Truth…

Food-is-most-abused-e1433219668223Bill Phillips was spot on when he made that statement several years ago. More than half of American adults today are overweight or outright obese.  I get that people use food as a drug. It makes you feel good. It numbs whatever “it” is. It is a sense of control, in a crazy out of control way, if you know what I mean. I have struggled with using food to “medicate” feelings and emotions, but I ALWAYS notice a difference in how I feel, not only physically, but mentally as well, when I am eating right.

I can also relate to exercise being an antidepressant. When I went through my divorce, I made sure I exercised daily. Even though I felt like crap, I knew it was good for me. I knew mentally I needed that escape, that stress release.  More importantly, my kids benefitted from it. I am pretty sure exercise was the ONLY thing that kept me sane … Ok, exercise and… Pinterest.

I honestly think that if people would just take a few minutes every day and get their bodies moving, even if it is just for 15 minutes, it WILL make a difference. Make the time… just walking out the door is the hardest part. You’ve got this!

Back to Basics…

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When I first started lifting weights seriously, I did certain things almost religiously. Sadly, I haven’t been doing some of these “basics.”  As of late, that is changing!

Have specific goals and write them down! I don’t remember the last time I had a solid goal, sheesh! I’ve been flailing aimlessly, and I have really felt it. I always do better with a goal in mind! (I think we all do). So, I have set some new goals for myself and I plan on being stubborn about these goals but flexible with my methods.

Be consistent. Consistency is essential because without it, NOTHING is achieved. A lack of consistency can bring on a lack of interest.

Educate yourself…Read/learn new things. This has been extremely motivating for me in the past. Reading about other people’s experiences and learning from their sucesses/failures. Learn about a new supplement or a new way to do something.  It just keeps the mental juices flowing.

Nutrition…meal prep! Planning and preparing healthy meals for the week is key. It’s organized and there is never the question of “what should I eat?” Meals are measured, weighed, and ready…Grab and go! I like to do my meal prep on Sunday mornings.

Hydrate. Drinking enough water is important since muscles don’t work as well when they are dehydrated. Drinking water also balances your body fluids and helps keep your organs working properly. I like drinking about a gallon of water a day.

Rest and recovery. Get enough sleep. This is SOOO important! Probably THE most important part of recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep, that recovery, which is the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place. Everyone requires a different amount, but 6-10 hours should be sufficient. If you feel rested in the morning, you’ll know you’ve had enough sleep.

Keep a fitness log / food journal. I have become very lax on this one. Must be that I didn’t want to remind myself in writing of my poor food choices. 🙂 I have started keeping track again. I had forgotten this is a motivator for me.

Weekly weigh ins/progress pics. I don’t have a coach to answer to right now, but I still need to do this to keep myself in check. Pictures say it ALL! You may not be able to see the small weekly changes in the mirror, but when comparing pictures from previous weeks, you can see the changes. Again, this is motivation for me.

These are the basics! Going back to the basics always strengthens your foundation and gives you a solid place to fall back on.

Weight Gain 101

  

This is it! I’m coming clean!  I have gained weight. 20 freaking pounds of weight! There is embarrassment and shame in this for me. How could I have let myself go?? Why didn’t I just have more willpower? I KNOW I am stronger, tougher, and more dedicated than I have proven over the last year, but I have been lacking in something. I took before pics this morning. I can’t .. won’t post them just yet. I’m still trying to adjust to the visual. Why do pictures look so much worse than the mirror?? Sigh! 

 I‘m ready for a change! I’m tired of doing the same things over and over and getting the same results…results I am NOT happy with!! My problem isn’t working out. Working out is actually the number ONE thing that has kept me sane and stress levels down. My problem lies with my nutrition and lack of mental prowess. In my defense, I’ve had major changes in my life.. I KNOW! Excuses! No one cares about excuses!

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what is working, but more importantly, what ISN’T working in what I’ve been doing. So… I’m going back to the basics. Back to the simple fundamentals of bodybuilding/fitness. Back to being ME! I’m tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m tired of my clothes not fitting. I’m just tired.

But… If you are interested in gaining some fluff and spillover like I have, being the helpful person I am, I will list the top five things that aided me in my weight gain. Ha! 

