.” Seriously..I just don’t understand people sometimes. My look is NOT for everyone NOR do I look down on people who do NOT look like me, but understand this..I have feelings and they do get hurt, but THANK GOD I do not take it personally or let it get me down. This is a  lifestyle that I chose ON PURPOSE because it’s who I am and it’s what makes ME ME ME feel good. NOT YOU, but ME. So stop knocking on what I eat, how much I work out and how much water I drink (or not drink, I need to work on that water intake BIG time). I don’t bag on you for your intake of fast food and garbage OR lack of exercise do I? No. Alrighty then.  Have a little respect, please and thank you.

Today is my first day of hi/lo cycling (which simply means 2 days of low carb and 1 day with higher carbs and then back down to 2 days etc..) so far so good, but, It’s only my first day. I also had my cheat meals removed from my plan as well (Which means that once  a week I was able to eat whatever I want including dessert for one of my meals) WHICH is HUGE for me, but I can do this. I want to do well and I trust in my coach and his plan for me. Trusting in your coach really is a huge deal and that is why you really have to make sure you do your research when or if you decide to hire one. I have such a great report’ with him and he always makes me feel like I am his only client (which I certainly am not). I really appreciate the fact that he allows for me to give my input and never ever makes me feel like I am being a nuisance. My coach gives me my nutrition plan along with my workout plans, so all I have to do is FOLLOW THE PLAN (which is something he says to me often! lolol). Takes all the guess work out of everything this prep, and one less thing I have to stress or worry about.

 

So What is figure?

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/figure_competition_prep.htm

Go have a look for yourself.

 

I work out 6 days a week at about 2.5/3 hours a clip. Depending on what bodypart  and how much cardio I’m doing. Let me preface this by saying that I am a MOM first and foremost. As most of you know I have 3 kids (12,13, and 16) who have VERY busy lifestyles. I also work 3 nights a week – 2/12’s and 1/8 hour shift. So I am VERY busy. It’s about how badly I want this (you or anyone has to decide how much you want it and then make it happen) and how disciplined I need to be to make it happen. It’s the same with running or cycling or any sport you do. It’s about making the time to get it done. No excuses. Period. Am I perfect? NO! Have I had slip ups? MANY!! Have I missed days? YES!! I am human and I make mistakes too. It’s about how you pick yourself up, dust off and keep moving forward. You just have to, as my coach says “MOVE ON” no need to stay stuck in your slip up. Just move the hell on! 

 

Nutrition is so very key in this whole thing. You can go to the gym and workout and do your cardio, BUT, if your nutrition is not spot on, then it really is all for not. Anyone can go and workout, but how willing are you to commit to the dietary changes that need to happen as well? In this day and age there are MANY different options out there to choose from, however, at the end of the day it always is truly about- calories in vs calories out. Plain and simple. Calories are calories. I eat 6 times a day because that is what works for ME. I like eating a lot and my body runs better that way and quite frankly, is used to it at this point. So I typically eat every 6 hours. I have a set plan that I follow that has my portions and food choices on it. I really do like not having to plan out things myself. I am looking forward to when I have a little more wiggle room and can get a little more creative, but, I am ok with things now. 

Well..that’s all for now! Time to eat! 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Talk Protein.

As many of you already know Protein is a very important macronutrient and even more important if you are weight training, are a runner or any kind of athlete for that matter. Your body needs it. Let me break down in a little more detail exactly what Protein is and what it does for you.

Proteins are made up of Amino Acids, you can also think of Amino Acids as building blocks. Some Amino Acids cannot be made within our bodies. The Amino Acids that cannot be made within our bodies are called Essential Amino Acids. They are called Essential because it is essential that our bodies have them.

When referring to Nutrition and what we eat we have two categories, Complete Proteins and Incomplete Proteins. The difference between the two are as follows:

Complete Proteins: These provide ALL of the essential amino acids, you may also have heard them called high quality proteins. Some examples of high quality proteins are your meats, fishes, eggs, poultry, milk and cheese. CHEESE!! OMG, I love cheese!

Incomplete Proteins: It does not contain all the amino acids, it could be missing one or a few(think plant based). Two quick examples would be something like rice and beans. If eaten separately they are both lacking amino acids to make it a complete protein, however, if you eat them together (like us Latinos) you will then get a more adequate amount of amino acids. One interesting fact I found out was that you do NOT indeed need to eat incomplete proteins together to form a complete at one sitting, you can eat them throughout the day and your body will combine them naturally (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html).

