Back at it!

So I have been out of my blogging cycle for almost two years, which is crazy to think its been so long, but life happened and I have lost sight of certain things….blogging being one of them.

As of now, Sept 2016 I am well on my way to stepping on stage as a bikini competitor for the first time. I bought on a bad-a** amazing coach to help me and its been almost a full year working with her. and the changes are phenomenal so far… I have been tracking my macros as well as lifting and doing cardio. I am at 261 days straight of macro tracking and I am down about 20 pounds. I went from a size 12 to a 6.

The journey has been crazy, I have never experienced so many different feels in such a short period of time. Over the past 11 months I have had to deal with so many various emotions and I have hit some really low lows while keeping this fitness journey going. I still have 8-ish weeks to go before I step on stage in November. I still have about 10 pounds to lose and this is probably the hardest part of the journey. Progress has really stalled, my scale weight has been stubbornly stayed the same for the last 3 weeks. Mentally its been tough to keep the journey going at this point but its become such a habit to hit the gym and track food its almost impossible to go back the other way, but it feels more like work now then it did in the beginning.

None the less it onwards and upwards. I will post my current progress photos which are January 2016 to July 2016:

progress-jan-july-2016

still work to be done but I am proud of my progress so far….The journey continues and my updates will as well as I get closer to my first show.

Workout Breathing Techniques

A great article on breathing while working out to really take your workout to the next level. Click below to read the article on fix.com!


Source: Fix.com” target=”_http://www.fix.com/blog/workout-breathing-techniques/”>

Down for the count

Surgery…….nothing will bring you down quicker than an emergency appendectomy…… damn appendix.

Day before Thanksgiving my appendix decides what better time to get infected than NOW!

I was on a roll, and am 4 weeks out to not only our beautiful, wonderful Thailand trip buuuut my next mile marker for weight and body composition. One step closer to competition, many more steps to go but one more closer none the less.

So I am frustrated as my minimum recovery is 2 weeks, and even after that I am not sure if I will be able to get back to lifting, it may just be stretching and maybe light cardio.

Feelin like this is my 2 steps back……but gotta look at the bright side, I caught it before it ruptured which would have set me back 4-6 weeks and quite possibly put a big fat cancel on my trip; so there is a silver lining.

It is 5 days after surgery so focus this week is healing; gotta eat clean (even though I have no appetite and my brain wants me to indulge in comfort food…weird battle), do light walking, and some upper body stretching making sure not to involve a lot of ab muscle movement. (nearly impossible by the way, you never really realize how much you use your stomach muscles until their are cut open and when you try to breathe, cough or for crimany sakes sneeze you feel like your going to die!)

I put a reminder in my phone for everyday to remind me that food choice is what will keep me from going backwards, since I cannot make up for extra calories from working out! Fingers crossed that it will !

