Archive for body image

Muscles, Flexing, and a Kettle Bell Workout!

Good morning! Happy Thursday!

This week has FLOWN by. Anyone else feel that way? I swear, it was just Monday!

Workouts this week have left me pretty sore. I’m taking a much-needed rest day today! Here’s what my week has looked like:

Sunday: Legs!!! (and oh, did this workout make me sore)

Monday: 20 min. HIIT & Shoulders/Triceps

Tuesday: Back & Biceps + 20 minutes on the treadmill (to literally try to shake the soreness out of my legs)

Wednesday: Full Body w/ a focus on Chest (below)

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On another note, I read this article yesterday and immediately shared it. This is so, so, so spot on. I urge you all to read this and take notes. My favorite quote in the article:

“Like Herbalife, Isagenix may be an effective weight loss tool. So is anorexia. Doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea.”

Finally, I’ll leave you with this. Lifting weights doesn’t mean you’re going to walk around looking like the hulk. You’re only going to look like the hulk when you have seriously developed muscle (read: years of development) AND flex those seriously developed muscles. And even then, you still may not! I’ve been training for 7 years STRAIGHT and this is how “bulky” heavy lifting has made me:

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(On a side note, back in 2008, before I had any “real” muscle, I would put photos of women with really awesome shoulders on my bathroom mirror. I looked at my own photo last night and realized…..I have those awesome shoulders that I always envied!! Cool!!)

 

P.S. Don’t judge my dirty mirrors. #okthanks.

Have a great rest of your day folks!

Question of the day:

1. Be honest, are you afraid to lift heavy weights?

 

 

Part 1: Then and Now: I’ve Changed….

Happy Hump Day friends! I actually hate that people call it that, and here I am doing it myself.

 

Moving on…

I had an interesting scenario happen last night that shed some light on just how far I’ve come in the past few years. I thought I’d go into detail about this, as I know many women (and some men too) struggle with this as well.

(If you’re struggling with any type of eating disorder and feel this could trigger you, please don’t read any further.)

Last night, I pulled out a half eaten pint of Haagen Daaz Dulce de Leche ice cream. I ate it.

And then I moved on with my life.

Now, to someone who doesn’t and has never struggled with any type of food disorders, this probably doesn’t seem like anything and you’re likely not sure why I’m even pointing it out.

But for those of you who have in the past or are currently dealing with a bad relationship with food, you get it.

You see, 3-4 years ago, after I finished competing and started struggling with my ability to manage what I was eating, I would have eaten the Haagen Daaz ice cream, hopped in the car, and gone out to see what else I could get my hands on. More ice cream, cookies, chips, you name it. I hated it. I hated that I couldn’t control it. I hated that I felt the need to always have more, more, more. And it showed. I slowly gained weight and found myself embarrassed to go out because of how I looked. I was also extremely ashamed to be controlled by something so stupid. And it wasn’t like a drug I could quit….it was fucking food.

Last night was just another reminder of how far I’ve come. I struggled with my relationship with food for SO long (years) and really, truly thought I’d never have a normal relationship with food. I admired the people that could eat a few french fries and be done with it. Not me. I couldn’t do that. I had to eat all the french fries, and then as soon as I wasn’t with anyone else, I would go eat more. Until I was too full to breathe. It was disgusting, humiliating, and unhealthy.

But these days? I CAN do that. In fact, I often do. I can eat a few french fries and be done. I can even eat the whole basket of fries and then be done. I can eat 1 scoop of ice cream and not need more. I don’t NEED MORE. It’s a feeling I NEVER thought I would regain. I can truly say my relationship with food is NORMAL. And it’s freeing…..

So how did I do it?

Part 2 coming soon………….I’ll tell you how I did it and how it’s changed my life for the better…..

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Oops…

Although I thought I was ready to come back to blogging regularly, actions will show otherwise. I guess I’m not really ready to, nor do I have the time to blog regularly, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard on my goals!

 

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to lose some weight and find a happy medium between where I was and my competition body. I’m happy to report that I’m down about 8 or 9 pounds and feeling pretty good. The best part? I haven’t cut out any of my favorite things: namely, candy.