1. End a long term relationship. I DO NOT recommend this! But sometimes there is just no other way to progress and be happy. Most people lose weight with this step… Not ME!

2. Find comfort in food. Especially chocolate chip cookies… and don’t forget to eat the dough! Ha! 

3. Plan to NOT plan your diet. Eat whatever and whenever you want. 

4. Move from 5000 square feet to a mere 600 square feet… with two kids.  And put ALL your stuff in storage. This move was actually a good thing for us, but it has been quite the adjustment to say the least.

5. Go back to school after twenty-four years and start working on your bachelor’s degree. Whoa! This has been a HUGE adjustment. It took me three months, if not longer to find my groove. I just finished my first semester. (Flying colors) 🙂 I have loved being back in school, I’d forgotten how much I like learning. 

*Note: Please do not follow these steps! Actually, the last two are good things, just don’t overcompensate with food.. 

 

 

The Devil’s Fare

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I have a problem! It is called… NUTELLA! I admit, I cannot eat that delectable, magic devil spread responsibly. And YES! I went against my better judgement and brought a small jar into my house…OY!

I have been obsessing over that chocolate hazelnut seduction… I like it on bread! I like it on rice cakes! I like it in my oatmeal! I like it on a spoon! Ohh Nutella!

I have even created a new board on Pinterest dedicated to its deliciousness.. I’m a sick woman! 🙂

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D.I.E.T.

I don’t love the word DIET!  For one thing, the first three letters spell DIE… Enough said, right?! This is me five years ago, when I was always on a “diet.”

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I felt deprived and unsatisfied.. The word “diet” has negative connotations in and of itself… at least for me! I would always start on a Monday… Fresh start! I could stay on for a few days, but inevitably by Wednesday I would give into the cravings.. and what was the point of going back on, I had already messed up the week…Ha! So in all reality, it was two days on and five days off! Oy Vey!

Fast forward several years. I have figured some things out. Common sense stuff, really. I’ve learned about macro nutrients and the importance of having a good balance. When I decided to call my “Diet” a “Meal Plan.” everything changed for me. Sure I was strict on what I ate, but having a “plan” was the key. If I wanted to eat something not so healthy, I could plan it into my macros. It became all about the planning!

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I‘m not saying I don’t still struggle with cravings or emotional eating, I do. But I have learned how to avoid my triggers. AND if there is something, say like a Costco cupcake with lots of frosting delivered to my house by a neighbor, 🙂 I will put it in my freezer until Saturday, which is my free day. I know it is there if I decide I want to eat it…It’s a mental game! AND 9 times out of 10 I end up NOT eating it! But I can if I plan for it! I no longer diet! I eat for my goals and I stay on my plan.

It’s all in the mindset!

A New Beginning

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Yay for Monday! Why is it that Monday always gets a bad wrap? Mondays are my FAVORITE! It is the start of a new week.. a new beginning! It is also LEG DAY! 🙂

But back to new beginnings… I think it is pretty obvious from my last post that I am starting over. Life hasn’t turned out like I had always thought or planned it to be. But everything happens for a reason. Clearly, I needed to learn some very important lessons in life. Boy, am I learning them! In just a short time, I feel like I have grown so much, yet, I KNOW there is so much more coming.. It is the nature of the beast, I suppose. And I say, BRING IT!

We watched The Croods the other night and it really hit home. Several times in my life I have been caught in the “never not be afraid” mindset… Afraid of what’s next. Afraid to move forward. I think we all get in this mode every once in awhile, wanting to hide in our cave until it is “safe.” But as Eep says in the movie, “That wasn’t living. That was… just not dying! There’s a difference.”

I am no longer afraid! After all, starting over is a new chance to rebuild the life I want! I may have lost something good, but I will definitely gain something better… It’s all in the attitude…

 

It’s Official

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Yep! I am officially SINGLE! I actually changed my relationship status on Facebook the other day to divorced and then thought, “That sounds so broken! and I AM NOT BROKEN!” So, I changed it to Single instead. It just sounds better.

I keep getting the token tap on the shoulder, the pity looks, and people tiptoeing around me, not knowing what to say. Well, let me make it perfectly clear… I am doing just fine! I am HAPPY! Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of tears and numberless BATCHES of chocolate chip cookies single-handedly eaten by Yours Truly… but I am DONE feeling sorry for myself! So, I am making the most of an ugly situation and I am choosing to be happy! Simple as that! Honestly, I feel like I am FINALLY living my life! It is far from perfect, but it is MINE!