The Diet Riot

Ahh yes, the use of the word riot to describe your diet behavior….uhhh what?!?! What in the world does riot and diet have in common….well it rhymes…I love to rhyme……sometimes, hug….bug….hunt……….well you get the picture.
But I am not here to talk just about rhyming but dieting, its a bad word but so is riot; to some; but its really about perception( hence why we have one word with multiple meanings, Hello English…) . My thoughts are that riot perfectly describes the act of dieting. So to quote the all mighty Websters Dictionary rioting means: ” A large group of people behaving in a violent or uncontrolled way”
With all the dieting trends out there, isn’t that exactly what it feels like? a large group of people behaving uncontrollably? It’s about eating this not that, chocolate is good…. nooooo chocolate is bad….. canola oil..olive oil..canola oil…olive oil… and then some just see FAT FAT FAT.
All I hear is Charlie Browns teacher.
Even thinking about the SAD (Standard American Diet) that’s a riot in itself…meaning both the definition mentioned above and its also unbelievably hilarious. The fact that the acronym is SAD in itself is sad.
All in all, I found this term ‘diet riot’ when searching the internet and in my opinion perfectly describes the ridiculousness out there regarding how people should be eating; when we know the truth is as Americans, in general, our diets are terrible. Its about balance; just like life, all work and no play can make anyone a fat, dull, couch potato.
Its not about dieting its about nourishment and looking and feeling your best, if you want to be long lean and compete; your ‘diet’ should reflect that.
If you want to have the energy to just stay up long enough to watch the final season of SOA well your diet will reflect that, not that there’s anything wrong with having just enough energy for this as SOA is amazeballs and fulfills my desire to live on the edge…that’s for another blog post though.
Point here is that your nourishment should reflect your goals and I believe that at the very least most people desire to have energy to live, love, laugh, spend time with those they care about etc…..soooo…..GET OUT OF THE DIET RIOT……STOP OVERTHINKING IT. Bring balance to your foodie desires and you will have what it takes to reach whatever goals you set out for!
 Am I saying, if you want cake that if you follow it up with a cup of broccoli your life will be complete? Yes, well kinda, I am not a cake person buuuuut I am not really a broccoli person either, however taking a little indulgent treat and arming it with the correct ‘riot defense gear’…. a la broccoli( I am picturing a little broccoli tree holding a shield with a gas mask on, that makes me smile) , you can have the small treats that keep your mind sane while providing your body the nutrients it needs to live your lifestyle and be happy and healthy doing it!
Just my little rant about “dieting”

The Gateway Drug

 “I don’t keep syrup in the house, its a gateway drug.”
“How so?”
With a half laugh that’s how it started, the conversation over breakfast. My love and I were having breakfast yesterday and I opted for the chicken apple sausage meal, not my first choice of course, but I have taught myself that going out to breakfast is not a cause for celebration. Food is fuel dammit!  I use to feel like, well if we are going out to eat then I gotta get something I couldn’t normally have at home without like a billion ingredients and so on. That way of thinking open the doors to unbelievable justifications for all types of foods at restaurants. Really?! I would find a way to justify why I couldn’t make full of fat and carbs chicken alfredo that’s like three ingredients. Anyways, I always felt like going out to eat was this big event until we went on the road for 6 months and traveled….. that way of thinking my friends will pack on the pounds quick when your only real choice is eating out. Mid way through our travels I had realized how heavy I had gotten in just those three months.
That’s when I decided I needed a mind change not just a diet. I need to revamp how my brain was looking at food. Or more importantly how I my brain and my heart was FEELING about food.
Back to my breakfast conversation, as we discussed our love of French toast, I explained that was precisely why I did not have syrup in the house. Keeping syrup around would lead to having pancakes or French toast at home, which would then lead to frozen waffles packed full of chemicals and crap ingredients…but hey they are easy…. which leads to having powdered sugar for your waffles and French toast, which leads to having regular refined sugar since your getting cereal now because its easy and well you can’t have that “healthy” rice chex cereal without throwing some sugar on top….and well now you had this simple breakfast and you’re hungry three minutes later might as well have a sugary muffin for snack because we are on an easy kick. Then before you know it, your having a huge burrito for lunch and Chinese food for dinner and your now laying in bed in the fetal position with a terrible stomach ache and a wave of total guilt washing over you.
I know this from experience, which is why I urge you to find your gateway drug and cut it off from the source.
Its rough sometimes and I get really frustrated with cooking, if I am not preparing properly each week, it can feel like 75% of your day is devoted to the kitchen. It’s why quick and easy convenience foods become so appealing, its not that they really taste all that awesome, its just “good enough” taste for the provided convenience it so pleasantly comes with.
Getting fit is not the easiest journey in the world, especially if food is your comfort, it honestly is like a drug addict. You are having to make a conscious decision each day to eat clean foods and workout…… eventually though it does become habit, at this point in my journey working out is a no brainer and its more like I “have” to do it. But the food, as mentioned several times, is the real struggle.
For me, with food, its really about changing the way we look and feel about food. Really focusing on food being a fuel source rather than a comfort, or an entertainment, or whatever you use it for. Its not always easy, we live in a world where almost all our social gatherings are revolved around food and drinks, but just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right. If you look around and those awesomely fit people, they look and feel they way the do because they do the opposite of what the rest of the world is doing they balance clean eats to treats, alcohol is almost always a no no, and their social circles are generally with other like minded people resulting in support of what they do. I know when I first started my journey I got flack from some family members about how it seems vain to care so much about how I look, mind you these are not the fittest people in the world, but now I don’t spend as much time with those family members as they don’t exactly support what I wanna do.
 Just some food for thought.
 