If you follow that link you will also see down at the bottom it gives recommended daily amounts of protein broken down by age. Please try and remember that those are baseline numbers, especially if we are talking about athletes, body builders etc.. At which point I say amounts of protein may vary, but like I have said in previous post 1g per protein by bodyweight is a good rule of thumb (however, with that being said, take into account that I lift weights and I am active. If you are sedentary and do very little in terms of exercise, you can scale that number back to about .8grams). I am 140lbs and I take in roughly 140 grams of protein daily. Some days I take in more and some less, but by weeks end I typically go by a daily average of about 135-140 grams.  Which leads me to the next topic of, can you get too much protein and how does the body break it down.

Your body can digest and absorb about 95% of the protein you ingest. The rest is broken down (which is roughly 5%) and used in other energy pathways. The absorption happens at various rates. There is much controversy on how much or how little protein one actually needs, depending on who you talk to. Some would say that you only need as little as .91 grams/weight (I still stick by my .8). Do your research, trial and error with your intake a bit to figure out what is right for you.

More times than not, I am shocked when I hear people give me a break down of their daily intake and it is severely lacking in protein. What most people do not realize is that the majority of their diets are made up of  carbs and fats.  This is why I say it is very  important to log your food for a while. This way you can see for yourself where your macronutrients are and where you are lacking or eating too much of. I realize some of you just don’t want to be bothered with it or could care less. I strongly caution you against this train of thought. Even if you are not looking to lose weight, don’t you at least want to know that you are fueling your body properly to ward off any future problems? Don’t you want to feel better? More energized? What have you got to lose? The 1/2 hour it may take you to find the food app on your phone and set it up? That’s it. After that, you are good to go. All you need to do is log your food as your day progresses, and the end of the day, it’s all there right in front of you. What you ate and what percentages of each macronutrient you consumed in your day. I mean then,  it won’t be a question of why am I not losing, gaining, still hungry, not hungry etc..you just open up your handy dandy little app and evaluate what you need to do going forward.

I really want to help you help yourself. Next time, I will focus on carbohydrates, what they are, why we need them and the pros and cons of having too little or too much.

Oh! Before I go real quick. I get asked what the difference is between Whey Protein and Whey Isolate (these are protein supplements that may be used to get your  protein requirements in for the day IN CONJUNCTION with the rest of your intake coming from whole foods).

Whey Protein- is the most popular and cheapest source out on the market. It is also the one we are most familiar with, and whey comes from milk, is the quickest and easiest for the body to digest. Whey contains between 70/80 % protein and roughly 5% comes from lactose (which is good to keep in mind for those of you who are lactose intolerant)

Isolates- These are more expensive and probably is the most purest of both forms, containing about 95% protein. They also contain little to no lactose and generally are lower in fat than whey.

Is one better than the other. In my opinion NO. Unless you have a lactose issue, go for the cheaper  variety of whey. If you are a protein snob and are watching your fats AND you are lactose intolerant AND have money to just burn..sure, go for the isolate.

Kbye!

88 Days Left..Really?!

I feel like this year has just flown by! Worked 12 hours last night, woke up and hit the gym. YES, I did. I know a hot topic for a lot of us is, “Well, I just don’t have time” and you  know what, nobody wants to hear me preach about the importance of making time. I feel like I do it often on here, but I cannot make myself any clearer. You just have to. I can be honest for a sec and say that when I first wake up, I am in NO mood ready, willing, or happy about going to the gym. I’m just not. I don’t force or rush myself out the door- my ritual usually consists of getting up, making coffee and throwing in 2 Eggo Multigrain Waffles into the toaster oven. If you know anything at all about me, know this, I am a creature of habit. I pretty much eat the same things over and over again. Does it get boring? No, not really, because, like I said..I am a creature of habit. I enjoy knowing what I am going to have and how it fits into my daily macro allotment. Anyway, I will eat, sit outside if it’s nice, browse and just relax and slowly wake up. The longer I’m awake, the better the idea of hitting the gym sounds to me. I can’t say I get excited, but there is a certain amount of enthusiasm that builds up over the course of the 30 minutes or so that I am sitting there thinking about what I’m going to do for my day’s workout.