I eat some form of candy, usually daily. Not a lot, but some. A roll of sweet tarts is the perfect afternoon pick me up. Another favorite? Pop chips. I realize this isn’t candy, but they taste damn good. I incorporate them in several times a week. So what have I been doing that has worked so well?

 

Balance. Of food, of workouts, of life. Who would have thought…..

Tabata and Running…and then I got all preachy.

Buenos Tardes amigos!

Today has been somewhat crazy, and the next few will be even more-so! This wedding is really starting to stress me out, and it’s not even mine!

I went to my (almost) final fitting for my dress and finally got shoes for the wedding. I just need to finish up my speech, and the rest should fall into place! I have to go back one more time on Friday because she is making a few slight alterations, but it’s basically ready.

Today’s workout was pretty killer. I was sweating up a storm! I started out on a jog around the neighborhood I’m house sitting in. It is a really nice, overcast day here, so the conditions were great. I set out for 5 miles and was just going to call it a day after that. About 2 miles into the run, I decided that although I was enjoying myself and the time was flying, I wanted to push myself harder. My pace was pretty fast, but I was starting to mentally check out and get my brain set on doing something more intense. I finished up 3 miles and came inside to do a Tabata style workout.

Tabata is a style of training that involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. You need an interval timer to do it, but luckily I found this handy tool online. Makes it easy when I just have to listen for a bell!

My tabata exercises included:

-Mountain climbers

-Squats

-Pushups(holy hell.)

-Bicycle Twists

I actually wanted to do more, but I’ve been having some lower back issues the past few days and started to feel it a little bit. I’d rather be smart and do less, than do more and be out for a long period of time!

It’s funny, I think that females, or maybe everyone, tends to work the body parts they don’t like much more than any others. I have ALWAYS worked my legs like crazy, not to mention, I love leg workouts. Combined with all of the cardio activities that I do, my legs have some crazy endurance. The squat rounds really didn’t phase me. Next time I will definitely add weights. The mountain climbers were tough but not terrible, the bicycle twists weren’t so bad, but the push ups? Murderous. I work my upper body A LOT, but it has always been my weak point. If you saw the way my body is made up, it would make total sense. I actually have a decent amount of upper body muscle, but it is all self made. Prior to my working out days, they were stick arms. My lower body is very athletically proportioned. Although I’m carrying around a few extra pounds these days, I have very muscular glutes and hamstrings. My quads are also pretty muscular, but it isn’t as noticeable as the backside.

Random thoughts: I skyped with the man(funny to call him that because he’s about as mature as an 8 year old. But who am I to talk, so am I.) who got me started in the fitness world. He’s currently in New Zealand working on his PhD and we haven’t talked in a few months. We talked about when I first started working out at his gym, and how I’ve changed over the years both physically and mentally, specifically towards my views on strength and conditioning. It’s just still crazy to me that I walked into Lifts almost 4 years ago just thinking I’d start working out a little bit. Little did I know that my entire LIFE would be completely changed. Even though my weight has fluctuated through the years (if I was a yo-yo I’d definitely be a Bumblebee) my perspective on life has constantly been getting better and better. My parents were never big exercisers, other than my mom having a short stint with the gym. It still amazes me that I played sports my entire life, when the other 5 members of my family sat on their ass (my older brother actually was a swimmer/mountain biker but everyone else was a sit-on-their-asser). My grandparents were very active and involved with sports though, so maybe that’s where I got it. My dad started working out about a year and a half ago. Over the last 6 months he has told me that the best gift and greatest lesson I have ever taught him is how much exercise can change your life. He doesn’t realize that him telling me that is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given by him. It feels good to help someone. Exercise doesn’t just change your body and health, it transforms your mind. There is NOTHING, N.O.T.H.I.N.G in this world that can do for your mind what exercise can do. Yes, one workout gives you endorphins, but long-term continuous exercise makes you believe in yourself, instills confidence in you, and really gives you a drive that you may have never had before. I would assume that the happiest people on the planet are those that exercise regularly, whether that means they live in a walkable city and walk everywhere, or whether they spend hours in the gym, exercise has the ability to change you and bring out the best in you.

Okay, I’ll stop with my preaching, but I just can’t begin to describe how wonderful exercise has been to me. It’s a gift and a privilege to be able to work out as lightly or as fiercely as I want to each day. I am continuously thankful for that, regardless of being 15% body fat or 25%.