Pulling it together after the weekend

Did you take full advantage of your time off this weekend?
I mean real advantage, take the time to spend a little longer in the gym?
Maybe took extra time to prep meals, or plan recipes?
I hope so, for me, this weekend was a little tougher. I am not sure why but I let this weekend get the best of me and I didn’t make the best food choices.
So where do you go from here?
Well if you were like me and you took advantage the other way by letting the weekend be the justification for eating like a pig, well, my suggestion is just to jump back on the wagon.
So far my experience is that once its in and done, not much you can do to recover, could you workout extra hard and lessen your calorie intake, sure but when looking at the big picture of things you would honestly need to do that for the whole week to really balance out the bad, depending on the level of bad of course, and well if we could all do that for a week, would we really be calling this a fitness “journey” not really it would already be a way of life. And its still something I am working towards!
I believe that the best thing to do is suck it up, hopefully you got your enjoyment out of it and didn’t let yourself feel super guilty, and know that you gotta get right back to eating clean and keeping your workouts consistent.
I love that little meme thing out there that shows the picture of the salad and the burger and then says, “one bad meal doesn’t make you fat, just like one healthy meal doesn’t make you skinny”
So true!
And I read that and it makes me feel good when I only ate one bad meal, but if my bads outweigh the goods then I realize I really gotta stack up the good meals to balance myself out and then….well…. I am depressed.
All in all, just get back into it. As I make this transition, and maybe as you do too, you will see that having those cheat meals are a great thing. Eventually the cheat meals turn into snacks and then only special occasions and before we know it our results will be so awesome that those foods just aren’t the same. The taste, the way it makes you feel, all that will eventually change.
Food will never taste as great as being fit feels!!

The Day of the Candy

I love Halloween in the fact that I got to wear something over the top and maybe revealing😉 , that sounds terrible and please don’t judge but once a year to wear something really cool and its completely socially acceptable for the most part is appealing.
Of course that was a thing in my early twenties, now, its answering the door for adorable kids begging for treats and hoping that you scored with the hit candy this year otherwise your awesome cat carved pumpkin becomes roadkill. Not that that’s happened before, its simply a possibility that purused its way through my mind…..anyways…
This year though is totally different, part of my fit journey means that I am trading in fun sized snickers for funner sized hips and waist, so no candy for me….. but its a struggle, I love candy and the hardest thing is that I can’t have it, which makes it seem so much more appealing…. and really though the few times, okay, jeez, yes I am working my way up to competing in a bikini comp, and there have been M A N Y times that I have allowed myself a treat, it just does not taste that great anymore. It scares me, something that I use to eeeek uuusseee tooo, really enjoy, I don’t really enjoy, its kinda like losing my security blanket in a way….. sigh…… but its a good thing, because as I make my way towards achieving a long time dreamed goal, I have found a comfort in other things like music, and blogging, and although its not perfect because I still have my weak moments I make those moments revolve around more satisfying decadent treats like a truffle or a tiny piece of cheesecake, they are pricier than any ole piece of candy which means just in that sense I don’t indulge near as often, and they have to be specific types so you can’t just run to 7-eleven and pick it up so that makes it even tougher to indulge. This technique might sound terrible to fitness fanatics and to those that are anti fitness fanatics but its worked for me, making it to where the comfort foods or the indulgent treats are harder to get to makes it easier to re-think eating them and makes me decide if pausing sons of anarchy is worth driving allll the way to the store for cheesecake, and let me tell you so far this season, its not!!
In my opinion, and for where I am at now, having a treat now and again is not only good its almost necessary for my sanity, although this journey to becoming a fitter me is a labor, its a labor of love, and I am in it 110%. Well mentally and physically absolutely 110% but to be honest my nutrition is mmmmmmm 80%…work in progress!!