Today I knew I wanted my focus to be on my shoulders. I LOVE working my shoulders and maybe that is because that is where I show progress the quickest and it’s easiest to see there. Either way, I do love a good shoulder workout. This is what I did:

DB Lateral Raises 4×12

Diamond Push-ups- 2×12 (I actually did these dead last)

Presses on the Hammer Machine-4×12

Db Front Raises 5×5

Barbell overhead Press- 4×8

Single Arm Cable front raises 5×5

cable upright rows- 4×12

Single Arm Cable lat raises-5×5 (which were supersetted with the single arm front raises)

great workout and very glad I went and got it done. NO cardio. Not a lick. I just did cardio on Sunday yo’, you know how I feel about cardio! On a side note, I was looking for a tshirt to throw on after my shower and I found my one running tshirt that has a ton a reasons why I run splashed across the front. I had a little teary eyed moment. I did. I had the strongest urge to just go out for a quick run. I did. I still think running is a part of who I am, because I do have feelings that reappear out of nowhere at times. Almost a longing , but for right now, it’s on the back burner. I’m really okay with it at the end of the day. I will go back to it, just maybe with a different perspective on it. So there you have it, I worked, I slepted and I got up and got my workout done.

I took a few pictures because taking pictures of myself (selfies If you will is a way that I gauge my progress. It isn’t because I’m conceited or I’m full of myself, CONTRARE to what others may think, it is merely another tracking tool for me) to see how my progress is coming along. Lately I have been feeling down on myself. I feel like maybe I’m not doing something right, I feel like my progress has been slow and honestly, I have been feeling discouraged. Which, btw are all NORMAL feelings to have. I took a look at the pictures and I realized that I am indeed going in the right direction and that I MUST be doing at least a little something right. I can smile on the inside a little bit more knowing that I continue to learn and I continue to work on myself and figure out what does and does not work for me. Everyday, all of this..it’s a learning process. I just hope to achieve my goals and inspire people along the way.

I turn 41 on Monday and although it is not as bad as turning 40 was, it is just a reminder that time does go by very fast. I am trying to do the best that I can to be the best version of me possible. I’m trying to learn all that I can and passing it along to those that want the help or that are interested. I LOVE helping people and I LOVE seeing the progress they are making. I want to prove to everyone out there that just because you are *older* does not mean you cannot achieve anything you want- whether it’s with your body or elsewhere. I want people to stop listening to the hype about all the reasons and excuses WHY they are overweight or WHY they can’t work out. You are NOT a failure and YOU CAN do this. Take a good look at yourself and figure out what you are going to do to make the changes necessary to be the best version of you possible.

I want to quickly add that there is also a lot to be said about being comfortable with the SKIN YOU ARE IN. If YOU are truly HAPPY with where you are at in your life, what you see in the reflection of your mirror, how you treat people and what you put out into the world, then you GO!!! Continue to strive for that every day of your life. Remember that everyone is going through their own struggles and battles in their lives. Take a minute to smile at people, say hello and brighten their day. People make mistakes in life, we are often misread, and often times we are forgotten about on a daily basis. Try to be aware of those that maybe you think you should be giving a little extra attention to, even if that person is YOU.

Be you..be true and live your life to it’s fullest.

Down to 90 Days..

I cannot believe I have made it this long. Well, yes I can, but I have done it with very little effort and have learned so many things along the way. The biggest piece I have learned is that life is about balance.  Balancing the good and the bad and  to just keep moving forward through all your ups and downs.

I want to talk a little about metabolic issues today. There is much controversy regarding metabolic damage (Metabolic Damage:”This is a condition where the nervous, endocrine, and immunological systems lose their ability to function properly due to extreme weight loss measures or repeated dieting. In functional medicine we call it neuroedocrineimmune dysfunction because these systems are not separate at all, but have overlapping communication and integrated function” -Jade Teta ND, CSCS). Some gurus simply believe it just does not exist, and then there are those that believe it truly does exist, because they are living examples of it.

The people I have read first accounts and stories of as well as people I know in real life are what I like to call “Perpetual Dieters”, they spend more time dieting than not dieting, and because they are constantly suppressing their system, losing weight becomes next to impossible for them. “I’m only eating 1000 calories a day and I’m not losing, I just don’t understand it” I see this ALL the time. Which is most often followed up with, “Please tell me what to do, BUT, note, that I cannot eat carbs due to the intolerance I have” Let me let you in on a little secret- you are NOT carb intolerant. NOT. (again, I must put in my little disclaimer of- I am NOT speaking of anyone with a true documented medical condition- celiacs et al..and when I mean documented, I mean not SELF dx’d, I mean you went to the Dr. and were officially tested for said conditions). What I like to tell these perpetual dieters is that first and foremost you really need to work on re-setting your *system*. What does this mean? This means that you must spend some time slowly upping your caloric intake to where it really should be. Which will vary according to a few different variables such as, your age, your weight, your height and your activity level. Then I tell them, if your not moving, you NEED to get moving, be active, exercise!! Which is followed by “Well I do cardio every single day, I am moving”, which leads me to say the unthinkable..ready for this? Hold on to your hats……”STOP DOING THAT MUCH CARDIO!!!” just stop.  What I would really prefer is for you to stop cardio all together for a period of time. NO cardio is NOT evil or bad and I know that some will argue with me until they are blue in the face. However, combining excessive amounts of cardio on top of EXTREMELY low calories is NOT beneficial to you. Sure, it may work at first, why? Because you are shocking your system and it’s something new. Trust me on this, you WILL eventually hit that stall. The  point where you stop losing weight and you may even start gaining- which makes people assume they must need to lower their calories even more and do yet even more cardio. NO. Just stop.