I found a quote from Andy Warhol several weeks ago that has really helped put things into perspective when I feel down…  Saying “So What!!” TOTALLY works! 🙂

Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.” That’s one of my favorite things to say. “So what.” “My mother didn’t love me” So what. “I’m a success but I’m still alone.” So what. I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.  ~ Andy Warhol

I fully believe if you aren’t happy being single, you will never be happy in a relationship. You need to get your own life and love it first.. THEN share it. I am excited to see what the future will bring!

How do you get through tough times?

My Work Out Regime

I am asked almost daily about my workouts, so I thought I would answer the most common questions here as well..

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What do you do? I am pretty much old school when it comes to working out. I lift weights and do a little cardio. I do NOT do cross fit. I do NOT do Pilates. I do NOT do Zumba.

How many days per week do you work out? I workout 6 days a week.

How long are your workouts? ONE hour! That’s it!

What is your schedule? I do switch this up quite a bit. I will do the following for about 4 weeks, then I have a totally different routine I do for 6 weeks alternating between a strength and an intensity week with some functional cardio added in.. It works well for me!

Monday: Quads/Abs
Tuesday: Chest/Biceps/Abs
Wednesday: Cardio
Thursday: Hamstrings/Calves
Friday: Back/Triceps/Abs
Saturday: Shoulders/Abs
Sunday: REST

What is your favorite muscle group to work? Legs… Hands down! But, I also like biceps.. and triceps.. and chest.. and shoulders.. Hell, I like it all! 🙂

What is your favorite time of day to workout?  My favorite time to workout is early morning. I know if I don’t do it first thing, it simply won’t get done. The thing I love about doing my workouts early is that I am rested which makes for a great workout, and a great workout clears everything up mentally, physically, and I just have a better day!

 

It’s ON!

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I don’t know what it is or how it happens, but there seems to be this “switch” inside my brain… It’s either ON or OFF. I REALLY like it when it’s on! ON = Motivated and on plan everyday.  OFF = Not so motivated and half-assing my meal plan.

Eating is often the hardest part for me, but I always workout. That is a habit I am just not willing to break. I train regardless of me eating clean or not, I guess I like those endorphins. I know many people who will stop working out all together when they eat crap. I get it, but burning calories is still burning calories, right?

The past seven months have been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster for me. I have not eaten well… AT ALL! In fact, before the holidays I decided I was not going to worry about what I was eating. I enjoyed lots of good food and treats, and you know what? I remembered I like Apollo Burgers! Ha!

However, the bad eating habits have caught up to me. January 1st came and I had a plan, a well written plan, I might add. Remember that switch? It didn’t flip. Bad carbs create a vicious circle of craving MORE bad carbs.. If that switch isn’t on? the discipline that is required is just not there and then throw emotions into the mix… ugh! So I just get back up and start again.

Well, last Saturday, the switch flipped back on unexpectedly. I’m not complaining, but I sure wish I could figure out what the triggers are…

Here is the story… Saturdays have always been my free day, and we go out to lunch a lot on that day. My kids have come to expect it. My girlie was trying to decide which soda to put in her cup. Being 7, these types of decisions can take SEVERAL frustrating (for me) minutes. A lady came up and said, “So many choices, but I am going with the BEST choice… WATER!” and she proceeded to fill her cup with water. Great advice! But it bothered me. It REALLY bothered me, A LOT! I don’t know why, perhaps because she knows NOTHING about my family. For one, my kids don’t drink soda very often. Saturday is a free day for them as well. And it is not like my kids are overweight.. They are NOT! And do I really look like I don’t teach my kids a healthy lifestyle? Ok, I have some fluff and spillover right now, but I certainly still look fit! I really don’t like meddlers!

And the switch was on! It was as simple as that! So, really I guess I should be thanking that nosey-ass lady!

This has turned out to be a fabulous week. I have been spot on. My diet has been tight and my abs are coming back.. Oh, how I have missed them! 🙂  Abs are definitely made in the kitchen! I have said it before, you can’t outwork a bad diet!

2014…

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