UGH!! Seriously, leg day again???

Why is it that leg day seems soooo awful….. It truly has gotten the best of me, I find I will work out hard and all out all week and then leg day comes and its like ooooo….man, am I soooooore from yesterdays workout…..guess today would be a GREAT day to take a rest….when in reality the only thing really sore is the eyelash in my eye from sleeping on my face (what’s with eyelashes getting sore anyways, sucha pain) anyways I have yet to pin point why leg day is such a dread I mean obviously its a huge muscle group so your heart rate really climbs when doin those squats but I read other sites that talk about dreaded leg day and there’s those funny pictures of zebra’s getting all wobbly legged with the caption “leg day” (ohh so clever, I love zebras so that one really resonates with me) or bodybuilders with crazy toothpick legs; I knew someone that had that situation and its honestly unnatural like how can you only work out your upper body seems very unsymmetrical but its obvious that its a common disdain among those journeying to become fit and those that are already awesomely fit.
So I am just ranting at how much I hate legs, but I know better because the more I hate it the more I don’t do it. DO I have to LEARN to love it…probably or at least on leg day be better prepared maybe pump up that play list of your ultimate fav tunes…even if they don’t exactly sync with your workout counts, or have a small reward like treating yourself to your fav tea at your local café/coffee place; something that will get you excited to know that if you complete this you get that and eventually your subconscious will link good things with leg day; lets hope anyways because legs are what I need to work on the most (got caught in that catch 22, I need it the most because its something I hate working on, because  I hate working on it I need it the most)
On a side note, when it comes to rewards really try to not make it food related…I know its hard you’re talking to the woman who at one point would reward herself for cleaning the house….. really?!? like having a sanitary environment for you and your family to frolic around in isn’t reward enough? Apparently not, I found myself saying if you get this house clean you can have nachos from taco bell, the small one though…. I was “watching my weight”, oh my… isn’t that sick? I am embarrassed to even put that out there but its true I did it all the time….. I could do a load of laundry and daydream of cinnamon twists dancing in my head as soon as those babies hit that dryer.
So do some soul searching and find something that will make leg day seem much more welcoming into your weekly workout routine!

What’s the point?

Okay, this is honestly the hardest thing ever to do…. write about my opinions and feelings and thoughts…ugh sometimes I would find it hard to even write it down in my own private journal or worse…. think it.. and now when I say the hardest thing I mean really being honest with myself that this is what I want to do, share my thoughts, my journey, my struggles, my successes and put it out there so that I can help even just 1 person to make that change or shift their thinking or maybe just put a smile on someones face.
So whats the point to this blog?  To taking a journey to become fitter and healthier? To share this journey?
It’s a questions I ponder on the daily, today I would say that its to inspire, its to share my opinions with those who want it, share my experiences, my experiments, and some of my straight from experience knowledge I have gained.
This is very new to me, very raw, and very much a work in progress, and when I first let myself think about blogging and writing and being a fitspirational woman it was at a class I took at Creative Live (a plug as creative live is the awesomeness) this class was by the most amazeballs person I have come to meet, Michelle Ward, she is a Creative Career Coach and a damn good one so look her up, especially if you’re feeling like there is more to a career then your day job… I learned that I am a creative person, that I have big likes, and most importantly that I could do WHATEVER I wanted…..and sure this is something you hear as a kid, or maybe atleast you heard it in movies or read about people who get told this if you weren’t one but nonetheless its something we hear as a kid and then we get slapped with the reality of adult life and it makes you its bitch.
Sooooo that’s what Michelle taught me through her class was that I was letting life live me…. stuck in an unfulfilling place in my life and not succeeding financially or passionately….. she has some awesome resources and ideas on her site, by the way, that will help you make some life shifting changes in your career…. for me I went from real estate (which is a great career, but it wasn’t truly fulfilling for me) to……..well….. that is still in the works……but this blog is the tip of the iceberg…..taking a passion of being fit, and sharing that journey with others is truly an inspiring start…..so as I search for how I make my career from here, I will continue my focus of sharing my successes, failures, knowledge and opinions on everything fitness and hope that I can entertain and inspire others to make that fit lifestyle change or even take their already made change and take it to the next level.