My advice is to cut back your cardio to maybe a few leisurely walks a week, some stretching and start picking up some weights. What I will warn you though is that stopping cardio cold turkey and eating more right away will make you retain water like nobody’s business and therefore you will see the scale numbers go up. Take it slow, I would first start dropping the cardio little by little (keep your calories the same right now), I would focus on eating more protein and fiber for awhile to keep you feeling satiated. Did you know that  you should be eating at least 1g of protein per your bodyweight? Some may argue it should be lean body mass vs total body weight..I say 1lb per your bodyweight. So if you weigh 125, it would be 125 grams of protein a day, 140 would be 140 grams per day and so on. I would also strive to be sure you are getting at least 25-35 grams of fiber in your diet daily as well. Most people really struggle with this, I highly encourage logging all your food to get a grasp on your macronutrients.

THEN start upping your calories little by little and at the same time, start incorporating those weights. Do not be afraid of lifting weights. I cannot stress this enough. If you are a woman NO, it will NOT make you look bulky and ugly. Put that thought right out of your pretty little head right now. Lifting weights will make you a little fat burning furnace, long after you have stopped your workout. Lift heavy. Period. There is no such thing as *toning* it is a myth people. Nobody spot *tones* anything. ANYTHING!!! You want to look leaner and stronger, pick up the weights and get to it. I cannot stress this enough. “Well I have back issues, I have shoulder issues, I can’t lift weights” YES you can. You may have to do a little more research to be able to sub out exercises, but you can do it. STOP MAKING excuses. JUST STOP. I have seen many people face many adversities and still keep going. They don’t give up. They continually strive to be the best them they can be. I have friends that have back problems, that have had back surgeries, you know what? They are still out there everyday fighting the fight and doing what they need to do. You have to first figure out why you keep making up excuses to why you can’t do what you know you really need to do. The only one stopping you is YOU.

My goal is to try and continue to get the message out that low calorie/extreme cardio diets are NOT the way to go. They are ruining your body. Get off the cardio machines and move some iron. I have come from a background of distance running as most of you know that have been following me. I have spent years running and years of depriving my system of the food and calories it needed thinking that is what I was supposed to do. I eventually burned out, hard. I was starving, my body was starving and my running began to become something I no longer loved. I hated it. I no longer wanted to associate with other runners that I knew, it made me sad and it made me jealous. I felt like a failure and without my running, I felt like they had no need to be my friend anymore, because the one thing we had in common, I put on the wayside for awhile. They stopped talking to me and I them. I spend a great deal of time physically and emotionally repairing myself. Emotionally because I felt like a huge failure. I felt like a fake. I used to say how much I loved running and it was who I was. The truth is, I ran myself into the ground. Do I miss it? I miss it a lot some days. Maybe I will go back some time, but right now, it isn’t my focus, and truth be told, I do very little cardio right now. Maybe 2/20 minute sessions a week at the most. My body has thanked me for it and you know what? My body is in the best shape it has ever been in. NOT because I run, but because I stopped and I started seriously weight training. Is running bad? NO! Of course not! What I will say, is if you are a runner, please be sure you are EATING enough to sustain your body and your runs. This was my biggest problem. I simply was not eating to fuel my runs. It took me a few months to really be okay with not running. I was very much like “Well, if I’m not running, then who am I?”.. I’m a wife, mother, friend and most of all an individual person that is separate from the rest. I have dreams and desires and things I want to do.

As you know, I personally follow a macro nutrient based lifestyle. This is what I like and what I prefer, so I will often refer to this lifestyle throughout my posts. I have had people ask me how it works and can I teach them. It’s very easy and very freeing. Step one is figuring out your macro breakdown do this by going to: www.iifym.com once you go there go to tools and figure out your numbers. Then it will then break down what your macros should be based on your daily caloric intake. Once you have that all figured out you are set to go. Like I have said in previous posts, you will need to log your daily intake- I highly suggest you get yourself a food scale so that you can be precise in your calculations and logging your food. If you find that your calories are MUCH higher than what you are used to (which I suspect it will be), my suggestion would be to start out slow until you work your way up to where you should be. You may have some initial weight gain, but that will even out and stop AND some may even find that they lose right off the bat. Either way, stick the course, do not give up. Stick with it day in and day out. Give it 10 days, once you make it 10 days, give yourself another 10 days..it will become a habit, I promise. Diet followed with a good strong exercise/weight training  regime will give you results. I promise.

If you have any questions, please post them and I will be sure to get back to you.

 

So, What Do I eat Then?

I actually eat a lot of different things. I’m not limited to chicken, tilapia, asparagus or sweet potatoes. Although, I would not have a problem with that, because I cook creatively and I can whip up a mean tilapia and asparagus dish 🙂 I also love chicken and sweet potatoes! So many variations! Anyway, I digress. My foods vary, but I am a creature of habit, so I tend to eat the same things in different forms. I’m fine with that. Honestly, I am.

I follow my macros. Which are your Carbs, Proteins and Fats and I also make sure I pay mind to my micronutriens (Fiber being the most important). I am a big proponent of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) I know surely you have seen it around, since It is gaining much popularity as of late. I don’t do it because It’s popular, I do it because it works for me. What it basically is, is a lifestyle where you don’t have to worry about WHAT your eating, but making sure to HIT your macronutrients on a daily basis. Protein and fats being the most important and filing the rest with your Carbs. Can you eat crap? Sure, but you will find out PRETTY  quickly that you will go through your macros VERY fast. So, I tend to eat mostly foods that are more macro smart for me, which means I get to eat more 🙂 However, it does allow me the opportunity to also have that glass of wine (which, I have naturally cut back on, myself. I last had a glass maybe 3 weeks ago, not because I’m trying to, I just have not thought about it), ice cream, or anything really. I’m not so consumed with eating certain foods , and labeling foods GOOD OR BAD. QUIT labeling your foods! That is number one!

I do measure my food out (why? because you really need to get a clue on HOW MUCH you really are eating), because eyeballing is only really for the MORE experienced, it is VERY easy to gradually up your eyeball amount, with not really meaning too. So, yes, I measure. Do I mind it? No, not one bit. Is it weird? NO? Why would it be weird? Do I do it in a restaurant? No, THAT would be weird. I usually over estimate my portion sizes to be safe. Do I limit myself when I eat out? NO, remember, I said this is NOT about limiting yourself to “Good or Bad” foods. I eat what I want. Period. I also log my food. That can take a little time, getting used to it, the logging and tracking, but it becomes second nature. Sure, maybe you don’t want to do that, because then it takes the fun away, BUT, how else are you going to keep track of your macros? Even  your calories if you choose to still count them. You have to have an idea of what you are eating in order to see progress in either direction.

There are various sites you can visit to get that information (your macros, how much etc..) One site is called www.iifym.com , go to the tools tab and go to calculate your macros. Plug in all your information and it will spit out your numbers. When you put in your activity level, be honest about it. Don’t put in what you would like to do, but put in what you are ACTUALLY doing right now. Then you can go back and adjust it accordingly as you progress.

As a side note, know that Carbs and Proteins BOTH equal 4 calories PER gram and Fat equals 9 Calories PER gram. No matter what method you choose to use, whether it be counting calories or counting your macros, at the end of the day, calories in VS calories burned is what counts. If you are eating MORE than you burn in a day, you are in a caloric surplus. If you eat LESS than what you take in, you are in a deficit. You need to be in a deficit to LOSE weight and a surplus to GAIN. A lot of people like to figure out their calories and then exercise to GET MORE calories. DON’T DO THAT. Please. When you go to IIFYM (if you choose to, and NO I am not affiliate with that site) the numbers it will give you, take INTO ACCOUNT the amount of activity you do. NO NEED to add calories back after you exercise. Don’t get into the habit of trying to earn your calories. We don’t earn our food. Besides, even with all the new latest and greatest gadgets (“Oh, I have a bodybug, it says I burned a gazillion calories, so I’m going to eat back 1000 calories”..NO. Just NO), there is still ERROR in there. Trust me on this. You probably won’t, but I’m only trying to help you.