Down with the Macros- Why macronutrients are important

Okay so really what is a macronutrient, well its the opposite of a micronutrient…..Duh! UUmmm well not really, so macronutrients are, our main nutrients, Carbs, Fats and Proteins. So when someone says, ” I keep track of my macros”, they are referring to those three nutrients.

Micronutrients, btw, because I can tell you are excited to know, are the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Cool, huh? so you gots your macros and your micros.

But why does this matter you ask? Oh so glad you asked, it matters because carbs fats and proteins are the main sources of calories our bodies need to run efficiently, and because our bodies are so damn smart, it knows the balance it needs to run at optimum speed, we are talkin’ level 10 awesomeness. Now the key part here is that since our bodies understand what it needs to run, when it doesn’t get that balance it runs off kilter, its like putting oil in your gas tank of your car, no Bueno, you ain’t goin no where! Not that I would know from experience (wink wink) Noooo I didn’t put oil in my gas tank, that’s just dumb. However I am super guilty of putting bad foods in my body and definitely unbalanced foods for sure….. but I am learning, learning that when you keep track of those lovely little macros you get lovely results. Its cool to see the way your body actually can be when you start treating it right and feeding it right.

Aaaand to give you a little more help in understanding why keeping track of your macros is cool, I provided below how many calories 1 gram of each has…… uuuhhhh how many calories of what which huh…..

oooohhh cmon scroll down you will see below🙂 :

1 gram of protein = 4 Calories

1 gram of fat= 9 Calories

1 gram of Carbs = 4 Calories

 

Soooo when you see on a nutrition label that a food has 20 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and 4 carbs you can see that food will approximately contain 105 Calories (20g protein x 4 calories per gram+ 1g fat x 9 calories per gram + 4g carbs x 4 calories per gram= 105. I say approximately though because some foods on the label may not account for insoluble fiber and the manufacturer did not account for this etc, there is a lot of things that unfortunately the food manufacturers do not “factor in” when they are putting stuff on their label but that’s a whole other conversation for another time, for now just know that you for every gram of one of the these macros you take in a certain number of calories.

So you realize what this means don’t you……….it means…….. that……. if you know approximately how many grams of each macro you need you will know that not only are you eating a well balanced diet to achieve your goals for your body buuuut that you are at the same time taking in the appropriate number of calories. Isn’t that exciting!!!

Now keep in mind no system is fool proof so just because your keep your macros balanced doesn’t always mean your calories will be perfect and vice versa, you need to be able  to hit your goals within a 50 calories, and again this is simply 1 of the many methods to keep track of your diet and its the one that I use and love and works for me, you gotta do what works for you. Also keep in mind that its not a perfect world so your macros may not always be balanced and know that and be okay with it. Go with the never fail 80/20 rule.

So now hopefully I have made it a little easier to understand what macros are  and if you have any questions or would like further info please please reach out to me, good or bad, I like to hear what I was able to help with(doesn’t everyone love to hear how awesome they are!) and I also need to know what maybe made it confusing because I am putting this out there to help and if it doesn’t well then I didn’t do a good job and I would like the chance to correct it. So reach out to me!

Stay tuned, next I will be showing you how to actually calculate your Macros so you know exactly what you need to take in and keep track! I will also recommend some apps that I use that work really well!