Once you have your numbers, find an app that you like to track your food. I would also highly recommend a food scale. You can find one at Walmart, Kohls, wherever you choose to go . They are there and inexpensive. Like I said in a previous post, I use mymacros for my food log, but have also been extremely happy with MyNetDiary as well. There are other apps out there that people swear by, but they are a little more difficult to navigate and put your macros in, and they also are NOTORIOUS for giving people welfare calories to live off of. Beware. I warned you. PS- you will have to customize your calories and not use what they give you. A little patience goes a long way here while you figure out how to do that.

That’s enough of that for today. Nobody wants to be preached to, but I believe it just did! Get it done!

Anyway, I eat a lot of different things like I said, I took a picture last week of some of my staples. But, normally I eat chicken (of course..duh), ground turkey, beef, tilapia (duh), cod, and occasionally pork (only because I’m not gaga over it, but I will eat it). I eat all kinds of veggies but asparagus (duh) is one of my favorite along with spinach. I LOVE spinach. I also love Kale, sweet potato (duh), green beans, swiss chard and zucchini. Luckily I belong to a local CSA, so I get most of that fresh. Now that we are in the middle of summer, I eat a lot of tomatoes,  (not a lot of corn, but I do love corn on the cob). I make fresh salsa which I  put on EVERYTHING. My eggs, my fish, my chicken, IT’S on there!

I also love me some peanut butter. I have like 5 jars of various kinds. Indeed. No lie. Ask my family. I use coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil and spray oil for cooking. I eat whole grain waffles for breakfast, I make protein pancakes, egg whites etc..I love making protein yogurts for snacks..I mean the list goes on and on! I eat a lot, and I never ever feel like I’m being deprived. Just get creative and get cooking!

 

Also, always remember that failure prep and plan is a plan to fail.

Gotta run now! Chat later!

So, I am down to 115 days. Even though I still have a ways to go, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what this year has been like so far. First and foremost, I want to say that I am grateful and thankful for all the help I have had along the way. Mostly to other bloggers, Facebook Groups, Websites and my friends. This has been a big journey, one that I am very glad I decided to take. I’m not sure everyone *gets* it, or wants to at least try and get it, and that’s ok. Everyone is unique and different in their own way,  and certainly nobody has to do what I’m doing. This journey is more than just me starting to weight train, this is about becoming more aware of my body, and being more aware of what I am feeding it and how I am treating it. I do believe that too many people take for granted the body they are in. We all do. I have, that much I know is true. I ran for many years and failed to take care of my body by fueling it properly, by NOT listening to the suttle cues it would give me, or by allowing it the rest it deserved. I subsequently, did some damage to my metabolism along with my ego 😦 . I was asking entirely too much of it, and not giving it the fuel it so desperately desired. So I became what is considered thin fat. I looked thin to other people, but I knew better. I was flabby underneath it all. I ran more thinking it would help keep the number on the scale down and I ate less. Did I lose weight? Yes, of course I did. Running, coupled with little eating and stress  equals weight loss. However, I was tired, I hurt and I was beat down. I added a 3rd shift job into the mix and well, I sort of self imploded over the course of a year. My running slowed down and my weight started to creep up. Truth be told I probably put on about 13lbs since I stopped running regularly over the course of a year.

On the surface, I did not look like it too much, but my clothing was getting tighter and I looked a little fluffier. I was miserable from the lack of sleep, lack of seeing my family because I was always sleeping, and I was STILL trying to keep a few miles here and there. Something had to give. I decided that running was going by the way side and I needed to drop down to part time with my job (let me say that I am very fortunate that I am able to do that, and I realize how fortunate I am. I have a VERY supportive husband who has stayed by my side every painful step of my bitchy way). I have always dabbled on and off in weight training, but I wanted to try and start it again and stick to it. The only way to do that was to fix my eating first and foremost. What really set those wheels in motion was a woman by the name of Amber, who runs the site GO Kaleo (she also has a FB group). She finally got me to realize that I needed to EAT MORE (not just me, but a bunch of  people, a revolution if you will). At first of course I was skeptical, because I came from a background of eat LESS and do cardio MORE. Not eat MORE and do cardio LESS, the HORROR!!! Let me tell you, I have NEVER looked back to my old lifestyle. I began to do my own research, I walked the walk and I continued to read and learn. I had an initial gain. YES, I did. It had to  happen that way, I needed to get my metabolism moving again, I needed it to know I wasn’t starving it anymore. I wasn’t going to torture it with TONS of cardio. I was just going to eat and let my body heal.

I started to lift heav(ier). MUCH heavier. I stared following Wendler’s 5/3/1. My weight finally leveled out and stayed put, even though I was feeding it so much more. Then the real changes started, my physique started to change. My biceps started to take shape, my shoulders, my triceps, my hips started to thin out, YET, my weight stayed the SAME. My clothing size dropped again, YET, I was eating MORE. Amazeballs! Who woulda’ thunk!? I continued to lift heavy ( I am 5 cycles in now) and I continued to read and learn and read yet some more. I realized that doing this, studying about food and eating and cooking and weight training made ME HAPPY. I enjoy it. NO, not like I enjoyed running , but a serious love. Pushing my body, and fueling it, and learning and seeing the changes, it’s all Science. It’s all right there in front of me. No one can argue with results, NO one can argue Science. For so long I have believed in the low calorie band wagon (Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach etc..etc..) that had me consuming such low calories and had me doing lots of cardio. You know what? I do  MAYBE 2 days a week of cardio and only 15-20 minutes at that. For real. I’m SO much happier now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my weak moments of bad self talk, I still have days where I pick myself apart in front of the mirror. Or I question all that I am doing, but, the times that I get compliments, or the times that people ask me to help them or tell me that I, ME, I inspire them,  reinforces that what I am doing is right. I AM learning, I AM applying what I’m learning to myself. There is NO magic pill, NO magic shake, just some work and time.

You have to be willing to make a change within yourself. Only you can do it. Nobody else. There are only so many tomorrows. Why not today? This is YOUR body, you were only given one. Listen, I am not preaching, because ultimately, whatever you decide, it will not effect me one bit. Your decisions are YOURS and no one else can make them for you. It just makes me sad when I know that you CAN change. YOU CAN. It’s hard to get started, and you will have days where you don’t want to. I still have them, but the benefits FAR outweigh  anything else.

You know what else? I get your busy. I am busy too. I am 40, I have 3 kids (15.5, 13 and 11), I also have a husband who travels and  I work 2/12 hour shifts a week (3rd shift like I said). My youngest is a competitive gymnast, he is in the gym 6 days a week (which is 40 minutes away ONE way). My daughter twirls, dances and does ballet. My oldest is a wrestler (and I am training him with Wendler’s right now as well). I still manage to put GOOD food on the table, everyone has clean clothing on, I keep my house relatively clean (lol) and I find time to train MYSELF. So, yea. I know BUSY. YOU have to decide are YOU really THAT busy? Or do you lack the  motivation that it takes to get there? If it’s the latter, then sorry I can’t help you. Look inward a bit and try to find that answer. Never settle.  Never.

 

 

261-258

Monday 4/15 (Day 261)

4 mile Run

Day 260

Upright Rows- 5×5 @51lbs

Military Presses- 5×5@20lbs

Bench Press-5×5@65lbs

Hammers (because this is my most favorite exercise) 3×5@25lbs

One Arm DB Rows- 5×5@35lbs

Day 259

Rest.

Day 258

Today was a leg day as well, so it was a pretty long workout. Still tinkering and figuring out good push/pull movements to give me the bang for my buck I’m looking for. Some of these are redundant, BUT, coming from years of split workouts, it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around how some exercises automatically work the smaller muscle groups. I have been learning so many new things regarding weight training my head is spinning! Still trying to find that ground with running AND weight training. Try and try until I get it right!

Deadlifts- 5×5@115lbs

Back Squats-5×5@115lbs (there are some people that think you cannot do these two on the same day- FALSE)

Plie Squats-3×10@35 lbs (I don’t NEED to do these, I just do)

Leg Extensions- 5×5@70lbs (Same with these. I don’t do them often, but every once in a while)

DB Upright Rows (a switch from the ez bar)5×5@25lbs (I find that I can go heavier with the EZ bar than the DB’s)

Bench Press- 5×5@65lbs (I did this at the very, bad move, I need to order my lifts a bit better, the way these are written down are not the order that I do them in)

Tricep Extensions- 5×5@20lbs (Same with these not a need one can easily do a close grip BB press and hit the triceps as well)

Hammers-5×5 @20lbs (again, don’t need these, just love em’)

Military presses 5×5@20lbs (I’m learning to love these as well It’s very important to watch your form on these especially as you go up in weight)

Bent Over EZ Bar Rows- 5×5@51lbs

This took about an hour. I don’t like being in there that long. What I have learned and am continuing to learn is that you really only need a few exercises (push/pull) to really hit ALL your  muscle groups. It’s taking me a while to get out of the split routine mentality. I’m a little stubborn that way. I’m also learning that lifting heavy is NOT a bad thing. It WON’T make me bulk. I need to EAT to feed the muscle. Calories in are still an issue for me, and I think they always will be. I have come from years of restricting because I have believed that you need to restrict to lose, what I did not realize was that I was damaging my metabolism in doing so. Restricting works in the immediate term, but when one wants to lose more one must restrict more. The body was NOT MEANT to live on 12-1500 calories. That is a hard concept to get through ones head in this day and age. I have found that my BMR is around 1300 calories. Can you imagine if I was only eating 1500 calories AND working out?? This is how society lives for the most part the *diet* industry has really fucked with our minds. Eat less! NO! Eat more! Fix that metabolism!

Does that mean eat more crap? NO! Does it mean you can’t eat crap once in a while?! NO! It means make generally healthy food choices and it is MORE THAN FINE to have your treats! Be active, stay active and FEED THAT DAMN BODY!!

I’m still struggling with running, I’m still dealing with fatigue and being tired, which honestly, stems from me still trying to eat the food. I’m still fighting with my sleep and I fear I have some long-term effects from working for the last year plus at night. I’m guessing it will take me awhile to find the happy medium. I still work nights, but I’m down to 2 nights. It still seems to be an issue. Whatever. Eventually I will figure it all out.

279!

Thursday 3/29

Scheduled for 3 miles.. Ran 3 on the treadmill, while watching The Walking Dead. Love my mini!!!

Back Squats- 3×10@65 lbs
Deadlifts-3×10@65lbs
Walking lunges- 4×20@ 25lbs
Leg extensions-4×10@25lbs

Work tonight.

Days 284-281!!

Friday 3/22- 284

No cardio today.
Leg Extensions- 5×5@ 55lbs
SS W/
Front Squats- 5×5@ 65lbs
Plié Squats- 3×10@ 35lbs
SS W/
Farmers Walk- 4×40@25lbs
Dead lifts- 3×10@65lbs
Walking Lunges- 3×20@ 20lbs

Went to dinner with my honey! Much deserved. Love getting out with him. It’s been 15 years almost, I wonder if everyone loves their spouse this much after all these years. We have had our share of crap, and probably more than any of our friends will ever know or go through, but here we are. Still together, loving, respecting, and honoring each other. We may not agree all the time and we sure can throw down, but we work it out.

Saturday 3/23- 283

5.0 mile Run

Ez Bar Curls- 3×10@ 38lbs
Hammers- 3×8@ 20lbs
Overhead Tricep Dips 3×10@ 20lbs
Tricep Kickbacks- 3×10@15 lbs

Just did a quick but effective workout for my arms.

Sunday3/24- Day 282
Trainer- 13.07 miles

Threw this in at last minute, as I worked last night and woke up very late!! Again, quick but effective! You don’t have to be working out for hours to get desired results!! Don’t believe the hype!

Monday 3/24 – Day 282
Bike 15 miles

Two days off from weights! Equals coming back stronger and ready to go heavier! Oorah!!

Tuesday 3/25- Day 281

5.26 mile run

Upright Rows- 3×10@35 lbs
Front Raises- 3×8@ -15lbs
DB Lat Raises- 5×5@ 15lbs
Bent Over Lat Raises- 3×8@ 10lbs
Standing Military Presses- 5×5@15lbs

I could go heavier on those last ones, BUT after doing the other stuff,my shoulders were hit hard at that point, I was shocked to see the definition in them, between the pump and the muscle that has been building!! Wow! I did that !

Still playing with calories, but I can tell you eating a little more definitely fuels the runs/bikes/weights. Will be slowly upping my mileage as well. Ready for the warmer weather!

I have some unrelated venting to do, I will do that blog later. Mama bear type stuff.

Teach your kids it’s never okay to be mean spirited.. Most of the time the apple does not fall far from the tree. Obnoxious kids = obnoxious parents.

Another… Sensible ya?!

Running Sole Girl

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard, but it could be easier as well. So if you’re wanting to start eating healthy

 

Tip #1. Eat a variety of foods. As we all know our bodies need different nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Unfortunately there is not one food out there that has all these nutrients in it. So a great way to do this is by eating bread and other whole grain products, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and meat. How much you eat of these items depends on your caloric daily intake goal.

Tip #2. Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Did you know that the average american doesn’t eat enough of these foods? Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta family, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit, or 3-5 servings of vegetables? If…

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